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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In what universe? Other than Duck Dynasty, what shows "humanize traditionalists", without satirizing them?
Compare this to shows that conflate ANY issue with Dem politics - which is dammed near all of them.
I quit watching when Lily got killed. I was too emotionally invested in her character. ;)
Wow. Name one other show. Seriously. We have 100 channels of left-wing garbage and one show that throws our values a bone. I guess that's "fair and balanced"?
Don't forget "Generic Crime Show" and its spin off "Generic Crime Show: another city or subgenre".
I wish I could find a fark.com parody I saw captioned "CSI: Law and Order. Now we're every show on television" with a group shot of the casts of all the CSI and L&O shows.
Shorter Shout Bits: Hollywood sucks and TV today sucks, but because Duck Dynasty and House of Cards have nothing to do with Hollywood and TV, something, something, ACORN, pornography, we win!
Very correct. The source article has been corrected, but FR does not allow me to edit this version.
I can think of a handful of shows that take no stand, either left or right. Most of them involve cars, and the workings thereof. :-) While interesting, I suppose that I'd call them more "historical" or "documentary" in nature. Not really "scripted entertainment".
The rest of the shows that I've seen or know of range from "left-ish" to "unabashedly leftist open mocking of conservative values". This includes the news, which IMO, should take no stand left or right.
DD is the only scripted (yes, it's reality TV, but I'm sure that it's scripted just like the rest of them....) show I can think of that consistently puts conservatives, and conservative values, in a good light.
BBCAmerica has a show called “Orphan Black”. I had missed it; but, caught the show before my cable company took down the episodes (by one day). It is about cloning and the lead actress plays about six different characters. (There was a great hue and cry among those who knew this show, that this actress was not nominated for an Emmy.) I wasn’t sure about it when I first started watching; but, I got hooked on it (you do need to pay attention). It is set in Boston, but, the actors are all Brits, as far as I can tell.
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.
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