Television is by and large becoming unwatchable. And I’m not even talking about the miserable shows that are broadcast. That’s a subject that could take up another entire blog. Inane, asinine sit coms that nobody with an IQ of more than 50 would want to watch, shows about police investigations that include virtual autopsies or focus on sex crimes, reality shows that are about as far removed from reality as the daydream of a cokehead, celebrity worshipping talk shows that follow the miscreants that have become the idols of our youth, and news channels that would make the tabloids of the 1930s blush with shame, these are bad enough.
But that’s not what’s bothering me about television today.
It’s not even the bloody commercials that air in prime time. Guys with low testosterone crying about their lack of that old va-voom; women complaining about painful dryness; old couples reaching for the viagra and cialis. As annoying as all that is, it’s not the most annoying. And neither are all the commercials for medicines that have minor side effects such as heart attacks, difficulty swallowing or breathing and oh yeah, death. It’s like if you take the pill, you’d be better off risking the disease.
Even worse are the new micro channels that have popped up since TV converted to digital. I try watching movies on some of those channels and I swear you can count five minutes of actual movie time, interrupted by seven minutes of commercials. A 90 minute movie gets turned into a three hour torture test. You can hardly remember how the damn thing started by the time you reach the end. And what commercials those channels have! Shyster law firms, weight loss gimmicks, reverse mortgage swindles, term life insurance without a medical exam, etc., on and on.
But as bad as all that is, that’s not what bothers me the most about TV these days. The thing that’s got my goat is that on all the talk shows and news broadcast, whenever some CEO of a company, or the spokesman for a business association, or an attorney representing a plaintiff is interviewed, the interviewer asks the question and the interviewee begins: “So . . .” and then they go on to give their response.
“So, we feel that climate change is absolute bunk and those who are proponents of it should be . . .”
“So, in the case of this particular car recall, we just don’t have all the answers yet, but we are investigating.”
“So, measeles is a childhood disease that we thought we had eradicated, but . . .”
What’s going on here? What’s with all the “so’s”? Who talks like that? Is there some school for CEO’s and spokespeople that’s teaching all these people how to talk on TV. Is it some device designed to allow the interviewee a moment to gather his thoughts before he speaks? I can’t believe that, because there’s no thinking involved in these interviews. What they have to say is all written out and rehearsed.
Or are the TV networks coaching these people, teaching them this technique before they go on the air. I don’t know, but I am getting sick of the “so’s.” Stop it it. Just talk natural, people. TV’s annoying enough already.