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The State of TV

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Because it's Sunday and because I want to make it to the line before Our Commander-In-Chief, it's time for a little editorializing about TV.

The WGA strike that will be ending soon has shed a light on how vulnerable TV (and LA) is to disagreements about how this industry should function. While movies have always benefited, unworthily (Meet The Spartans anyone?), as art that exists at a level separate from commercialization, TV has always been the stuff that you watch in between the commercials. It's because of these commercials whose cost is incorporated into the price of the products and services advertised, and their competitors, that justifies the idea that watchers of television are direct payers for the programming that is broadcast, not to mention your cable box charges, etc. Unless you are on some kind of commune or are some kind of anti-car vegan (read: anti-American) fascist, you help pay for what's on TV, therefore you have the right to demand better product for your dollar and that's what I'm doing here.

After lambasting yet-another crappy Academy Awards ceremony or a decidedly sub-par offering from Aaron Sorkin you gentle readers have counseled me to "just don't watch it" but to not comment on the investment of my funds seems like a cop out to me. It's my pledge to you to not roll over and just take it because it's all that's on. Because of the WGA strike and the hold on production we're in for a rough Spring and Summer. If you thought we were in a reality-TV Hell already, then, my friends, we've descended a few more circles because that pathetic excuse for programming is going to take up even more real estate. Also, the networks are desperate to proclaim every minute as "new" by resorting to such charades as bringing over dumbed-down versions of programs from their sister cable networks. [I'm prepared to issue a fatwah for every adulterated episode of "Dexter" that appears on CBS this year because that show is just too good to eff around with.]

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Yes, we are headed for an economic recession but we're also headed for a recession of good content on TV. All we have to look forward to is shortened seasons of "Lost" and other good programs, lots of reality programming, and a much smaller selection of new shows this Fall. We're here for you, we will hunt down new shows and reveal the best moments of TV to watch each evening but now it's a lot more difficult - the networks certainly aren't doing anything to staunch the flow of their annual loss of +7% of viewership. It's enough to make you buy premium channels like HBO.