Sunday, July 27, 2008

TV Wasteland

TV is a wasteland, but occasionally a few things worth watching sneak out. Lately we've been enjoying Morgan Spurlock's always thoughtful 30 Days. Morgan Spurlock made the great documentary, Super Size Me, about our addiction to fast food.

From the official site, 30 Days "... examines social issues in America by immersing individuals in a life that requires them to "see the world through another's eyes,"". Sometimes that person is Morgan, sometimes not. We just watched an episode tonight that had a pro-gun-control lady from the Northeast spend 30 days with a pro-gun father and son from Ohio. The strength of this episode and most 30 Days airings is that it doesn't beat you over the head with one viewpoint. Often, very entrenched people come to see an issue from a different perspective and are the better for it.

Other programs have explored religion, gay marriage/adoption, the coal industry, animal rights, etc.

Something else that we've been watching is not a show per se, but a network. Cox Communications here in the Valley just added Planet Green to the digital cable tier that we get. It's got an outstanding lineup with a fairly obvious theme (environmental issues) that includes:

  • Living with Ed - reality show with one of Hollywood's earliest environmentalists. It's funny but has a lot of useful information.

  • Renovation Nation - a building program that shows how to take existing homes and significantly improve their efficiency. It's host is a former host of This Old House.

  • Wa$ted - This is a series that looks at real families, shows the ways in which they are wasteful and inefficient, and provides cheap ways of changing that.

There are a bunch of other great programs but you can pretty much turn on this channel at any time and find an interesting and useful show.

On a lighter note, we enjoy watching Doctor Who very much and were surprised to see Richard Dawkins in a cameo on the program when we watched a taped episode tonight.

"When television is good, nothing is better. When it's bad, nothing is worse." -- Newton Minow

"The television, that insidious beast, that Medusa which freezes a billion people to stone every night, staring fixedly, that Siren which called and sang and promised so much and gave, after all, so little." -- Ray Bradbury

1 comment:

CyberKitten said...

47 channels and nothing on. Sounds like UK TV too....

Might explain how I manage to read so much!