Too good for TV ass dudes.

I recently tweeted this
“If you’re watching the mtv movie awards instead of the game of thrones finale, i’m judging you, bro.”

Cause I was both excited to watch the season finale of that awesome show , as well as point out how terrible the MTV movie awards are. In typical internet fashion when discussing ANYTHING TV related, I was met with agreement (which is nice), “Game of Thrones” hate (which is fine) and people who took time to respond so they could alert me (and whoever else is reading) that they are above watching tv. That last one has been a regular occurrence on my twitter feed as I often reference Tv characters and shows in general. Because of its regularity, I followed that tweet with this:
“That smug “Oh, I don’t even own a tv” attitude is the worst. i don’t wanna hear it. Trust me, Tv is way cooler than you are.”

Obviously, the response to that was pretty black and white. I mean, it was kinda baiting people to begin with. For as many people who “liked” and retweeted it, there were many people disagreeing. They came in all forms. From people who misunderstood my point completely (“I only watch TV shows on the internet!”) to people who got into some sort of “Let the corporations control your mind dewddddd” conspiracy bullshit. To be clear, my entire point was: hey, it’s 100% fine if you have no interest in television. But the second you think you’re smarter or above people who do watch TV you’re a smug prick.

I’ve actually harped on this topic before but I figured I’d get a little more in-depth about it as it seems all the reasoning I could muster in facebook comments won’t help. Lemme rattle off some bullet points with hopes of maybe explaining my position better.

1)Generalizing gone wrong
Much like every other form of entertainment, TV is 90% terrible. Same goes for music, books, movies, painting, sculpture ect…there are hacks in all walks of life and no more so than in the vast world of “art” and its many mediums. As there is no definitive “right or wrong” in art, it opens the door for pretty much anyone who can squeeze through. The sad truth of this is that the general public will usually eat what is served to them. Thus, we have highly popular things that are, in fact, completely worthless to anyone with a hair of self-worth and intelligence. I think this is where the initial confusion of the person who hates all things TV related. They assume ALL TV is as bad as what’s on display. If they don’t have cable, they’re subjected to the worst of it. With the exception of maybe three or four shows over the last decade, I find most non-cable TV unwatchable. However, these people are overlooking that cable exists. Say what you will, but HBO has made some undeniable shows. AMC has too. Even Showtime has some decent ones. And what about comedy central? Or the Travel Channel? That’s the thing..we’ve all got different tastes and interests but cable is so vast, there’s something for everyone. To look at TV , as a whole, and claim it’s beneath you cause it’s all crap is like listening to the radio and saying all Music is crap. you’re simply not looking in the right places. It’s there. If this means you only use netflix to watch certain shows? IT’S STILL A TV SHOW YOU’RE WATCHING. So , unless you’re happier sitting in a candlelit room reading 24 hours a day or you’re climbing mountains 6 days a week, shut the fuck up. You’re not “above” TV. You’re simply not interested in what it has to offer. If that’s the case, go watch a theater troop in the park or something. Bring wine and crackers. Go nuts.

The only difference is the commercials. And, yes, commercials are annoying. Thank god for on demand, tivo and DVR. With those you can just skip over the shit you don’t wanna watch and enjoy the show.
I mentioned this in a response to my second tweet and someone wrote this:
“Films, have creative integrity a real script. Narrative, cinema is a highly important element that is crucial to the survival of the collective that is the arts. Don’t compare that legacy to dumbass tv advertising and propaganda messaging, brain washing society’s over and over to push agendas. Far from it. ”

