Someone here gets Rolling Stone, so courtesy of that person, I have this great quote from Matt Groening:
What’s the most significant way that television has changed since The Simpsons started fourteen seasons ago?
All the networks have a feeling of flailing to me. They’re so desperate to keep the viewers, they’re using all this visual chatter. It’s sort of like a fancy restaurant where everyone is talking louder because everyone’s talking louder, and you still can’t hear. This is what TV is like, with the thing running across the botom and the little bug in the corner and the logo. What it does is disengages the viewer. I’ve talked to networks aout how the promos for their shows are so self-hating, it’s obvious that the people making the shows hate the shows. Shows come along that are witty and carefully made and blow people’s minds like The Sopranos and then you realize that they can be done.
Sounds about right to me.