TALK STORY

What IS wrong with American TV?

POSTED BY: RUTHIE
UPDATED: Saturday, August 7, 2004 10:15
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Thursday, June 3, 2004 8:19 AM

RUTHIE


Companies, executives, audiences - as a mere UK-er, I don't have a hope of understanding the American system.

But I've just found that yet ANOTHER series that I was watching was cancelled mid-series. This one was Jake 2.0. I'm not saying that it was the greatest thing ever or anything, but it had caught the attention of my 11-yr-old son, and we were enjoying watching it together.
But it's usually on on Thursdays, saw it wasn't on tonight, looked it up on the internet to find why - and found that last week's was the last made, and even at that we've had 4 more eps shown in the UK than were shown in America. Sound familiar?

It's this buisness of being cancelled mid-series that really gets me. It must be SO frustrating to the makers to only be able to tell half the story - and I KNOW it makes the audience frustrated. Imagine if every book we were enjoying had the last 25% of the pages ripped out!

I understand that American TV companies are under greater commercial pressure than our good old BBC, but I think that part of the problem is that American series are expected to have so many episodes. Usually 22-24 per series.
Why not fill the same time with 3 different 6-8 episode series? That's what the BBC does.
That way, 3 different things can be tried in the same time-slot, the popular ones get chances at more series, the writers KNOW how many episodes they have to fill with their story before they even start (always leaving room for that hoped-for further series, of course), and they never get cancelled mid-series.
Actors have more diversity of work - they don't face the year-long grind of playing the same character that seems to wear down so many actors on the American series, and audiences get to see more different faces.

The BBC does a lot of good stuff, but it really doesn't have the money to put into as much production as the whole of America.
We have to suppliment our home-produced stuff with the best from other countries.

But I just don't know how many more of these cancelled mid-story dissapointments I can take :(



*******************
Ruthie
*******************
By the data to date, there is only one animal in the Galaxy dangerous to man - man himself. So he must supply his own indispensable competition. He has no enemy to help him. (R.A.Heinlein)

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Thursday, June 3, 2004 9:11 AM

SIGMANUNKI


Quote:

Originally posted by Ruthie:
I understand that American TV companies are under greater commercial pressure than our good old BBC, but I think that part of the problem is that American series are expected to have so many episodes. Usually 22-24 per series.
Why not fill the same time with 3 different 6-8 episode series? That's what the BBC does.


Well, there is the mid-season switch, which incidentally is how Buffy got it's start. Something got canceled and they got in. At least that's how I think it happened (got that info through the grape vine).

Quote:

Originally posted by Ruthie:
The BBC does a lot of good stuff, but it really doesn't have the money to put into as much production as the whole of America.
We have to suppliment our home-produced stuff with the best from other countries.


I've seen some UK productions and although it is obvious that the UK doesn't put as much money in their TV shows, in general they *are* better... *a lot* better.

I think the same about the recent Canadian TV shows that have come out. I was pleasantly surprised when I watched to find such quality writing

Quote:

Originally posted by Ruthie:
But I just don't know how many more of these canceled mid-story disappointments I can take :(


Me too.


I think the major problem with TV is that it isn't there to provide entertainment. It's there to provide companies with loads of money. And when ratings = money they tend to go with the cheapest to make (ie reality TV), which currently get the most viewers (*a lot* of people are of a quality that like this type of "entertainment" ).

Things may change, but, for the foreseeable future the people who like quality TV (ie clever writing, etc) are in for a bumpy ride

----
"Canada being mad at you is like Mr. Rogers throwing a brick through your window." -Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

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Thursday, June 3, 2004 4:56 PM

HELL'S KITTEN


What's wrong with American TV? Instant gratification isn't instant enough for the corporate folks.

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Thursday, June 3, 2004 5:38 PM

JUMPY


I know what you mean. but even so. I think the whole direction television internationally is going is extremely, well f'd up.

Reality TV(which I despise with every inch of my body) I feel is like the plague of television, its really a disease (just my opinion, I'm not being aggressive).

Yeh and of course there's great shows (like firefly) that get cancelled abruptly.

So yeh, Reality TV and the cancellation of good shows - GORRAM IT, GORRAM IT TO THE SPECIAL KIND OF HELL.

__________________________
There's no show I'd rather see, than the one with Serenity.
You can't take the sky from me...

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Thursday, June 3, 2004 5:47 PM

SERGEANTX


What's wrong with American TV?

Americans

SergeantX

"Dream a little dream or you can live a little dream. I'd rather live it, cause dreamers always chase but never get it." Aesop Rock

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Thursday, June 3, 2004 7:50 PM

PEACE


The basic problem with American TV (and the American film industry, same continuum) is that it is generally run by lawyers and accountants. I am currently working with a screenwriter on a project (he's a pro with real credits, not a wannabe like me), and he compares most studio execs to George Castanza (sp., I know, but I never watched the stupid show) on Seinfield-- weasely little puffballs who wouldn't know a good show or concept if it bit them in their engine pod. There are exceptions to this, but this is his general observation. That's one problem.

The other is, you're right, that American networks are under a lot more commercial pressure. If I recall the British system correctly, the BBC doesn't have to sell commercial time to advertisers. American TV is, in reality, nothing more or less than an opportunity for advertisers to get their product some attention. This attention is measured statistically, and if the advertiser doesn't think they're getting the audience share, they will be all over the network that has let them down. (This system, wacky as it is, dates back to radio in this country). Consequently the networks are constantly scrutinizing the demographics they are getting for any show-- and there is tremendous pressure for a show to perform quickly and in the short-term. Networks (not just Fox) are notorious for not allowing shows time to get they're feet under them. The network execs who say "This show's not performing so good right now, but it's a great story, so we'll carry for a while", are as rare as hen's teeth, partly because of the dunderheaded nature of most of them, as noted above, and also because any exec who made such a decision would be in serious danger of being fired by some dunderhead over him/her who doesn't know the show's intrinsically good, and only bows to the Great God Demographic (I think they sacrifice writers to this deity by the full of the moon).

And, yes, another part is that, in general, Americans seem to have a high tolerance for low-grade entertainment. Everything from wrestling (which has a long pedigree on the American tube) to dating shows to every variety of reality TV has been consumed and enjoyed by the viewing public over here. Why is a mystery I am perhaps too close to to judge-- and Americans have supported quality TV in the past. Maybe somebody's done a paper somewhere....

All of this combines to push American TV toward the lowest common denominator. It is a wasteland, as someone put it years ago-- but it makes you appreciate the oases even more....



Oh, bugger! Now I have to wait for someone to wake up!

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Tuesday, June 8, 2004 12:30 AM

RUTHIE


(LOL - I thought I'd lost this post - it must have been moved!)

