Old TV vs. New TV Old TV vs. New TV
We live in the "Golden Age of TV". But is there something we miss from the past? What aspects improved, what became worse? Old TV vs. New TV

The medium TV has been constantly changing since its inception and this change has been significantly accelerated in the last two decades. Things we never dreamed of are now possible: TV-series have now big budgets and movie stars as cast members, we can stream content on demand and are less dependent on the TV program and we can ogle the Kardashians 24/7.

Are there any downsides to the “Golden Era of TV”? What’s better/worse now, what do we (not) miss from the olde times of TV?

A bunch of Supernaughts columnists gathered to give us their perspective on “Old TV vs. New TV”.


Stalkeye: TV-entertainment, all grown up

I really don’t miss the old methods of television programming mostly because of censorship . Because of the FCC’s tight grip on what is considered “viewable” by the organization’s standards. Although certain risk takers like All in the Family had exercised liberties of what may be looked upon as taboo subject matter, shows such as these were few and far between. Even as a kid I felt that the lack of profane language or graphic violence on network Television were too unrealistic depending  on the situation or scenario. Cable networks like HBO and Showtime defined the new standard on unrestricted programming.

So fast forward today where we have Cable Networks such as  FX (which thanks to their groundbreaking series The Shield, has raised the bar via uncensored adult content. ) and soon after  AMC that deliver a welcomed alternative from the  sanitized major four networks.

shield

Of course the worst thing I would say about today’s television  is those damned reality-based shows that have contestants coming of like narcissistic crybabies.  What’s worse is one with an ounce of intelligence  can tell that the shit is often scripted. But thanks to cord-cutting streaming services such as Hulu we now have the choice to watch television shows on our schedule.

Now that’s what I call, convenience!

Stalkeye is columnist at the Supernaughts


IAB: What I Don’t Miss From Old TV

The episodic nature. I know, I know…”but IAB – isn’t ALL television episodic?”. Allow me to clarify; what I’m meaning is the way the Status Quo was always restored by the end of the weekly episode. You knew, that Michael Knight was always gonna survive all that was thrown at him – usually by some new weekly addition to K.I.T.T’s systems. You knew that MacGyver was always gonna survive through whatever tight spot he had by some magnificent concoction from simple household items. And you KNEW, that the crew of the Enterprise was always gonna survive any intergalactic crisis they go into – well, unless you wore a red shirt. Or your name was Tasha Yar. No continuation, except maybe some audience’s favorite guest character returning for future episodes in future seasons. No real character growth. No– I don’t know – no feeling of living in a real, three-dimensional world where actions have consequences. Speaking of Star Trek; I guess thats why I like Deep Space Nine the best, because – in spite of Paramount’s objections – the runners of that show dared to jump off from that episodic cycle.

Which brings me to the second point: the standard 24 episode – seasons. Because even in Deep Space Nine, the story was a bit too much to stretch into 24 episodes per season. Some shows even had up to 26-28. In that format, there WILL always be filler-episodes. You know what I mean; maybe an episode which focuses only in an adventure of some supporting character, so that the lead actors can take a vacation or go shoot a movie or whatnot. Or the worst of the worst: a clip-show. Yeech. The way that most of the current non-network (and even SOME network shows, I’ve happily noticed) shows tell their stories in 8-16 episodes per season pretty much forces the writers to focus on the things that matter, and throw away all that filler bullshit. I love that.

The end-capper – or the “epilogue laugh”. Do you remeber those? After the crisis in each episode was solved, the main characters usually gathered together and reflected on the preceding events, then someone cracks a joke and they all laugh together – fade/or freeze-frame to end credits. Imagine if that type of shit would happen in a modern show. In…lets say Hannibal:

(Hannibal and Graham are sitting in Hannibal’s office)

HANNIBAL
Well, I’m sure glad I didn’t manage to kill you this time.

GRAHAM
Oh – I’m sure you’ll have better luck next time. Who knows
– maybe you even manage to eat me.

(Both laugh)

End Credits.

Imagine that. *shudders* I remember a lot of that type of stuff happening in the original Star Trek from time to time. I even remember that happening as close as in the 80’s. I guess it was supposed to leave a good feeling to the audience after the episode, but really; it’s soooo fucking pretentious.

Well, there’s three things I definitely don’t miss.

IAB is columnist and podcaster at the Supernaughts.

Hannibal (2013-15)

Hannibal (2013-15)

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DetectiveDee

Detective Dee reviews movies and sometimes TV-series. He likes to indulge in the Asian cinema, exploitation flicks and the horror genre but is no stranger to Blockbuster culture either. He writes whatever he wants, but always aims to entertain.

  • Negasonic Middle Aged Warhead

    10 years of Star trek reruns paved the way for a lot of what we have now, across all franchises. There will *never* be another Star Trek simply because TV no longer has a need to rerun any series so heavily.
    For a long time growing up near Boston (1970’s), WLVI would run Star trek at 6PM and 11PM every night- and they’d run ads all day for those episodes so you could know that “Doomsday Machine” would be on Wednesday night.

  • Orcus

    What Orcus found amazing about Columbo was that they did things in reverse. You were shown who committed the crime and how and then you watched the process of having Columbo figure it out. What was great was he practically used the same tactic of establish a timeline of where everyone was and what they were doing and then verify their stories

  • Dee

    The challenge for the audience was to figure out what mistakes the killer made.

  • I_am_better

    Columbo is shown almost daily during afternoons here. I’ve found myself enjoying those again.

  • Orcus

    EXACTLY!

    The other tactic he used was playing the fool to anyone who he suspected, hoping they would get flustered enough that they would mess up.

