11.6.06

PLEASE stop whining

Back in the Good Old Days (aka "my youth"), the local PBS station would have an Annual Pledge Break: two weeks in the year when they would put on 'special' programming and go on and on about how they needed member support. My parents always gave.

When I started out in NYC, there were three(!!!) PBS stations, and they would all whine at the same time. I gave to the one I watched most.

Sometime in the past 10-ish years, Whine Week went from a once-a-year "treat" to an every couple of months idiocy. I don't give any more. Partly it's the whining and the rescheduling of the one or two shows I do watch. Partly it's the loss of Masterpiece Theatre on Sunday, Mystery on Thursday, and good Britcoms on Friday (I'm sorry, Hyacinth Bucket is not funny - bring back Penelope Keith!). Partly it's because I already do pay, when I pay my monthly cable bill. And partly it's because they just won't shut up, no matter how often I pay.

(and don't get me started on the time that the station on Long Island censored a scene from Pippin and denied selling my name to a mailing list!)

My advice to PBS? Whine once a year, make it truly special programming when you do, and then shut up. You might find that you get more money that way.

Tags: , ,

1 comment:

camillofan said...

Yes, why is it that PBS stations trot out the worst stuff for pledge week? Too much self-help, too many embarrassingly gimmicky (10 Tenors?) or lowest-common-denominator (Michael Ball?) concerts... why not more of the stuff I actually watch PBS for?

Not that I'm as faithful a viewer as I once was. The kids' programming, though my 4-year-old is content to watch it, is really nothing special; and I'm with you all the way on Hyacinth, lazy.