A Game of Shows at Piedmont College


Contributing Writer

About 10 years ago, the best television you could find was on the main networks. Whether it was the action thriller 24, the horror dramedy “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” or a lighthearted sitcom like “Friends,” you could pretty much find what you needed on one of the four main channels.

At that time, there were only a few cable shows really worth watching. “The Sopranos” comes to mind, as do shows like “Sex and the City.”

Nowadays though, being up to date on the latest cable programming is pretty essential, especially if you’re looking for the best of the best. Just think of some of this decade’s most popular shows: “Game of Thrones,” “True Blood,” and “Dexter.” All of those programs originated on the more exclusive cable networks, like HBO and Showtime.

Unfortunately, Piedmont hinders us from truly getting a full entertainment experience by choosing the wrong cable package. Right now, we get the minimum. People can get their “The Walking Dead” fix on AMC, but they can’t immerse themselves in the political intrigue of HBO’s famous high-fantasy series, “Game of Thrones.”

The higher quality of these series is clear. Whether you’re looking at the great reviews or the combined 67 Emmy nominations for programs on exclusive networks that we don’t have access to such as HBO, Showtime, Sundance, and IFC, it should become apparent that these networks have the most intelligent, thought-provoking shows, comedy and drama of our age, and I think that it’s criminal that we don’t have access to them.

Right now, we have access to programming that is mind-numbing. Shows like “2 Broke Girls” and “Two and a Half Men” literally do nothing for us intellectually. The series on these exclusive channels will challenge us mentally, both with their smart dialogue and complex but intriguing plot lines. But in addition to that, they will also serve as great examples of the new standard for our growing mass communications and theatre programs. These shows are what people are wanting, more and more, so it’s only right that those of us planning on trying to enter that career field be aware of what’s good and what just isn’t.

Piracy is a crime, and not a victimless one. But by denying the student body access to this, Piedmont indirectly encourages students to go to whatever means necessary to get what they want. It serves to slow down the Internet exponentially, which we are all already aware is quite a problem here on campus. If less people were illegally downloading “Game of Thrones” because they could just flip to HBO on their TV and watch it, perhaps the people who just wanted to find that last source for their research paper might have an easier time doing it.

In the age of cable TV and Netflix, Piedmont is very clearly behind the times. Step up, Piedmont, and challenge your students. Trust that they want smarter programming; trust that they don’t just want corny sex jokes all the time. Trust that we are as smart as we were when you thought to accept us into this institution. And provide for us what we so desperately crave.