I was browsing through Drudge and Fox News this morning and besides airing my disgust about how screwed up this country has gotten under the power of Obama and his crooked cronies (Benghazi? IRS scandal with the Tea Party? Gun control? Immigration? and more), I managed to notice a piece from Entertainment Weekly.com about eighteen TV shows that have been cancelled.
Before I looked at the list I wondered if there would be even one show that I have ever heard of, much less watched. All of these shows were on “over the air” channels like ABC, CBS, ABC and since 99% of my viewing habits come from cable broadcasts, the chances were between slim and none that I knew the programs.
TV has deteriorated badly over the years. It has basically become a place for the younger crowd that enjoys programming a lot less sophisticated than we of a more advanced age enjoy. The accent today is on more sex and violence and, of course, the shows stretch profanity as far as possible with plenty of double entendre attempts at humor. Personally, I always like to perform my sex and violence at home and didn’t need any TV show to show me how it’s done!
Many thought TV had gone a bit over the edge in the early 1970s with All in the Family. By “over the edge” I’m referring to the outspoken opinions of Carroll O’Connor as Archie Bunker and his ability to make the audience laugh at him while they laughed at themselves for having such silly sensitivities about the subject that may yet be the downfall of this country: political correctness.
Archie was right. Whether there is a coincidence or not, many outstanding lawyers are Jewish and many black guys are outstanding athletes. So what? Today, anyone saying that would hear a loud gasp and a “You can’t say that!” If Archie were still here, he would tell you quickly why you can.
There were other great network shows in those days mainly because cable was not a factor. My wife and I had a Saturday night ritual in the early 1970s: We would grill a couple of nice steaks on the patio of our home in beautiful Shawnee, Kansas; add a baked potato, salad, a bottle of wine and turn on our 10 inch Magnavox color TV to watch All in the Family, Sandy Duncan, Mary Tyler Moore (with the great Ted Knight as “Ted Baxter!”) and The Bob Newhart Show.
Afterwards, we would take a shower together (only because it saved water! Ahem!) then head over to Kansas City, Missouri to do some clubbing. Those were fun days.
By 1976 we had graduated to a 27” Magnavox floor model. One day, while watching the four channels available, there was a knock on the door. The devil had arrived in the form of the guy selling cable! How could I resist Beelzebub when he offered a chance to see the Atlanta Braves baseball games and non commercial movies even if the first one we watched was Burt Reynolds in W. W. and the Dixie Dance Kings!
As far as those eighteen shows getting the ax, I have heard of two; both of which I have never watched. They are The Office and 30 Rock. Here is the entire list in case you care.