Have we witnessed the death of intelligent TV?

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Ryva Brall, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    This.

    There's a lot of smarter television out there, but it's all over the place. You have to actively search for it rather than it show up on your favorite prime time network station.
     
  2. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Is television really dumb? Absolutely.

    Is this a change from before? Absolutely not. There has never been an era where network TV has been intelligent. Have you seen Nick at Nite? We romanticize old television because we weren't alive then and we've only seen the standout exceptions like Twilight Zone.

    And premium channel TV shows are way more intelligent than any other era of television.

    It is a shame though that learning-oriented channels are getting desperate enough for ratings to dumb themselves down.

    And yeah, reality shows have writers. They don't script the characters, but they script the situations.

    You know how they all have the disclaimer "Portions of the show not affecting the outcome have been edited"? Yeah. Even before The Apprentice turned into a celebrity crazyfest, Trump discussed his firings with the producers.
     
  3. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    TV has far more interesting and intelligent shows in the last 10 or so years than it ever did. There were decades where it was all formulaic episodes of crap. Remember when Hill Street Blues was some kind of pinnacle of television?

    I suppose there must be more guff too, but I don't have a working tv connection so I miss all that and just watch the good stuff.
     
  4. Gil T.Azell

    Gil T.Azell Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That happen when they approved the first reality show, and was confirmed when Jersey Shore went on the air.
     
  5. jayceee

    jayceee Commander Red Shirt

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    What was the first reality show, as we have known it?

    (The first "reality show" I watched was COPS, back in the late 1980's).
     
  6. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The Sopranos: Cancelled a decade ago.
    The Wire: Cancelled a decade ago.
    Enlightened: Cancelled 5 minutes ago.
    Girls: Self Indulgent.
    Justified: Meh?
    The Shield: Cancelled a decade ago.
     
  7. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Sepinwall's article, strictly speaking, mostly explains that there is just too much for a TV critic to keep up with. He specifically says that "first tier" shows are still relatively small in number. The common phenonomenon of a show getting better as the format and characters gel over a season (or more,) is mentioned.

    But one morething he mentions is the ever increasing numbers of serials, which require continuous viewing. The thing is, he doesn't seem to understand serialization, either in artistic or in commercial terms. His book, The Revolution Was Televised, repeatedly trails off lamely in its discussions of failed serials.
     
  8. Venardhi

    Venardhi Vice Admiral Admiral

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    A show finishing its run and being cancelled are entirely different. Deadwood was cancelled, Sopranos simply finished.
     
  9. PsychoPere

    PsychoPere Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Exactly. AMC, FX, and HBO are three good places to start. Showtime's Homeland gets quite a lot of critical love as well*, and even History has jumped into quality production with The Vikings. And, of course, there are always some imports such as Sherlock and Luther that are well-worth people's time.

    (* I don't have Showtime, so I haven't seen it yet.)
     
  10. Avon

    Avon Commodore Commodore

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    You sound like you all need BBC4.
     
  11. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I wouldn't be too sure of that. I've long believed that there is literally no such thing as true "reality" TV. It's as scripted, pre-planned and rigged as any scripted show. How could it not be? All TV is concerned with ratings, and reality doesn't always deliver ratings. So reality TV must, logically, be rigged.

    The only true reality shows are game shows, sports broadcasts (well, ones that aren't pro wrestling anyway) and shows like Cops and Disorderly Conduct, which literally just put video cameras in police cars which follow the officers around. That's the only way there can be actual reality TV that isn't scripted and pre-written.
     
  12. the G-man

    the G-man Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think his point was that most of the shows cited above to "prove" current TV is more intelligent than ever are either no longer in production or, in the case of "Girls" wildly overrated.

    Better examples might have been: Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Venture Brothers, Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, Homeland, Southland and Sherlock
     
  13. the G-man

    the G-man Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    And even some of those can be selectively edited and/or narrated.
     
  14. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Well, yeah, but at least they're not completely written in advance.

    Again, how could "reality TV" NOT be prewritten in this way? They have to deliver ratings like any other show does. If reality doesn't deliver ratings, how can they air it? Think about it.
     
  15. not

    not Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Not only is it pre-written; they also do take after take to make sure they get the pre-scripted shot.
     
  16. not

    not Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Game shows are the 'exception to the rule'; they are strictly controlled because of past scandals.
     
  17. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And yet, so banal.
     
  18. not

    not Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Truthfully, it is what sells; I think the T&A shots are damaging to girls/women but it is where we are as a society
     
  19. jayceee

    jayceee Commander Red Shirt

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    Also the news. Can't get more "reality" than the news.
     
  20. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Bingo.

    And no, this is not a new thing by any stretch of the imagination. It's been going on for ten or twelve years now.
     

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