Is Television the Future…?

When I am sick, with a cold or something, I usually take some medicine and put on whichever tv show happens to be on my computer.  In this case it was Top Gear.  So, I put it on and wrote a blog post, which may have been rubbish.  I’ve been watching quite a bit of Top Gear, which I do anyway.  Top Gear and Month Python were the gateway drugs that got me into British television.  It was Monty Python’s Flying Circus, then Top Gear, then Doctor Who, then Gordon Ramsey, then Eddie Izzard stand up, etc. 

One thing I noticed about Doctor Who is that he doesn’t look or act like typical heros and characters of American television.  A lot of times American heros physically fight the bad guys.  In the 1980’s, we had heros like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stalone.  They were really tough.  They killed a lot of people, but they weren’t particularly bright.  I’ve had trouble with American television because it seems like all of the characters are perfect, perfect hair, perfect teeth, perfect bodies and essentially perfect lives.  Perfection is something that I can’t particularlly relate to, it just gets boring and unrealistic. 

Doctor Who is different though, which is why I love it.  He doesn’t physically fight his enemies, he outsmarts them.  He doesn’t kill hundreds of nameless extras.  Quite the opposite, actually, he loves the whole human race.  I like that.  Another thing I noticed is that Doctor Who, atleast the last two ( David Tenant and Matt Smith), hasn’t been played by a big, burly Schwarzenegger type of actor.  Matt Smith is frankly kind of skinny and has a large head.  I don’t have anything against skinny people, I am one of them, afterall.  So, British shows, atleast the ones I’ve seen, don’t focus on appearances.  I like that, too.  Lastly, and most importantly, they seem to focus most on the writing.  Because Doctor Who is very clever; ergo, he is very witty.  It seems like American shows focus more on drama, good looking actors and special effects.  I would much rather clever writing than any of those things. 

I don’t want this to simply be an America television bashing.  I am mainly referring to the shows on the big networks along with channels like ABC Family.  To our credit there have been some very well written American shows, most of them are comedies: Modern Family, The Office, Big Bang Theory, etc.  The characters of these shows are almost all relatively normal people.  Even Big Bang Theory, they seem like pretty normal rocket scientist and Ph.D’s. 

It makes me wonder how much a country’s society is reflected in its television programs.  British television does seem to confirm my belief that the majority of Brits are witty and clever.  I do have to wonder if those superficial shows on ABC Family with the drama,attractive actors and terribly stupid writing are a reflection of our society.  If that is the case, I hope the future is Modern Family instead of Pretty Little Liars.