Yes, that's an interesting point about Buffy - one thing had to die, so something else could live.

It just seems to me that there is no good reason that ALL TV series made in America should be expected to have 20+ episodes.

Some, yes - something like 24 just wouldn't be possible under our system.

But there is obviously a system that doesn't work very well - so why not experiment with change? (Don't expect any network executives are reading this, but still...)

Does the American public have any way of letting the networks know when they are not happy, apart from just not watching?

*******************
Ruthie
*******************
By the data to date, there is only one animal in the Galaxy dangerous to man - man himself. So he must supply his own indispensable competition. He has no enemy to help him. (R.A.Heinlein)

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Tuesday, June 8, 2004 2:43 AM

SCOTTISHBROWNCOAT


Hello Ruthie,
I think your observation is accurate.

One 6-8 episode show that comes to mind for me is Ultraviolet, an interesting show that probably fell in that tri-show season you spoke of.
I did notice with it, there was more of a conclusion at the end of it's episodes.

Although American TV when done Good is Great, and this no one can Deny...Firefly anyone????

SBC
P.S. I am a American born and bred Ulster-Scot(And Catholic too, Go Glasgow Celtics!!! ).
I am from Evansville, Indiana(where our Shepherd Book is from, in fact that was the only reason I started watching the show, to see a fellow E'Ville native.)
However it always warms the heart when one of my Brother or Sisters from the homeland finds us out here in the 'verse.

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Tuesday, June 8, 2004 4:25 AM

EST120


in my opinion, american television is too focused on fad shows and instant gratification. if a show is not a hit within a few episodes, it inevitably gets cancelled. also, popular shows spawn numerous rip offs that are usually not as good and detract from the original series which was popular, sometimes dragging it down with them. reality tv is also a problem because it feeds so many negative stereotypes that simply eat away at whatever moral base is left in this country. also, when a network finds a good show, they inevitably milk it for every dollar it is worth by creating spin offs. now, normally i do not have a problem with spin offs, but the latest thing is to make spin offs while the original show is still on (like law and order or CSI). what is the point of creating an other identical show when the original is still on? they are saturating the viewers with too much of the same thing. finally, there is too much emphasis on marketable shows rather than well done shows. there were many shows that were well written, well acted and well designed that never made it because there was less of a market for advertisers or for product lines like toys or DVDs.

my two cents (well, it was kind of long, so maybe 5 cents).

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Tuesday, June 8, 2004 4:39 AM

FREAKYSINS


I'm with SergeantX on this one... the trouble is Americans. Face it, if the public didn't buy in to the shameless marketing hype being spoon fed to us via the networks, they'd HAVE to produce quality television... otherwise, they wouldn't have an audience to promote the latest disposable pine-scented floor-wipe to, because God knows, it would be barbaric to actually wash out a dust cloth and RE-USE IT!!!

/rant off

Peace

... if your hand touches metal, I swear by my pretty floral bonnet I will end you.

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Tuesday, June 8, 2004 4:50 AM

SHEPHERDSCOTT


Peace has done a very lovely job laying out the corporate issues shaping American TV. I'd like to add a few thoughts in response to the thread.

First, it is extremely important to note that American TV is an entirely private, capitalist affair -- unlike the BBC, which is "state-run" TV. So whereas the BBC can "experiment" with changes by making one decision to do so, in the US it is each individual network that would have to experiment on its own...and take the risk on its own that the experiment would backfire. This makes it extremely unlikely that any individual network would stray too far from the ruling paradigm, and even more unlikely that all of them together would try a new experiment (especially since, in American law, that could and should be construed as market collusion).

That said, I have been noticing a trend toward shorter seasons over the past several years. In the 80's and early 90's, I seem to recall more shows airing new episodes from mid-September through sometime in May, 25-26 episodes. Most of the shows I have been watching since the late 90's, though, seem to start airing new episodes much later (one year THE X-FILES didn't start airing new episodes until early November!) and airing fewer of them (like 22). So as production expenses from dramatic series rise, I think we are seeing an industry-wide trend toward shorter original-run seasons.

And this, I think, is the chief reason why the 6-8 episode season would never fly in the US: the repeat content would far outstrip original content. Even a successful series normally only captures 50-70% of the ratings on a repeat, and less-successful series capture even less. Shorter seasons = more repeat episodes = lower overall viewership = network TV loses even more ground to cable.

But I do not wish to absolve the American public from its role in crappy TV. They're the ones choosing to watch reality TV. (Though do not mistake this admission for a voice of support for British TV -- you wankers were the ones who CREATED "Big Brother" and similar shows.) Reality TV is the ultimate conceit of a democratic society with freedom of choice: any monkey can be picked out from the tribe and hoisted to the top of the tree. I'm firmly convinced that, if the FCC would permit it, all of TV would regress to a variation on the same show: a reality program in which real people are put in romantic/sexual (the former always progressing to the latter) situations, and the audience votes on who gets matched up with whom next. Think of it as like THE SIMS as sexy reality TV.

"FOX became a soft-core porn channel so gradually, I hardly noticed." - Marge Simpsons from a 'future' episode many seasons back (how prescient!)

* * *

Do the job. Get paid. Keep flying.

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Tuesday, June 8, 2004 4:54 AM

JEBBYPAL


I don't think it is americans in general---many of us bemoan the loss of good shows as well. In fact, I'd say that's the problem w/ network tv is most have given up and gone to watching cable..or playing videogames.

No the problem is that TV is controlled by the advertisers and the advertisers want to attract the age demographic w/ the money --- used to be men 18-49, now its generally tween/teen girls--hence the continuous dawson creek spinoff lookalikes. Since the viewing public is so fragmented, every network goes after the same group and all the shows look alike. Also, reality is cheaper---i liken it to the glut of game shows i remember from the 80s. Same thing--money given away. Same result - fewer script writers very few people paid.

As long as money is being made on reality tv franchises (and who really wants to make trump richer anyway??), they'll continue. Hopefully Serenity will be huge success and start a franchise as profitiable as SW or ST --- hell, buffy/angel will probably build to that level anyway i'd argue.

And we may start to see shows w/ 8-16 episodes only----"good" anime is doing extremely well on cartoon network i hear.

