Monday, December 18, 2006

Television For the ADHD Folks

Have you noticed how much reality TV is filler? If a show is an hour long, they might start with 10 minutes recapping previous episodes. Then, before each break, they tell you what's coming up after the break. Then, after the break, they tell you what happened before the break... like you have NO MEMORY. Then, the final ten minutes is "Coming up next week..." If they were honest, that would continue... "we'll spend ten minutes repeating this episode you just watched!"

Somebody behind "Texas Cheer Moms" on TLC has made an art form out of this. Bless them... they took about an hours worth of content and streched it out over a whole season.

Now, I know what you're saying... "Ken, what are you doing watching that show instead of watching a Strawberry Shortcake DVD?" Well, my wife watches the show. And if I want to spend any time with her, that means I see the show too.

Anyway, at my prompting, my wife timed how much original content there is in a 30-minute "Texas Cheer Moms" episode. Seventeen minutes. SEVENTEEN MINUTES. Now, it is typical to have eight minutes of advertisements, so that means in 30 minutes, there are FIVE WHOLE MINUTES of recapping/previewing what happened last week, what will happen next week, what will happen after the break, what happened before the break. That means you see the same whine from a high school cheerleader 27 times throughout the season!

And you know what? This is cable, which means we pay for this. And there are still advertisements.

As for the show itself... I keep expecting Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy to appear. I swear this looks like Guests' work, only he wouldn't repeat the same content to death... unless he was making a point about reality shows!

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