Monday, September 24, 2007

Television : All Hail Grand Pixelated God

The title of this post, "Television : All Hail Grand Pixelated God" is a direct quote of the opening lyrics to the Aesop Rock track, "Basic Cable"
I couldn't think of a more expressive and more suitable header for this entry.
Back in the day - in the ol' 20th Century, TV watching was an event. For the millions who followed the primetime Dallas, you were there in your living room at night, tuning in, waiting to see the drama unfold. The same rules applied to sitcoms: Seinfeld, which was and still is an institution to many, bolstered NBC's Thursday night lineup. The network that once sloganeered the 'Be There' concept took it a step further to become 'Must See TV Thursday' which was a few hours of prime programming.
And now, in the digital information age you can watch your favorite shows on a few different mediums. There's cable OnDemand, webcasts, shit - you can even own a season of your show of choice on DVD, HD-DVD or Blu-Ray. No need to attempt taping a season on a handful of those clunky ancient VHS cassettes. The season discs for sale even come packed with a bunch of extras.
So whoever thought television - the drug of a nation, might lose the fight to the interactivity of the web was half-right. Reality television, strangely enough still attracts a grip of viewers, even though it is everything but realistic. FOX has a reality network out now to even out its broadcasting conglomeration with its news and whether networks. Whether a series lasts on FOX1 is determined by Jack Bauer.
Advertisers pump an incredible amount of money into everything you see on television, so the century old medium is not going anywhere anytime soon. Yet technological innovations like TiVo and DVRs make it much more pleasant to watch. Fast forward through commercials you don't want to waste time seeing and keep the show in the queue in case someone else in the house didn't get around to see it.
Sometimes I flip on the TV and after scouring through a few hundred different channels, there is really nothing on - and these new mediums make it much easier
to sit back and indulge.

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