Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Dear TV: You Can Go Ahead And Suck It

"OH MY GOD! HAVE YOU SEEN WHAT'S ON TV? AND THE SIZE OF MY MOUTH?"
Dear TV,

Life is full of compromises. I get that. I learned that as a child, when I couldn't ride my scooter and my PogoBall at the same time, which meant I had to let my little brother ride one of them. And it stung, because like all children I was a psychopath.

Anyway, compromise. I get it.

But TV is not a land of compromise for anybody but people like me.

Let me just take the show "Longmire" for example. My husband and I decided to give the episodes on Netflix a whirl for the following reasons:

1. Starbuck is in it. We just finished watching "Battlestar Galactica" (my second time) and I like to pretend like being a small town sheriff's deputy in Wyoming is Kara Thrace's afterlife. One could do worse.

2. It has guns in it. We like guns.

3. My father-in-law said that besides all the "mystical Indian bullshit" (direct quote) it's a pretty good show.

4. Pretty much everything else looks stupid.

So we started watching "Longmire," and at first it seemed like a pretty well-done, basically no-nonsense police procedural set in the rural West with lots of beautiful scenery and Lou Diamond Philips having deep Indian emotions.

Then the Indian mystical bullshit started in earnest. There's an episode where a dude gets shot and Longmire just kind of watches him die and says something gruff, and then he goes and reads a fucking poem to a dying horse. I'm not kidding.

And we were like, "Oh, God. Welcome to California." Because seriously nothing is more Hollywood than making an animal's death more meaningful than a human's. Because animals are innocent and pure and don't go to war for oil like mean, complicated, shitty, humans.

Give me a fucking break.

Then we got to the "troubled veteran" stereotype. There's one in roughly every TV show or movie and "Longmire" is no exception. The guy starts out the episode or movie as a hero who's been deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq, and by the end of it he turns out to be batshit crazy from PTSD, and/or a murderer, rapist, drug dealer, or wife beater. And it so super sad. Because this fucked-up war, man! Y'know? I mean, what are we even doing?

Here's the thing that bothers me about you, TV:

EVERY SINGLE TV SHOW HAS BULLSHIT IN IT.

"Arrested Development." Oh, it had such promise. I just started watching it last week and I blew through three seasons. I enjoyed most of it, but only because I had to overlook crap like the stupid, repressed conservative Christian family of George Michael's girlfriend, Ann. It wasn't even that well-done or funny. It was stereotypical and clich├ęd: Christians aren't very smart! And they don't like sex!

Witty.

Now I'm watching the new season and having to sit through Halliburton jokes. Seriously? What year is this?

I tried to watch "Glee" for a while, until it turned into Planned Parenthood: The Musical. Every episode became about lesbians and condoms and Gwyneth Paltrow playing a creepy substitute singing "Do you want to touch me there?" to her students. (FWIW, no.) The show went from "don't beat gays up because that's not nice" to "EVERYBODY BE FUCKING GAY RIGHT NOW. AND HAVE SEX WITH EACH OTHER. TEENAGERS WHO DON'T HAVE SEX ARE SICK WEIRDOS. ALSO YOU PROBABLY HATE GAYS. STOP IT. STOP HATING GAYS OR ELSE."

"True Blood" is exactly the same thing, except instead of annoying gay teenagers who sing and have sex with each other, it's annoying vampires who represent gays and have sex with each other.

Even "Battlestar Galactica," like the best show ever, was basically one big thinly-veiled indictment of people who believe God has a plan for them. Those people are not only war-like but machines. So subtle. So clever.

You fail me constantly, TV. What do you have to offer me? And don't tell me to get in a time machine or find "Seventh Heaven" on DVD. Can't there be one show, one fucking single show, that is not only good and well-written and well-acted and engaging and made for adults, but also doesn't make me have to swallow bile every fifteen minutes?

Why do I have to be the one to compromise?

I have to put up with some kind of screed to watch virtually any show on TV, including all three flavors of "Law & Order" (Original, Honey BBQ, and Cool Ranch) but can you imagine if just one single show had a sympathetic character - funny and generally likeable - who was pro-life? Or mentioned without irony that he supported the NRA?

HOLY FUCKING SHIT. Can you imagine the uproar? Can you imagine the DEMANDS for apology, the sponsors pulling out, the backpedaling?

Is compromise really compromise if only one side does the compromising?

Occasionally, TV, you get it right: the Ten Commandments episode of "Arrested Development," for example. But mostly you get it super fucking wrong.

I wish you didn't suck so hard, TV, or I might watch more of you.

Hate,
Kristen

6 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. I have to agree with the attack on Christianilty. On every show Christians are portrayed as deluded, sexually repressed bigots. On Law and Order if there is a character that acts Christian in any way you know already that he/she is going to be the killer or the one pushing the killer to kill. If they don't want to accept or embrace Christianity, fine but why make Christian characters out to be the bad guy.

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  3. I don't watch much TV these days either. The last thing I watched was season 7 of Dexter. I like Dexter but it's gotten pretty weak as it's moving to its death.

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  4. So, SOOOO true. (Oh, and pretty please write a censored version of this on your FB page that I can share with my FB friends - some of whom are teens and pastors - lol).

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  5. I've spent the past several years writing censored stuff for other sites. This blog is and will remain uncensored. I appreciate the fact that you'd like to share my writing. Maybe one of my hundreds of posts on Live Action News, New Wave Feminists, LifeNews, or LifeSite News would be something you'd like to share.

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  6. err Breaking Bad? I know it's the 'in' thing but despite being slow during the middle seasons, it's a good story. It turned out to be a classic morality play. This is the closest we have to a Canterbury tales or Divine Comedy. This is a show about normal people for the most part. Sure there's no mention of God or faith, but there's no indictment of them either. My man Matthew Lickona writing over at the Korrektiv press blog thinks this is a battle for the soul of Walter White and we've got front row seats. (further analysis here: http://korrektivpress.com/2013/08/crystal-blue-perdition/ )

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