The average viewer would probably say that the purpose is to entertain us. The networks would say that the purpose is to sell advertising, while the advertisers would say that the purpose is to sell us their products. A political cynic would say that the purpose is to pacify the masses while the evil, shadowy forces of government and big business go about their agenda of ruling the world.
On a good day, a particularly disciplined viewer might trumpet a different purpose, a far more noble purpose, one which belies the nickname "the idiot box." These wide-eyed optimists will say that the purpose of a television is to learn. That's it. To learn knowledge, for the sweet sake of knowing it.
And so today we will honor the educational, informational component of television programming. The selections below can instruct us on everything from weather systems to business models to cars to beauty pageants to robots.
Readers of The Hulu Review and the general public can vote on their pick in the comments section of this post. The total audience vote will have the weight of one panel member. In addition, the top vote-getter will automatically advance to the next round.
Here are the 35 eligible shows: A shortened list of proposed nominees will be posted next week.
VOTE IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW
Big Ideas for a Small Planet
Caught on Tape
Crime and Punishment
Dog and Pony
The Good Fight
Historic Campaign Ads
Live From Abbey Road
Making a Scene
Meet the Presidents
Mojo's The Circuit
Money for Breakfast: Business Rivals
National Geographic Channel
National Geographic News
Scientific American Frontiers