Do We Expect Too Much From TV?

Some people might say that if we expect anything at all from television we’re expecting too much. Over here at TVWriter™, we minions are filled with demands for perfection. But our expectations are usually much lower than our hopes. What about y’all?


by Gary Susman

Here we are, supposedly living in the new Golden Age of Television, and yet we’re still whining all over the Internet about what we’re watching.

Just look at this past week. People whined about NBC’s live “Peter Pan.” Some whined because it wasn’t that great, while those who were determined to hate-watch it whined because it wasn’t that terrible.

Viewers also whined about this week’s “Sons of Anarchy” series finale –- did Jax’s final act make sense? Did it provide a satisfying catharsis after seven long seasons? Or was it alternately gripping and frustrating, like the rest of the series had been?

People complained about the campus-rape episode on “Newsroom,” the one that showrunner Aaron Sorkin called his finest episode yet. Given this week’s controversy over the now in-dispute Rolling Stone article about an alleged rape victim at the University of Virginia, Sunday’s “Newsroom” couldn’t have been timelier, but a lot of viewers thought it endorsed newscast producer Don Keefer’s skepticism about reports of campus rape, as if Sorkin were endorsing a blame-the-victim mentality.

Oh, and people also complained about the Discovery Channel’s much-hyped “Eaten Alive,” since, after having all-but-promised viewers they’d see a man swallowed by a giant snake, the man was not, in fact, eaten alive.

Really, how jaded have we become when we gripe that we didn’t get to see TV sink to its most pandering nadir and show us a man being eaten alive by a snake?

Have we become spoiled? Do we expect too much from TV?

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