First off, this dude is acting like “earnest goes to camp” and “Battlefield earth” never existed. I don’t know what bubble one would have to live in to miss the similarities between bad film and bad TV but it’s a thick one.
Now, obviously, this dude has never seen any of the great shows of our generation. I’d pretty much bet my life on it cause this opinion is so fucking extreme you’d think TV killed his parents. But had he actually seen these greats shows (The wire, breaking bad, Sopranos, Mad men, louie, south park, Deadwood ect…) he’d probably realize they’re no different from movies. You know why? Cause they’re the same exact thing, in different formats. The same way a GOOD film is conceived, written, produced, filmed and executed is not that different from a GOOD tv show. Sure, there is no equivalent in film to your typical 3 camera sitcom. But there are movies just as bad as those with no redeeming artistic value whatsoever. The only difference is that the movie wraps up a story in 2 hours while a tv show can linger a little and tell something far more sprawling. I’ve been just as captivated by certain TV shows as I have any movie. And I love movies. I watch movies all the time. Speaking of movies, you know where they show a lot of those? ON YOUR TV. It’s crazy dewdz! THis new thing called “cable” has like 80 channels that only show films. Weird, right? But , yeah, fuck TV. It’s the devil…Totally.
But beyond that, my movies=TV point is really just saying it’s a form of entertainment that we watch. I’m sure there are people out there who only watch black and white foreign films and secretly jack off in the mirror to how deep they are ,but some of us actually are entertained by a wide range of things. If the “brain washing” and “propaganda” is effecting you, you’re probably too dumb to realize it anyway so it’s really neither here nor there. And , people in that lane are probably long gone anyway. It’s really shouldn’t be a concern for anyone even in this conversation.

3)Different strokes
I like all sorts of TV. From high-end heady shit to low brow moronic shit. The thing is, everyone watches things differently. If you hear me speaking highly of some shit like “The real world”, it’s because it’s ridiculous. Not cause it’s high art. And not everything HAS to be deep. Perhaps I get a kick out of watching dumb people act stupidly, either from a strictly sociological perspective or in a mindless “look at the clowns dance” type of way. I’m fascinated by people and how they act. Especially people who are seemingly from another planet as I am. I could not be less like a Jersey Shore guy…but to see them go about their daily lives is entertaining to me (albeit fairly depressing at times). Sometimes, reality TV is a window into a world I’d otherwise never knew existed and would, in most cases, never want to be near first hand.
I mean, to be fair, even I draw a line. I can’t watch any real housewives shit cause it makes me angry and I start hating women too much. I understand everyone has those boundaries. I’m sure plenty of you draw the line at any reality TV in general. That’s fine. Just understand that some people who watch that kinda stuff aren’t always doing it mindlessly. And if they are? What’s the problem? Maybe they had a rough week at work and just want to vegetate over some other people’s problems.
My point is , Mr. “I don’t even own a tv cause I’m too busy with life” , you’re really in no place to judge anyone. As much as you hate TV and everything it stands for, I may feel the same way about your crystal collection. Or your religion. It doesn’t make one better or worse…I’m a fairly judgmental guy who loves a nice generalization but even I know better than to categorically claim an entire medium is terrible. It’s different if it’s a genre within that medium but a WHOLE medium? That’s crazy talk.

4)You’re not special
I think the thing that rubs me the wrong way the most about this entire thing is the smugness. That “looking down your nose” attitude that the people who are to good for TV seem to have. The funny thing is, in my experience, you put them in front of a TV, they will zone out. It’s kinda the best cause they’ll end up watching like 8 episodes of “Bad girls club” on your couch and then a week later be preaching that same old “Tv is the devil” shit. Probably cause they watched “bad girls club” for 8 hours. They also tend to harp on things like having better things to do with their time…but I’m pretty sure most people have some downtime. If you wanna read books during that time, good for you. If you wanna surf the internet, go for it. If you wanna have meaningful discussions over bottles of wine with friends, by all means, do it (just don’t invite me). But If a person wants to watch one of their shows, there’s nothing wrong with that. They’re not dumber because of it. They’re not under the spell of some huge corporate propaganda machine. They’re simply just watching some tv.

