Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > Entertainment Discussions > TV Talk
Reload this Page >

Is this the best era of tv ever?

TV Talk Talk about Shows on TV

Is this the best era of tv ever?

Old 10-03-05, 04:14 PM
  #1  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: In my mind.
Posts: 7,694
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Is this the best era of tv ever?

I've only really started watching tv series on a regular schedule within the last year (I could never get into watching series, I'd always miss the first season and then just move on), and all it makes me wonder is if we're currently living in the best era of tv ever. There have been so many good shows that have sprung up within the last 4-5 years and for someone like myself who's been catching up on the series I missed out on it's been an awesome experience.

What are your thoughts?
Old 10-03-05, 04:18 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Directionally Challenged (for DirecTV)
Posts: 123,192
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
For drama, yes. Much of the credit goes to HBO and F/X for that.

For comedy, no way.
Old 10-03-05, 04:20 PM
  #3  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Posts: 2,456
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'd say far from it. The only things I watch on tv regularly anymore are Law and Order: SVU, Veronica Mars, The Simpsons, Family Guy, and Arrested Development.

Compare this to 10 years ago when I watched Seinfeld, Friends, Home Improvement, ER, Drew Carey, Frasier, Mad About You, Picket Fences, The Simpsons, and a ton of other shows regularly.
Old 10-03-05, 04:25 PM
  #4  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: In my mind.
Posts: 7,694
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Red Dog
For drama, yes. Much of the credit goes to HBO and F/X for that.

For comedy, no way.
You're right, and I should've mentioned that. Sitcoms are terrible nowadays, probably the worst they have been.

Outside of American Dad and Family Guy, I can't watch the 30-minute show with a stupid laugh track.

Strangely I find more humor in shows like Nip/Tuck than shitfests like Everybody loves Raymond.
Old 10-03-05, 04:35 PM
  #5  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Southside Virginia
Posts: 6,457
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think it depends on the perspective you take. The overall quality of shows were much better when there were three networks and a few UHF stations. I don't think TV back then hit the heights it can hit these days, though.
Old 10-03-05, 04:50 PM
  #6  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Newberg, OR
Posts: 17,252
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally Posted by Red Dog
For drama, yes. Much of the credit goes to HBO and F/X for that.

For comedy, no way.
Bingo.
Old 10-03-05, 04:54 PM
  #7  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: MA
Posts: 17,006
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Agree with the yes for drama, no for comedy. The sitcom is dead.
Old 10-03-05, 04:56 PM
  #8  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: IL
Posts: 3,509
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Comedy's heyday was, in my opinion, the late 80s to the late 90s.
Old 10-03-05, 05:01 PM
  #9  
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Rome, NY
Posts: 144
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This is the year of sci-fi.
Old 10-03-05, 06:48 PM
  #10  
nny
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 1,404
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It's absolutely the best it's ever been in both drama and comedy. There's more great comedy in most of the dramas and reality shows that I watch nowadays than there was in most of the sitcoms of the last 60 years. I don't think comedies became truly great until they got out of the multi-camera ghetto. Seinfeld's the only multi-camera show in history that I'd put above Arrested Development, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Scrubs, Malcolm in the Middle, Gilmore Girls, Family Guy, South Park, and It's Always Sunny in Philly. I'd also say most of the dramedies I watch are funnier than all the sitcoms throughout the years.
Old 10-03-05, 06:57 PM
  #11  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Shannon Nutt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 16,989
Likes: 0
Received 11 Likes on 9 Posts
For drama, yes, no doubt about it. Not so for comedies. I'll take reruns of All In The Family, Cheers and Seinfeld any day over the current crop of sitcoms on TV. Even the "good" ones pale in comparison to past sitcoms.

Then again, I'll take some of today's sitcoms over THEATRICAL comedies...a true disaster this decade, if you ask me.
Old 10-03-05, 08:05 PM
  #12  
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 241
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Shannon Nutt
For drama, yes, no doubt about it. Not so for comedies. I'll take reruns of All In The Family, Cheers and Seinfeld any day over the current crop of sitcoms on TV. Even the "good" ones pale in comparison to past sitcoms.
You've gotta remember that for each of those great sitcoms there were 10 that completely sucked. You're pointing out the 3 best sitcoms of the last few decades and comparing them to today's sitcoms and not to the single camera comedies. We have moved on from sitcoms so it's not fair to judge today's comedies based on the few sitcoms around.
I personally think it is an excellent time for comedy. We have Entourage, curb your enthusiasm, scrubs, arrested development, it's always sunny in philadelphia, and Malcolm in the Middle.
Old 10-03-05, 09:08 PM
  #13  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Ayre's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,153
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I am 47 and a TV addict for 40+ of those years.

In the past TV rarely ever attracted quality scripts.

Today, many dramas require top scripts, acting and production.

