The Television Ethic

It seems to me that the shows on TV have gotten worse, much worse than they have ever been. Shows like “Cougar Town,” “Super Nanny,” “One Tree Hill” or “The Bachelorette” – basically any show on any of the major networks. These shows are either a shameless “sitcom” with bad and awkward sexual humor, a boring reality show that smug Americans watch so they can make themselves feel like they’re better than the narcissistic dweebs who end up on those shows, or an overwrought “drama” that lacks any sense of humanity instead substituting gratuitous sexual content.

I suppose what’s most striking is the total absence of anything sacred. If you watch TV, it’s clear there’s nothing special about human affairs and human relationships. Television teaches us that we’re all really only out for ourselves. Other people are a means to increase our “happiness” and to the extent they do that they are valuable. Traditional human virtues like love, gratitude, forbearance, patience, loyalty, faithfulness, and peace are mocked on television. No one on television takes any of these things seriously. In fact nothing on television takes anything seriously (maybe a few rare exceptions e.g. LOST). After all, persons who take things seriously are really just fooling themselves that who they are matters or what they do matters. It’s not who you are, it’s what you have, or who you have. Television teaches an ethic of exploitation for personal gain and I think it’s terrible.

But maybe it’s always been this way and I haven’t paid close enough attention.

7 Responses to The Television Ethic

  1. T. Shaw says:

    You are being saturation bombed, 24/7, with the morally bankrupt, progressive, secular “sacred.”

    The official state religion is lascivious anti-religion.

  2. restrainedradical says:

    I just watched the ESPN TV documentary “The Two Escobars” yesterday. It’s Oscar worthy. I’d strongly recommend it to the bloggers and commenters here. I’m sure ESPN will have reruns.

    The Borgias debuts next year. I can’t see how the Church could be portrayed favorably in a show about the Borgias but it could surprise me.

  3. Tito Edwards says:


    Just googled it and found the link.

    Looks good in the previews.

    Hey, how about a gravatar pic for your name?

  4. c matt says:

    I think it has gotten worse, but you have to go back 20-30 years to see the difference starkly. The change has been rather gradual over the years, so its hard tonotice from year -to-year. I don’t watch much tv except for sports and weather, and occasional Mythbusters or Ninja Warrior.

    I do admit I do watch Glee, which is kind of a mixed bag. Has the typical PC stuff, but the actors are very good singers (sometimes doing a rendition of pop songs that are better than the original).

  5. Anthony says:

    I do not understand how anyone can sit through Glee.

    Its nothing but stereotypes and one “cathartic” moment after another. At first its exhausting, then it just becomes annoying.

  6. Pinky says:

    I think that TV goes through waves. About 10 years ago, every show had to have a gay-and-proud character. A few years ago, it was excessive violence in dramas. I don’t know what the “average” show’s weakness is these days, because I’m down to maybe four shows a week.

    A lot more people are taking refuge in sports, news, or educational shows, it seems to me.

  7. Zach says:


    TV is overwhelmingly bad.

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