So, yeah, get off your high horse. You’re fighting a battle that you have no insight on.If you really wanna sharpen your debate sword on this topic, try watching some TV. Start with some of those shows I listed above. Then come holler at me about how terrible they were. Though, if you do, I’ll just know your issue isn’t that you dislike TV as much as you just have shitty taste.

31 thoughts on “Too good for TV ass dudes.

  1. I didn’t see the “Trust me, TV is way cooler than you are” tweet but I probably would have taken the bait on that one. I agree with you that “90% of it is terrible”, so I don’t really get the reasoning there (I suppose it’s “that 10% is so damn good it makes up for the other 90%”?). Now, I don’t have a collection of crystals, drink wine etc. but I do worry about what TV does for society (no amount of cool shit is going to make up for shit like Toddlers in Tiaras in my book). The advertising thing bothers me too (feeding on peoples insecurities etc)- then there’s the news (Fox!!? wtf is that?). Yes, selectively watching shows on the net cuts all that out and I hope it’s a growing trend, but personally I don’t think the good shit makes up for all the bad when you consider most people probably aren’t that selective.

    • But isn’t that all part of just being a picky consumer? With music, do you seek out what you like and only listen to that? With movies? How is that any different from TV. LMFAO is just as detrimental to society as Toddlers and Tiaras. Actually, at least a show like toddlers and tiara’s exposes that lunacy. It’s really on the viewer to digest it the proper way. If you’re watching “The jersey shore” and thinking “These are awesome people!” then you’re a fucking mongoloid. I expect anyone with any sort of discerning eye can figure that difference out.

      Also, with the internet, tivo, on demand ect…enough strides have been made that a person can personalize how they enjoy television. Be in at home at their leisure or on their computer. Ad’s and fox news only come into play if you let them come into play.
      It’s because of these glaring things that I just can’t accept “TV is stupid” arguments. You’re only as dumb as the tv you watch. And people with that short sighted view tend to be a lot denser to me than people who can enjoy a mindless reality show for how ridiculous it is.

      • Ok, yes of course I am selective with music, movies etc. I think TV, at least in the traditional sense (and lets face it the vast majority of people probably aren’t watching online, yet) is a more passive form of entertainment than music or movies, so I’d say although the landscape is changing there’s still a difference there. (might have to continue in another comment as some weird shit going on not letting me see what I’m wrting after so many chars).. cont…

      • …I’m sure we’ve all sat down to watch something we’re interested in and sometime later realise we’ve watched half an hour of ads and are already well into some other show. I’ll accept that’s the fault of the viewer, but its not like some random bullshit is going to pop up on my stereo or in a cinema. Also, I’m not sure toddlers and tiaras does anything to stop that fuckery by exposing it, I’d probably say it does more to perpetuate it.. cont..

      • It works both ways. Dumb motherfuckers are going to be dumb motherfuckers. If watching the terrible people on “Toddlers and tiara’s” makes you desire to put your kids in pageants, you were fucked to begin with. Also, I’ve seen that show. The creators are in on the joke. They know how insane these people are and they edit to to portray that. It’s not like they’re painting them in some sort of positive light. I realize I’m harping on one show but it’s a great example of how misunderstood tv is.

        Also, as much as i don’t like advertisements, they’re really a non-factor. I pretty much glaze over when they’re on. I certainly have never seen an ad for something and thought “I HAVE TO OWN THAT!”. I know people do that but these are also people who are not really viewing art and consumption the way I might. The fact is, there is a difference between us but, in the end, we both enjoy the same medium.

        I will agree that TV is a passive form of entertainment…kinda like radio. You eat what’s being served. But, to anyone who’s aware of this, how does this effect you? Don’t listen to the radio. That’s easy! Only watch TV shows you want to watch. It’s pretty simple.
        My entire point in this is in no way pointing out that people who chose to not watch TV are smug assholes. Not at all. It’s that people who think they’re special or better in some way because of that are smug assholes.

