Train Wreck

I’m not a television snob. OK, I kind of am. The problem, aside from the pat story lines, the questionable acting, and the mile-wide-inch-deep messages, is really the ads. I have no patience for commercials. My girlfriend Kelly chided me for watching the awful Brit-coms on PBS without complaint.

My response was simple: No commercials, plus the possibility of seeing 
“Fawlty Towers,” equals ignoring the embarrassingly bad ribaldry of “Are You Being Served?” But the fact that I have no clue when “Fawlty Towers” is on gives a hint to how often I sit down for the night in front of the TV.

That said, last night I sat down to watch television with my kids and we watched a program on Fox called “Bones.” It’s a forensic cop show featuring an FBI scientist (I’m thinking forensic anthropologist) who is essentially a good-looking Spock. In the show I watched she learned that sometimes induction and deduction aren’t enough in human relations and you just “have to go with your gut.”


Although I hate reality TV even more than regular TV, the suspension of disbelief required to accept a drop-dead gorgeous, gun-toting Ph.D. FBI agent who doesn’t know the difference between the phrase “bail him out (of trouble)” and “get him out on bail” is a lot to ask of a person who turned on the TV for a night of mindlessness.

I know it doesn’t take skill or effort to poke holes in cop shows; that’s not really what this is about. I have a mental disorder that requires me to watch pretty much anything that I turn on, making me one of the few men on the planet who is horrified by channel surfing. Pick a channel, stick with it for better or worse. It’s probably because I’m lazy AND pre-remote.

What bothered me was my eldest daughter’s reaction after I watched the show in it’s entirety. “See?” she said when it was over. “It was pretty good.”
The notion that my children have lost all sense of proportion when it comes to entertainment horrified me. I don’t want to sound too much like a geezer. I know there are generational aesthetic issues at play.

Still and all, my daughter has reasonable taste in movies and books so, in my conceit, I take her statement to mean, “Pretty good, for being a crap TV show.”
If this is true, I can’t even begin to think what would count as a bad prime-time drama and I certainly don’t wish to find out.



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