IMAGINE the following scenario. You slink into the armchair or recline on the sofa, exhausted from school or work, and you want to watch something on TV. I know you've all done it before and I'm sure you'll do it again. Now when I click the remote, my expression quickly becomes one of absolute disgust. I hope my message does the same to you. There is never anything good on TV today: just a large portion of reruns for the appetizer, a large portion of pointless and puzzling programs for your entrée and a mixture of both for dessert. Even if you don't watch it, it's unhealthier for you than the top of the food pyramid. It makes you fatter, lazier and unhealthier by killing one brain cell at a time.
The fall of television can best be traced to its history. I blame Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh and their book, The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present, Eighth Edition [ (2003, pp. ix-xxi) ], of which I am an owner, for this, but it proves a lot. They put the beginning of commercial television shortly after World War II. In those days, there were no reruns, kinescopes had very poor quality, less than 1% of all households had television sets and only local programming depending on the closest large city was aired. Then about a year after Harry took office, television started taking shape with one of the most innovative programs of all: Hour Glass, a program that provided an hour of variety and set the stage for TV's first "era."
Brooks and Marsh call this the "Vaudeo" era because it mainly consisted of variety series on a visual screen, or vaudeville on video. Such series included the aforementioned Hour Glass, which lasted less than a year but set the standard of variety, and Toast of the Town, a program where New York City newspaper columnist Ed Sullivan had anything and everything – from big names like Dean Martin and Walt Disney to unknown Soviet psychics who predicted that the President of 1961 would have much in...