In Defense of Bad TV

I had a conversation recently with someone in roughly the same position I’m in, of being in the industry but not the position they’d like, and a particular show came up. “Why is that show still on?” they said. “It’s terrible.” I explained that, while I absolutely did not disagree with this assessment, the show in question still gets great ratings. (You don’t watch it. Your parents probably do.) “But it’s terrible.” they said. “It should be canceled* anyway.” Which is the point at which I wonder if there’s anyone else here I could be talking to, because if you don’t understand the business you’re trying to work in, how far do you really expect to go?

Here is a brief list of very popular foods that I don’t like: Doritos, KFC, jalapeno poppers. Most any doctor will tell you, objectively, that these are Bad Foods. The fact that I don’t like them makes my life a little easier (there are plenty of other bad foods that I love, though) and also a little harder, because of how often I am with other people and those will be the only food options available. But I do not begrudge other people these foods, because I know that when you are able to eat food that you enjoy, you are less likely to kill. It’s like your own personal little Purge: Commit micro-aggressions against yourself so that the temptation to commit crimes disappears. Your eating KFC makes my life safer and better, so have at it.

Of more relevance, enough people enjoy these foods that it’s worthwhile for the companies to keep making them. Because that’s how business works. It’s almost never about making your life better and almost always about making you feel better because that’s what you’ll spend money on. And TV is exactly the same. It’s a business, and the numbers behind it are readily available for anyone who wants to see. Yeah, some TV is trash. Forgive yourself for watching it. More importantly, forgive your parents for watching it. They need a break after raising you. Just try to balance it with some good stuff, too.

*This is, in fact, the correct spelling of this word. However, the English language is a living and evolving thing. It has become correct also to spell it cancelled, and probably within my lifetime ‘canceled’ will be considered incorrect. But spelling is one of those things that I don’t feel the need to be ahead of the curve on.


About Generation Coax

I am an aspiring TV writer, amateur photographer, and craft hobbyist.
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