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(Telegraph)   "I recently heard a claim, made in a programme on the vast wasteland that is American TV, that UNC basketball players can only read at the level of a six-year old. If American TV is anything to go by, it's a wonder they reach even that level"   (telegraph.co.uk) divider line 92
    More: Sad, Chapel Hill, american tv, Uncle Sam, Americans, TV ad  
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3173 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 May 2014 at 9:48 AM (33 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-05-06 09:12:16 AM  
on the vast wasteland that is American TV

img.4plebs.org
 
2014-05-06 09:18:36 AM  

Sybarite: on the vast wasteland that is American TV

[img.4plebs.org image 850x606]


Seriously. Anyone who thinks there's not much good on American TV just isn't paying attention.
 
2014-05-06 09:24:03 AM  

kxs401: Sybarite: on the vast wasteland that is American TV

[img.4plebs.org image 850x606]

Seriously. Anyone who thinks there's not much good on American TV just isn't paying attention.


Agree, but you gotta admit the ads have gotten pretty bad.

HBO alone vindicates American TV although it isn't free.

I would mention AMC also, but, well,  Small Town Security
 
2014-05-06 09:28:31 AM  
At least we can spell "program". What are you paid by the letter?
 
2014-05-06 09:28:53 AM  

IamKaiserSoze!!!: kxs401: Sybarite: on the vast wasteland that is American TV

[img.4plebs.org image 850x606]

Seriously. Anyone who thinks there's not much good on American TV just isn't paying attention.

Agree, but you gotta admit the ads have gotten pretty bad.

HBO alone vindicates American TV although it isn't free.

I would mention AMC also, but, well,  Small Town Security



Hey, if shiatty reality shows are what it takes to pay the bills and keep the good stuff I want to see on the air, then so be it. I don't have to watch them.

I'd throw FX in that list too.
 
2014-05-06 09:32:39 AM  
Don't we get most our crappy sitcom/contest show ideas from England?

But they gave us "Being Human" so we cool
 
2014-05-06 09:33:18 AM  
Wow, is TFA arguing that it's TV's job to educate people?

Also, most of the good shows here are actually made in Canada.
 
2014-05-06 09:41:27 AM  

serial_crusher: Wow, is TFA arguing that it's TV's job to educate people?

Also, most of the good shows here are actually made in Canada.


Orphan Black - love that show (yeah...BBCA).

We have some good shows here in the U.S. but there is a ton of crap on at any given moment.  And the ads are crazy.  I've dropped cable over a year now and it's awesome.  But even when I watch Cosmos on Hulu, the ads are insane...
 
2014-05-06 09:51:22 AM  
Where are the crying eagles and the USA guy?
 
2014-05-06 09:53:24 AM  
Kinda like the Capital Wasteland? img.fark.net
 
2014-05-06 09:53:53 AM  
Now go yell at a cloud
 
2014-05-06 09:54:30 AM  

Sybarite: on the vast wasteland that is American TV

[img.4plebs.org image 850x606]


Really?  American TV is a wasteland, period.

For every "Game of Thrones" or "Mad Men" you have reality shows that do absolutely nothing but rot your brain, talk shows that just fill dead air and news shows that don't do news and do more pontificating.

So he's spot on there.
 
2014-05-06 09:56:41 AM  

serial_crusher: Wow, is TFA arguing that it's TV's job to educate people?


Considering the BBC produces a metric shiat-ton of high-quality educational and non-fiction shows: yes.

Until technical problems put an end to it, when I could pirate iPlayer, my wife and I could sit down every night for dinner and pick from several really, really good science and history programs.  I'm not saying Brits do watch this stuff in great numbers, or that there isn't some absolute rubbish on the BBC, but they can reasonably expect to be able to watch decent non-fiction.
 
2014-05-06 09:56:55 AM  
As for the onslaught of dental ads:

heh, English person furious over having to watch ads about taking care of your teeeth, so perfect...
 
2014-05-06 09:57:54 AM  

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Don't we get most our crappy sitcom/contest show ideas from England?

