December 26, 2009

"10 Reasons This Was TV's Decade."

10 reasons...

Add an 11th: We got older and stopped going out so much (which is the same reason every decade is TV's.)


bearbee said...

This was the Internets decade.

The Crack Emcee said...


I'm telling you. I've always been a hardcore, dyed-in-the-wool TV fanatic but not anymore. I couldn't take the green message in commercials, or the Left message in the shows, or the lousy journalism in the news, or the terrible music on American Idol, or the terrible people, period. They've lost me.

Possibly forever.

ricpic said...

With the exception of The Sopranos, fuhgeddaboudit.

The Crack Emcee said...

I've got the Sopanos on my computer.

edutcher said...

1 reason why it wasn't TV's Decade:

Number 10 of 10 Reasons This Was TV's Decade is a crock. TV is awful and has been for a long time (yes, I include, The Sopranos, Mad Men, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Sex in the City).

Shows these days are written to please the critics and a lot of would-be glitterati nod their heads because Frank Rich or somebody tells them it's "gripping" or something.

bagoh20 said...

What Crack Emcee said.

It all really has gotten quite lame with nearly everyaspect of it being worse than before.

Especially with reality shows being the Hip Hop of TV. Sorry Crack, I'm just not a fan of the genre.

ricpic said...

I think Bobby Bacala is going to pay a visit to edutcher for a...attitude adjustment.

Jason (the commenter) said...

If it was TV's decade it was because you could play video games on your TV.

Ricardo said...

Now that the public library down the street has amassed hundreds of DVDs, I'm off of commercial (and most cable) television.

Except for Survivor, and The Bachelor, that is ....

Jason (the commenter) said...

How can the decade all of our TVs stopped working be TV's top decade?

edutcher said...

ricpic said...

I think Bobby Bacala is going to pay a visit to edutcher for a...attitude adjustment.

The Blonde packs a .45 and is a dead shot.

Remember the gospel according to Jimmy Malone...

Tibore said...

If this is the decade where TV shone so bright, remember that many things burn at their brightest before they burn out. No one talks serial radio dramas anymore, and pulp fiction is more entrenched as a movie concept nowadays, every bit as much as the literary one it hearkens back to used to be in the days before and during the birth of electronic media. How will the sitcom and "reality TV" dinosaurs be perceived during the course of the next decade?

So, will "television" somehow remain relevant? Depends on how they adjust to internet delivery of content and the near demolition of the sponsor-based model of paying for it. But a flatlining of the industry and phenomenon at least is a possibility viewable on the horizon. It's up to that industry as a whole to decide if the phenomenon - once viewed at the pinnacle of progress yet slowly turning into the antithesis of it through slothful unoriginality and obdurant inflexibility - can adjust and be modern and relevant again, or if it becomes the latest example in the line of buggy whip manufacturers. They can either realize that the audience is telling them content divorced from media delivery is all, or they can keep looking foolish trying to apply old paradigms to new ways of thinking. The ball's in their court.

vbspurs said...

I don't watch television -- so I can't comment, but for my British cousins who adore American television programmes and hunt down Rapidshare links of them, at Zerosec etc. they rave about the quality of American television these days.

I think I mentioned that I recently watched all 3 seasons of "Mad Men", a marathon of love. The cousins said that was the best series to come down the pike since the Sopranos, which I loved.

For the record, I think "Joanie" Holloway/Harris belongs up there in the pantheon of American TV characters, alongside Archie and Edith, Lucy and Ethel, and Fred Flintstones.


Lockestep said...

I watched less TV in this decade than any other in my life (not counting the 1950's, with which I had a one-year affair). The only show I bothered to seek out was 24, and my sports watching was much lower than my youger selves would have imagined. Other than the shows advertised on football, I couldn't even name a network program.
OTOH, I have spent a good deal more time with alternate entertainment via the internet. If it is the decade of anything, it is the decade of http.

The Crack Emcee said...

"Sorry Crack, I'm just not a fan of the genre."

Dude, there's so many styles of Hip-Hop - meaning it's such a broad genre - I have a hard time accepting that as anything but crazy talk. Still, it's yours and I'm willing to let you have it.

"I recently watched all 3 seasons of "Mad Men", a marathon of love. The cousins said that was the best series to come down the pike since the Sopranos, which I loved."

I've only seen episodes of "Mad Men", and so far, meh. I want to start with the pilot and see.

vbspurs said...

I've only seen episodes of "Mad Men", and so far, meh. I want to start with the pilot and see.

One of the worst things about period piece cinema or television, is that one can so rarely take out the TODAY from the acting.

Sometimes they exaggerate certain aspects of what we consider egregious about the recent past -- racism, or sexism, or the stultifyingly boring life led by women of the 1950s. Never mind that these women were products of the Great Depression and the war, and were happy to live in comparative luxury and safety.

