Monday, June 25, 2012

Whatever happened to three thumbs down?

I used to love one facet of my old directv system: you could rate what you watched. With the old remote, you had the ability to press the thumbs-up or thumbs-down buttons to let shows know exactly how you felt about them. I was very happy with this set-up.

I used to give every show three thumbs down, with extremely rare exceptions. It was so satisfying to stab that thumbs-down button for shows about Jeebus or fat people or "reality stars". It felt wonderful -- and productive.

But on the new directv remotes, the rating buttons have disappeared. I wonder if it's because of people like me. I actually used this feedback mechanism to tell the TV powers-that-be that I hated just about everything they offered. TV is a wasteland -- and it doesn't have to be. That's the sad thing.

Maybe we thumbs-downers collapsed the system. After all, companies were interested in seeing how their shows were faring with viewers. Maybe they didn't like the information this rating system sent their way. I suspect I wasn't alone in my mission to alert them to the horrid quality of their shows. So what did they do in response to all those thumbs-down? They didn't fix the shows. That would have been too sensible. No, they just canceled the ability to rate the shows. Problem gone, sorta.

Way to go, TV producers. And the cascade of TV poop marches on. This is quite a country we've got here.