Discovery has canceled Dirty Jobs. This feels like the end of an era. I’ve been watching Dirty Jobs for years. I even have it in my instant queue on Netflix, so I can watch it whenever I need a dose of Mike Rowe. It’s just a good damned show. Funny, snarky, witty, filthy…oh, and that’s just the host.
I’m going to miss it, I’ll be frank. I’m not amused with this decision. I feel as if quality, educational television shows are on the down-and-out and idiotic, mindless “reality” shows are rising up to take over humanity. It’s a little maddening, I have to admit.
I used to love the Discovery Channel. I used to watch it as a kid for the nature shows. I was one of those nerdy kids who would rather watch a long-winded BBC documentary on the live cycle of the giant squid than Saturday morning cartoons. If I ever have spawn of my own, I hope they will would choose History’s Mysteries over the Jersey Shore any day.
But the way television is currently going, they may not get that choice. Whatever Discovery’s reason for canceling Dirty Jobs, I hope they don’t replace it with something…stupid. No no, that’s mean. “Non-educational” is what they prefer to be called. But I guess “non-educational” is in the eye of the beholder. I took a psychology class last semester in which the professor (a really amazing guy with a lot of interesting opinions on things) routinely bashed Pawn Stars on the History channel. I have to admit, I love Pawn Stars. I think it has a nice balanced mix of silly reality antics (oh Chumlee…) and history education material.
But Pawn Stars is almost alone in its league, surrounded instead by shows like American Chopper, which has no educational value at all. It’s just a show about building motor cycles and fighting with your family. Why does this crap get on television? If I want to watch a dysfunctional family destroy each other, I’ll watch the Simpsons of Family Guy. Talking dogs trump motorcycles any day of the week.
I guess I’m getting a little crotchety in my old age. Used to be I could find educational documentaries on channels like Discovery, History, and Animal Planet. Now it’s all over-acting, reality bullflop. The kind of crap that rots your brain instead of feeding it. The kind of television I would expect from ABC Family (which, in my opinion, turns out more crap than a pig factory) or Fox network. Not channels like Discovery, which I had long ago associated with nature documentaries narrated by soothing English-accented men of high status.
I want to be able to turn on the television and find something new. I want to learn something. Isn’t that the definition of “discovery”?
Anyway. Farewell Dirty Jobs. I thought you were awesome. And you can be sure I’ll follow Mr. Rowe along to whatever show he happens to grace us with next.