Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The TV MegaSite's Blog Post #90

Lately I just haven't had much time to post on here... sorry about that! Seems like all my time lately is spent trying to keep our Primetime News Page updated!

We have a lot of great new volunteers writing daily soap opera updates and more. We also have a new Volunteer Manager, Sammie, who is going to help us keep track of everything. Very helpful!  All of our volunteers are great. You can check out all the new stuff put up on our What's New Page.

The other two things keeping me so busy are interviewing TV actors for our Articles Page and reviewing DVD's and new TV shows for our Primetime TV Review Page.  These are also great perks, of course, for me, to talk to actors that I love and get free DVD's!  But it takes up a lot of time. ...the site is so big and there's always too much to do!  We always need more volunteers...

TV has been great this season, at least for primetime. Daytime is suffering badly. It's very sad that the networks don't seem to recognize the value of daytime soaps any more (if they ever did).  They can blame the falling ratings on lots of things, but the plain truth is that, back in the 90's when the ratings started falling, they did nothing to improve the quality of the shows (and in fact, did the opposite). You can't just continue to underestimate your viewers with crappy writing and bad cliches, and hope that things will turn around. For some reason, soap operas keep hiring the same writers that got fired from other shows! What other industry does that? It's ridiculous. If they got fired because the ratings went down on their shows from bad writing, why hire them again?? It makes no sense.  And they are so afraid of taking any chances. They just recycle the same old boring stories over and over again, instead of making fresh new stories that make more sense in today's world. People want good drama that intrigues and surprises them, whether you're talking soap operas, science fiction, cop shows, or anything else. If it's all predictable and boring, of course people will tune out.  The top people at the networks either don't want to bother spending the money to get better writers, or they just think that soap viewers will put up with anything, so they don't need to bother improving the shows.

The laws are the same for TV shows as they are for people - you must progress, or die.  In TV terms, progress means improving by getting better writing and acting (although this does not really hold true for reality shows or other "trash tv").   If you watch most shows from the past, the writing is not only not quite as good as today's shows, but the dramas today are far more complex. Even if you look at a show like Law & Order, the earlier episodes are much simpler than the more recent ones.  People expect more now from TV. The competition is much more fierce.  While it's true the ratings of all TV are falling, not just daytime soaps, and people are finding other things to do that they like better (like the internet or playing video games, or watching DVD's), that means TV has to get even better to compete for our attention and to avoid cancellation.  Unfortunately, cable seems to have the upper hand in quality shows compared to network TV.  It helps that they produce far fewer episodes per year than network TV, I'm sure.

The viewer is the one that wins in all this (at least while TV is still around). We are the ones that get the better shows to watch. This fall season I had a hard time sticking to my "only one new show per season" rule. I'm afraid that "Ringer" was not enough. I have to keep up with "Once Upon a Time", "Secret Circle", "American Horror Story" and "Terra Nova" as well. I have also occasionally been watching "Person of Interest". These are all very good shows.  But, you know, I'm a TV junkie :)  You can read a list of all the shows I watch.  I'm always very sad when they cancel my favorite shows. Right now I am bummed about the end of Men of a Certain Age, Memphis Beat, The Protector, and soon, Eureka. That is the only problem with being a TV fan. Eventually, everything gets canceled (some a lot sooner than you'd want).

It will be interesting to see what the future holds with TV. We already have the technology to stream the net from TV's, and they show many TV shows on the net, so you can watch not only "regular" TV on your TV but net TV as well. We have a lot of TV on demand. The question is where it will go from here. We had all hoped that the company Prospect Park would come through on their promise to move All My Children and One Life to Live to the internet, but they couldn't get the funding. I think they handled it very poorly and were very short-sighted.  One has to wonder why ABC didn't try to do that first, but we all figure they would have messed it up, anyway.  Eventually, network TV is either going to have to find a way to get more internet advertising dollars or go all on-demand, or they will die.

There are lots of reruns on TV right now due to the holiday. For me it's a good thing. Since I'm always behind, it's a good way to catch up! But I do miss my favorite shows, like The Mentalist and Supernatural...

Happy Holidays, everyone!

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