The broader field has pushed both ends to greater extremes. The worst TV is worse than it has ever been, and the best is better.
Unfortunately, the nature of the current market and its tiered structure means that the worst shows are often the most widely available, and they are so bad that they skew the overall perception.
The 'worst TV' was worse 'back then' too:
Queen For A Day
The Adventures of Paddy the Pelican
Amos & Andy
Bucky and Pepito
Pow Wow the Indian Boy
Mighty Mister Titan
Ramar of The Jungle
The Baileys of Balboa
My Mother the Car
Calvin and the Colonel
The Flying Nun
The Second Hundred Years
Batman (1966 TV series)
The Ugliest Girl in Town
The Pruitts of Southampton
Greg Cox wrote:
It works both ways. On the one hand, you have the curmudgeons who insist that everything was better in the good old days, dammit, and anything new and modern is crap, especially if all those stupid young people like it.
But, on the other hand, you have the callow kids who insist that anything filmed before they came of age is hopelessly "cheesy" and lame. And black-and-white . . . forget about it!
Some days I'm convinced that half the battles on the Internet are generational in origin . . . and it can be honestly hard to tell which side is most annoying.
Both are, but the former is even more annoying than the latter, because at least the latter have the knowledge of great TV of the present and can watch them. The former just wants to stay stuck in the past, because many of them have no idea how to exist in the present or deal with the future, and so hate any new original movie/TV show/comic book while detesting any remakes or continuations of older material and franchises. A lot of them deserve to be sent back in time, to be quite frank, except for the fact that they wouldn't survive one hour before wanting what exists here in the present.