Out of the mouths of young viewers
Whenever we are invited to speak at TV conferences and public forums on the enlightened utilization of media, we are asked all sorts of questions immediately after, indicating the great significance that some people now see in what they watch— and its effect on them and their children.
If this trend continues, our TV channels will simply have to do better and more responsible work, or lose a significant part of their all-important viewership.
We also take those sessions with viewers as our opportunity to find out what they feel about current TV programming. Some candid observations:
Some viewers complain about popular teleseryes that are extended for many months due to the top ratings they enjoy. They protest the unreal twists and turns that the series’ plots are made to take just to keep the additional complications and new subplots going at fever pitch—like dead characters suddenly being revived or reincarnated in a “new” body!
For their part, parents want to see the production of more local programs for children, and wonder why some good shows for kids are no longer producing new episodes or lessons. They stress that the production of such programs is mandated by law, so they fault our TV channels for not supporting or subsidizing them.
Of course, they acknowledge their part of the blame, and vow to patronize good TV shows for children from here on in.
What other programs do they want to see on television? A respondent plugs for a TV show on, by and for senior citizens—not just for their benefit, but also to make younger viewers more aware of the problems old folks face.
Recently, we also got a request for a show for and about the disabled, who now comprise almost 20 percent of the population. The new production should teach the physically disadvantaged viewer new skills and more proactive ways to fend for themselves and make money.
Still on shows for children, we were impressed some weeks ago when we heard some young viewers critique the TV shows they were watching, from their own perspective.
It was an eye-opening “out of the mouth of babes” experience for us, because they criticized some kiddie shows for making child talents act and sing material that was too mature for their unformed and vulnerable sensibilities to adequately handle.
The precocious kids’ perceptive comments indicated that they could teach some adult TV people a thing or two about responsibly age-appropriate TV programming!
Other viewers say they hate it when TV stars and their guests use their programs for their own personal purposes, instead of providing genuine public service and entertainment. They suspect that “helpful” TV features on new products and services are actually extended paid advertisements and resent the fact that they’re being taken for a shamelessly commercial ride!
Related to this is some viewers’ dislike for stars who waste so much TV time thanking scores of sponsors for “exchange deals” that include not just clothes and shoes, but also their eyewear, beauty products and services, and even medical procedures!
What about you, dear reader-viewer? What new shows do you want to see on TV, and what current practices either delight or tick you off? Complete the communication process, and tell our TV people what you think and feel— for a change!
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