      • …given that there are a shit-load of people who will do pretty much anything to be on TV (you heard about the 16 and pregnant thing right?). Yes, the way we watch shows is becoming less passive and I think that’s great, but until the majority catch up I’m sticking by the arguement that TV does a lot more harm than good. Also, I’d suggest that you’re a lot less susceptible to bullshit programs than most. cont…

      • I don’t think intelligent thoughtful people should be held accountable for the actions of stupid, fame hungry people. 16 and pregnant is seriously depressing. even for me. I’m with you. But I’m not one of those people. No one I know is one of those people. And shows like that have no effect on other shows I do enjoy. Apples and oranges.

      • If you can watch some of the aforementioned without losing faith in humanity, and actually laugh at it then I guess we’re pretty different, but that’s fine. Finally, just because I have (I think legit) concerns about this stuff, it doesn’t necessarily mean I drink wine, read books by candle light etc etc.. I think that could be described as “Generalizing gone wrong”.

  2. The belief that. by not watching TV, you’re taking some kind of bold social stance is ridiculous. That’s like vegetarians who think they’ll end cruel farming practices by serving mung beans for dinner. No one is paying attention to you, no one cares about your personal politics, and all you’re doing by avoiding television is curtailing your access to cultural currency that might allow you to see these poor, deluded television watchers as human beings with brains, instead of the mindless plebes you assume them to be.

    • Can we not accept that some people who choose to avoid TV aren’t taking a “bold social stance” or trying to get on some moral high-horse? Personally I just found that the more TV I watched the less good I felt about the world. Yes, I might be missing out on some good stuff, I’ll live with that. To assume I might be looking down on people is a bit of a jump though, no? Although people who enjoy shit like toddlers and tiaras/16 and pregant etc do worry me a bit (and apparently there are a lot). Anyway, I’ll get my cultural currency by other means for now (certain TV shows included, online).

      • Dude, if you’re not looking down on people for watching tv than this isn’t about you. Pretty simple. Maybe this isn’t about you?
        But the fact of the matter is that TONS of people do look at anyone who watches any TV as some shut in retard with no class. That’s my point

    • it’s a little different: TV is a non-expendable resource, so yes, no one really knows how much is being used; animals are real, material (and therefore expendable), and if enough people don’t want them, they won’t be grown, caged, and killed.

  3. I started watching breaking bad after hearing it was good (if you’ve mentioned it on this blog before then you mightve been one of the people to recommend it).. and yeah I’m hooked on that show now, as well as boardwalk empire, trailer park boys and workaholics. Is game of thrones really as good as people are saying it is? Literally all I know about it is it has something to do with incest, and that alone isn’t enough to make me wanna check it out. I guess ill watch it tho

    • Well, let me put it this way. I have absolutely no interest in sci-fi/fantasy shows nor do i tend to give a shit about medieval based things. But i started watching G.O.T.’s and got hooked. I’m in no way their target audience. I can’t sit through a second of lord of the rings and the idea of watching a harry potter movie is comical to me. But this show got me. It’s definitely a little confusing at first (Tons of characters, a lot of whom look alike) but once you settle in , it’s the pretty awesome. Very detail oriented and subtle but , at the same time, it’s got tons of great kills and drama. Not to mention, the story lines of the different families run so deep, it feels as if it’s actually based on something real. It’s impressive in that sense.

  4. Surely, at some point, watching TV on an actual TV will become the cool retro thing to do. The older the better. No remotes. A kid in the corner holding up the aerial to get good signal. The screen goes fuzzy and you have to hit it every hour or so.

  5. I own a tv and i basically use it to play videogames. Before i gave up television i would use it mainly to watch music videos but that shit died with reality tv. I’m not a snob, but that’s where i draw the line, i’d rather jerk of to porn online than watch reality tv for hours and that was a trend that has plagued almost every fucking channel. Recently and thanks to netflix i realized i was missing out on some tv shows and ended up watching breaking bad and the walking dead, tried watching madmen but i couldn’t stomach it. I’m pretty sure there’s other good shit on tv right now but video games is where i go for my fix of entertainment / escapism.

