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Old 12-07-2009, 11:07 AM   #11
kiwi
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Thumbs up good debate

Many thanks, davecsm

I grew-up watching a lot of American comedy shows & police dramas & actions movies through the late 60s and into the 70s & beginning to mid 80s. Also, during that period I also watched British stuff. I'm Scottish.

Which was better? Through the late-sixties, American stuff was better. The comedy show Hogan's Heroes was one of my favorites. In the 70s British TV was really gaining ground with the likes of the Sweeney & investigative journalism like World in Action - which has an Iconic opening sequence, I think, both musically & visually.

In the 80s I think British TV was better to a point in time were I'm not sure, mid-80s maybe? America still had some great comedy shows, Like Soap but basically I gave up watching TV. I had started my first business by then & had no time.

Later in the 90s I heard a lecture by a prominent professor of Media studies warn about the dangers of 'cheap TV' by which he was warning us about 'Reality TV' & how it would destroy TV as we had grown-up understanding it.

It doesn't matter if it is 24 people living in a house with CCTV or your neighbors re-decorating your house while you do theirs - it's still the same - cheap & nasty.

There was a clip of the local version of 'Britain's got talent' (No. It hasn't.) posted on the net. It showed this teenage girl, who had dreamed all her life to be a singer. Sadly, she did not have the voice to be a singer. While it was filmed beforehand & the local 'judges' (of talent ... ???) got tore into her like frenzied sharks feeding. The end result?

She's in F. tears.

That's bad enough but did they really need to air it on TV?

No. But they did. Prime time, too.

She was a child. 17. - Go on destroy her dreams in public, that's human compassion.

Not only shown on TV but ended up on the net. I only saw it because someone sent it to me, I still do not watch TV. They thought like a lot of people that it was funny.

TV is rubbish these days.

And as Ned's Atomic Dustbin used to sing, Kill your Television

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Old 12-07-2009, 04:25 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by jawbone View Post
In every era, including today, there are always excellent shows that people will remember, there are a fair number of good shows but given the time that needs to be filled there also was & still is an awful lot of rubbish. Our brains are very good at filtering out that rubbish so our memories of TV in bygone eras are always better than we felt at the time. There is a whole nostalga industry based on this premise.
I dunno, jawbone - the powers that be put out all sorts of misinformation about the past to justify what they do now. If you follow the link below you will find a list of missing plays/films in the Theatre625 strand - just one strand out of many which ran on the BBC and ITV throughout the 50's, 60's 70's. There are 111 plays missing out of 170. That's more drama in one single strand than we've seen over the whole of the past 10 years on UK TV, across all channels. (I'm talking about single plays - serials are a different beast, but the story is pretty much the same).

http://www.lostshows.com/default.asp...2-7e69b050cf42
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Old 12-07-2009, 05:13 PM   #13
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You're right, Jawbone, but I think excellent shows were easier to make in the old days, like Bonanza, or whatever. The spectrum of genres were wide open back then, tv was really still in it's infancy. By now, a lot of the premises have been run into the ground. I really don't find much on regular tv these days, except for stations like Discovery, or the History Channel, or TLC, or PBS, who still play many excellent programs like Masterpiece Theatre. (Or Adult Swim on the Cartoon Network). But the premium channels like HBO are really the groundbreakers nowadays. A series like The Sopranos is hard to top these days. Or Rome, or Six Feet Under, or Curb Your Enthusiasm, or political talk shows like Real Time with Bill Maher. I think all the premium channels are going nuts to find another series like the Sopranos, that one will be hard to beat.
I think though our expectations are higher.Look back at some of them and you wonder why you stayed in on a Saturday night to watch them.But there were some real gems too.We had a whole raft of great sitcoms in the 80s and some like Only Fools and Horses well into the 90s.I only watch about 3 hours of TV a week , love Time Team (not a great fan of T.Robinson but he fronts it well) and of course some of the Attenborough documentaries are world class.
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Old 12-07-2009, 05:20 PM   #14
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My generation literally grew up with the very best in television but I generally avoid it these days with several exceptions as it seems we have quantity rather than quality. The popularity of "reality television" still puzzles me but I'm very delighted to witness countless classics be it comedy or drama on DVD.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTN3s2iVKKI
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Old 12-07-2009, 05:45 PM   #15
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As a result of British TV showing hour upon hour of mind numbing rubbish, I no longer watch TV. If there is a programme I'm interested in watching I'll view it via the BBC's iPlayer.
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Old 12-07-2009, 07:26 PM   #16
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We still get some good stuff on TV. Not as much as we used to, but it's still there.

