Friday, January 2, 2015

Good Quality TV at Christmas

I think I have an in-bred fear of cheap and shoddy merchandise. My mother was very focused on maintaining good quality in her clothes, her home furnishing, and in my appreciation of what good quality meant. Lately I've become aware of cheap quality in groceries and ordinary items used every day. Tissues, for example, don't have to cost a lot to be useful, but I prefer that they not exhibit a high wood fiber content. At least I don't want to be able to count the tree rings in them. I don't really care to buy the most expensive item on the shelf, but I do want to avoid the out-of-date milk and the brown, mushy bananas. I assume all shoppers will agree with me on this.

This expectation of a quality product extends to TV programming. In late-night shows, quality performance has always been some what suspect. When Johnny Carson was the King of late nights, he was often criticized for the abundant use of guests hosts because he was taking a few days off. Every holiday was an excuse for Johnny to go on a cruise, or to the seashore, or spend a few days in Europe. Finding a substitute host  was an acceptable way to shift his responsibilities. Fans who missed him pointed out that he  was often gone more days than he worked. In his defense I will point out that guests on the show were the same quality entertainment that was present when he was there.  

Today late-night TV and daytime talk shows don't spend the same time and effort on programming around a hosts absence. Now they just run a repeat. I find this a cheap substitute for the real thing. I know re-runs are a staple of TV entertainment, but I expect a little more than I've seen lately from "live entertainment." Christmas TV programming has been a "cheap and shoddy" disappointment in this area.  Maybe it wouldn't be so insulting if there was more time delay, but when the same show is repeated with hardly a week time lapse, I can't get excited about it.  

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