A week or so ago in Salon Heather Havrilesky ripped TV a new one:
The golden age of television may be over just a few short years after it began. 2008 not only marked one of the worst years of TV in the last decade, but all of the momentum and promise of the past few years seemed to vanish in a haze of crappy, unoriginal new programming, lackluster sophomore shows, flaccid sitcoms and pointless cable comedies.
Deservedly so, too. Just months and years removed from the likes of The Wire, Six Feet Under and The Shield, we’re now faced with this harbinger of doom:
And has there ever been a more depressing sign of TV’s demise than the move by NBC to give Jay Leno, the epitome of a guy who’s flatly bad at his job but continues to be promoted for reasons utterly mysterious to mortal man, a whopping five hours of prime-time real estate, thereby saving themselves from the unpleasant work of finding worthwhile programming to fill their nightly 10 p.m. slot?
The Star also weighed in with a recap (less with the doomsday, more with the funny) of the past year’s horror show:
Herbie Hancock wins Album of the Year at the “Granny” Awards as music pundits slap their foreheads and check their calendars. Nope, it’s not 1983. Ratings plummet.
Cloris Leachman dresses like a rapper and asks, “What’s up, homeys?” in an old school hip-hop number on Dancing With the Stars. Viewers, horrified at the spectre of the 82-year-old Emmy winner in short shorts and rapper’s cap, vote her off the following week.
The concept of TV as art seems to be just about dead. Apart from the seven shows I actually care about — 30 Rock, Battlestar Galactica, The Daily Show, Friday Night Lights, Life, The Office and The Unit — I’m increasingly seeing the TV as nothing more than a sports & movie delivery device.
Just declare the 4 big American networks 24-hour reality TV channels and be done with it. HBO can buy Netflix and we’ll all be happy.