Entertainment &Online Video Steven Kippel on 29 Oct 2013

How satisfied are you with the quality of TV programming?

How satisfied are you with the quality TV programming?

I was asked this question recently during a consumer survey. “How satisfied are you with the quality of TV programming?” That’s a tough question.

It’s hard to argue against the idea that the past several years have been the best years in TV history in terms of quality programming. With the way writers, directors and actors have moved from the constraints of the silver screen to the small screen to practice their crafts, the best television had to offer has been arguably better than at any time in history. On the other hand, the overall quality of television has been quickly diving into the depths of oblivion, sailing the straights of toxic basic cable waste.

So, how do I answer this question? Do I base it on the programming I watch, or on the totality of the available television programming?

In the era of the DVR and Netflix, programming consumption is achieved on my own schedule, so when I sit down in the evening, the little ones drifting off to sleep, I can watch the best AMC has to offer. Some wild western in Hell on Wheels, or a compelling crime drama in Low Winter Sun? DVR. But when I don’t have anything on the DVR (which, granted, is not often), I can scroll through hundreds of channel listings and not find a single program worth watching. That’s when I turn to Netflix or Amazon Instant Video for Downton Abbey or Luther from the BBC; Breaking Bad or Arrow from the USA. (Wait… Can I count House of Cards as television programming?)

Time is infinite, but by existence in time is finite. I think I should judge the programming I chose to spend my time with, and not the totality of programming. Would I judge a grocer for what’s available pre-mashed in jars, or what’s available in the organic section? I think the choice is evident: I’m very satisfied with the quality of television programming.

What do you think?

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