The beauty of technology is it allows for levels of specialization never before seen. For example, on the way to work I listened to a ‘program’ about boardgames. Not just any boardgames, but wargames, in particular. That’s right, there are a couple of guys that do a very nice podcast about wargames, and I like to listen to it.
This program would never make it on regular radio, but with the broad distribution models now available to anybody with a mic and connection, we’re seeing specialization like never before.
That being said, it’s funny when you see a program about somebody else’s interest, when you have none. Today I took my son out to eat, and they had Animal Planet playing in the background. I don’t know what program it was, but animal planet is an example of specialization on TV. You’d never see these programs on mainstream television, but on a cable network that doesn’t need to attract a large number of viewers, they get away with it.
This particular program was about…wait, let me present it like they presented it.
This is a serious situation! We have a black wolf, – an old black wolf – with matted hair. This matted hair can lead to a life threatening skin condition! We must hunt her down (with a tranquilizer dart), bring her back to the office, and give her a haircut! It’s so intense! If we give her too high of a tranquilizer dose SHE MIGHT DIE! But if we don’t give her enough, SHE MIGHT WAKE UP ON THE BARBER’S TABLE AND MAUL US! Think of the tension! Think of the anxiety!
In the end, they couldn’t get the dose right, they decided the wolf had suffered some pretty severe stress, and so they trashed the idea. If I was writing the tagline in the TV guide, it would go something like this.
Vets think about giving a wolf a haircut, then change their minds.
To me, this isn’t riveting television in any stretch of the imagination. But to others…it’s programming at it’s best. The people who watch and enjoy this will also likely enjoy Greatest American Dog, which is exactly like American Idol, but you’re voting on who has the nicest dog.
I’ll stick to my podcasts, thank you.