While this doesn't really relate to exactly what trakt does, I felt I needed to write it somewhere. TV shows that I, and I'm betting most of us, watch are often tune in and tune out shows. If any evidence is required of that.. let's just go look at my trakt profile — oh, the shame... Little brain power is required to process who is dating who, who cheated on who, or what government agency is conspiring to kill Kiefer Sutherland this season. Rarely does TV require more.
I just watched The Newsroom. I'm as big a fan as you can be of Aaron Sorkin, so know that I am extremely biased going into this. I loved every minute of this show. I won't recap the first episode, but only say that if you haven't watched it yet, find some way to as soon as you can. Youtube has the first full episode here.
A main theme of the show is that we, as Americans, are spoken down to. That in order to gain mass appeal with a US audience, you have to dumb down the intelligence and wit of the writing. Hopefully I'm not alone in saying that we're not and that I, for one, can not get enough. I was so stoked (I grew up in southern California.. lay off) on the show, that I immediately watched it again. It was just that good.
My take away from this show, and something I will repeat to anyone will listen, is this. We need more! There have to be more writers out there trying to create awesome shows that are getting elbowed out by Sister Wives, yet another reality show about people singing... hell, reality TV in general is kind of a travesty.
I know that I am posting here with a complaint and no solution. It is definitely a hard problem to solve, otherwise someone would have done it by now. It is easy for me to say "Give me better TV!!", which translates to risk for broadcast networks. Risk of losing money, etc, etc. For the time being though, I can say that there is definitely a market out there for intelligence in television and that maybe trakt can show that we just consume it differently than can be understood by Nielsen ratings.
Side note: I'm not a huge fan that The Newsroom landed on a premium access channel where far less people are going to be able to see it. I believe the writers and producers of the show feel the same, as evident from the content in some of Sorkin's previous shows. That said, with the failing of past shows of equitable writing levels on broadcast networks, it makes sense. The show has a much larger chance of success because of it, and that is a definite silver lining.