Mr. Adventure wrote:
I think the frame of reference has changed. I grew up in the 70s and most of what I watched in reruns and so on was culled mostly from the 50s to 70s, occasionally dipping into the 40s or 30s. Extrapolating, that means a kid today is going to see programming from the 90s or later, occasionnally dipping into the 80s or 70s. Earlier stuff is going to be from the stone age.
And with all that material produced today plus DVD/Netflix and video games, internet, etc. they might not even need to go back that far. It's probably harder to appreciate black and white stuff when there's maybe four channels on TV to even see it.
Yep, exactly. It's the frame of reference that has shifted. That's not to say that we can't enjoy them, but that someone who hasn't had much exposure to it to begin with, that it's more effort, especially when they're not familiar with cultural references that aren't relevant to them. Personally, that doesn't mean I don't enjoy them, but that it just takes more effort to get into them. There are some that are easy to get, like It's A Wonderful Life, because it's a timeless message not shrouded in culture.
Another example is American Graffiti. Brilliant movie in its own right, and my Dad loves watching it whenever he can, but personally it's a movie I find myself hard to get into precisely because it's not culturally relevant to me. I think it's a movie that means more to someone who's lived through the era. Personally though, I don't get much out of it.