Friday, November 21, 2008

Over Saturation on a Thursday Night

ER, last quarter hour or so. Simon has had a major freak-down and punched out a patient. Went to town on the man. The patient was nearly blinded. It was a mess of out-of-control bone on bone bloodletting.

And the staff seems to be less concerned about that, and more concerned that later he throws around some equipment. Well, sure now they have to be sterilized -- but --

OK, the thing is, he punched out the smoke inhalation guy. (The man who was an accused of and later found innocent of pedophilia). Wild stuff.

Then when the ER quiets down, Archie talks to Simon about the repercussions of his actions. And slowly, Simon starts to tell his story.

"I was ten, the first time."

Wrenching. Simon is crying, Morris tears up as he listens. The story is nauseating.

And then when we've really had enough, a scene is being played out in a recovery room down the hall. A young girl comforts an older man. They hug. He tells her, "We'll be special friends. Don't tell anyone."




And then the news...

It is NOT a damn party!

You know, I understand that TV execs, from network, or cable, to local branches are concerned about viewership. Especially the news, because it's all so available right here - on the Internet. So, viewers drift away from conventional news sources.


Got it. They want to bring viewers back; they want to keep viewers after the previous drama or comedy just ended. So, they do the following:

1) The anchors jump right in before the commercial break with a relentless couple of minutes of 'headlines.' These promo bits grab the viewer, who is probably a bit comatose from either the late hour, or the previous show (in my case, a riveting ER).

2) The female anchors and reporters dress like they are at a party. Shiny clothes, sparkly accessories, low cut tops, lots of leg. Sure they look pretty, but to me, it's pretty tacky. Big freakin' whoop that they are on TV. It's fucking NEWS, not a cocktail party. Even if every story ended in rainbows and kittens, the attire is totally inappropriate.

3) The men look a little too shiny as well. It's not a funeral, but it's not a party either. I mean shit, they might as well be hoisting martini shakers and clinking glasses.

4) A little too much glee when reporting stories. Some joker from News 7 Night Team was launching into a breaking news story last night, and the dude looked a little too happy.

Yeah, I know this trend has been around for a long time. "Dirty Laundry", written by Don Henley was released in 1982.

It's just getting worse.

I make my living off the evening news
Just give me something-something I can use
People love it when you lose,
They love dirty laundry

Well, I coulda been an actor, but I wound up here
I just have to look good, I dont have to be clear
Come and whisper in my ear
Give us dirty laundry

Kick em when theyre up
Kick em when theyre down
Kick em when theyre up
Kick em when theyre down
Kick em when theyre up
Kick em when theyre down
Kick em when theyre up
Kick em all around

We got the bubble-headed-bleach-blonde who
Comes on at five
She can tell you bout the plane crash with a gleam
In her eye
Its interesting when people die-
Give us dirty laundry

Can we film the operation?
Is the head dead yet?
You know, the boys in the newsroom got a
Running bet
Get the widow on the set!
We need dirty laundry

You dont really need to find out whats going on
You dont really want to know just how far its gone
Just leave well enough alone
Eat your dirty laundry

Kick em when theyre up
Kick em when theyre down
Kick em when theyre up
Kick em when theyre down

Kick em when theyre up
Kick em when theyre down
Kick em when theyre stiff
Kick em all around

Dirty little secrets
Dirty little lies
We got our dirty little fingers in everybodys pie
We love to cut you down to size
We love dirty laundry

We can do the innuendo
We can dance and sing
When its said and done we havent told you a thing
We all know that crap is king
Give us dirty laundry!