The Strawberry Monkey
http://p221.ezboard.com/bfireflyfanficawards

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Tuesday, June 8, 2004 11:36 AM

CHRONICTHEHEDGEHOG


I think American series doing 6-8 episode seasons would be awful, though you always run the risk of not being able to tell the full story you want, you at least have the chance of telling a full story. Imagine if everything from Firefly was resolved in 8 episodes.
Episode 1: Character setup
Episode 2: Resolving Inara's past
Episode 3: Jayne's betrayal
Episode 4: Resolving Book's past
Episode 5: Setting up Blue Sun
Episode 6: Mal and Inara get together
Episode 7: Simon and Kaylee get together
Episode 8: Resolution of Blue Sun

Suddenly the show's over, half the things still weren't resolved, you didn't have enough time to really care about the characters of what was going on and if you're not popular you still get axed without finishing your story. 22 episodes gives you a chance to truly understand the universe, to tell the stories you want to tell. The 8 episode system is awful for drama, which is why the majority of UK drama is ongoing and not short series: Casualty, Eastenders, The Bill, Holby City, Heartbeat, even Doctor Who.

Sitcoms work well like this, drama doesn't.



check out my WIP firefly roleplay system at www.estador.co.uk/firefly

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Tuesday, June 8, 2004 1:03 PM

RUTHIE


Quote:

Originally posted by chronicthehedgehog:
I think American series doing 6-8 episode seasons would be awful,
Imagine if everything from Firefly was resolved in 8 episodes.



Interesting.
The point about the way British dramas do it is that the story that they try to tell is smaller, so it CAN be resolved in less episodes, but leaves room for further series if it's a sucess.

So, if Firefly had been done under this system, with the INTENTION FROM THE START of only having say 8 episodes, JW may have selected something like:-
Ep 1 - Character and situation set-up
Ep 2 - Simon and River's backstory
Ep 3 - Simon finds more about River
Ep 4 - Crew find more about River
Ep 5 - Crew take decicive action about River (e.g. Arial)
Ep 6 - A solution for River's problems is found
Ep 7 - The solution is threatened by danger
Ep 8 - the solution is applied, River's character moves on, the crew fly off to more adventures.
End of S1, the River arc is resolved, many questions answered.

Series 2 - Picks up on some points introduced but not explores in S2 (e.g. Book or Inara's background)

Then, if S2 never got made, we'd at least have a complete story in S1 - but with room for expansion.

Quote:


Suddenly the show's over, half the things still weren't resolved, you didn't have enough time to really care about the characters of what was going on and if you're not popular you still get axed without finishing your story. 22 episodes gives you a chance to truly understand the universe, to tell the stories you want to tell.



Oh, I agree that I'd rather had a full 22/24 GOOD episodes than just 8.

But 8 or 12 episodes of a story intended to stretch over 22 is just frustrating. I'd rather have a whole small story in less episodes than half a bigger one - and getting to care about characters and then have them removed with no resolution is starting to drive me mad.
And that must be NOTHING to how the makers and actors of the shows feel!

Quote:


The 8 episode system is awful for drama, which is why the majority of UK drama is ongoing and not short series: Casualty, Eastenders, The Bill, Holby City, Heartbeat, even Doctor Who.



Most of the shows you mention here STARTED with short series.
Casualty has 15 eps for it's first series, dropped to 10 or less, and only went for long runs after remaining popular for about 6 years. (and in the process, changing from a drama to a sopa-opera).
Eastenders always was a soap - much cheaper to produce than drama.
Dr Who was made up of a series of episodes telling each story - the series could have ended at the completion of any story if necessary.

Two recent BBC dramas have been very American in style and feel, but have had short series.
Spooks had 6 eps in the first series, 10 in the second, and a third is being made.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/drama/spooks/

Hustle has had 1 series of 6 eps so far, I think a second will be made.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/hustle/

I found the series lengths to give plenty of time to get to know the characters - of course, it helps that a BBC 1h episode actually lasts 1h, not 42 mins (no commercial breaks!)

*******************
Ruthie
*******************
By the data to date, there is only one animal in the Galaxy dangerous to man - man himself. So he must supply his own indispensable competition. He has no enemy to help him. (R.A.Heinlein)

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Tuesday, June 8, 2004 3:45 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Nothing that money can't cure.

Oh, wait, money IS the problem!

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Tuesday, June 8, 2004 3:50 PM

MAUGWAI


What's wrong with American TV is epitomized by the ironic new show, "The Next Action Star". We actually now have a reality show whose purpose is to find actors.



"Dear diary, today I was pompous and my sister was crazy."

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Tuesday, June 8, 2004 4:34 PM

BIKISDAD


Quote:

Originally posted by maugwai:
What's wrong with American TV is epitomized by the ironic new show, "The Next Action Star". We actually now have a reality show whose purpose is to find actors.



"Dear diary, today I was pompous and my sister was crazy."



That IS ironic. Especially, since, when they find the next "star", there won't be any show for them to go to because the only thing left on will be more reality tv.

Also, someone above said something about people giving up. That's me. I cancelled my cable subscription two weeks ago (the day after the Angel finale repeat). The great thing about it is that I don't miss tv at all. Whenever I get the urge to watch tv, I put in a Buffy or Angel or Firefly dvd and I'm much happier than I would be if I was watching whatever crap they're currently broadcasting.
American tv? "Good riddance to bad rubbish". Really. There's so much really great stuff available on dvd now (not just Joss' stuff - plenty of movies and some other good shows), why even bother with broadcast (or cable) tv?


Apathy on the Rise. No One Cares.

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Friday, June 11, 2004 5:44 AM

EVILTOBZ


Quote:

Originally posted by ShepherdScott:
Though do not mistake this admission for a voice of support for British TV -- you wankers were the ones who CREATED "Big Brother" and similar shows.


no. we. did. not!!! although, admittedly, the brainless masses of the british public lap it up like a thirsty dog at a toilet bowl.

anyway, i find myself agreeing with the concept of starting with half seasons, doing a full run so that a full story can be told then judging whether to do a full season next year. it would make it much more satisfying when things get dropped if we had some sort of conclusion. you don't need to tie everything up, but having some sort of solid finale gives you that sense of closure.

all that said, i do love the length of u.s. tv seasons when i find a show i like, be it a bit of joss, gilmore girls, roswell, 24 or whatever. it really lets you get involved in the stories that they are telling.

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Wednesday, July 7, 2004 11:40 AM

STALBANS


Big Brother was the fault of the dutch, not us, I'm beginning to come round to Austin Powers' dad's way of thinking.

On the whole I'm of the opinion that Americans make superior TV, it's just that such a lot is pumped out at us that a large percentage of what we like is going to fail in it's first year. Over here however, with the shorter series style, they're already made by the time they air, which is good for the good stuff, not so much for the bad.

On the plus side, at least we weren't subjected to a full season of Fast Lane *shudders*

(one last thing, it's Celtic. No plural, no Glasgow.)

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Thursday, July 15, 2004 8:23 AM

KIQUOA


The American TV industry certainly puts out a larger volume of shows than anyone else. We cannot really lump it all together into "good television" or "bad television".

