Gotta ask myself why I keep watching TV.
There are three reasons why I am not watching anything and you may add if you want to.
1. Except O Channel and Metro, all TV stations’ darling is gossip shows, successfully popularized under the name infotainment (again, I don’t know what is so informing and entertaining about knowing other people’s private business) and they behave that they are responsible to let you know why those celebrities get married and divorced, what time they have breakfast, etc. Trans TV feels it has moral obligation to update us with gossips and that is why it runs Insert Pagi, Insert (sometime at twelve), and Insert Sore, everyday.
I think the TVs know that you are not going to be more loaded and readier for life just because you are informed that Julia Perez got her period this morning but commercials have always been haplessly lured with these showings. All the defense we have got from them is this excuse “What we are doing here is to reflect what the people want”.
Before I go with Number 2, let’s picture ourselves with the common situations in those gossip shows: A mom just learned her son died in a motorcycle accident, one father is radiantly all smiles for his first baby, and parents are devastated to learn that their daughter got jailed because of drugs. When any of those situations is plainly black or white, what you will almost always hear from them is this question: “BAGAIMANA PERASAAN BAPAK/IBU SEKARANG?”.
You couldn’t help asking yourself how these media guys they live to believe they have been responsible for our improved intelligence.
2. Shows like American Idol mediocre wannabees on Indosiar and TPI run from 4 or 5 P.M and finish at 1 A.M and the programs encourage anyone to support contestants by texting KETIK REG bla bla bla. The impact has been devastating; they borrowed money (to loan sharks) and sold everything they had to smoothen their road to fame and the failed guys, most of them, have to live on the brink of survival to repay their debts. KOMPAS reported they end up being a pariah in Jakarta and do any manual job or anything to survive and pay off what they borrowed. TVs know this but they have never devised a mechanism that allows one vote from one number, let alone openly and constantly reminded participants and viewers they must not jump into crazy texting. But again, with one text deducts your phone credit Rp. 2,200 (it is fourteen times more expensive than the normal rate Rp 99), they are quite on the impact as they benefit from it. Tabloid PULSA once reports this premium texting is a business generating more than one trillion Rupiah in 2007.
3. So called mega sinetrons (what is so ‘mega’ about them anyway?) portray shows to us like, among the impossible others: SMP students acting and getting dressed like street prostitutes and the ever popular depictions of people of the mainstream religion’s superiority over the others and at the same time those people are being disadvantaged. TVs know all this and when they defend the viewings reflect what happens in our society, - that our SMP students are prostitutes and that mainstream Moslems suffer from non other non Moslems -, then they have done a very god job convincing advertisers many will surely watch the sinetrons. Here, nothing excites people more than being reminded that their God is better than those other Gods and knowing their religion is being sidelined by another.
You can not complain. Because when you do, they would laugh and say it is just a fiction put on TV and forget what they just maintain that what they are doing is to reflect the society.