Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Apprentice: You're Fired!

We've been asked to a Nielsen TV family this week. You know, one of those households that supposedly holds so much sway over the life and death of each and every TV show. Supposedly, as a Nielsen household, we'll have an amazing amount of power. The power to determine the fates of dozens of shows. The power to determine actors' futures and their potential earning power, whether or not they make the big time or end up doing Lifetime Channel movies. Can you just feel that power?

Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha...

... ha ha ha ha ...

... ha ha ...

Ahem.

But seriously, can the Nielsen ratings have that much sway over the networks' decision making? I'm dubious, as I refuse to believe my fellow Americans are all such idiots that they'd watch most of the reality crap that's available, pay-per-view wrestling and boxing, and the Blue Collar Comedy Show.

Oh wait, so many Americans do enjoy such unbelievable crap.

Never mind. So maybe it isn't such an honor to be a Nielsen family after all.

Bummer.

So we have to fill out some sort of little TV viewing diary every day to record what we watch. Sounds easy enough but I fail to see how effective it would be. To be really effective, I should get a chance to meet with the honchos at the networks and tell them verbally what I really think. It could be a very interesting meeting because I have a lot of ideas about how much TV sucks.

Like all the reality shows. What is up with that? What could possibly be interesting about seeing two families swap wives? Or that show where two neighbors do a weekend renovation of each others' houses? I saw it once and everyone had terrible taste. Utterly wretched, I'm-going-to-vomit-it's-so-shiteous taste.

And then there's "Survivor." If they want to really challenge those people, put them in really sticky situations. Such as, make the contestants each have to teach in an inner city high school for a month and see who's left at the end. Or, everyone has to work in a coal mine for a month. Or, everyone has to be a single mother of three kids, living in a tiny apartment, and then one of the kids starts throwing up in the middle of the night. Oh, and the apartment doesn't have its own washer and dryer. Now THAT'S challenging. Not this crap of throwing people on a Hawaiian island and making them eat bugs.

And what is up with the shows that are variations on the same theme? I mean, you've got CSI, CSI: NY, and CSI: Miami -- How many variations on death can there be? Are New Yorkers more creative in their killing? At this rate, CBS is going to have to start scraping the geography barrel: CSI: Des Moines (where it's all about livestock murders), CSI: Salt Lake City (how many wives can a polygamist kill before he goes to jail), and CSI: Atlanta (debutantes do the killing and they're wearing pearls).

But I digress.

So, getting back to the Nielsens... We got the letter telling us we'd won the Nielsen lotto weeks ago, followed by a confirmation phone call shortly thereafter. I thought for sure things would happen quickly and that we would be flexing our powerful TV viewing muscles early this month.

As it happens, it's this week.

Do you know what else this week is?

It's TV Turnoff Week.

Don't you just love the irony?

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