Generally American audiences seem to respond to visual imagery and shows that inspire discussion. Both of these things have flown out of control.
Sure, Big graphic movies are enjoyable to watch. But the dark side of being image driven is the manic and rapid string of images that flash so quickly across the screen. You ever notice how many images last as long as a second in commercials? I do not think the rise of ADH disorder is due to any real physiological development in humanity, it is cultural.
By mentioning "discussion" I am politely referring to gossip. The mob has few base reactions; curiosity, greed, cruelty and fear are a few. I can't give a concise explination for reality TV. I find them boring and morally reprehensible.

Just have to sift through the crap to find the good.

Thanks to the BBC for Foil's War!

"That was the torture talking."


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Thursday, July 15, 2004 9:14 AM

CHOZSUN


Along with The Wire, The Shield, Six Feet Under, Chappelle Show, Reno911 and Good Eats, I also love The Office (BBC) and Coupling (BBC) .

I cannot stand watching most American Sitcoms whereas British Sitcoms will always have a place in my heart (such as Black Adder and Chef come to mind).

It is evident by the number of Emmy nominations is that there is nothing wrong with American TV but rather Broadcast American TV. Cable TV Shows obvious rule the American Television. The only reason West Wing is semi-dominate is because it is created by the same guy who created the greatness of ABC's Sports Night (a must DVD own).

My TiVO does not record prime time broadcast television ever.

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Thursday, July 15, 2004 9:36 AM

HEB


Quote:

Originally posted by ChozSun:
ABC's Sports Night (a must DVD own).




I keep hearing about this programme. What exactly is it, please and does anybody know if it's been shown/is available in the UK? I love the West Wing.

Thanks.

heb

Well, my sister's a ship... we had a
complicated childhood
.................
I wear the cheese. It does not wear me.W

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Thursday, July 15, 2004 10:06 AM

MAUGWAI


Quote:

Originally posted by heb:
Quote:

Originally posted by ChozSun:
ABC's Sports Night (a must DVD own).




I keep hearing about this programme. What exactly is it, please and does anybody know if it's been shown/is available in the UK? I love the West Wing.

Thanks.

heb

Well, my sister's a ship... we had a
complicated childhood
.................
I wear the cheese. It does not wear me.W



I doubt Sports Night is shown in the UK, but you never know. It's available on DVD now, thank goodness. It was a show that aired on ABC for a couple of seasons. It never had good ratings, but ABC has a history of standing behind shows it loves, even when they don't pull in the big bucks, and they stood behind Sports Night as long as they could.

The story is about a sports TV network like ESPN and the crew that operates it. The show featured Felicity Huffman, Robert Goulet and a whole bunch of actors who have moved on to higher profile things. It was well written and funny in a mature way, so naturally the crowd that now watches The Simple Life didn't get it. Lots of sarcasm and below-the-radar jokes.

And sometimes I wonder if ABC had bought Angel or Firefly, would we be looking forward to more seasons right now?



"Dear diary, today I was pompous and my sister was crazy."

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Thursday, July 15, 2004 10:07 AM

SOUPCATCHER


Ahhh. Sports Night. I love that show. I wish it had made it. DVDs are great.

The setting was a television studio that did a nightly sports wrap-up show (think sports center on espn). But the strength of the show was in the characters and their interactions (starting to sound familiar?).

Not sure if it was ever broadcast outside of north america.

editted to add: oops, looks like maugwai beat me to it

I shaved off my beard for you, devil woman!

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Thursday, July 15, 2004 11:07 AM

CHANNAIN

i DO aim to misbehave


Quote:

Originally posted by Peace:
The network execs who say "This show's not performing so good right now, but it's a great story, so we'll carry for a while", are as rare as hen's teeth, partly because of the dunderheaded nature of most of them, as noted above, and also because any exec who made such a decision would be in serious danger of being fired by some dunderhead over him/her who doesn't know the show's intrinsically good, and only bows to the Great God Demographic (I think they sacrifice writers to this deity by the full of the moon).

Case in point - Brandon Braga who was the Michael Eisner of NBC while Quantum Leap was on. He loved the show, so it stayed on the air. It moved around just about every season, but made it through five seasons and gave us the first good time-travel science fiction since The Doctor.

By the way, anybody mind if I do a little monkey chair dance of joy that BBC is bringing back Doctor Who? For those of you not British who don't know, Doctor Who was bar none the single longest running science fiction series ever created - 25 seasons, I believe. The longest running series over here is 60 Minutes. That seem right to anyone?

We have art so as not to die of truth ~ Neitzsche
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Thursday, July 15, 2004 11:56 AM

HEB


Quote:

Originally posted by maugwai:
Quote:

Originally posted by heb:
Quote:

Originally posted by ChozSun:
ABC's Sports Night (a must DVD own).




I keep hearing about this programme. What exactly is it, please and does anybody know if it's been shown/is available in the UK? I love the West Wing.

Thanks.

heb

Well, my sister's a ship... we had a
complicated childhood
.................
I wear the cheese. It does not wear me.W



I doubt Sports Night is shown in the UK, but you never know. It's available on DVD now, thank goodness. It was a show that aired on ABC for a couple of seasons. It never had good ratings, but ABC has a history of standing behind shows it loves, even when they don't pull in the big bucks, and they stood behind Sports Night as long as they could.

The story is about a sports TV network like ESPN and the crew that operates it. The show featured Felicity Huffman, Robert Goulet and a whole bunch of actors who have moved on to higher profile things. It was well written and funny in a mature way, so naturally the crowd that now watches The Simple Life didn't get it. Lots of sarcasm and below-the-radar jokes.

And sometimes I wonder if ABC had bought Angel or Firefly, would we be looking forward to more seasons right now?



"Dear diary, today I was pompous and my sister was crazy."



Thanks for your help. It looks like my multi-region dvd player will finally have a use for something other than firefly, as it doesn't seem to be out in the UK. I wonder if I can persuade my sister to go halves with me...

Well, my sister's a ship... we had a
complicated childhood
.................
I wear the cheese. It does not wear me.

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Thursday, July 15, 2004 12:12 PM

MISGUIDED BY VOICES


Quote:

Originally posted by SigmaNunki:
I've seen some UK productions and although it is obvious that the UK doesn't put as much money in their TV shows, in general they *are* better... *a lot* better.



Actually, I'll stand up for US TV here, as a Brit myself. We do the odd good thing, but the vast majority of our scheduling is reality TV or soap operas (a little above the class of Days of Our Lives, but not by much).

For every good drama we produce, there are several awful ones, and it is a rare day that a decent UK comedy show is produced. If we do produce a good series, such as Spooks (or MI5), its 6-8 episodes, as stated. Most of our best TV is made in the form of TV movies like Sharpe, or two-parters/mini-series like Cracker.

