We watch... so you don't have to.

The Television You Deserve

After a massive research effort -- which pretty much consisted of opening up last week's issue of Entertainment Weekly and arduously flipping the pages -- the crack TeeVee Investigative Reports and Toboggan Team has discovered why the vast majority of television is such unadulterated crap.

It's you, you dumb bastard. It's your fault.

The TV viewing public -- meaning you, Jeb; you and your ken -- holds almost total responsibility for the wretched state of the tube today. While it's easy (and fun!) to harp on the over-dressed, under-brained empty suits that push the buttons behind the three-letter acronyms, television executives are little more than blind automatons, only dumping swill into your living room because you continue to lap it up.

"Hey," their primitive little forebrains notice, "Fired Up was the number six show last season. And we didn't even have to include any jokes. Or people who can act. Or scripts. That was easy. Order up more of the same!"

So, stop it, you dork. Stop watching the crap. You're only encouraging them. If a television executive understands anything -- and we're not taking any bets -- it's the squishy sound a show makes when it plummets out of the sky and hits bottom. And there are plenty of shows floating lazily along that deserve to be ugly, unidentifiable impact stains.

Are you just too lazy to change the channel? Or -- revelation here! -- to turn the set off when there's nothing worth watching? Future scholars will look to this season's ranking of Suddenly Susan (#4), The Naked Truth (#5), Fired Up (#6), Home Improvement (#8), The Single Guy (#9) and Touched by an Angel (#10) and decide that Gozar, Dispenser of Divine Justice, was absolutely right in reducing the Earth to a charred cinder.

Who, exactly, is choosing to waste half an hour of their life watching Soul Man (#21) over wasting half an hour of their life watching Frasier (#22)? And why haven't they been locked up? Or simply put to sleep, for their own good?

Why is the best show on television -- Homicide -- mired at a lowly 69th, behind such egregious affronts to the Geneva Convention as Townies, The Jeff Foxworthy Show, Coach, Arsenio, Pearl, Something So Right, Boston Common, and sixty-one other losers? If Homicide gets axed because of its ratings -- like each of the other shows mentioned above -- I will personally visit every home in America and issue a crunchy beating to the responsible parties.

Yeah, yeah, the bottom of the of the 155-show heap is crowded with such detritus as the excreble Brotherly Love and the gag-inducing Kirk, but, dear God, why did twice as many of you watch Pauly -- a show so bad that it caused internal hemorrhaging in children and the infirmed -- than the clever, amusing Buffy the Vampire Slayer?

And it's not like Buffy is even great television. It's barely adequate television. On a good night. After they've passed out the medication here at the home.

But when something truly great -- something intelligent and interesting and dark and original -- comes on, all of six of you watch it before it disappears without a trace after two episodes. When you hear universal praise for something, even from people as addle-pated as television critics, there's probably a reason for it. EZ Streets, for example, might have been worth an hour of your time.

But you'll never know. Because instead, you sat there -- a small streamer of drool running down your chin -- and tuned into Pauly instead. There's time you'll never get back. Not exactly something to brag to the grandchildren about.

So this season -- and last season and next season and every season -- are all your fault. Not the networks, not the executives, not the "talent": you. You watch crap, so you get crap.

You get the television you deserve.


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