Friday, April 10, 2009

Another reason to hate television

There is gossip that one of the only shows I watch on television, "Kings," might get canceled: ["The 10 Shows That Deserve to Return Next Fall (But Might Not)"].
Now, as we all know, ambitious television is difficult. Any show with real plot development is difficult. That's why networks have a "reality" show in just about any form imaginable. It's easier to hire a few guys, turn on the cameras, and let "ordinary" people make idiots of themselves. And in the narcissistic and voyeuristic society we now seem to live in, it is very easy to tempt audiences with such audacity and irrelevance.
But, at the same time, television is supposed to be escapism. And that isn't such a bad thing to have sometimes. And that's what makes shows like "Lost," "Gossip Girl," and "Kings," so interesting to watch.
Admittedly, I rarely see "Gossip Girl" anymore since its move to early Monday nights. I'm never home on early Monday nights so I never see it. Having lived a rock 'n' roll lifestyle in NYC, though I relate to the aging father character living in a loft trying to raise his kids on little. In many ways, that could have been my life had I made different choices. Luckily, or not so, depending on how you look at it, his kids get to attend a super elite school with a whole bunch of scummy richies. And the raucous mayhem and partying ensues!
"Lost" is a show I have watched since the beginning and I have been riveted by it. There are so many plot twists and angles that you never know which way is up or what is going to happen next. It is a completely compelling edge-of-your-seat ride every week. Lately, I've missed a lot of the episodes - my wife likes to watch "Lie to Me" before "American Idol." But, I'll catch up with it on reruns.
And then there is "Kings," a cinematic victory for television. A spectacular and yet gritty look at what a modern monarchy might be like, complete with attempted coups, exiles in dungeons, spoiled spouses and children, mistresses, and an unknown boy from the hustings with enough stones to become a hero and get himself noticed. Sure, it's a fairy tale. But so are some of the classics. This show, if given the opportunity, is destined to be a classic.
However, if the network starts fiddling around with it - like moving it from Sunday to Saturday, as rumor has it - or ends it before audiences have had a chance to connect to it then it would have missed its chance.
That is another reason to hate television. For the most part, it never really gives anything a chance and manipulates audiences along the way. It's one of the reasons I don't really watch much of it. And it's why we have an entire generation of kids who act like life is completely throwaway instead of worth living.

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