    Which reminds me of something i wanted to ask , how do you feel about people who sample video game music for their beats? Considering that now video games have very atmospheric soundtracks with parts that could be recorded, cut and manipulated digitally to create the layers of a beat, have you ever thought about doing it yourself? I know sounds from games have been used in all genres of music, often for gimmicky purposes, or in other cases using large chunks of a song, looping it and adding drums to it, like these two dudes both of them sampling from the same song and game:


    The song sampled was from the 1995 for the SNES system, but video game music has changed a shitload since then.

    Since your production style seems to gravitate more towards layering and combining more sounds, wouldn’t this be a good source of samples?
    On the other hand, since the video game industry has become so huge, sample clearance could be a bitch…

  6. When people ask me if I have read something, I like to flip it on them and be like “books? I don’t even OWN a book”. Fuck tv snobs, they’re the worst. They all love Arrested Development(the show, not the rap group) though, strangely enough. And if they actually watched it when it aired, ON FUCKING TV, it might not have gotten canceled when it did.

  7. I am definitely a smug asshole about some stuff, but TV is not one of them.

    Two of the worst character flaws I think a person can have is talking condescending shit or smugly declaring themselves “connoisseurs” of something when it is completely out of context of the main conversation. It might be good to have a few of these traits… They can make for good conversation, but if someone falls under every single category, then they suck at life. This list is fueled by my annoying coworkers. One of them actually went on for 20 minutes about their exotic imported Tea collection and I thought I was going to throw up. What do you think about these people?

    01.) Wine “connoisseurs”. (fancy-ass drunks)
    02.) Coffee snobs
    03.) Weed enthusiasts
    04.) Golf enthusiasts (the people that actually play it and watch it on TV)
    05.) “Lets talk about my expensive car” guy
    06.) “I drive a hybrid”
    07.) “What the hell is wrong with you if you don’t like ENTER SPORT HERE?” guy
    08.) “I don’t eat ENTER FOOD HERE” (vegetarian, vegan, etc)
    09.) “I only shop at Whole Foods”
    10.) “I can speak more languages than you” (most the time they do a half-ass job)

  8. the only thing i hate about cable is i usually spend 2 hours watching a bunch of shit i don’t actually wanna watch … i have very little spare time i cancelled the cable and just watch what i wanna watch.. when i have a chance to watch it on the net … plus its free …

    the fees those fucks charge for this channel and that channel and a the PVR rental is fuckin insane … i wish i could maybe pay like $15 a month and just get HBO/AMC/SHOWTIME .. the rest of the channels can go fuck themselves!

    and im gonna go out a limb here and say … when it comes to those three channels above .. their Quality/Quantity ratio.. takes a shit on hollywood/movies in terms of real deep well written enjoyable content … i dont even really fucks with movies anymore …