So yeah, it is the best time to be TV addict.
Old 10-03-05, 09:11 PM
  #14  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Numanoid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Down in 'The Park'
Posts: 27,882
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Jimmy James
I think it depends on the perspective you take. The overall quality of shows were much better when there were three networks and a few UHF stations. I don't think TV back then hit the heights it can hit these days, though.
Exactly. There is so much more to choose from now that you're bound to be able to point to some great stuff. Compare the number of available shows in primtime now (literally dozens and dozens) to television in the '60s or '70s, where you pretty much had only 9 to 18 shows to choose from over the course of any given night. At certain points during those years the ratio of great shows to crap was pretty darned high - higher than it will ever be again simply because of the mathematics involved.
Old 10-03-05, 11:42 PM
  #15  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Seattle
Posts: 2,349
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Arrested Develoment, Lost, Scrubs, and 24 are the only shows I'm truly addicted to, which is 3 more shows than I've ever been hooked on at any one time. So for me, it's a great era for TV.
Old 10-04-05, 12:02 AM
  #16  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 1,065
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by esc24
You've gotta remember that for each of those great sitcoms there were 10 that completely sucked..
I think as far as level of the shows, now is the best era of tv we have ever had.. Sure, the best of the best back in the day is still "good tv", even on if you watch them now, but as others have points out that is glossing over all the bad tv too.. Plus back a while ago we only had 3 networks and now we have a whole lot more..

I think if you start to add up all the +++ factors we have in modern day one can make a case for tv being at close to it's best now: HD tv, Cable networks forcing other networks to put out better shows, the 2nd life of shows on DVD, other networks picking up good shows dropped by others.. Tivo and digital recording for loseless viewing, home DVD burners to save a show in a format that never degrades, return of "free" tv being great thanks to OTA HD.. Huge tv's for prices that are dropping at a very fast rates. Death of the bulk of laugh track sitcoms. Even just being able to do this right here, talk about tv stuff or share info about shows good and bad makes them more interesting..

Sure that is stacking up more factors then just the level of the shows we are watching but I think it's all one big package.

of course we have negatives now too.. Bad reality tv (IMO that is all reality tv), bad clone shows and a lack of new ideas for shows, etc etc but there was bad tv back in the day and none of the other bonus issues..

The one big thing missing from modern tv now is the "everyone saw it" sort of show.. Like say I Love Lucy or Miami Vice was back in the day.
Old 10-04-05, 12:12 AM
  #17  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 5,320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
No. The over-abundance of garbage so-called "reality" shows will easily keep this from being the best era.

MAYBE if the shows were actually "real," it'd be better, but what ones aren't scripted are loaded with morons that are acting as outrageous as possible in hopes of getting noticed. I remember someone once comparing the first season of MTV's "The Real World" with the then-current season. In the first season, the kids in the house were fascinated by a fishtank in their living room. In the current season, they're having threesomes in the hot tub. What one is closer to reality?

The next reason is the FCC and their mysterious guidelines that they refuse to share. ABC asks the FCC "Hey, we've been showing Saving Private Ryan" every Veteran's Day for the last few years, but lately you've been fining stations for things that you've let slip in the past. Is there anything in this movie that will get us in trouble with you?" The FCC's response? "We won't know until you air it and someone complains." HUH???? The FCC refuses to give definitive guidelines as to what they feel is and is not proper.

As a result, original programming on pay TV (and to a lesser extent basic cable) is better as writers head there to ply their trade without fear of fines and censorship... but network TV is quite possibly at the worst it's been in years.
Old 10-04-05, 02:57 AM
  #18  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 3,193
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If we're in the best era ever I think it must be on the very tail end of it.
Around 1995 (give or take) we had Homicide, Buffy, Angel, Babylon 5, Xena, The X-Files, Newsradio, Sports Night, and Seinfeld and The Simpsons were still going strong. I know there's more I loved and watched if I took the time to look it up.

Then around 2000 and beyond we started getting the HBO powerhouses, Sopranos, Sex in the City, Six Feet Under, etc. On normal cable we got Gilmore Girls, West Wing (a few good years), Alias (a couple good years) and a couple others. But as a negative the success rate of beloved shows like Freaks and Geeks, Firefly, Wonderfalls and the like was dismal. They'd make a few great shows each year, but for some reason not enough people watched.

Now I've only got Gilmore Girls, Lost and Arrested Development (for the time being) that I REALLY look forward to. There's a few other shows I watch regularly, and I have enjoyed the cable summer fare, like Rescue Me, The Closer, Monk and The 4400, but really only Lost, GG and AD will be sorely missed if they would happen to be taken off the air. And nothing new has caught my eye at all this season. That's a far cry from the 15-20 shows I had to see every week back ten years ago.
Old 10-04-05, 05:10 AM
  #19  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 1,065
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by MovieExchange
the FCC and their mysterious guidelines that they refuse to share..
I'll agree that the FCC has some issues now but networks over all can still get away with a ton more then you could years ago. It's not like in 1980 it was a soft core porn fest but then the FCC cracked down to where we are now.

Over all public option has changed some too. I forget the date but there was this huge issue with a girl girl kiss on Roseanne and that seems not be a big deal now. At least not to the point of stations freaking out over it as they use too..

