Verhasselt: TV’s days are numbered

Heath Verhasselt

Like many of you during break, I too stared at the ceiling, bored out of my mind. There was nothing to do, and yet I had work 30 hours a week, too many video games to play, not to mention articles to be writing, but that feeling of boredom would not go away. And so, after all other avenues had been closed, I decided to turn on the TV. Not a very uncommon thing to do, but this time was different, very different. Instead of powering on my PS3 to play a game or movie, I did something crazy, I switched the input of my TV from HDMI1 to Cable.

What I saw was mind shattering.

What I just described might seem like nothing spectacular to you, maybe you watch TV all the time and aren’t following me on this. Let me first explain, I never watch TV. Plain and simple. I have Netflix, the Internet, video games, podcasts and if those fail I have no problem going for a walk outside.

This is because I have given up on television, besides the occasional show on the History channel; I maybe watch TV twice a month. Let’s face it though, the shows on right now are mostly trash or just a waste of time. Of course that’s the modern purpose of TV, to make you sit on the edge of your seat wondering why what you’re watching is even on TV and what will happen next.

Reality TV is probably the largest reason TV pretty much sucks. Since the likes of “The Real World” and “Survivor,” television show quality has begun a downward spiral in terms of quality, rivaling that of watching paint dry. So much that I really think most TV channels should seriously consider changing their names. MTV for example. You know MTV right, music television; because “Jersey Shore,” “the Hills” and “16 and Pregnant” have such musical backgrounds. And that’s just it right there, I know that I can’t change what they put on TV, but I really think cable networks should address what they are and what they say they are. For example, if MTV changed their name to Complete Trash Reality TV, I’d know exactly what to expect when I switch to said channel.

And the issue doesn’t even stop with MTV, it could be applied to so many other channels.

VH1 could easily change their name to “I love the 19XXs” and go from there. Travel channel, “where we don’t actually talk about how big of a pain in the side traveling really is.” The Speed channel, “sorry, we’re not actually doing speed.” The History channel, could go with the motto, “We used to actually show you historical documentaries but not anymore,” and change their name to “Pawn stars/American Pickers TV”. Lets not forget those sick individuals that run the Lifetime network: “A lifetime of awful movies where women are excessively beaten and raped for no real reason.” Comedy Central could keep their name if they just ran a blank screen until Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert or “South Park” came on at night. I’m starting to think their entire channel is the joke their name seems to hint at, but you tell me.

All jokes aside, something tells me this issue is already being addressed by outside forces, those forces being the Internet and services like Netflix. A la carte programming as this is called, where you get to pick what you want to watch, rather than sit through the agony of watching the show before the show you actually wanted to watch comes on.

YouTube just adds more fuel to this a la carte fire: The ability to watch hours of whatever nonsense you want is truly wonderful. Yes, the content on YouTube isn’t up to the same production quality of network TV, and maybe Netflix costs too much or doesn’t have what you want, but it’s a step in the right direction. By the end of the year, I think many of you will consider cutting the cord and bring an end to this nonsense.