Last year the BBC put out a series over five nights called Criminal Justice - excellent and compelling. It also has another series of linked dramas called The Street, which is sometimes good, sometimes so-so and sometimes astonishing, the final episode of the second series which starred Johdi May was genuinely edge of the seat stuff for most of its hour running time and a large part of it was two people having a conversation through an almost closed door. It was almost to the standard of Dekalog (for those that know their Kieslowski).

Channel 4 put out a four part drama set during the Civil war called The devil's whore, again excellent.

I haven't even mentioned Dr Who. Despite the Saturday teatime "scare the children" slot giving an indication of the target audience there have been some superb episodes - The girl in the fireplace, Silence in the library and particularly Blink.

There are other examples. I agree that overall standard of terrestrial televison has definitely declined but the gems are still out there, at least on the BBC and C4. I can't see ITV in its current form ever producing something to rival Jewel in the Crown or Harry's Game again though.
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Old 12-07-2009, 08:05 PM   #17
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I wouldn't be willing to nail my colours to the mast and claim that US TV is/was better than UK TV, or vice versa. Both countries have, and still do, produce some excellent stuff, and both have produced absolute dross. We also get a bit of a false perspective as only the "best" US shows tend to be aired over here in good old Blighty.

I'm with 'jawbone' to a certain extent in that it's easy to look back at the "the good old days" (not the TV show of that name, I hasten to add!) and just remember the highlights. TV was also more of an "event" as there was a lot less choice and no direct competitors such as VHS or DVD. In addition, we'll look back at a period of 10 or 20 years, then compare it to the last 1 or 2 years ... which is hardly fair!

I took at look at the BBC listings for 14th December 1985 (picked at random).
Evening viewing ...
5.20 The Krankies
5.50 Noel Edmonds Late Late Breakfast Show
6.40 Bob's Full House
7.15 Juliet Bravo
8.05 Only Fools & Horses
This was followed by The News, a film I've never heard of, 75 minutes of International Show Jumping, and another film which certainly hasn't lodged in my memory!

Hmmm ... I wonder why I used to go to the pub so often in the 80's?

For those who are interested, nostalgic or bored, have a browse at the following ...
http://tvlistings.thetvroomplus.com/

It makes for depressing reading, and the rose tint rapidly fades from the glasses!
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Old 12-07-2009, 08:39 PM   #18
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I am just going to put my rose tinted spectacles on for a second.

Dad's Army
Porridge
Only Fools and Horses
Red Dwarf (up to series V)
Monty Python
Fawlty Towers
Rutland Weekend Television
The Two Ronnies
Open all Hours
Morecambe and Wise
Black Adder
Ripping Yarns
The Day Today
The Fast Show
One Foot in the Grave
The Benny Hill Show
The Last of the Summer Wine (first 7 series, original cast)
Rising Damp
The Rise and Fall of Reginald Perrin


Softly Softly
UFO
World at War
Tales of the Unexpected
The Prisoner
The Avengers
The Sweeney
The Champions
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Old 12-07-2009, 10:53 PM   #19
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Both British and American TV have produced excellent shows as well as heaps of putresecent crap to help fill the hundreds of satellite channels now available. I tend to spend more time watching DVD's these days than TV as it happens, Sky+ is a useful tool to try and ensure I don't miss the few programmes I still want to watch.
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:12 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by dbailey View Post
I am just going to put my rose tinted spectacles on for a second.

Dad's Army
Porridge
Only Fools and Horses
Red Dwarf (up to series V)
Monty Python
Fawlty Towers
Rutland Weekend Television
The Two Ronnies
Open all Hours
Morecambe and Wise
Black Adder
Ripping Yarns
The Day Today
The Fast Show
One Foot in the Grave
The Benny Hill Show
The Last of the Summer Wine (first 7 series, original cast)
Rising Damp
The Rise and Fall of Reginald Perrin


Softly Softly
UFO
World at War
Tales of the Unexpected
The Prisoner
The Avengers
The Sweeney
The Champions
ah, dennis waterman and "the sweeney" and "minder", brings back fond memories

TotU was good too

Loved the world at war - downloaded recently from usenet

UFO - brilliant, but dated now, again leeched from usenet

Only fools and horses, my eyes are welling now

What do we have today ? Having said that graham norton and sharon tate were on this evening
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