But they gave us "Being Human" so we cool


You usually fark them up.

Coupling UK: Brilliant.
Coupling US: Dire.
Life On Mars UK: Amazing.
Life On Mars US: Meh.
Red Dwarf UK: Funny.
Red Dwarf US: Tried three times, never made it to air.


/To be fair the UK have remade quite a few US shows and been just as awful. And there have been US remakes that have been great, The Office for example. And I always thought Cybill was a copy in all but name of AbFab.
 
2014-05-06 09:58:19 AM  

Rwa2play: Sybarite: on the vast wasteland that is American TV

[img.4plebs.org image 850x606]

Really?  American TV is a wasteland, period.

For every "Game of Thrones" or "Mad Men" you have reality shows that do absolutely nothing but rot your brain, talk shows that just fill dead air and news shows that don't do news and do more pontificating.

So he's spot on there.


Except for the hypocrisy. There is plenty of mindless drivel on in the UK. The author is just more aware because the surroundings have changed.

A Canadian friend once remarked how patriotic Americans are, because Old Glory is everywhere. When I went to his wedding in Vancouver, I pointed out all the Maple Leafs...top of every building and business. He said, yeah, I guess I never noticed that.
 
2014-05-06 09:58:58 AM  
I've been playing with the brightness knob on my TV for years - doesn't seem to do any good. :(
 
2014-05-06 10:01:58 AM  
We'll see whose laughing when Jack Bauer blows up Parliament!
 
2014-05-06 10:02:20 AM  

phalamir: serial_crusher: Wow, is TFA arguing that it's TV's job to educate people?

Considering the BBC produces a metric shiat-ton of high-quality educational and non-fiction shows: yes.

Until technical problems put an end to it, when I could pirate iPlayer, my wife and I could sit down every night for dinner and pick from several really, really good science and history programs.  I'm not saying Brits do watch this stuff in great numbers, or that there isn't some absolute rubbish on the BBC, but they can reasonably expect to be able to watch decent non-fiction.


Have you tried ZenMate for Chrome? Lets me watch BBC International stuff that the BBC can't let me watch from the UK.

And I love the BBC but it has tended to dumb down many shows the last decade or so. I watched an excellent report on Bernie Ecclestone and his German bribery trial last week but they felt they had to "jazz it up" by hiring a street-legal F1 car for the reporter to drive around in for half the show. As if they felt the actual facts would be too boring for viewers.
 
2014-05-06 10:02:29 AM  
One ad for medicine I saw recently informed viewers: "If, after taking this product you suffer from choking, excessive bleeding or sudden death, call your doctor immediately."

Citation needed. A Google search of this phrase comes up only with this article. My guess is that if any statement this palpably stupid had actually been made in an ad, there would be plenty of discussion of it on the Internet, at least on Twitter.
 
2014-05-06 10:04:05 AM  
You mean people still watch commercial TV and the commercials that come with it? Why?
 
2014-05-06 10:04:18 AM  

H31N0US: Rwa2play: Sybarite: on the vast wasteland that is American TV

[img.4plebs.org image 850x606]

Really?  American TV is a wasteland, period.

For every "Game of Thrones" or "Mad Men" you have reality shows that do absolutely nothing but rot your brain, talk shows that just fill dead air and news shows that don't do news and do more pontificating.

So he's spot on there.

Except for the hypocrisy. There is plenty of mindless drivel on in the UK. The author is just more aware because the surroundings have changed.

A Canadian friend once remarked how patriotic Americans are, because Old Glory is everywhere. When I went to his wedding in Vancouver, I pointed out all the Maple Leafs...top of every building and business. He said, yeah, I guess I never noticed that.


I take your point; he's still correct about American TV however.  I mean, dear god, when you need to copy shows from other countries ["The Office", "Sherlock" (bka "Elementary"), "Being Human"), you absolutely have no farking creativity whatsofarkingever in Hollywood these days.

It's like they're allergic to original thinking.
 
2014-05-06 10:05:08 AM  
Since I am of a generation that was constantly reminded to mind its manners and never ask for another cake when going out to tea, this one always sends me straight up the wall.

