Jul 16 2014
No, TV didn’t just go away or disappear that’s not what I mean by “comeback.” Though, if you really think about it, doesn’t it seem like people talk more and more about television shows than they do about movies? Does that mean that there is a new “Golden Age” of television upon us?
Just this past weekend my family and I celebrated my grandmother’s 89th birthday. (shout out to my grandma!) During our time spent at her favorite restaurant, Red Lobster, we had a great many conversation. One in particular stood out to me and I thought what better way to hash out my thoughts than to make a post about it for the readers of Unreality. My aunt mentioned that she was really getting into the TV show Orange is the New Black* which prompted my wife to immediately jump out of her seat and exclaim, “oh, I love that show!” Well naturally this started an entire conversation about the show and whether or not it was good, what characters were interesting, and who knew what was going to happen next. I made a mental note of how it was interesting that everyone was actively involved in the topic at hand. Consider me surprised, because that meant that everyone at the table (aside from my sweet grandma) had at least seen the show or knew someone who had and knew enough about it to have something to contribute. Mind = blown.
Orange IS the new Black … get it!?
Have you noticed this growing trend? When was the last time a group you sat around and talked with, conversed about a book or a movie and EVERYONE was actually talking about it. It doesn’t count if Jeff is off in the corner drinking his beer and not really chiming in, no I mean EVERYONE. This is what prompted me to question – Is TV Making A Comeback?
If you do some research on the last “Golden Age/Era” of television, it’s argued that it was as far back as 1940 spreading through to 1960. Can any of you even ramble off more than 5 shows from that era that you even know? Nope, neither could I. Now, let’s do a test – ramble off as many shows as you can think of that are currently on or that you’ve enjoyed in the past oh, 20 years in under a minute … ready, set, go!
Here’s my list:
Friends, LOST, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Dexter, Mad Men, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, the Wire, Chuck – ok I’m really not going to type all of them out. Let’s just say that I probably came up with at least 30 shows if not more. I’m sure that you could come up with probably 20 or more easily. The point I’m trying to make here is that we watch A LOT of TV! Is that a bad thing? No. Is it a good thing? Well, in a round about way – yes.
I miss this show and all it’s unanswered questions
Why is it good?
It’s good simply because it puts some of the power back in the consumer’s hands. There for awhile it seemed like the only good shows were on just a few days of the week and only during primetime hours. Go a little further back, the 70’s through 80’s and I’d like to see you make mention of 20 shows that were actually decent enough to even talk about. Ignoring that span, and coming into the 90’s we were given intelligently written comedy shows that seemed to be making some head way but epic shows that made you want to tune in each week were scarce. Our outlets to escape into some other realm were still limited to spending our hard earned cash on cable channels such as HBO or going to the actual movie theater. HBO definitely made some great TV shows, but on a platform that at the time was more than what the average consumer was willing to pay. Movies were a great escape, but they only offered you an escape for a little over 2 hours if you were lucky. Then came the boom of computers, DVRs, and the internet bringing forth the swing of power.
hours upon hours of not deciding what to watch
Power to the People!
With the internet breaking way to new media, the use of television programming and the swing of power seemed imminent. Now, people had another source to try and access the way they entertained themselves at home (or at the office .. ahem) using the world wide web. By the way, it was AFFORDABLE! Streaming services like Netflix and Hulu offered up television programming at a fraction of the cost of say Comcast. (granted you’re having to pay for your internet in order to use those services but it’s still cheaper on average) With a huge platform like the interwebs, people could now talk about movies, music, and TV too! The consumers were given the ability to have a voice and were able to provide feedback on what made a TV show worthwhile. It made it so that a lot more goes into rating television programming than just the average viewings on a weekly basis.
top notch TV from beginning to end
Which brings me to my ultimate point here … we have A LOT of great television shows to choose from! That my friends is pretty awesome! We can actively be selective about what we want to watch, and when we want to watch it. Big name companies like HBO that produce amazing television series have some good competition via the cheaper avenues of Netflix and it’s primary campaign runner – House of Cards. (hah – see what I did there?) Then there are the normal television channels such as the CW, ABC, FOX, CBS, and NBC. Each respectively has produced at least one show worth mentioning and are still pouring out series that are worth our time year after year. Seriously, I could bring up the app I use to keep track of my shows that I’m currently watching or that I’m waiting for the next season to air right now, actually wait – I’ll do that…
32 … !? I’ve got 32 shows I’m keeping track of – that’s just ridiculous. (granted, once I looked I noticed that some are over and I’ve completed the series – but you get my point right?)
Some of those shows include greats like Breaking Bad, True Detective, the Wire, the Sopranos, Game of Thrones, LOST, Legend of Korra, House of Cards, the Big Bang Theory, Arrow and so on. Simply put, I’m impressed. I feel that TV was in a slump there for a while. Not dogging any generation or saying that TV as a whole was awful, but don’t you think that we’re experiencing some kind of comeback? I’ll go ahead and say it…the next “Golden Age” of television is upon us.
Hey guys & gals, my name is Lucas Tetrault and if you like this post or any of the others I’ve done – please feel free to venture over to my Blog and take a gander at some other stuff I write about. I promise I don’t intend to waste your time.
I work as a Creative Director and spend time away from my job with my wife and son, writing for Unreality, and trying to be creative with my own personal projects.
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