Sunday, January 18, 2009

Note to PBS: Evolve or Die

I used to love and respect PBS across the board no matter where I lived. There would be a slice of life that regular television simply wasn't addressing, or the commercial viability of such gems like "Masterpiece Theatre," or "Nature" were not nearly as good as Fonzie jumping the shark. Pretty sad, eh?

While I am indebted to PBS for giving me my first exposure to "Doctor Who," Joseph Campbell, and series like "Sesame Street," "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood," "Cosmos," "I, Claudius," "The Inspector Lynley Mysteries," and "Monty Python's Flying Circus," the quality of programming on PBS nationwide has plummeted.

There isn't one blessed thing on PBS that you can't find elsewhere on the Internet, satellite, or cable TV. NOT ONE FUCKING THING. "Doctor Who" (or at least the current iteration) happily resides on BBC America. I've seen "Cosmos" on one of the Discovery channels, and "Monty Python" has it's own YouTube channel. Who the Hell wouldn't want the Ministry of Silly Walks on demand?

It is a buyer's market for television programming, and while the quality of programming has arguably increased and broadened in scope, PBS shuffles out the same goddamn shit every time they try and hit you up for money during a membership drive. While PBS used to have membership drives a couple times a year, they're practically begging for dough at least 6 - 7 times a year. Either the accountants at PBS collectively have one of the worst cases of Alzheimer's Syndrome on record, or they're about as adept at managing money as Bernard Madoff. I don't know which is worse.

I've been fortunate to see the wonderful work that stations like WETA, WNET, and WGBH do or at least have done. When stations play the same stuff like Doo-Wop Music Tributes, Andre Rieu, The Irish Tenors, and touchy-feely Dr. Wayne Dyer mystical wooga wooga seminars every time they want my money, I tend to think that these stations are not for me. With all due honesty, I'd rather suck down the business end of a loaded Desert Eagle .50 cal and pull the trigger than watch any of that horseshit. It's obviously intended to appeal to the baby boomer generation while ignoring the fact that the generations after them have money as well. Moreso than money, My generation has a notoriously short attention span. If you don't appeal to us in a short order, or if you piss us off, we're likely to change the channel FOREVER.

I would love to think that PBS is going to straighten the fuck up and fly right, but I'd also like to think that George Bush will apologize for the past 8 years.

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