Jeezus, lady, you eat an entire cake at tea? And you call us lard asses? I'd continue this rant, but all this typing really got me winded. I need to grab another slice of pizza.
 
2014-05-06 10:06:31 AM  

Sybarite: on the vast wasteland that is American TV


It's worth reading. My favorite part is when she gets angry that people are told to "grab" a slice of pizza in a commercial instead of politely asking for only one helping of cake to go with their tea.
 
2014-05-06 10:06:49 AM  

kxs401: Sybarite: on the vast wasteland that is American TV

[img.4plebs.org image 850x606]

Seriously. Anyone who thinks there's not much good on American TV just isn't paying attention.


There's good stuff on, and I'd argue it's been better the past 5ish years or so but "57 channels and nothing on" still rings true. Fortunately I just have the TiVo play something it recorded when there was something good on.
 
2014-05-06 10:07:53 AM  
I haven't had a television for close to a year now. In a related story, I'm suddenly developing a British accent.
 
2014-05-06 10:08:13 AM  

Sybarite: on the vast wasteland that is American TV


Nice image. Took me a second to get the joke. Must be all the TV.
 
2014-05-06 10:08:53 AM  

Super Chronic: One ad for medicine I saw recently informed viewers: "If, after taking this product you suffer from choking, excessive bleeding or sudden death, call your doctor immediately."

Citation needed. A Google search of this phrase comes up only with this article. My guess is that if any statement this palpably stupid had actually been made in an ad, there would be plenty of discussion of it on the Internet, at least on Twitter.


I thought it was hyperbole, but considering the crazy lists of side effects on some of these pills, the author wasn't all that far off the mark.
 
2014-05-06 10:09:05 AM  

Mugato: At least we can spell "program". What are you paid by the letter?


To be fair, she learned English at University.
 
2014-05-06 10:10:55 AM  

Rwa2play:  I mean, dear god, when you need to copy shows from other countries ["The Office", "Sherlock" (bka "Elementary"), "Being Human"), you absolutely have no farking creativity whatsofarkingever in Hollywood these days.

It's like they're allergic to original thinking.


Says the guy rehashing a criticism of America since about....1776.

BTW, most Hollywood products have their biggest sales overseas.
 
2014-05-06 10:14:06 AM  
With success like this, Obviously teachers deserve raises.

BTW that Eurotrash ass-wipe can fark off with his biatching about drug commercials. FFS, his royal family pushes homeopathy.
 
2014-05-06 10:14:22 AM  
I just saved 90 dollars and downgraded my DirectTV to the base line plus HBO. I can no longer tolerate an hour's programming that contains 20 minutes of the same 5-6 commercials. Channel drift and awful reality shows had a lot to do with my decision too.  AppleTV fills in nicely and many of the TV programs I like can be found there with NO commercials. Do the owners of these channels realize they're driving a lot of folks away from the garbage that they're offering these days?
 
2014-05-06 10:15:52 AM  

Rwa2play: you absolutely have no farking creativity whatsofarkingever in Hollywood these days


At yet motion pictures are our biggest export. Funny that.

/apparently the irony of using the US ripoff of "Sherlock", a character second only to Dracula in the most portrayals in movies and TV as an example of the US's lack of originality is lost on you
 
2014-05-06 10:16:07 AM  

kxs401: Sybarite: on the vast wasteland that is American TV

[img.4plebs.org image 850x606]

Seriously. Anyone who thinks there's not much good on American TV just isn't paying attention.


The good stuff on TV now is better than TV has ever been.  And frankly better than most movies.  Both HBO and regular TV are putting out some pretty spectacular stuff.  The down side is that the dumb stuff has never been dumber, and I'm not sure it CAN be dumber.  But it subsidizes the other side, and i don't HAVE to watch Honey Boo Boo.  Which inexplicably is still on the air.  I'm concerned that in a few years we're going to have to suffer the national tragedy of a Honey Boo Boo sex tape.
 
