Sunday, September 03, 2006

(OH)MY(GOD) NETWORK

In two days, on September 5th, MyNetwork TV debuts across the United States.

And Alan Pergament of the Buffalo News is quite apoplectic about it. He refers to this network as Ohmygod Network TV.

MyNetwork TV, created to fill the void left when countless abandoned former UPN and WB affiliates were left high and dry by the merger, is going to serve up a bunch of English-language "telenovelas" for the American viewing public. They are billing it as original programming, five nights a week. No repeats, no reruns---- unlike the dying UPN and WB Networks which have been showing repeat after repeat for the past several weeks. MyNetwork is able to serve up these prime-time soapsdirt-cheap because they acquired the scripts from these telenovela productions shown in Latin America. They hired a bunch of translators to translate these scripts into English. Nice way to save money, you don't have to hire any writers! You can outsource the writing staff overseas! Oh my God is right.

The two prime-time shows this network is serving up look like pieces of junk. One show is called Desire, and the second one is Fashion House, starring two aging sexpots: Bo Derek and Morgan Fairchild. So these stars will be reciting their made-in-Mexico lines, in English.

Now granted, these two women are still smoking hot for their age. But heck, this show looks like a throwback to the 1980s. This show would fit in with Dynasty and Dallas. I wouldn't be surprised if this network attempts to serve up some shows featuring Linda Evans and Joan Collins if this is what they have up their sleeve, these '80s chicks all the time. Maybe they'll get Donna Mills and Joan Van Ark while they're at it.

I gotta say, this doesn't sound good. I've seen plenty of Latin American TV streamed over the Internet. I've tuned in to stations from places like Mexico and Venezuela, countries that show lots of telenovelas on TV. I gotta say it, Mexican TV is among the worst in the world. I know they have a thriving TV industry down there and all that, and they produce all this programming that's shown all over the Spanish-language world. I know that Televisa and Azteca Television export a ton of shows. But it's all these lousy telenovelas! And when they don't show these glorified soap operas they serve up trash talk shows and lots of infomercials! Maybe they'll show a wrestling match or a soccer game, if you're lucky. Mexican TV is JUNK.

So tune in to MyNetwork TV and get a taste of what it's like for these poor TV viewers in Mexico. Really, you have got to feel sorry for them. No wonder so many of them are trying to cross the border and get out of there: so they can watch the better TV in the USA! Or should I say: the "supposedly" better TV in the USA. (South American TV is a lot better, at least they put in an effort to show American sitcoms or dramas occasionally. But even these countries have downmarket tastes, these places made Baywatch a hit.)

These MyNetwork offerings are not the only shows imported from Latin America.That new ABC show Ugly Betty, created by Salma Hayek, got its start in Latin America, too. So that's yet another import coming to an American TV screen near you. Is this the future for TV in the United States?! You outsource your TV writing to foreign countries and get all your big ideas from the Latin Americans and the Europeans?! In fact, I read that the only reason MyNetwork TV went the telenovela route was because they weren't able to go the reality-show route. It figures-- these guys were looking to go cheap all along.What a waste of airspace this network is. Good luck getting viewers to watch, they're all going to tune in to USA and TNT!

You'd expect this sort of effort from countries like Mexico, or Venezuela or Italy or the Netherlands or some country like that. These countries are notorious for churning out telenovelas, crappy game shows and reality-shows, or in the case of Italy garish variety shows. But come on. This is supposed to be the United States of America, the home of Hollywood! This place has a real entertainment industry! It's not as if there's no home-grown talent to turn to! What's next, are they going to rehash shows from South Korea?!

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