Compare that with, and I'm missing out a lot here:

Sopranos
The West Wing
ER
NYPD:Blue
Homicide
CSI
Six Feet Under
Law and Order
The Shield

The UK has nothing that I can think of that even gets close to the achievements of these series at their best - even take a show like Sopranos with 13 episodes; something the BBC or ITV could do, and there is nothing close.

Here's my optimists way of viewing the situation - because the schedules are flooded with reality shows, made on the cheap, they have more money to make the good drama series that get the publicity and the awards. You may have to look a little harder, but there is a heck of a lot of good stuff still out there.


"I threw up on your bed"

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Thursday, July 15, 2004 3:36 PM

SIGMANUNKI


Quote:

Originally posted by Misguided By Voices:
For every good drama we produce, there are several awful ones,


Name me a country that doesn't have this track record. Canada has recently produced 4 new shows that came out last season and they were all extermely good and I was quite surprised by this.

All the shows that are out there now have been on for too long for my retained interest. ER is a perfect example of this. To keep people interested they have formed many relationships but as time progress they got to a soap opera point. That was a number of seasons ago which is when I stopped watching.

Also, there is rarely anything new that I like. Last season the only shows on that I wanted to watch were the mentioned Canadian ones. And today I went through the guide to search for something to watch, and the only things on are repeats of cancelled shows.

Today TV is in a sad state of affairs. Hopefully the execs will make some good decisions and get some non-reality TV on this coming season. I hope that this happens, but I don't think it will.


Quote:

Originally posted by Misguided By Voices:
Here's my optimists way of viewing the situation - because the schedules are flooded with reality shows, made on the cheap, they have more money to make the good drama series that get the publicity and the awards. You may have to look a little harder, but there is a heck of a lot of good stuff still out there.


I really think that you are deluding yourself. That extra money is going into the pockets of the execs as a bonus for creating such "good" (read money making) TV and the rest will be put towards make more of it to further increase there profits.

TV is created now for the lowest common denominator and since I can't watch that red neck crap there is little for me to watch. Quite frankly if I just had rabbit ears I'd be just as happy, which says a lot.

Hopefully this season something... anything... will slip through the cracks so I get something to watch if even for just a couple of eps (ie Wonderfalls).

----
"Canada being mad at you is like Mr. Rogers throwing a brick through your window." -Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

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Thursday, July 15, 2004 5:21 PM

CGREALMS


I can think of a number of decent shows. "Everwood" is one of the best family dramas ever made, and one of the few multi-generational genres that never loses its focus on any of the generations.

"Smallville" has its cheesy moments, but at it's best (episodes like "Insurgence," "Rosetta," "Perry," "Relic," and "Memoria") is some of the most epic stuff to grace TV in a while.

"Scrubs" sets the standard for dramedy, able to ease from cheap laughs to real poignancy with effortless ease. I can recall the last show that walked this tightrope so effectively.

"Joan of Arcadia" is another spectacular family drama which explores issues without forcing a point of view down the viewer's throat. The season finale was one of the greatest hours of what science fiction could be on television that I've ever seen.

And "Arrested Development" proves that a great, inventive, sophisticated comedy can flourish on network television. "Arrested" is a great half-hour of comedy, and cable's brightest efforts (such as the hilarious "Curb Your Enthusiasm") don't come close.

So good television is definitely still out there. And there's a number of promising shows on the horizons for the upcoming season.

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Thursday, July 15, 2004 5:49 PM

CLEANER


Major problem with American TV is that the execs look at it as a closed market, completely discounting things siuch as overseas airing and DVD sales from the equation of wether to keep a show running.

If they are only interested in the quick bucks they should provide online services to download TV. A week after the show has aired in the US the rest of the world should be able to pay say US$10 to download the episode off a fast server. The format could easily be made to be licensed only to the Media player on the computer its downloaded onto to prevent easy illegal distribution.

"If wishes were horses we'd all be eating steak!!!"

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Thursday, July 15, 2004 6:28 PM

OPUS


For every good drama we produce, there are several awful ones, and it is a rare day that a decent UK comedy show is produced.

We only see the better ones over here, but I can think of plenty of good UK comedies over the years.
Coupling
Youngones
Blackadder
Goodies

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Thursday, July 15, 2004 7:07 PM

SIGMANUNKI


CGRealms:
I guess this is a "what do you think is good?" type question. I have very discriminating tastes and none of the shows that you have stated have drawn me in.

I find Everwood pathetic, Smallvile tries but fails, Srubs is great for a lark, but in the end fails to draw me in regularly. Yes, Joan of Arcadia does force a point of view down your throat, abeit subtly, but it does. And I haven't given the last a good try yet, but I'm not impressed so far.

Hopefully those on the horizon will be worth it. Quite frankly, TV is almost becoming a waste of my time as I tend to dowload and buy what I watch at least as much as I actually turn it on.

----
"Canada being mad at you is like Mr. Rogers throwing a brick through your window." -Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

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Thursday, July 15, 2004 11:36 PM

HEB


Quote:

Originally posted by Misguided By Voices:

Actually, I'll stand up for US TV here, as a Brit myself. We do the odd good thing, but the vast majority of our scheduling is reality TV or soap operas (a little above the class of Days of Our Lives, but not by much).

For every good drama we produce, there are several awful ones, and it is a rare day that a decent UK comedy show is produced. If we do produce a good series, such as Spooks (or MI5), its 6-8 episodes, as stated. Most of our best TV is made in the form of TV movies like Sharpe, or two-parters/mini-series like Cracker.

Compare that with, and I'm missing out a lot here:

Sopranos
The West Wing
ER
NYPD:Blue
Homicide
CSI
Six Feet Under
Law and Order
The Shield

The UK has nothing that I can think of that even gets close to the achievements of these series at their best - even take a show like Sopranos with 13 episodes; something the BBC or ITV could do, and there is nothing close.

Here's my optimists way of viewing the situation - because the schedules are flooded with reality shows, made on the cheap, they have more money to make the good drama series that get the publicity and the awards. You may have to look a little harder, but there is a heck of a lot of good stuff still out there.




As a UK Browncoat, I totally agree with this. I think British TV does one off dramas or miniseries, documentaries and (some) comedies really well. However when it comes to weekly series the best US series are far superior to anything produced over here. If you compare Firefly/The West Wing to stuff like Casualty or the Bill there is absolutely no contest. The series that turn out ok (for British tv) are usually slightly poorer imitations of American tv like Spooks (sorry Spooks fans, I did quite like it but didn't think it compared to my favourite US series).

I'm not watching any tv at the moment now that Angel has finished because there is nothing on British tv that I could be bothered to watch.