    Patrick McGoohan was on, what? 3 times or such? It was SOOOO much fun watching him lose his shit when Columbo was on his trail

  • franks_television

    Love the Hannibal epilogue. It was great how they always made fun of the freeze-frame ending on Police Squad.

  • Dee

    yeah, Goohan was cast 3 times, Shatner and Nimoy each twice.

  • I_am_better

    It was such a crime that we didn’t get more episodes of that show. But I’ll cherish the six that exist

  • Dee

    I don’t think any other series did that. There have been a few Hitchcock movies that did it.

  • I_am_better

    McGoohan directed a whole lot of episodes too

  • franks_television

    Indeed.

  • Sagamanus

    We’re all going to get a psychological effect of feeling like shows are disappearing off the landscape faster than they ever did because of fewer episodes. Then again most shows are strained to the limit long before they finish, and even under these more compact conditions a good number feel like they’re past their prime. I’ll leave it to others to say which.

  • Sagamanus

    The problem with the new Star Trek series is that it’s going to have to go over familiar routes when getting out of the starting block. And that’s really going to be tiring. Each successive version has become more and more diluted. I think it still has potential, but it’s running thin. And yes I’ve seen it all.

  • Sagamanus

    Never even heard of Dark Night of The Scarecrow.

  • Sagamanus

    “After all, if you can keep up the quality of a 60+ hour story then 2 hours should be a cakewalk”

    In theory at least. You have to be a whipmaster for film. On the script I mean.

  • Sagamanus

    Yeah the British system is better. But still the cancellations abound. Utopia being my most glaring example. Maybe the best show that ever existed, and most people haven’t even heard of it.

  • Sagamanus

    “Dean Cain in a cheap Halloween costume of Superman”

    Lol. Yep.

  • Sagamanus

    “Sure, we are now not dependent on the TV-program anymore, but that also
    led to the fact that the programming outside the big, popular shows
    became lazy, uninspired and cost-saving. TV lost an important role, the
    one of being -and I don’t use this word in the literal sense-
    “educational”.”

    It seems in an era where people get everything they want, there is also a darkface to it all.

  • Sagamanus

    Great work guys. Very well written.

  • Dee

    That’s a good one.

  • Dee

    Twin Peaks is my favourite series EVER.

  • Dee

    Are you referring to CSI and 24, Sagamanus?

  • Sagamanus

    My god those have gone on forever. But no. I was thinking more like The Walking Dead. They complain about Prometheus and stupidity, but if that was a barometer, TWD would have been canceled by now.

  • Sagamanus

    I’ve never seen 24. But didn’t that go on too long?

  • Dee

    I meant with series that reinforce the post- 9/11 sentiment.

  • Sagamanus

    Oh definitely. But it’s the subtle ones that are worse. Those are overt and even the people that believe that the sentiment is justified can see it. It’s all the others that get a slow-bleed. They’re way more effective. Black Sails even does it, but with that show there seems to be serious consequences for all their actions. Still it’s just endless reinforcement.

  • Dee

    Can you tell a more subtle example from the top of your head?

  • Stalkeye

    Fun topic, Dee.
    And from what I have read, there has been great progress over the past decades when it comes to television and I’m curious to know how much of an impact Netflix, HULU, Amazon, etc has had on Premium and Broadcast Television Networks.

    With Cord cutting options via the aforementioned streaming services, will this be the end of “TV” as we know it? Regardless, I love the idea of watching shows on your own time without relying on the soon to be obsolete DVR set tops.
    I have seen the future, and the future is now! (0=

  • Stalkeye

    Waaaaaaaaay too long!

  • Bop

    Falk is awesome.

  • Bop

    Old tv vs new tv for me.

    1. Less commercials now.
    2. Wimps and pussy male actors now. Most of them anyway
    3. Innocent then.
    4. Bloody now.
    5. More storylined now.
    6. Definitely more edge on the seat stuff now.
    7. More action now.

  • Coupon: The Movie

    And Spielberg directed a few.

  • Coupon: The Movie

    It is. Best pilot ever made. It so pulls you in. That’s why Twin Peaks is the Star Wars of television as far as cultural impact.

  • Coupon: The Movie

    It really bothers me that I don’t see DS9, Enterprise or even Voyager in rerun syndication. It’s the kind of thing people would get into if they stumbled upon it and those TNG Blu Rays probably would’ve sold better.

  • Coupon: The Movie

    No creature feature shows anymore. I miss stumbling upon something like The Alien Factor at 3 in the morning.

  • Coupon: The Movie

    One of the greatest comedies ever.

  • Coupon: The Movie

    Oh sir…sir…just one more thing. It’s probably nothing at all but there’s just this one thing that’s been bugging me….

  • Coupon: The Movie

    Hopefully streaming will change that since you can instantly see how many people are watching your show and don’t have to rely on the outdated and flawed Nielson rating system anymore.

  • Coupon: The Movie

    It always seemed a little too “America! Fuck yeah!” For me. Like a commercial for water boarding.

  • Vampire Hunter D(ee)

    I like that comparison.

  • Coupon: The Movie

    Absolutely. It’s a very tough discipline as I’m finding out right now but I mean more with the concept. Television right now, starts with a great premise and sees it through where as film begins with horrible concepts that make it hard for a large majority of people to care about it at all.

  • Coupon: The Movie

    Very effective and creepy. Worth a look.

  • Sagamanus

    So true.

  • Orcus

    You knew damned well that was not the case 🙂

  • S_D_M_F

    Great memories of that movie.

  • S_D_M_F

    The show’s writers actually had a name for the process. Instead of a “whodunit”, it was a “howcatchem”.