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BG Falcon Media

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February 22, 2024

  • Danez Smith at AWP
    Richard Saker/Contour by Getty Images As we end Black History Month, here is one of my favorite poets, Danez Smith, who writes on intersectionality between their Black and Queer identities. At the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference in Kansas City, MO, I had the opportunity to personally meet Smith, and they are […]
  • Lying in Memoir
    Lauren Slater crafts diligent, depictive metaphors in narrative, and I hate her writing, simultaneously. Should there be lying in memoir? In her book, Lying: A Metaphorical Memoir (2000), Slater crafts lies from epilepsy to nunneries to doctor visits and proposed peer reviewed theses to AA meetings. However, within these lies, she allows us to question […]
Spring Housing Guide

Summer is here, along with bad television

Anyone reading this is probably doing so to distract themselves from final projects or studying (at least that’s one purpose of mine in writing this column). Also, I have a feeling everyone’s inundated with panic over the economy and the H1N1 flu, so I’ll discuss something that won’t ruin your life. It’s nearing the end of the television season, so it’s time for networks to announce their summer and fall schedules. Depending on your taste in television, this can either be a time of relief or sadness. Networks may announce your favorite shows are returning and you’ll have something to look forward to amongst the stress of school. Usually for me, however, May sweeps bring about the series finales of enjoyable shows and annoyance at the networks who cancel them. It happens every single year – shows with a small fan base but potential to improve their ratings through writing and acting growth are axed in favor of more ‘audience friendly’ fanfare. I attempt to take a ‘to each his own’ approach when it comes to television tastes, but when I saw a promising new show like ‘The Unusuals’ will likely be cancelled and its network, ABC, will be stuffing their schedule with reality shows such as ‘Wipeout,’ it makes me a little sad. These days I often find myself asking, ‘Why even bother watching a new show?’ Networks treat their new shows like a revolving door and it’s difficult to become interested in a show if you have that feeling deep in the back of your mind that it will be cancelled. When I began watching ‘The Unusuals,’ I thought to myself ‘well, this is a show that isn’t perfect, but I will keep watching because I think it has a lot of potential – potential it will never reach because it will be cancelled.” Today, it’s become a lot easier to become a fan of a television show after its premiere through Internet streaming sites and DVD releases. If a show is cancelled after a limited run, it is often before any late discoveries can be made and the ratings have the chance to increase. Let’s say a new comedy with a cast of unknowns premieres on a major network to less than enthusiastic critical praise and lackluster viewers. However, the network sees promise in the show, and decides against cancelling it for a laugh-tracked formulaic comedy.’ This show is called ‘The Office,’ and NBC acted with better judgment and kept it on the schedule because they believed the show could improve. Season two of ‘The Office’ is often viewed as the season’s strongest by fans and won the Best Comedy Emmy. If NBC had acted in their normal fashion, that season wouldn’t have existed. If something is good, it’s likely people will eventually flock to it. While not the most-watched television show today, the ratings and profile of ‘The Office’ have dramatically increased from the 2005 premiere, and this would not have happened if NBC had decided to only give it one shot. This situation is about to get worse next fall. Rather than allowing for new scripted television that fans can flock to next year, NBC will be removing at least five of their primetime shows from their schedule. Seemingly terrified Jay Leno would move to a rival network, NBC will set a precedent by having Leno host a late night comedy talk show five nights a week at 10 p.m. because it is cheaper to produce than scripted dramas.’ There’s nothing wrong with late night talk shows when they’re on late, not during primetime when unique content is supposed to air. How is NBC supposed to prove they offer a wide variety of quality programming when a third of their primetime slots revolve around one man interviewing celebrities? In addition to Leno’s show, The New York Times is reporting NBC will likely feature ‘Saturday Night Live’ Weekend Update segments on primetime next season. I feel Weekend Update often runs too long as is when it airs on SNL, and now they want to stretch it out 22 additional minutes during the week. Sure, it may have worked the few weeks they did it last year, but that was when they had plenty of election momentum on their side. Now it just seems to be a way for NBC to save money by overworking an already employed writing staff and not having to put up overhead on set design. Television isn’t something to worry about, and I realize that. However, when you can’t enjoy your escape from reality due to asinine decisions by network executives, it’s worth noting.

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