I've been a well-known crab over on rec.arts.sf.fandom and have been known to tire people out over my lack of tact/tone in expressing alienation. (For instance, I seem to have a disproportionate sense of disappointment with the cleverest, funniest, most skillfully deployed media productions that manage to materialize on American TV screens. I grew up internalizing art and searching for stuff that might serve as emotional/political extensions of my own and my generation's ethical and aesthetic aspirations.) You wouldn't get an argument from me that, for instance BTVS, South Park, and The Daily Show were/are cutting-edge TV. But I have an unrelenting internal voice that protests:
The rainbow has a beard!
BTVS writers struck me as preferring to stack their scripts, too often, to play games with viewer emotions -- despite episodes that I'll admit are brilliant, and a lot of other clever ones. South Park is usually incisively funny, but occasionally insultingly ugly and unfair in its author-selected attacks. We praise Jon Stewart's devastatingly candid Daily Show commentary on George Bush and his deadpan deconstructions of media hypocrisy. But we skip over the chummy, almost sycophantic treatment he's given to interview guests like neocon John Podhoretz. (I can't google up the transcript for that one, on 2/24/04, yet; but I'm willing to transcribe some of it from VHS, if someone asks.)
I'm, of course, answerable to charges that I'm Just Getting Old -- or what do I want, anyway, egg in my beer?