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4 Reasons Why Wired’s Defense of Cable Bundling is Wrong

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1. It doesn’t meet the public’s needs. A lot of the cable cutters are leaving because cable’s programming has become redundant and doesn’t meet their needs. PBS has done a whole ad campaign bouncing off it. Cable is now high end trash, (It’s not porn, it’s HBO) and low end trash (500 imitators of Pawn Stars.)

When individuals have to subsidize a channel, there’s some incentive to give them what they want. Instead cable is now more of a ghetto than free TV used to be aiming square at a mass audience.

2. It advantages connected companies and encourages constant rebranding because bundling fees is a business model. There’s nothing equitable about that. Eliminating bundling would eliminate a lot of spam and low quality channels. It would have prevented things like the Current TV sale which should never have even been a thing. Instead bundling fees plus connections create a market in an otherwise worthless product that no one watches.

3. If channels had to survive on their own, cable would have a brighter future. Cable’s biggest challenge now is its image. It doesn’t speak to younger audiences who would rather go with Netflix or Hulu. Bundling fees maintain inertia. They make it easier to go on pursuing the same bad business model while destroying the industry ecosystem.

4. Bundling has no future. Yes, Hulu and Netflix still have their package deals, but they can get away with it because of overall content quality. Basic cable doesn’t have overall content quality. It’s an old business model and an old broadcast model tethered to prices that people no longer want to pay. The difference is perception, but it’s a big difference.

Top 10 fan rejected TV Guide suggestions for ‘fixing Star Trek’

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This week’s issue of TV Guide featured a selection of readers’ suggestions for fixing Star Trek. Unfortunately some suggestions were deemed too controversial ‘out of the box’ and were censored by the editors of TV Guide.

John Mansur: Everybody loves monkeys. Every time I watch an episode of Star Trek I think of how much better it would be with monkeys in it. For instance in The Crossing instead of the Enterprise crew being possessed by wisp aliens, they should have been possesed by monkeys. It would have made the episode like twice as good.

Andrew Lewiston: There’s one thing and only thing that can save Star Trek. Captain Sulu. Paramount had its chance to approve the Excelsior series and they failed. But it’s still not too late. Assuming that Sulu in the original series was actually much older than he looked, he could still be alive during the current series as an infant. A  super-intelligent infant who takes over as Captain of the Enterprise when Archer dies in a freak dog decontamination accident.

Jean Tyler: Star Trek originally used to be about tolerance and embracing diversity but the refusal to have a gay character on 5 Star Trek series contradicts that entire image. To compensate Star Trek must now make 5 of Enterprise’s cast of characters gay immediately.

Samantha Limon: The reason Star Trek isn’t as popular as it used to be is because during the Original Series there were only three networks and now there are six. Tthe only answer is for Star Trek fans to band together and destroy FOX, UPN and the WB by any means necessary.

Warren Mitchell: With all the conflicts and hatreds in the world today, what Star Trek needs to do is teach tolerance by bringing back the aliens who were half white on one side of their faces and half black on the other. I know before that episode I used to hate people who were half black on one side of their faces and half white on the other but after that episode, I didn’t hate them nearly as much anymore.

Terrence Bach: Star Trek needs to be more realistic. Every time somebody dies on Star Trek it always looks so fake. I think that when somebody dies on Star Trek, they should kill him for real. I bet that would get great ratings.

Dana Weiner: Star Trek’s greatest flaw has been a fear of addressing religion. DS9 tried to change that but it didn’t do nearly enough. I think the Star Trek crews should all find different religions and address world events by constantly arguing and fighting to the death over which religion is better. Eventually when one religion wins out they could get a new mission of going around the galaxy and forcing other people to join their religion.

Michael Wilson: Four words. Bring back Gene Roddenberry. I know he’s dead but isn’t that what Ouija boards are for? He can rap once if he wants Enterprise to pursue more socially relevant episodes and rap twice if he wants the entire cast to wear miniskirts.

Rick Engels: The producers have spent too much time placing profits before quality. They need to forget profits entirely. Star Trek should be done on a non-profit basis on PBS.

Harold Mosley: It’s become clear on reading these suggestions that fans know how to run Star Trek better than its producers do. So why not have a Star Trek series with a mostly gay cast headed by Captain Sulu wearing mini-skirts while constantly fighting off monkeys on PBS with Gene Roddenberry communicating from the spirit world as its
executive producer?

How much worse could it be anyway?

Star Trek Enterprise episode review – Fusion

Summary: Enterprise spends time in a nebula, Archer realizes he hates all Vulcans and T’Pol gets mind-date-raped. The FX department wastes some gorgeous FX shots on a profoundly mediocre episode.

star trek enterprise fusionWhen ‘Unexpected’ first aired it seemed as if it might reign as the supreme and unchallenged ‘Spock’s Brain’ episode of Enterprise and ‘Fusion’ presents no real challenge to it. That’s mainly because, where ‘Unexpected’ was gleefully awful, ‘Fusion’ is just a mediocre reworking of TNG Troi episodes such as “The Price” right down to the haunting visions, the mysterious evil man and some gratuitous bed scenes. It’s dreary and predictable, especially when run at Enterprise’s molasses pace.

Enterprise has traditionally eschewed B plots and it is a sign of how little content Fusion actually has, that it needs a B-plot to keep the episode moving along and fill out the time. Possibly in an attempt to distract the audience from how predictable and trite the A story was, the writers chose an even more predicable and trite B story featuring ‘the son making peace with his dying father.’ One has to wonder how many TV cliches Berman and Braga had to sort through to find one of the hoariest cliches out there and execute it in the most cliched way possible. Is there even a single viewer out there who didn’t instantly know that Trip would attempt to bond with the obese Vulcan by telling him about some story from his own past or that at the end said obese Vulcan would have made the call? This goes beyond predictable and unoriginal and manages to achieve something like trite greatness.

The premise for ‘Fusion’ has Enterprise encountering an alien ship with technical difficulties resulting in some cultural exchange. It’s another plot that Enterprise might want to give a rest since it’s already been used in far too many episodes including the last episode, Shuttlepod One. The actual execution is something like a Vulcan version of TOS’s ‘The Way to Eden’ right down to one of the crew being the son of a high ranking ambassador. In fact at any moment you expect T’Pol to get out her lute while they start singing “Stiff man putting my mind in jail \ Judge bangs the gavel and says No bail \ So I’ll lick his hand and wag my tail.” Except it’s not actually bad enough to be funny or to inspire any emotion other than boredom and curiosity as to whether there might be something more exciting on PBS’s schedule tonight.

The T’Pol portion of the episode plays even more slowly if anything. The Vulcan has no chemistry whatsoever with T’Pol and the entire routine is completely predictably because TNG played it out with Troi over and over again. If Berman were to actually watch a few episodes of his own series, he might notice that the theme of substituting mental invasion for sexual invasion has been done to death on Star Trek and by done to death, I mean that reruns of these episodes could be used to solve the rat problems of several major urban centers.

Indeed the closest thing to a strength that ‘Fusion’ displays is that Archer actually seems like a strong character here and his final scene with T’Pol is one of those admissions that could spur some growth for his character. Indeed Fusion’s only good moments are, ironically enough, contained in its opening teaser and feature Archer as well. Some gorgeous FX shots wasted on what is essentially a bottle show made using recycled TNG scripts, which all in all seems like a rather futile attempt to save money.

Next week: T’Pol is haunted by her dead grandmother’s spectral lover. After all if B&B are going to recycle bad TNG episodes, Sub Rosa is undeniably the granddaddy of bad TNG episodes. (or Repeat Hell for another month.)

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