Explaining why television has become so repulsive

I'm not a TV-watcher, but I have long made an exception for British TV.  The BBC's stuff largely, but not entirely.

Even that, though, has of late been changing.  Shows that were once dramatic are today quite often something else.  "Edgy" is the word I use — and, it seems (to the small extent I go even up to "edgy," much less farther), explicit or even gory.

I don't find such having either interest or appeal.  What does interest me, though, is the why of it.

American TV — whether that of the typically banal '50s variety or the technically (and often visually "sophisticated") modern variety — well reflects the wider American culture.  In this, it closely matches American's taste in food.  Quantity more than quality.  Quick and easy.  Either bland or tastebud-jolting.  It's much like what, in other nations, is typically expected to be seen only in the tastes of children.

Is that "America"?  Let us each decide that for ourselves — between the episodes of superhero, zombie and titillating, "hee hee hee" — but not quite blatantly sexual — comedies.

Some British shows were always that, too, as I realized while learning what shows the Beatles enjoyed as kids.  None of these (well, apart, perhaps, from Benny Hill) made it to America.

But what explains the change in British common taste today?

Part of it is the free market.  Now, with many stations available, and not just the BBC, commercial interests have a greater "say."  Such generally tries not to "elevate" the viewer, but simply to give him what he already knows and like.

Another aspect is the general — and widely seen — change in the British character.  Something affecting every aspect of British life, even the national response to the current viral scare.

This change in character was there to be seen even before it was reflected in the quality of British television.  It was there to be seen in how even the less sensational programming depicted current British life.

Look as one would, you would have been hard pressed to find a happy, fully functional British family on British TV.

Yes, such includes those living in the seemingly ever-present "council housing," akin to America's housing projects but far more common.  But such unhappiness and lack of family cohesion was equally seen among those represented as relatively "well-to-do."

In simple terms, few people there were seen to be content or "happy."  Not with themselves.  Nor with one another.

And so what is here on the screens now could be seen coming.

In a single word, that would be discontent — in a greater number, adding "and the inability to constructively deal with it."

Is this universal in British society?  I expect not.  But the vision must be real enough to at least seem "real" to a large number of viewers.  And the seeming unsalability of programs featuring happy and productive individuals would, I'd think, have to reflect at least some part of the current realities, wouldn't it?

Just as zombies and superheros do here in America!

Does anybody watch those things?  Don't tell me.  I don't want to know!

I'm not a TV-watcher, but I have long made an exception for British TV.  The BBC's stuff largely, but not entirely.

Even that, though, has of late been changing.  Shows that were once dramatic are today quite often something else.  "Edgy" is the word I use — and, it seems (to the small extent I go even up to "edgy," much less farther), explicit or even gory.

I don't find such having either interest or appeal.  What does interest me, though, is the why of it.

American TV — whether that of the typically banal '50s variety or the technically (and often visually "sophisticated") modern variety — well reflects the wider American culture.  In this, it closely matches American's taste in food.  Quantity more than quality.  Quick and easy.  Either bland or tastebud-jolting.  It's much like what, in other nations, is typically expected to be seen only in the tastes of children.

Is that "America"?  Let us each decide that for ourselves — between the episodes of superhero, zombie and titillating, "hee hee hee" — but not quite blatantly sexual — comedies.

Some British shows were always that, too, as I realized while learning what shows the Beatles enjoyed as kids.  None of these (well, apart, perhaps, from Benny Hill) made it to America.

But what explains the change in British common taste today?

Part of it is the free market.  Now, with many stations available, and not just the BBC, commercial interests have a greater "say."  Such generally tries not to "elevate" the viewer, but simply to give him what he already knows and like.

Another aspect is the general — and widely seen — change in the British character.  Something affecting every aspect of British life, even the national response to the current viral scare.

This change in character was there to be seen even before it was reflected in the quality of British television.  It was there to be seen in how even the less sensational programming depicted current British life.

Look as one would, you would have been hard pressed to find a happy, fully functional British family on British TV.

Yes, such includes those living in the seemingly ever-present "council housing," akin to America's housing projects but far more common.  But such unhappiness and lack of family cohesion was equally seen among those represented as relatively "well-to-do."

In simple terms, few people there were seen to be content or "happy."  Not with themselves.  Nor with one another.

And so what is here on the screens now could be seen coming.

In a single word, that would be discontent — in a greater number, adding "and the inability to constructively deal with it."

Is this universal in British society?  I expect not.  But the vision must be real enough to at least seem "real" to a large number of viewers.  And the seeming unsalability of programs featuring happy and productive individuals would, I'd think, have to reflect at least some part of the current realities, wouldn't it?

Just as zombies and superheros do here in America!

Does anybody watch those things?  Don't tell me.  I don't want to know!