2014-05-06 10:16:07 AM  

FLMountainMan: Rwa2play:  I mean, dear god, when you need to copy shows from other countries ["The Office", "Sherlock" (bka "Elementary"), "Being Human"), you absolutely have no farking creativity whatsofarkingever in Hollywood these days.

It's like they're allergic to original thinking.

Says the guy rehashing a criticism of America since about....1776.

BTW, most Hollywood products have their biggest sales overseas.


There are more people overseas by a factor of 20.

That being said it's the Telegraph so the primary job of anything in it is to make really old crusty british people feel less bad about the fact they don't run the planet anymore. So it's not really worth reacting to.
 
2014-05-06 10:16:19 AM  

Fubegra: Super Chronic: One ad for medicine I saw recently informed viewers: "If, after taking this product you suffer from choking, excessive bleeding or sudden death, call your doctor immediately."

Citation needed. A Google search of this phrase comes up only with this article. My guess is that if any statement this palpably stupid had actually been made in an ad, there would be plenty of discussion of it on the Internet, at least on Twitter.

I thought it was hyperbole, but considering the crazy lists of side effects on some of these pills, the author wasn't all that far off the mark.


Side effects can be crazy, but I will say with certainty that no commercial says "if you die, call your doctor."
 
2014-05-06 10:17:24 AM  

doubled99: Now go yell at a cloud


Yep. What I learned from tfa is 1. British women are as capable as old men of yelling at clouds and 2. this British woman had no idea how to write. She wanders all over the place and ends with no conclusion, just *and another thing....*

As for her thesis... she's both right and wrong. I briefly (4mos) lived in London and British TV is generally high quality. Compare our "Elementary" to their "Sherlock" and realize I am not cherry-picking, I'm taking what I'd consider an average of the programming quality of each set (that happen to also be thematically similar). British TV ads are amazing. Our Super Bowl commercials are their daily ad fare.

But there's another important difference: American TV has a lot more of everything to choose from. British TV (and radio) licensing was very strict and very limited until the 80s and didn't really open up until the 90s. To this day-- by any measure-- the UK doesn't have the variety of the US.

Think of what it's like when you are driving in the US hinterlands and turn on your FM radio. All you get is two religious stations, a country music station, and static. Until relatively recently, Britain had only a handful of BBC channels, all funded by a "TV tax" that kept advertising to a minimum. Across an hour of programming US TV does, what, four breaks of five commercials each? British TV does-- or at least did-- perhaps three breaks of three commercials.

When you're decently funded and there's little competition, it's easy to turn out high-quality everything because there isn't any room left for low-quality shows and ads.

Whereas in the US, TV and radio have been left largely as a purely commercial enterprise with vast airwaves space and incredible square-mileage for setting up local markets. Sure, we've got a pot of schlock. We've got room for it. That doesn't mean there's less available quality programming, just that you have to look for it.

Our ads, with rare exception, do suck though. She got that part right.
 
2014-05-06 10:23:57 AM  

OnlyM3: With success like this, Obviously teachers deserve raises.

BTW that Eurotrash ass-wipe can fark off with his biatching about drug commercials. FFS, his royal family pushes homeopathy.


So which is it? US teachers suck and tfa (written by a she, btw) is right? Or tfa is just more Eurotrash and she's wrong?

Personally, I think you're just still bitter that your fourth-grade teacher told you it was time to start leaving Mr. Binky at home.
 
2014-05-06 10:24:14 AM  

kxs401: Sybarite: on the vast wasteland that is American TV

[img.4plebs.org image 850x606]

Seriously. Anyone who thinks there's not much good on American TV just isn't paying attention.


Speaking of not paying attention, the article was not about what was on TV from a programming standpoint it was about how stupid our commercials are.
//I agree with the author. If I am anywhere near the remote when the ads start I hit mute.
 
2014-05-06 10:28:28 AM  

FLMountainMan: Rwa2play:  I mean, dear god, when you need to copy shows from other countries ["The Office", "Sherlock" (bka "Elementary"), "Being Human"), you absolutely have no farking creativity whatsofarkingever in Hollywood these days.

