Skip to comments.Hollywood Is Desperate
Posted on 09/23/2013 8:37:57 AM PDT by Shout Bits
At last night's 2013 Emmy Awards, actor Don Cheadle offered a rambling salute to the power of TV. Starting with Walter Cronkite's emotional reporting of Pres. Kennedy's assignation and moving on to other touchstones of leftist history, Cheadle argued that TV is the binding force of modern society. TV tells society what to feel, how to think, and what is OK to express openly. TV is the vanguard and constitution of all that is worthwhile. Cheadle's eyes tracked the teleprompter as if in disbelief of the propaganda he was required to spew. Far from an assertion of dominance, Cheadle's speech was a desperate gasp of self-denial, for TV is actually dead as a social arbiter.
The Emmys are an industry award show designed to promote TV viewership. For decades, this meant nighttime programming on the big-three broadcast channels. Per the Ricardian theory of competitors moving toward each other, broadcast TV offered a single view of society and its history. Cheadle's speech celebrated this stultified past but did not acknowledge today's free market of ideas.
For starters, the Emmys do not even represent prime-time broadcast TV as they once did. Where there were once three contenders, there are now countless cable channels with incongruous marketing strategies. Rather than fighting for the heart of the US demographic, Emmy contenders now can slice off a profitable niche. Worse, one Emmy winner was a Netflix program that may never be broadcast. House of Cards was released at once onto the internet. There was no control over when it was to be watched, and its marketing model is contrary to broadcast TV because there are no advertisements or syndications. There are no remaining gatekeepers between creators and audiences TV's power is a wistful memory in Cheadle's teleprompter.
Every category of TV's dominance is gone. Small players like Matt Drudge and Andrew Breitbart took down broadcast news's power to spike stories like Pres. Clinton's abuse of power to cover-up an affair or Acorn's abuse of its tax-exempt status to advance a radical-left agenda. NBC will eventually learn that it can no longer deceptively edit tape to shade the truth as anyone can now listen to the original.
In entertainment, TV is also losing its war. For every program like Glee which seeks to conflate gay issues with Democrat politics, there are more like Duck Dynasty that humanize traditionalists. Tina Fey was one of last night's winners, but her show was never a ratings success. Perhaps Ms. Fey is an example of how a self-focused program with a mean-spirited leftist agenda can kill otherwise entertaining fare viewers no longer have to swallow her politics to get a laugh.
Most people watch the various entertainment awards programs not to root for their favorite shows, but rather to see what the stars are wearing. Titillation without substance is pornography, and that is where broadcast TV is headed. Meanwhile, the unshackled audience is free to explore without the control Mr. Cheadle pined for. His speech was really an obituary, and nobody is going to miss the control the Emmy's once represented.
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Wait a second...
Anyone else see the first sentence as a contradiction of the second?
I have given up on comedies on t.v. and film (with the exception of Big Bang Theory). I keep waiting for the laughs to come, they never do. This is what I meant on my earlier post as to younger “writers” not knowing how to write a good script that is entertaining. This is the blowback from a dysfunctioning educational system. I do believe the two are connected.
Very true. Now they slam you in the face with a sledghammer.
and it seems like its every freaking TV show in prime time these days.
And because Patricia Heaton wasn't nominated (as her current show is okay, but not great).
On a recent Rifleman show a friend of (the lead character) Lucas McCain, was mortally injured. He asked Lucas to make a 3 to 4 day ride to bring his recent bride back so he could see her one last time. When Lucas got to where she was he discovered her cavorting with 3 men who obviously had money. She didn't want to go but he brought her anyway, out of devotion to his friend.
Various other details added to the moral tension, but specifics were barely discussed. There were no moralizing speeches, no big changes. There was temptation for Lucas, and he was also challenged by her. In the end Lucas' friend died after he saw his wife. Lucas went his way with his integrity intact. She went her way clearly planning not to rebuild hers. No easy answers were given. But right and wrong and their possible consequences were presented in a subtle but very real way.
Today we have "friends" who make sex jokes and verbally abuse each other in between bedding each other. Scrips are, apparently, written at a level a notch or two above a Scooby Doo cartoon. Why should we be surprised that America is so hungry for a show like "Duck Dynasty"?
I think anyone who saw the final episode of this season of “Mad Men” would agree that Jon Hamm not winning Best Actor is a travesty.
Trivia moment - Sherwood Schwartz named the charter boat in Gilligan’s Island after the FCC Chairman, in part due to that comment.
Dead on target. And if the show is not pushing an agenda, it is mindless drivel to dumb down America, waste time and erode integrity.
People now basically watch
1. Live sports.
2. Serial shows like Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones.
3. The odd reality show or cable show like Diners and Driveins or what have you.
If it wasn’t for Live Sports most people would cut the cable cord and just go internet only.
YouTube is pretty much my TV now.
I think it was “Soap” that paved the way.