Lets hope the Dr Who remake turns out ok.

Well, my sister's a ship... we had a
complicated childhood
.................
I wear the cheese. It does not wear me.

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Friday, July 16, 2004 2:12 AM

CGREALMS


Quote:

Originally posted by SigmaNunki:
I find Everwood pathetic, Smallvile tries but fails, Srubs is great for a lark, but in the end fails to draw me in regularly. Yes, Joan of Arcadia does force a point of view down your throat, abeit subtly, but it does. And I haven't given the last a good try yet, but I'm not impressed so far.

There's no arguing taste, but I'm curious as to just what's pathetic about the first. And if "Joan..." forces a point of view, what point of view is it, exactly?

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Friday, July 16, 2004 7:20 AM

MRGREEN


Well, I wanted to point out that the new show 'The 4400' is a six episode (well, 4 one-hour and one two-hour episode) "mini"-series, and is getting really good reviews, and is recieved the highest ratings for a basic-cable network premiere. (Sadly, it looks to have topped Firefly, although it did get quite a bit new advertising, imo).

The producers, after getting a greenlight based on the pilot to do 4 more hours, write the series as a single story arch, while leaving the series to do an 'encore'.

I bring it up because I think it could lead to seeing more of this style of production. Basic cable networks, like USA, FX, SpikeTV, etc, can take more risk than a major network, as they only expect to get "Firefly type ratings", if they get more it's a nice suprise, but not required for them to be profitable. This "mini-series" will likely make USA a good bit of money and will probably lead them to commision 6 more hours for next winter(mid-season) or summer (competign against re-runs is easy).

Also, I wanted to point out that FOX was, for awhile at least, considering doing a 24 spin-off series in an 8 hour direct to DVD format. THe concept is the same (mini-series, disctributed via a non-broadcast network system) and hopefully they will eventually do it, and perhaps open up another avenue for quality programming that has a smaller viewer base.

Lastly, I speculate that TiVo will eventually end it's fued with network television by setting up a subscription system for them. Basically I envision a system where you use your TiVo to order, record, and 'decode' scrambled TV shows that are broadcast on smaller stations in luei of Paid Advertisements. 20th Century Fox could produce the show, sell it direct to consumers via thier TiVo (for orderign and billing), and buy some broadcast time on basic cable TV in the middle of the night (Discovery, for example, is all paid advertisements from about 2am-7am, along with most other basic cable TV).

Your TiVo, if authorised, would record, and decode the show, and store it on your system, perhaps keeping it 'invisible' to you until a certain time, when the show 'airs', and then letting you watch it whenever you want.

Shows with a large user base, or lower production costs could be priced cheaper, in order to get even more subscribers, etc. Shows with small, dedicated, userbases (FF, B5, Dark Angel, etc) could be priced higher in order to remain profitable while staying on the air with relitivley small viewer numbers.

Advantages here are that networks get to try new shows, and keep old ones, that normally wouldn't make the cut; TiVo get's a shot at more users; basic cable tv networks get increased compition for their off-hours time, hence making them some free money, whoch in turn, hopefully, can be used to fund more quality TV; fans get to decide directly which shows to support, and it's VERY easy to track exactly how many people are PAYING for a show (who cares if they watch it, as long as they pay).

I figure a show like Firefly (say about 1.5million paying views) could stay profitable for something around $3-4 per episode per person. Shows that are cheaper to produce, with very large audiences, say Will and Grace, or some other successful sitcom (sans friends, which cost $7million per episode just for the main cast), could probably do well at a dollar or less per episode.

Anyways, if you made it all the way to the end of this post I congratulate you on your patience for my babble!

Rob

If you can't run, you crawl, and if you can't crawl, well, if you can't do that, you find someone to carry you.

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Friday, July 16, 2004 8:37 AM

CYBERSNARK


Quote:

Originally posted by Channain:
The longest running series over here is 60 Minutes. That seem right to anyone?

Actually, yeah, that seems about right. Any longer and it tends to be a mini-series.

(Yes, I know what you mean. I'm trying for the funny.)

-----
We applied the cortical electrodes but were unable to get a neural reaction from either patient.

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Friday, July 16, 2004 10:42 AM

CHANNAIN

i DO aim to misbehave


Quote:

Originally posted by Cybersnark:
Actually, yeah, that seems about right. Any longer and it tends to be a mini-series.

(Yes, I know what you mean. I'm trying for the funny.)

"Ba-dum-bum. Cybersnark, ladies and gentlemen. He'll be on stage all week!"

nicely phrased.

We have art so as not to die of truth ~ Neitzsche
http://www.mnartists.org/artistHome.do?rid=7922

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Friday, July 16, 2004 11:40 AM

SEMTEXJACK


Dr Who will be basically pants. The choice of the new Doctor is dire (Christopher Ecclestone if anyone doesn't know) and the loss of the Daleks is unforgivable.

There are very few American shows that have grabbed my attention over recent years. Firefly was an exception, Frasier held me from start to finish, The Simpsons has waned in the last few years and Family Guy has kept up many a night watching the DVDs.

Over here, currently I've fallen in love with Black Books (although I'm not sure how well that'd go down in the States), still a huge fan of Jonathan Creek (The true example of how to mix drama with comedy) but that is about all.

Most of my time is taken up with older programmes, Father Ted, Quantum Leap, Red Dwarf (Series 1-6 only!!!), Blackadder, Young Ones, Bottom etc.

On bothe sides of the Atlantic there seems to be a quality drought.

Lok'Tar Ogar

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Friday, July 16, 2004 12:33 PM

RUE

I have a vote and I'm not afraid to use it!


There was a closed meeting of network execs and news-desk personalities. It was infiltrated (I forget by whom, I'd have to look it up).

The keynote speech was that TV news shows weren't there to report the news, they were there to garner an audience to deliver to the advertisers. And that's what the execs think of the NEWS!

There are all sorts of studies on demographics. They (the network execs) used to go for the 18-31 age bracket (of legal age and with money), but the greying of the US put a kink in the calculations. They thought they should expand the age margins (18-40+), and some still do that. But more recent studies indicate that while the 40+ age group has the most money by a huge margin, they're discriminating spenders - they spend less than younger folk in absolute terms. Young people on the other hand tend to spend about as fast as they think of it. And as a group, they're not too interested in quality. So 'they' (the network execs) have redefined their target audience - which as a reminder is the group they want to garner to deliver to advertisers.

Nowhere did 'quality' enter into the speech at the meeting, so I'm guessing if a quality show doesn't pull big numbers but survives ANYWAY, it's due to some freak circumstance.