Another aspect which is often exaggerated (and this really bugs me) is that it's very rare, VERY RARE to find well-to-do characters be sympathetic. They're usually the meanest kids, or know-it-alls, or spoilt and conniving (we'll call this the Nellie Olsen category). A rich person is only redeemed in a film or TV programme, if they have an affinity towards the working class and actively rebel against their elevated station (like Rose in "Titanic").

NONE of this is true in "Mad Men".

It is a mysterious romp into the actions of people in the 60s, shorn of every ounce of feminist angst and New Agey psychobabble which so wears one down today (see "Avatar").

This is what allows one to become involved in watching a despicable serial womaniser and loner like Don Draper or forgive the pampered and frustrated Peter Campbell, or the roguish Roger Sterling, products of Dartmouth and exclusive gentleman clubs everywhere.

I can't imagine what it is to enter into the 3rd season, without preamble, Crack. I highly recommend watching Season 1. That pilot is a doozy.


vbspurs said...

Wow, can you tell I like Mad Men? It's War and Peace up top! Sorry. :)

Shanna said...

I think there is excellent tv and terrible tv, but there is a lot of choice.

For me, this is TIVO's decade...No more watching commercials, or caring what night something is on. Just pick the stuff you like and watch it whenever you feel like it. Or watch it online.

Shanna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rcocean said...

Some good shows this decade:

Mad Men
South Park (hit and miss)

But TV is mostly crap. Of course, I'm not a teenager or a 50 year woman - so I'm not the target audience.

LutherM said...

TV programs DO show signs of maturity.
The Sopranos may have reflected reality in part of New Jersey.
The Wire came closer to the truth in depicting Baltimore, MD.
(Thank God neither team of writers based a show in Detroit.)

vbspurs said...

I heard The Wire is the best show on television, today, bar none. Can an Althousian comment on it, please?

I need something to tie me over, until Mad Men S4 comes out in August.

vbspurs said...

P.S.: How about "24" or "Dexter"?

vbspurs said...

Lockestep (great ID BTW) wrote:

If it is the decade of anything, it is the decade of http.


During the past year, when I exiled myself from pop culture, I didn't turn on the TV all that time -- but I couldn't conceive of living without the internet. Coincidentally, TV got good again when the internet gave it a run for its money. Good ole competition at work.

Now if we could only work on Hollywood films...

Christy said...

Victoria, Dexter season 1 was amazing, season 2 was also very good, but the concept began playing itself out by 3.

Veronica Mars (season 1), Sons of Anarchy, Friday Night Lights, Deadwood, Battlestar Galactica, Firefly, West Wing, Lost -- all made for an outstanding decade of TV.

The Good Wife is also looking good.

vbspurs said...

Thanks so much, Christy. :)

I will look into Dexter S1, for sure.

The Crack Emcee said...

I just want to say I agree - there was a lot of good, mature, stuff over the last 10 years - but, for the most part, the result was to chase me away. The green propaganda WAS, both, insulting and maddening, clearly indicating the groupthink within American culture much too accurately for me to bear. Really: did anyone see one commercial/public service announcement that said otherwise? Couple it with the go-along "journalism" we got along with that propaganda and there's no way I could keep my TV affair going.

My post-NewAge-discovery life is just one of watching my loves - family, television, film, and especially music - just turn on me.

Marcia said...

12th reason: There were a few, but very few, good movies this decade.

John said...

It's so weird that Seinfeld was a 90's thing.

rastajenk said...

As I read the linked article, just about every one of the ten reasons was a reason why it was not the Decade of Television.

TV is more than just shows produced in LA. Think about television news the past ten years. Network news has seriously degraded (the strong anchors of the past have gone on and not been adequately replaced); the 1000-channel cable universe has been partitioned into three factions, only one of which is doing well; there were too many Eason Jordan, TANG, and Balloon Boy moments to be overlooked; the seminal events of the decade were best covered by the immediacy of the internet; and on and on. A failing grade on every level in the Decade of TV; oh, the irony.

And back to the entertainment portion, it's probably been about ten years since I watched a network-produced regularly scheduled prime-time series; and I think I'm fairly normal in that regard.

This article seriously missed its target.

William T Sherman said...

If television for the last ten years had been nothing but test patterns for 23 hours, and then episodes of "The Wire" it would be considered the best TV decade ever.

Thirty years from now people will look back in wonder that one network had all of the following shows in rotation at the same time:

The Sopranos
Six Feet Under
The Wire

What the mid '60s were to pop music, and the mid '70s were to film is what the '00s will be seen wrt television drama.

Matt Eckert said...

The Crack Emcee saw his first TV show when he was five years old.

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