Sunday, July 5, 2009

It's Been Done Before

While on the phone with my friend today, I apologized for zoning out a couple of times due to the car wreck known as reality TV on in the living room. An appropriate expression, the array of evening programming is hard to look away from. As I get my daily exercise in for the day by flicking through channels I find myself sifting through cameramen documenting celebrities' ludicrous lives. A small, antiquitous group of classic syndicated series can be found as fillers among the monotony of exaggerated existence.

Where did the creativity go.

As a cable consumer I am extremely dissatisfied at the state of televised programming. Often my friends and I reminisce on the "greats" of the nineties. Cartoons and all. These days one has to become an aggressive TV watcher, seeking out the gems of years past. Where are the Seinfelds? The Fresh Princes, where are my Friends? I, like many others, am experiencing sitcom withdrawal. Where are the iconic characters to be celebrated and commended for the joy their complicated roles brought to our hearts? Here, I'd like to reference Steve Urkel of Family Matters, and Michelle from Full House. Though I'm leaving tons of people out, I'd like to honorably mention The Cosby Show, Saved By the Bell, I Love Lucy, and Martin. These shows were once and still are a part of our social fabric. These were characters you could relate to, connect with others about in conversation, and watch them grow while establishing a committed, weekly relationship, while marveling at how this episode is somehow better than the last, thanks to essentially, brilliant writers.

Where did the great writers go?

The characters of today's television are real people. Don't get me wrong. I can't look away from reality TV either. I ashamed to say it, but it's true. I also understand that reality sells, and gets viewers like wildfire. Viewers new and old are like moths to a flame, with the subjects of the shows being reliable, weekly car wrecks. I'm used to a different kind of reliability for my 7:00-8:00p.m. slot. The inflated, popularized documentary-style happenings in one person's world that we're subject to are nothing compared to the constancy that nineties series provided for people across the nation.

Who's to blame here, for the great void? Need our writers be more creative? Or is the market too saturated for a promising sitcom to reap sustenance? Weigh in.

1 comment:

  1. The solution is to turn off the TV and go for a run! But anyways
    I think just the fact of growing up watching a certain show makes you feel very attached to it and then when it stops airing, you feel like nothing can take it's place. You're not going to find another "Friends" or "Saved By The Bell", because the successors (e.g. "Joey" and "Saved By The Bell2" never meet expectations so writers might feel like they have to explore new territory (read:crappy reality shows) rather than try and fail to recreate a family favorite from the past.

    Also I personally don't there it is a problem with losing great writers. I think "The Office" is one of the funniest shows I've watched.

    I think the main issue is that shows nowadays are getting more focused. For example, look at Family Matters from back in the day. Yo I miss that show because it was totally awesome and I think Eddie was the one who made me start my hot black guy fetish. But anyway I was saying that Family Matters had a lot of things going for it-it had a lot of components: it was funny, insighftul, dramatic at times, taught life lessons to children, was entertaining for adults, had a "special thing" (Urkel's 'Did I do that?') and even had decent looking actors/actresses (Laura was a hottie too). Somehow that combination made it so successful and everyone loved it. Nowadays, it seems like shows have only one or at most two of those components, which is why they seem shallow and not as satisfying to you. A lot of reality shows for example ONLY have the attractive actors component (like i guess Tila Tequila, but she isn't even that hot man!), or the dramatic component (them whiny beeyotches on My Super Sweet 16). and I'd say The Office only has the funny component. To add more components to a show, you have to pay more money for more writers and i think since shows have realized they can be pretty successful only having a couple components, why spend the extra money? So that is just my opinion on why tv shows seem like they aren't all that great to you these days. ok i am going to end my essay now lol and finish talking to you on aim!!! peace out devo. PS you win at being a writer