It's like they're allergic to original thinking.

Says the guy rehashing a criticism of America since about....1776.


WTF does a criticism of America since the Revolution have to do with the fact that most TV programs in America seem to come out of the sewers of our mind?  Seriously, it's one thing to get excited about characters in a drama, it's a sad matter of our viewership when we see a reality show and review it like it's a Zapruder film.

The WWE's been doing this since the 80s and people sneered at it.  Yet "Jersey Shore" comes on and people reacted to it in the same way a watcher of the WWE has for years.

BTW, most Hollywood products have their biggest sales overseas.

Yeah well, as with most things, only the good is remembered.
 
2014-05-06 10:30:29 AM  

Mugato: Rwa2play: you absolutely have no farking creativity whatsofarkingever in Hollywood these days

At yet motion pictures are our biggest export. Funny that.


Yeah, the good movies.  The other crap has been lost to the dustbin of history.

/apparently the irony of using the US ripoff of "Sherlock", a character second only to Dracula in the most portrayals in movies and TV as an example of the US's lack of originality is lost on you

Maybe so, or maybe because it's so goddamn blatant and you just say "Why do I want to view a ripoff when the original is more entertaining?"
 
2014-05-06 10:31:19 AM  
If you are going to use Newton Minnow's description of television as a "vast wasteland," at least give the man the courtesy of an attribution. I know it was fifty years ago, but it's a well-known quote.
 
2014-05-06 10:33:37 AM  

Rwa2play: Yeah, the good movies.  The other crap has been lost to the dustbin of history.


Well I don't see any cinematic genius coming from across the pond.
 
2014-05-06 10:34:03 AM  
I was pretty critical of commercials when I still lived in America and had a TV. Now that I've been gone over a decade, I get culture shock seeing television ads and news from the US. I'm not sure how anyone who's not a moron can get through that crap on a nightly basis.
 
2014-05-06 10:34:33 AM  

brimed03: doubled99: Now go yell at a cloud

Yep. What I learned from tfa is 1. British women are as capable as old men of yelling at clouds and 2. this British woman had no idea how to write. She wanders all over the place and ends with no conclusion, just *and another thing....*

As for her thesis... she's both right and wrong. I briefly (4mos) lived in London and British TV is generally high quality. Compare our "Elementary" to their "Sherlock" and realize I am not cherry-picking, I'm taking what I'd consider an average of the programming quality of each set (that happen to also be thematically similar). British TV ads are amazing. Our Super Bowl commercials are their daily ad fare.

But there's another important difference: American TV has a lot more of everything to choose from. British TV (and radio) licensing was very strict and very limited until the 80s and didn't really open up until the 90s. To this day-- by any measure-- the UK doesn't have the variety of the US.

Think of what it's like when you are driving in the US hinterlands and turn on your FM radio. All you get is two religious stations, a country music station, and static. Until relatively recently, Britain had only a handful of BBC channels, all funded by a "TV tax" that kept advertising to a minimum.


Nice try, but the UK has had a commercial TV service since 1955.
 
2014-05-06 10:37:54 AM  

Mugato: Rwa2play: Yeah, the good movies.  The other crap has been lost to the dustbin of history.

Well I don't see any cinematic genius coming from across the pond.


To that I can only say YMMV.  Some people will point out movies from across the pond that were brilliant (to them), but to you and I were like "WTF is this?!"

A similar reaction to people who love Woody Allen movies BTW.
 
2014-05-06 10:38:17 AM  
England: an entire country that needs speech therapy to correctly pronounce its own language.
 
2014-05-06 10:38:33 AM  
Vikings - the most awesome thing on the airwaves on either side of the pond.
 
2014-05-06 10:38:46 AM  
These days, intelligent people have figured out how to obtain their entertainment ad-free.  Therefore, the remaining ad audience is made up of stupid people, so ads must aim to their level.  It's natural selection at work.
 
2014-05-06 10:38:57 AM  

Aquapope: England: an entire country that needs speech therapy to correctly pronounce its own language.


Said without a hint of irony...
 
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