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Sunday, July 18, 2004 11:42 AM

MISGUIDED BY VOICES


Quote:

Originally posted by SigmaNunki:
I really think that you are deluding yourself. That extra money is going into the pockets of the execs as a bonus for creating such "good" (read money making) TV and the rest will be put towards make more of it to further increase there profits.



I frequently live in said delusional state
That said, the fact remains that in recent years, despite this so called slide in TV quality, we are receiving some of the best shows ever written - yes you have to search for them more, but the cream at the top is pretty darn good.

As Norm said in Cheers, its simple Buffalo Theory.

"I threw up on your bed"

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Wednesday, July 21, 2004 5:13 PM

SIGMANUNKI


Quote:

Originally posted by Misguided By Voices:

That said, the fact remains that in recent years, despite this so called slide in TV quality, we are receiving some of the best shows ever written - yes you have to search for them more, but the cream at the top is pretty darn good.



My belief is that it is "so good" because we only have crap to compare it to. But, when I think back to yester-year, what is on now pales in comparison. Plus what decent shows that are on now aren't being repaced when they end there run

----
"Canada being mad at you is like Mr. Rogers throwing a brick through your window." -Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

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Wednesday, July 21, 2004 5:23 PM

SIGMANUNKI


Quote:

Originally posted by CGRealms:

There's no arguing taste, but I'm curious as to just what's pathetic about the first. And if "Joan..." forces a point of view, what point of view is it, exactly?



Your first question:
Same old tired family show plot. I've seen it again and again and it's become quite tiresome. If you're into that thing great, but as is clear, I am not.

Your second question:
That God is great and has a plan, etc, etc, etc. I will admit that it is an interesting twist on an old line, but in the end not for me.

< rant >
And on a side note, I have issues with this resurgence of "faith" (read christian faith) having to be in our daily lives whether we want it there or not. I thought that we had grown beyond this, but clearly I am wrong. It rather irritates me when I see it where ever I go. Not all of us are christian and some of us take offense to these side-walk preachers, etc. shoving it in our face where ever we go. It's called multiculturalism, let's respect.
< /rant >

----
"Canada being mad at you is like Mr. Rogers throwing a brick through your window." -Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

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Wednesday, July 21, 2004 5:49 PM

CGREALMS


Quote:

Same old tired family show plot. I've seen it again and again and it's become quite tiresome. If you're into that thing great, but as is clear, I am not
Since family is such a predominant theme in our society, I think it a relevant focus to come back to. And in at least the first season, the idea of family was handled more realistically and unflinchingly than any show I've seen in a while. There wasn't any high-concept window dressing but it didn't need it because the emotional core and the writing were so solid.
Quote:

That God is great and has a plan, etc, etc, etc. I will admit that it is an interesting twist on an old line, but in the end not for me.
This, to me, belies ignorance of the show. I've never seen an episode where "God is great." At times, God puts Joan through absolute hell. Sometimes she understands the reasons and sometimes she doesn't. It is a show that is much more complicated that mere preaching, and though it may be heresy to say, handled the genre in a more consistently satisfying way that "Wonderfalls" did.
Quote:

And on a side note, I have issues with this resurgence of "faith" (read christian faith) having to be in our daily lives whether we want it there or not. I thought that we had grown beyond this, but clearly I am wrong. It rather irritates me when I see it where ever I go. Not all of us are christian and some of us take offense to these side-walk preachers, etc. shoving it in our face where ever we go. It's called multiculturalism, let's respect.
Woah. I don't know where you live, but I haven't seen side-walk preachers in a long time. As for "faith" making a resurgance, well multiculturalism runs both ways. BTW, the God of Joan's world isn't necessarily the Christian God. It's left purposefully vague, and while Joan has sought advice from both a Catholic priest and her friend's Rabbi father it is usually from other less ethereal sources that she finds what wisdom she's looking for.

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Thursday, July 22, 2004 8:13 AM

SIGMANUNKI


Quote:

Originally posted by CGRealms:

Since family is such a predominant theme in our society, I think it a relevant focus to come back to.



My problem is the sheer number of these types of shows. Enough is enough! I've been saturated with this stuff for years and I want something different. Firefly gave me something new and that's one of the major reasons why I got into it and have joined this community, etc. But, this family show has been over done to the extreme, IMO anyway.

Quote:

Originally posted by CGRealms:

I've never seen an episode where "God is great."...



I'll say it again, subtlety.


Quote:

Originally posted by CGRealms:

Woah. I don't know where you live, but I haven't seen side-walk preachers in a long time. As for "faith" making a resurgance, well multiculturalism runs both ways.



Really, I'd like to know when you have seen someone of the Jewish, Wiccan, Buddist, etc faith try to convert someone who didn't explicitly start that conversation. Because, when I turn on my TV I only see televangalists (spelling?) on that are from some form of christanity.


Quote:

Originally posted by CGRealms:

BTW, the God of Joan's world isn't necessarily the Christian God. It's left purposefully vague, and while Joan has sought advice from both a Catholic priest and her friend's Rabbi father it is usually from other less ethereal sources that she finds what wisdom she's looking for.


Wisdom can't be explained, it can only be accomplished. You may get adivce from someone, but it is you yourself that must in the end walk that path to aquire wisdom.

She gets advice from these people (if you follow history, same god) and then has to figure it out herself. No growth comes otherwise.

And you're going to have to explain about the vagueness to me. I just don't see it.

----
"Canada being mad at you is like Mr. Rogers throwing a brick through your window." -Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

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Thursday, July 22, 2004 11:39 AM

MISGUIDED BY VOICES


Quote:

Originally posted by SigmaNunki:
My belief is that it is "so good" because we only have crap to compare it to. But, when I think back to yester-year, what is on now pales in comparison. Plus what decent shows that are on now aren't being repaced when they end there run



I'd be willing to bet at least a fairly small sum of fake money that if you went back to "yester-year" and picked out a TV Guide for the evening that one of the "decent" shows was on, you would find it surrounded by a sea of crap on almost all sides.

