It isn't that today's teevee entertainment is so much worse than what was on during the legendary golden age, which, truth be told, was unwatchable.
It's that as a mode of edutainment it never offered much.
Pornography, trash fiction, animals, material goods.
The promise of broadcasting is that it would offer us what we really want to observe: naked Japanese playing with rambunctious kittens while gossiping about the latest paranoid conspiracies and consumer products, lovingly filmed by cameramen with a doctorate in soft-focus food photographs.
As well as quarreling intoxicated blondes, for the women.
Entertainment for the whole family!
It never delivered.
A conversation among cigar smokers yesterday established, for the record, what made a television series qualify as "epic". Women's underwear, worn by women, plus quotable insanity. If you think about it, that also at the heart of great artistic achievement.
Well, other than Michelangelo's 'David'. But I'm sure the backstory makes up for that.
What holds David's attention so raptly? Women's underwear, of course!
Off to the side, worn by paranoid conspirators!
Who are probably Japanese.
Mighty queer shiznit.
Television could have brought this into your living room.
Instead, you got the real housewives.
And Gordon Ramsey.
I'd watch that.
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