After a hard day there’s nothing like relaxing in a big comfy chair watching television. Nowadays we are no longer simply restricted to the five terrestrial channels, but have hundreds of different channels to choose from. Surely this must mean that no matter what your tastes you will always be able to find something to watch. Not so. Instead of been more original programs to watch there are simply more reruns.
When I was a child, we here in the UK had only four TV channels to choose from. Later on there were five but the fifth one was always a bit on the dodgy side. You could only receive it if the wind was blowing in the right direction and the tide was in. Then came the revolution. Satellite dishes started appearing on the side of houses and people started getting TV from all sorts of countries in all sorts of languages. Next along was the installation of cable TV with its promise of four trillion channels all with new and unique content.
This is where reality has come to bite us. We do have hundreds of channels but the content is far from unique and in no way can it be called original. New TV programs are expensive to make, therefore it seems like less and less people are willing to invest in the making of them. Instead we are inundated with repeats of programs we have all seen a hundred times or fly on the wall documentaries that document subjects that normally we would have absolutely no interest in. The state of things wouldn’t be so bad but really, do we need to see what the life of a dinner lady is really like? Can this really be called entertainment?
Constantly more channels are added but the programs always seem to remain the same. All of these new channels that appear have a common theme; they all make their money from advertisements. What this means is that the channels are not so much concerned about the content that they show, really they are just platforms for advertisements. The programs that split up the commercial breaks seem like an unfortunate evil for most of the channels and if they could do without them then they would.
We have got to and streaked past the point where we need more channels. What we need now is better programs. There are only so many times that you can watch the same episode of a sitcom or a repeat from a topical quiz show first broadcast five years ago.