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Friday, March 6, 2015



I am an admitted TV addict.  Don’t get all judgy on me. I quit smoking (except for an occasional cigar), I quit drinking (except for an occasional glass of wine with dinner or scotch with my occasional cigar), I have recently quit carbs and sugar (except for…OK I’ve cut way back).  Point is I am NOT giving up my TV.

I do have a few TV complaints which I wish the powers-that-be would rectify (tee hee Val, I said rectify.)

If you are listening, powerful TV people, here is my list of Cranky’s new rules for TV.

New Rule – I get to steal Bill Maher’s “New Rule” schtick.

New Rule – No whispering.  I CAN”T FRIGGIN HEAR YOU! Speak up.  If you are not in a library or a movie theater, speak at a normal volume.  I know you think whispering is dramatic, but so is HEARING! If the scene is in a library or a movie theater, use sub titles.

New Rule – English accents do not make a character interesting or sophisticated, they make a character difficult to understand.  Between the whispering and the accents I finally lose the ability to concentrate and lose the plot altogether.  Just use a sub-title that says “This character is sophisticated.”

New Rule – Characters need to look different.  When everyone is thin, white, and blonde, and whispering with an English accent, it is impossible to tell who is who.  Mix them up, TV moguls; throw in some black people, some Asians, and some Mexicans.   Have them wear different color clothes, mix up the hair color and length.   Hell, if I had my way I would assign numbers with names on the back of each character like they do the players in baseball and football.

New Rule – Names have to sound different.  “Is that Marge, Mary, Margret or Marcy?” Come on, mix it up.  If there is a Mary, make the next person Betty, then Noreen, then Peggy.  I’m old; can you please make it easy to follow along?

I grew up when TV knew how to make watching easy.  Hop-a-long wore a great big white hat…Black Bart wore a black hat.  Hoppy spoke clearly and loudly…Black Bart mumbled.  Hoppy was always smiling; even when he was tied up to a chair with fire following a trail to a giant can of gasoline.  Black Bart was always angry and when he smiled it was with that evil villain laugh.  The TV I grew up with was easy to watch.  There were no twin brothers to confuse you; no dead people who did not actually die; no fancy optical illusions or technological tricks used by the bad guy to confuse the audience.  We knew who to root for and who to boo, and when the bad guy was caught (never killed) he always admitted his guilt and explained what he did and why, with any blanks in the story filled in by the victorious good guy. 

When you watched a show in the good old days, you pretty much knew what was going to happen, then you saw it happen, and at the ending wrap up, just to be sure, they explained to you what just happened.

Finally, New Rule – If the show is not going to end on this week’s episode, tell us before we start to watch.  If the plot will extend to several seasons, let us know.  I can wait and binge watch three years from now.

That’s it TV moguls.  Those are Cranky’s New Rules.  Please fix them…

I’ll wait.


  1. I have no patience for most fresh air on TV. ("fresh air" = a word I shouldn't put here)
    I'll only watch Jeopardy, although sometimes Alex can be a bit pedantic as you've mentioned once before, and The Black List. I just like how Reddington invariably shoots someone with less moral scruples than him. Quite casually too, and on just about every episode. Other that those two (oh, and Elementary, but he has an English accent, so you wouldn't like that) I'm out. Books are still in vogue around here.

  2. Ummm... Hoppy wore a black hat.
    The Lone Ranger wore a white hat.

  3. with you on the whispering - i think all shows should do as survivor does and add the subtitles automatically when it gets quiet or mumbly. :)

    as for accents, i find irish much more difficult to understand than british.

  4. All problems the moguls need to rectify (heh, heh) if they are going to hold the attention and spending of our Generation of Aging Boomers. Still (sorry to say bad things about cowboy heroes) but after about three episodes of any 1950's western show my sibs and I could anticipate the formula and groaned at the lack of ingenuity. We preferred Rocky and Bullwinkle. At least their villains had funny names and the writing had cool humor.

  5. Perfect. How about starting up a petition Cranky. Where do I sign?

  6. You've got some great points here. I'm sure the powers that be won't listen, but they are great points.

    Have a fabulous day Cranky. :)

  7. I agree that volume becomes tricky when you get older. Mrs. C. and i are constantly raising and lowering the volume to hear what's going on. We tape "Downton Abbey" and "The Walking Dead" on Sunday evenings and we watch them on Monday so we can start them early. Sometimes I get confused and can't recall if something happened on "The Walking Dead" or "The Talking Dead."

  8. Oh, man, I am always getting confused by characters who look like one another. Mostly it happens with middle-aged, nondescript white guys with identical haircuts who are (a) both businessmen or (b) both criminals. Not that those two things are mutually exclusive.

  9. Hubby and I re-wind sometimes when he or I miss a British phrase. Even then, we might not get it. I tend to agree with everything you said. Those two boyfriends courting Mary on Downton Abbey could be brothers and I have no idea which one was with her in the pig pen!

  10. I agree with them letting us know when the next show is going to be. Nothing worse than get excited about watching something and then not knowing when it is going to be resolved down the road.


  11. I have solved the "continued next week." I tape all shows, primarily so I can fast forward past commercials, but I don't watch till I have 2 episodes stored up. That use to really gripe me, but no more. Good luck with the whispering. Just when you have the volume up so you can hear, they switch to a commercial which is always super loud. Hard to win.

  12. You go ahead and wait, and i will be without a TV (and not judging you! i'm glad you like and enjoy it, and i hope you let me not enjoy it to my heart's content), reading something or replying on a blog.

    May the moguls hear and answer!

  13. Yes, absolutely. The last damn thing we need is foreign accents! They confuse hell out of us!! They need to learn to speak like 'mericans!
    And no confusing plots!! By gadfrey, we need to have figured it all out in the first 2 minutes.
    Um, no, we can't do the different ethnic groups, but otherwise we're with ya'!

  14. I agree with you. In real life, not every one is the same in looks or attire, so why in TV.

  15. There's not much on TV these days that I watch. But I love the nostalgia of watching old B&W shows from my childhood. Twilight Zone is one of my all time favorites!

  16. I'm already doing the binge-watching thing. Seasons of shows that I like take forever to get here to Australia and then we get maybe seven episodes before they cut out because it isn't ratings season anymore and we have to wait six months or more for the rest of the season. So I watch an occasional one, while while saving $$$ to buy the seasons, then I have a whole weekend binge.
    The whispering thing annoys the heck out of me too and shows where the characters all look alike, as if they were members of a boy band.

  17. Dang, I hate those look-alikes and low-talkers! But my 13-year-old self gives you props for your RECTIFY. Heh, heh.