Why Does Prime Time TV Have to Suck?

I would like to know who decides what should be on prime-time television. Why? Either they lack material or they are too afraid to say “no, this sucks” to the network executives. For me, there are exactly two network prime-time television shows I watch all the time, The Big Bang Theory and Moms. For about a season and a half I liked The Good Wife but then they turned it into a prime-time soap opera and lost me.

What happens to every prime-time television show, in my opinion, is they do not seem to comprehend year two. Take Jane the Virgin, for example. How long did they plan on keeping her a virgin? I cannot imagine there being much excitement over a women pledge to hold on to her virginity until marriage. And so that show should have ended after one season; Jane gives birth and live moves on.

Networks love crime shows and medical shows. The last good medical show I watched was not on prime-time, it was Nurse Jackie. They also knew when to end it. Good for them! Law & Order was great during the Lenny the cop era but when he died so did the show in reality. NBC saw fit to keep it on life support but after a while they knew they had to pull the plug. And Law & Order SVU was really gritty for a few years but ever since Mariska Hargitay decided she should write, direct, produce and act in it, well, it too has truly sucked. It needed to end at least 3 years ago.

The original CSI knew when to call it quits and it was still fairly good in its final episodes.

Ah, then someone had the bright idea to do a military law show, NCIS. It too was pretty good for about 2 seasons even with its constant errors over what agents of NCIS can actually do and what the show portrayed, very dissimilar. Then they decided to put an NCIS in New Orleans and another in Los Angeles. Those are two cities where the actual naval population is extremely small. The Department of the Navy is not going to put its resources in places where its footprint is close to non-existent. NCIS Norfolk, NCIS Charleston, NCIS Pensacola, NCIS San Diego, NCIS Honolulu, all places where there is a considerable Naval/Marine population would have been better choices but then they aren’t glitzy, just real. Oh yeah, I always wanted to ask why so many of the original NCIS scenes, purportedly in the Virginia countryside looked so much like the California countryside.

For medical shows the executives need to watch the old series St. Elsewhere. Well-written with great story lines and characters. Believable, something most of today’s medical shows are not. For police dramas, Hill Street Blues was really good. Why is it so difficult for today’s network executives to look at old-time extremely popular television shows and take notes on how it’s done. Here are a few more they may want to view for cutting edge extremely popular television, All in the Family, Taxi, Cheers, and M.A.S.H. Each show ran a long time, drew large audiences, and were of course extremely successful. Let’s do away with shows that a dumb beyond belief, I nominate Two Broke Girls and The Odd Couple for that category. The old Odd Couple was good. This version is very blah!

Come execs, put it on the line! Create a show that shocks us, that makes us think, that is gritty, that is poignant, that takes on the issues of the day head-on, I recommend teen-age issues where the main character winds through the headaches and heartaches of growing up. A story with a moral, a story where bad things happen to good people, a story that does not have a happy ending and where characters work their way out of the show while others join.

Anyway, that’s just my opinion.


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