September 21, 2009
Spending so much more time with my new friend the TV these days, I've noticed a strange phenomenon--one I'll call the TLC Syndrome, since they seem to have made an art of the practice.
In the bottom right-hand corner, the station's logo--a blotch on the screen it took awhile in itself to get used to--now comes with a little announcement. Today it reads:
JON & KATE PLUS 8
TONIGHT 9 / 8 C
What I've noticed, however, is that week-long announcement will change as soon as the new show starts--either to ALL NEW JON & KATE NEXT WEEK or ALL NEW CAKE BOSS TUESDAY AT 10. It's all new something-or-other, all the time. Which gives you the feeling that whatever's on right now is old news. It's vaguely disconcerting.
Then I saw it again yesterday while flipping across the Emmy's. While Dougie Houser was plodding through some bit of prompter reading, across the bottom of the screen flashed some exciting newness, along the lines of:
IN 8 MINUTES: KATIE HOLMES AND HER QUACKING DUCK.
Now, this isn't the information-overload news line that drags across the screen when you watch CNN or Newsworld--meant to super-inform and keep your head in a tizzy. These TLC bits of info are, essentially, telling viewers "If you think THIS is good, just you wait."
Except you never really get to the good part. At least not according to the TV station.
What's with the permanent focus on the future? What, exactly, is wrong with what you're watching right now? It's like some constant, artificial adrenaline rush for the next best thing--leaving you feeling like you've always just missed the boat. It's like some new kind of advertising, where the benefit is perpetually elusive and what you've bought into right now will never, ever be enough.
What kind of society are we to be so unsatisfied that we can never just enjoy where we are--even for a second? It's gone beyond taking the time to stop and smell the roses. Because their incredible bloom will be nothing compared to the daisies just ready to pop out--say, next Wednesday at 6.
Posted by Teenie at 2:01 PM