Sunday, June 26, 2011

Too many TV shows with predictable outcomes

My spouse was watching a movie a few weeks ago (on the small TV in the kitchen that we use when washing the dishes), in which a group of teenagers were riding a school bus on their way to an non-school event. I could hear them making mindless chatter from another room of the house. I wondered why he was watching such a silly movie until I walked in the room and saw the Syfy logo in the bottom right corner.

"Oh, they're going to be attacked by aliens," I said. "Or ghosts. Or the hotel bathroom is a portal to another dimension. Or all of that."

If it had been Chiller I assumed the blonds/cheerleaders among them would be murdered by the end of the movie, probably by a backwoods miscreant. If it had been Lifetime, one of the girls would be pregnant and determined to raise the baby on her own. If it was CBS (other than on one of the nights it shows silly sitcoms), one of the boys would murder one of the girls or one of the girls would murder another girl and the bulk of the show would be about the murder investigation, with gruesome details. On Style, they'd be going for a group, pre-wedding makeover.

There used to be a time when you could be surprised by the outcome of a movie on TV, when labels/logos weren't stamped on every screen. TV has become so predictable and so segregated now. I have access to hundreds of cable shows now and yet I rarely watch TV (unless I am washing the dishes)—none of it really appeals to me anymore, perhaps because I am rarely surprised or excited by anything there.

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