"I threw up on your bed"

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Thursday, July 22, 2004 6:58 PM

CGREALMS


Quote:

Firefly gave me something new and that's one of the major reasons why I got into it and have joined this community, etc. But, this family show has been over done to the extreme, IMO anyway.
You don't think "Firefly" is a family show? Hell, the premise for "Firefly" may be a heck alot more out there, but I'm attracted to both shows for the same reason. There are a bunch of disparate personalities brought together into close proximity, and they live with each other to roughly the same degree of success as we do. Compare this with a "family" show like "7th Heaven" which is a bunch of cliches and cardboard cutout archtypes thrown into a blender with zero finesse. Sure, there have been a staggering number of family shows. But few so skilled and nuanced with the execution.
Quote:

Because, when I turn on my TV I only see televangalists (spelling?) on that are from some form of christanity.
That's judging a group by its worst apples. I'd hardly call televangalists representative of Chistianity (or the priests that have molested children for that matter). Televangalists are motivated by greed, not faith. And Christianity is certainly not the only religion that has radical segments. Look at the most orthodox of Jews that withdraw from secular society because it doesn't meet their higher expectations. Hell, look at the radical Muslims that topple skyscrapers and blow themselves up in public streets. Should Judaism and Islam be blamed for such tresspasses?
Quote:

Wisdom can't be explained, it can only be accomplished. You may get adivce from someone, but it is you yourself that must in the end walk that path to aquire wisdom.
Have I said otherwise? Look at what you've quoted. I said she has sought advice from the various religious figures but found wisdom elsewhere. Is this not what you too are stating?
Quote:

She gets advice from these people (if you follow history, same god) and then has to figure it out herself. No growth comes otherwise.
That's certainly the show's philosophy.
Quote:

And you're going to have to explain about the vagueness to me. I just don't see it.
A higher being that takes a multitude of forms talks to Joan and tells her to do things. Not why and not how. She attempts to do them to varying degrees and meets various degrees of success. Sometimes the reason becomes obvious sometimes it doesn't. But there's never a "Hi! I'm God and this is what you should think" moment.

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Thursday, July 22, 2004 8:15 PM

SIGMANUNKI


Quote:

Originally posted by Misguided By Voices:
I'd be willing to bet at least a fairly small sum of fake money that if you went back to "yester-year" and picked out a TV Guide for the evening that one of the "decent" shows was on, you would find it surrounded by a sea of crap on almost all sides.



When I was young till up to only just 2-5 yrs ago (this is where I beleive the down fall, at least for me, happened), I had a show to watch almost every night of the week. Now I'm down to re-runs. You be the judge.

----
"Canada being mad at you is like Mr. Rogers throwing a brick through your window." -Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

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Thursday, July 22, 2004 8:24 PM

SIGMANUNKI


*sigh* You miss my point.


Firefly is *not* a family show. Family shows don't have people getting shot and people being moraly ambiguous to the extreme that we do have in Firefly (ie Jayne in Ariel, Heart of Gold, etc).


You compare apples and organes. You can *not* make a comparison between televangalists and suicide bombers implied or otherwise, intended or not. Be careful in the words that you choose as logical fallicies abound.

And because you missed it, I was talking about people preaching and who exactly they are. And you still haven't answered that question. This was clear by what I wrote and what I quoted from you.


And perhaps you should watch the show and listen to how many times they say the word god in it. And in this society you can hardly say that word without invoking the christian idea of god. You say it remains vague, but in this society it is anything but. Many things can be explained perfectly without words, which is the case here.

Joan herself has said (paraphrased) "You say you give me a choice but in the end I don't have one".


The rest of your points I will not comment on as it's past 1:00am here and I have no need to waste anymore energy on this. I now sign off this thread as it's become a debate about a show that I don't like, and what is the fun in that.

So, when it comes to this sort of thing, you stay on your side and I'll stay on mine. Neither will convice the other one because you like it for certain reasons and I hate it for certain reasons. Since these reasons are nothing but opinion this is a waste of my time, which is quite short now adays.

----
"Canada being mad at you is like Mr. Rogers throwing a brick through your window." -Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

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Friday, July 23, 2004 6:56 AM

CGREALMS


Quote:

Firefly is *not* a family show. Family shows don't have people getting shot and people being moraly ambiguous to the extreme that we do have in Firefly (ie Jayne in Ariel, Heart of Gold, etc).
Good ones do. Family shows are about families in my book. Part of what I like about Everwood is that, aside from a lack of general shooting people, the moral lines blur time and again. The characters are similiarly flawed.
Quote:

You compare apples and organes. You can *not* make a comparison between televangalists and suicide bombers implied or otherwise, intended or not. Be careful in the words that you choose as logical fallicies abound.
Interesting. You make a point to complain specifically about Christianity and it's intrusion into your daily life. I pointed out that Christianity is not the only faith that has had radical members that intrude into their daily lives. And I don't know about you, but terrorists have been far more intrusive in my life than televangelists.
Quote:

And because you missed it, I was talking about people preaching and who exactly they are. And you still haven't answered that question. This was clear by what I wrote and what I quoted from you.
Yes, it's clear that you want to limit the scope of the discussion to a safe realm from your idealogical standpoint. You're free to your views, and I'm not a big fan of televangelists either. But your initial argument was that Christianity is the only religion that pushes its faith on others. I was countering that that's simply not so. Terrorists attempt to destroy opposing religious/cultural viewpoints. Televangelists try to convert opposing religious/cultural viewpoints to their own. It's not a discussion if you open it with "And on a side note, I have issues with this resurgence of "faith" (read christian faith) having to be in our daily lives whether we want it there or not. I thought that we had grown beyond this, but clearly I am wrong." And then call foul when I explore the full implications of that statement. There is religious intolerance from all colors of the spectrum, and singling out specific religion from the pack isn't fair. You only narrowed the conversation to people converting in your second post on the matter. For what it's worth, I agree that the only organized conversion drives I know of are Christian. But I still contend that they are not representative of mainstream Christianity.
Quote:

And perhaps you should watch the show and listen to how many times they say the word god in it. And in this society you can hardly say that word without invoking the christian idea of god.
You're casting your own baggage about what God means on to the show. Just because you feel that "you can hardly say that word without invoking the christian idea of god" doesn't make it so. Since the show hasn't thus far endorsed any religion as the one true faith, it's a moot point.
Quote:

You say it remains vague, but in this society it is anything but. Many things can be explained perfectly without words, which is the case here.
You put up a straw-man argument. As long as you can't see the difference between the word God and the Christian God, it is impossible to counter. There's a fundamental difference. If you're judging a show by your own insight into the word "God" then how can I argue based on the content in the show itself?

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Friday, July 23, 2004 9:19 AM

SHUTE2KILL


Drat. I'm sorry I didn't get in on this discussion before it became a 'Family Values' debate. Hopefully folks are still following this and one of them can answer my question.

Earlier on there was a lot of mention of Canadian television. I'm an American, and I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't even realize Canada made their own television. In my defense, I've been to Canada three times and the only shows I found on my hotel TV were American-- but I might not have been looking for Canadian-produced TV.

ANYWAY, I'm a big fan of BBC America, and I was really pissed off when the USA tried to re-make Coupling and failed so badly. I'd like to think of myself as fairly wordly in my TV viewing and I'd hate to think that there are decent shows being produced just over the border that I am missing.

So, if any of my Canadian neighbors are still reading this, could you please post a list of Canadian TV shows that I should look for? I'll do my best to experience as many as I can.

I'm so ashamed

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