Returning guest blogger Sunny Frazier, whose first novel in the Christy Bristol Astrology Mysteries, Fools Rush In, received the Best Novel Award from Public Safety Writers Association, is here today with her thoughts on the state of TV programming today.
The third Christy Bristol Astrology Mystery, A Snitch in Time, was released on January 24, 2015.
First, let me confess, I love TV. There were many times in my life where I didn’t have access to one: on Midway Island as a child, in my first apartment, during my stint in the Navy and as a college student. When I returned stateside from Puerto Rico, I was lost in a wilderness of cultural references. I didn’t know who the Fonze was, the Warthogs, or the Brady Bunch. I couldn’t figure out if “MASH” was a comedy or a drama. I was at a college party when “Saturday Night Live” came on and the whole party stopped to watch. I was in the dark.
Every year I eagerly look forward to new shows being aired. However, this year I couldn’t find one show to invest my time and interest. They all seemed dark, joyless. Or juvenile. Seriously, I can’t buy into superheroes and demon hunters. Medical shows seem to want to scare people from ever going into the hospital, which is a bad thing since I’m facing a transplant. Crime fiction is more and more outrageous. I’m more comfortable with the ID channel and real crime than fictional sadistic killers. What prompted this blog was “Wicked City.” A glamorous serial killer? Who watches this crap?
I’m trying to understand what drives this need for pure fantasy or gory pseudo-reality in our programming. TV executives, obviously. But, they must be feeding off something in society demanding more and more of the dark side. It seems that we, as a society, have lost hope and given up. Paranoia does not equate to entertainment.
Maybe it’s an age thing. At 65, I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t need gloom and doom. Isn’t life tough enough without turning on the TV for more of the same? If I want to be depressed, I’ll turn on the news. What I want is humor, like “The Big Bang Theory” and “Modern Family”. “Neil Patrick Harris and Best Time Ever” makes me giddy (okay, that’s a new show). “Fresh Off the Boat”, “Mom”, “Elementary”, “The Soup”—just give me light fare that entertains. Because, I already have these demons in my life:
A vampire called PG&E.
Ghosts of publishers past.
The Blob growing in my fridge (formerly known as spaghetti sauce).
Extra Terrestrials (my ex—I swear he’s from another planet).
My possessed computer.
The witch next door who hates my cats.
Devils—my cat named Cookie (aka Cookie Monster).
Pain & suffering on reality TV: “Survivor”, “Project Runway”, “Top Chef”.
I feel for kids today who don’t have “McHale’s Navy”, “Gomer Pyle”, “Gilligan’s Island” and “The Monkees” to lighten things up. When they get older and watch their best friends eaten up by cancer, lose their parents to Alzheimer’s and bodies to regenerative disease, maybe they’ll wish they enjoyed themselves when they had the chance. TV doesn’t have to remind us that the worst is yet to come. It comes soon enough.