  9. I never knew so many people hated tv so much. What i really don’t get is everyone mad at tv for being full of corporate propaganda. . . so they go on the internet. . . which is full of pop-ups. . . that are basically commercials that don’t go away. Or how about the people that are mad cuz they pay for cable and can’t find shows to watch. . . so they pay for the internet. . . and pay for netflix & hulu- plus. . . to watch the shows that come on television ALL THE TIME. And then there’s the people who say that television makes us stupider. . . so they’ll stick to the internet. . . where they can go on youtube and get there news from a 4th grader telling them that aliens have infiltrated the white house. . . Which is true, btw. . . cuz it’s on the internet. (At least tv has editors)
    To the person above who said that watching television makes him feel bad about the world. . . Have you actually experienced what the world has to offer us? Cuz, to me, the world alone is pretty fuckin fucked! Watching south park on television makes me feel a whole lot better than i would if i had to deal with the people who would watch OR participate in a show like Toddlers & Tiaras. . . cuz both those types of people DO live in our world. . . but they won’t bother me any if i’m sitting on my couch watching tv.
    Blaming tv for dumbing people down is like blaming guns for killing people (instead of blaming the person who pulled the trigger). i have 20 guns, and none of them ever killed anyone. Maybe i just have very well behaved guns. . . If you are mad about tv being a method for corporate brainwashing, then don’t go outside. . , cuz there are billboards and signs everywhere. . . and they might brainwash YOU!!! Hell, we may as well start hating on grocery stores cuz this country has a huge obesity problem right now and grocery stores sell ice cream and snickers bars and there’s ads everywhere!!!! Oh yeah, that’s right, that’s why all the hippies shop at whole foods. . . since they are all soooo truly unique, no one is like them and they are better than everyone. Way to save the world from injustice, hippies!!! . . .One shit tasting soy-flavored tofu bar at a time!!!

    • If I could “like” this post I would.
      Seriously, the things some people gripe about while they willingly overlook other things that are almost exactly the same is laughable.

    • robzmob; Firstly, I said “less good I felt about about the world”, not “bad” and there is a difference. Although to be fair I later said something about losing faith in humanity, which is a bit extreme. My point is that if you’re gonna quote someone, in the interests of good debate to try to keep it accurate.

      About your first point on ads on the net, I use Firefox with the AdblockPlus add-on so I don’t get any adverts when browsing the net, watching youtube vids etc. none, ZERO (to anyone reading this I suggest you try it. It’s faster too (ads take up bandwidth)).

      Have I actually experienced what the world has to offer? Sure, some of it. There’s a lot of stuff out there, some good some bad. I’m not going to sit in my house to avoid crazy people though, if that’s what you’re suggesting. Nor am I’m gonna stay in to avoid billboards etc. Which btw don’t pop up repeatedly in the middle of TV shows I might be trying to watch.

      Your point about guns is interesting. Here in the UK we have a LOT less guns, and funnily enough, MUCH less people get hurt/killed by guns. Perhaps if there were less (or, no) TV shows about dressing children like whores or getting pregnant at 16, less people would do these things. Yes, most people aren’t going to do that shit just because of TV, but apparently some stupid fucks actually do. Heck, some of those people might have randomly started watching those shows simply because it came on after some other stuff they were watching. Passively.

      Lastly (and I’m not even sure this was aimed at me personally). You seemed to get pretty heated about hippies there. I don’t dislike hippies… If we’re generalizing here, I might say some hippies made some pretty cool music, and had some cool ideas. Sure, I own a few Pink Floyd albums but I also own a shit-ton of hip hop records. In fact, if you saw me in the street you might guess that – baseball cap, jeans, and trainers are pretty standard. I think sometimes it’s helpful to generalize, but other times it really isn’t.

  10. i don’t know man. in general, i think movies are better than tv. there’s a pretty big difference. higher standards maybe. sure there are some shows (you mentioned pretty much all the good ones, except for “Louie”, fuck that show, that dude is a smug prick who made an entire series out of trying to prove he’s right in every situation) that are better than A LOT of movies. but take the best tv show ever and you could easily point out 50 or 100 movies that are better. there is something about the format of the series that allows for more bullshit.

    • Can’t lie dude, You not liking “Louie” completely made me stop reading.It’s fine to not be into it but your reasoning of him being a smug prick either means you’ve watched one episode or completely missed the point of every episode ever.

      however, I never said TV was better than movies. I just compared them as similar mediums in the sense that it’s foolish to love one while completely dismissing the other. Of course Movies are better.

      • seriously, Louie is bullshit!! “i’m just trying to be a good father!” fuck out of here

      • Okaaaaaaaay guy. If you had said “Lucky Louie”was bullshit, I’d see your point but Louie is an amazing show and not at all how you perceive it.

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