True that - but you still need the cable for live sports - right?
they should rename it the cable premium channel awards. i consider myself fortunate i have never heard of probably 40% of the nominees and never watched probably 90% of the shows. don’t even know who all won. i do enjoy BIG BANG THEORY
I do watch my Barclays’ Premier League (Thank You, NBC!!!) and College Football on the computer, since WatchESPN.com has most of the games.
I absolutely hate blog pimping; but....I didn’t think anything was excerpted here. Isn’t a true blog pimp one who give a hint of the article, then you have to click on their blog to read the rest? This seemed the exact way one should post in the bloggers forum. (just asking; this wouldn’t be the first thing I’ve been wrong about....)
Never seen an episode of it. Some day, maybe. Never seen Breaking bad, either.
My wife, as liberal as they come and getting liberaller, could not stand that show, hates it with a passionate s dumb and sexist (which admittedly are probably the reasons it was a hit). She was absolutely disgusted when her idol, Lucille Ball, hosted a special episode of Three’s Company. For all the annoying stuff, John Ritter was a master of physical comedy with his pratfalls and stuff. He wasn’t bad on “Buffy” either.
What’s interesting about 3’s Company vs. today’s shows is that 3’s Company was always intended to be a sex farce, nothing else, while the shows today are supposed to be comedies about “family” or working in an office, etc, but throw in all of the sex jokes (badly) gratuitously without any of the elaborate setup that 3s Company had. In addition, the humor in 3s Company worked primarily because the characters (and the audience) were NOT crude, crass, vulgar people - they were regular people that found themselves in odd circumstances with sexual overtones (every episode had at least one gag where a misheard conversation was taken completely the wrong way).
I run an Oscars and Emmys ceremony, add to it the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Indruction Ceremony every evening at home, as I self-congratulate myself! Try it yourself!
John Ritter was a devoted fan of Lucy and was excellent at physical comedy. But many of the story lines for "Three's Company" were poor sideways copies of classic original television.
"That 70's Show" - How much worse can it get when a pathetic show about a truly pathetic decade is a hit on TV? I don't think I want to know. My head hurts just considering the concept of Honey-boo-boo.
It looks like I can get these on-line. I am watching a show called “Good Doctor.” It’s a Korean Drama and the main character is a surgical resident with savant syndrome. It’s medically graphic and I usually don’t do well with those scenes, but I’ve stuck to this.
I was startled when I saw an interview with the actor because of the complete change in mannerisms, voice, reactions, etc. The guy is amazing.
The original video of Cheadle’s speech is now embedded in the original article, FYI.
enjoy (or not).
He is right. The best show I saw last year was a show called Unexpected You (also known as You who Rolled in Unexpectedly or My Husband Got a Family). There wasn’t much belly laugh to it and it brought tears a few times, but it had so much heart and other than the evil sister-in-law, the characters were great.
Thank you all for enlightening me about Newton Minnow. With such an unusual name, you’d think I could remember it!
BTW, loved the trivia about the SS Minnow. Not only was it a great response to him, it also was a great inside joke!
There are no remaining gatekeepers between creators and audiences TV's power is a wistful memory in Cheadle's teleprompter.
Interesting theory, but I will have to disagree. “Educators” had been trying to figure out how to “dumb down” students for a long time before they finally hit on a way to do it - “new” math was one way and that was followed by “new” English. I was furious that I spent my senior year in high school diagramming sentences to “learn” “new” English instead of studying English Lit.
After that, they managed to get state legislatures to buy into their story that having an average of ~35 kids in a class was not conducive to a good learning environment. Pretty much every class I had all through school consisted of an average of 33 - 35 kids and we learned more in those days than kids do today with all the teachers, helpers, aides and assistants in a smaller class size. In Texas, class sizes are limited to 22 kids so they can learn less and graduate stupider than the average 6th grader when I was in school. In essence, what the NEA and the “professional” educators did was turn education into a jobs program for people too dumb and too lazy to do much of anything else!
To understand Hollyweird, you need only to look at Broadway. Broadway lost its edge and its innovativeness starting around the mid-70s and it’s been a downhill ride ever since. If you look at what is playing on Broadway today, the bulk of it is pablum based on Disney movies that someone without much pride or creativity turned into Broadway musicals. Hollyweird followed suit when they saw the trend on Broadway.
But, the real downhill slide began when radio drama went off the air. If you want to discover real storytelling and real imagination, pick up an album of some of the old radio dramas and study them. The stories and the storytelling are fantastic and I fell in love with old radio dramas as a kid when my dad was stationed in post-war Germany and all there was for entertainment was either the American movie theater on base or radio dramas on Armed Forces Radio Network (AFRN)!
Good times!! :-)
Minnow in 1961
In the later picture, he looks a little like Orson Bean.
2 other shows I really enjoy are Strike Back and Banshee. If you don’t get Cinemax you can check them out at solarmovie.so under the TV section. Don’t click the Watch Movie link because that is a pay link - all of the other links going to places like putlocker, played.to, filenuke.com are free.
You are kind.
Like both. But not what I consider contributing to a golden age. Good action and leads do a goodnjob
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