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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Top Ten TV Shows

Since the advent of cable television, the media has become the primary source for a variety of experiments in home entertainment. Cable television, formerly known as Community Antenna Television or CATV, was born in the mountains of Pennsylvania in the late 1940's. The first successful color television system began commercial broadcasting on December 17, 1953 based on a system designed by RCA. Since 1953, cable tv has gone through many changes in programming. Trends in popularity have risen and fallen. Here is a list of the top ten most popular television shows of all time in their proper rank. 1. Lost 2. Smallville 3. Prison Break 4. One Tree Hill 5. Grey's Anatomy 6. Heroes 7. Naruto 8. Avatar: The Last Airbender 9. House 10. Gilmore Girls I realize now just how antiquated I really am. I have never seen even one episode of any of the top shows. I'm not quite sure what to make of this fact. Yes, our family does have electricity and we have had a television set or two during the entire time these shows have been aired. And, yes, I do watch television on a daily basis-- mainly sports, movies, history, public television, nature, and some crime reality shows. I wonder why I don't get hooked on popular television. Is it because I have a missing tv gene or because I have no sense of quality? To make matters worse, I have no present plans to watch a new series on television. I don't even like the commercials that advertise the upcoming episodes. I must be missing out on a significant portion of the best Twenty-first Century entertainment by not viewing these popular shows. I mean, why else would they be popular if they weren't conveying important information that I can't afford to miss? Maybe I am entertainment deprived and somehow I have become handicapped by this absence of tubal magnificence to the point of complete rigidity. Looking back, I'm trying to see where this all started. I have logged hour upon hour of Andy Griffith, Happy Days, The Sopranos, Dragnet, and Mr. Cartoon. But I must confess that I have never seen a single episode of the X Files, Star Trek, Dallas, Highway To Heaven, Hill Street Blues, Cagney and Lacey, or Moonlighting. I'm sorry for my lack of sophistication in such matters, but I am too far behind now to catch up. I'm on that slow boat to extinction. Even old genres elude me. I used to like to watch variety shows like Ed Sullivan, The Smothers Brothers, and Dean Martin, but now I can't find a variety show of interest. Westerns like Gunsmoke and Bonanza really caught my attention, but I am unaware of a current prime time western show. And I used to watch game shows, but now game shows are pretty much confined to The Game Show Channel, where, after several months of viewing, I am subject to continual reruns. I will even admit I used to watch some MTV before videos began using production I find tasteless and annoying. I guess I am going to redefine myself as "eclectic" in my tastes for television as well as in my tastes for music. No, I don't watch or ever intend to watch American Idol make a star of a marginal talent because a few questionable musical experts deem him/her worthy. Again, I'm sorry if that sounds judgmental on my part. I love music of all kinds- rock, country, vocal, Americana, folk, R&B, Jazz, alternative, standard, and instrumental. I'm just sick of seeing groomed commercial products take the place of deserving artists. Would Dylan, Cohen, Webb, or Cash even make the first round of American Idol? I think not. Wow, I bet I stepped on a few toes there. I have nothing against the performers and everything against the framework of the show. It's a setup to sell manufactured music, isn't it? Television? I believe it's a useful tool for entertainment and for education. But, what are we watching today that can't be missed? OK, so I'm (as my granddaughter so aptly puts it) an "old geezer." There's enough drama in my life already and certainly a comedy of errors follows me in reality. How about just setting up a camera on my life and letting it roll. It might be a hit show, one that I wouldn't watch.
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