Plus not liking a given show does not mean that the show is not good.. It just means one does not like it.. Over all I think we have a better mix of shows now then in the past, again, mostly just due to a much larger network spread then when it was only prime time with the "big three" as we had back in the day..

Sure, we could limit the range to compare the top 3 networks of the past to whatever the top 3 networks are now era to era in prime time only and it's a more pf a fair fight..

Sep with 24 hour news, live coverage of just about any event at any location world wide, more sports then every before, more tiny market shows on cable etc etc etc.. Tv over all, as in what you can see on your tv and the options one has now to get it, IMO TV has never been better then right now. It might even be a little bit of over load really.
Old 10-04-05, 06:32 AM
  #20  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 7,638
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
This is pretty subjective to taste. In my opinion the mid sixties was the best. No reality, game shows or primetime news shows. Most everything shot in technicolor, on film with motion picture cameras. No mid-season reruns. Shows started in September and were all first run until end of season. 26-30 episodes per season. I feel there were more good shows on just the three networks than all the networks combined now. For example the 1966-67 season:
Lost in Space
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
Time Tunnel
Star Trek
Green Hornet
Batman
Get Smart
Hogan's Heroes
Beverly Hillbillies
Andy Griffith
I Dream of Jeannie
Bewitched
Man From UNCLE
Girl From UNCLE
Green Acres
Petticoat Junction
Bonanza
Gunsmoke
Mission Impossible
Wonderful World of Disney
The Fugitive
F-Troop
Wild Wild West
Combat!
Big Valley
Tarzan
Branded
Gilligan's Island
The FBI
The Flintstones
The Invaders
Imagine a brand new, first aired episode of all these shows every week. And these shows only make up about 24 of the 85 hours of prime time each week by the three networks!
Plus we got saturday morning cartoons too.

Last edited by rw2516; 10-04-05 at 06:46 AM.
Old 10-04-05, 06:55 AM
  #21  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 589
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sitcoms are probably the worst they have ever been in history. Not one amuses me. I don't watch any new ones. And this is coming from someone who liked the sitcom genre ranging from I Love Lucy to All in the Family to Three's Company to Frasier. There are handfuls I enjoyed from the 50's-90's. Many.

I agree that Drama is where it's at nowadays. I was never a big fan of drama previously, but that seems to be where all the shows that catch me seem to be nowadays.
Old 10-04-05, 08:18 AM
  #22  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Ayre's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,153
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
rw2516 ... How many of those great shows would survive today?

The bar has been raised numerous times over the past 40 years. Each success forces the next generation to be that much better. I would almost say .... television has matured.

For the first time in my life, I am enjoying TV more than movies (and I am movie fan).
Old 10-04-05, 08:49 AM
  #23  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 5,320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by DeadLamb
I'll agree that the FCC has some issues now but networks over all can still get away with a ton more then you could years ago. It's not like in 1980 it was a soft core porn fest but then the FCC cracked down to where we are now.
You're missing the point in part. The FCC refuses to tell anyone what their guidlines are, what will get them fined and what won't. The very action of that has stifled creativity and has made networks censor their programs just because they don't know what is and isn't allowed. Stephen Bochco pulled the plug on NYPD Blue because he was tired of not being able to do what he's always done on his show just because the FCC had gotten more strict since Janet Jackson flashing her boob.


Originally Posted by DeadLamb
Plus not liking a given show does not mean that the show is not good.
Normally I'd agree with you, but not when it comes to so-called "reality" TV. It's not real. Furthermore, the main reason it's being pushed so much on us is because it's so much cheaper to make. You don't need to have a coherent storyline. You don't have TV stars with multi-million dollar contracts, etc.


Originally Posted by DeadLamb
Sep with 24 hour news, live coverage of just about any event at any location world wide, more sports then every before, more tiny market shows on cable etc etc etc.. Tv over all, as in what you can see on your tv and the options one has now to get it, IMO TV has never been better then right now. It might even be a little bit of over load really.
More options doesn't mean better quality.
Old 10-04-05, 08:53 AM
  #24  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 5,320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Ayre
rw2516 ... How many of those great shows would survive today?

The bar has been raised numerous times over the past 40 years. Each success forces the next generation to be that much better. I would almost say .... television has matured.

For the first time in my life, I am enjoying TV more than movies (and I am movie fan).
That much better? Sorry, not quite. We're talking about an industry that, by and large, believes that the true key to a successful show is to "appeal to the lowest common denominator." Sure, you have a few breakout shows like Lost that defy that rule, but those are the exceptions.

Each "success" does not force better shows as much as it simply becomes the platform to spin off weaker and weaker clone shows.
Old 10-04-05, 08:59 AM
  #25  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Jobland
Posts: 4,289
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Red Dog
For drama, yes. Much of the credit goes to HBO and F/X for that.

For comedy, no way.
Agreed. I think the most recent/current seasons of The Shield, Battlestar Galactica, and Lost are the 3 most most exciting show I've seen, although that's partially because I look back on The Sopranos and Alias with revisionist history since I think they suck now. No way I place Arrested Development or South Park (my current top 2 comedies) in my top 5 comedies.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.