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Where Television Lost its Way

However, a large percentage of viewers are deeply dissatisfied when it comes to the overall quality of programmes. And this is pretty ironic. thanks to services such as cable and freesat, we now have hundreds of different channels to choose from. However, even with such an amazing array of channels, it can often seem as if there is precious little to watch.

For a great many of us, the Golden Age of TV appears to have been and gone. British television was once home to some truly wonderful programmes, but this is sadly no longer the case. These days a great many of our shows have a distinctly American feel about them. It often seems as if all Britishness has been sucked from our programmes and that we are left with nothing more than a husk that is devoid of any real charm or personality. Of course, there is nothing wrong with American television programmes; it’s just that British ones should not be created to look like something they are not.

Another major contributor in the downfall of quality TV is the Reality Virus. Several years ago, our major channels discovered that ‘reality shows’ were an incredibly popular and lucrative idea. And since then we have been subjected to an ever-increasing amount of them. Television schedules are now rife with reality-based programmes; ‘celebs’ made to suffer unpleasant things, ‘real-life’ shows about the police, talent shows featuring ‘real people’, it all seems never-ending.

‘Reality’ television has taken-off in a truly big way and it really is a broadcaster’s dream. It can all be put together on a shoe-string budget and there are always plenty of people willing to make asses of themselves in exchange for a brief two minutes of fame! The only problem is that Reality TV leaves the more discerning viewer feeling cold. It may be cheap to make, but it is also cheap to watch. It is shallow, hollow and, much of the time, utterly pointless. All in all, Reality television shows are the furthest you could get from the much-loved programmes of years gone by.

Exactly what will happen with our television programmes in the future remains unclear. The Americanisation of our shows is still in full swing and many viewers continue to gorge themselves quite happily on ‘Reality’. And there are also other factors to be considered; a wide fall in programme standards, ‘comedians’ who cannot raise a laugh without employing crudity, endless boring repeats and a lack of genuinely intelligent programmes.

It is all a terrible shame when we are surrounded by such amazing home entertainment equipment. The only thing we lack is a reason to bother switching it on.

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