TV vs. Movies
When I was younger I was sure that when I reached my middle years, I wouldn’t be one of those middle-age types who complains that things were better in the simpler, good old days. Of course how could I know then that the moviegoing experiences that shaped my life in the ‘70s, movies that reflected the pulse of the nation in a post-Watergate and post-Vietnam era, would be a lost art in the new millennium.
Reading a few quotes from the great director Robert Altman, who passed away recently, cemented my current distain of today’s movies. Said Altman in a 1993 interview, “The people who get into this business are fast-buck operators, carnival people, always have been. They don’t try to make good movies now; they’re trying to make successful movies … There’s no overview. No one says, ‘Forty years from now, who’s going to want to see this.’ No visionaries.”
What is odd about this lack of vision on the big screen, is that television, the medium once disparaged as “the boob tube” has taken up the slack big time …
After a period when TV was dominated by prime time game shows and the so-called “reality shows,” real TV drama has made a dramatic comeback this year. Yes, we still have Deal or No Deal, Survivor and American Idol. However, staying home has become a lot more enjoyable this fall thanks to the unexpected success of Heroes and Jericho. As I noted in an earlier blog, the success of 24 and Lost has been a big part of reviving TV’s interest in compelling drama. I just wish more viewers were intrigued by The Nine, which appears to be headed for the scrap heap. Still, television these days is exciting, compelling, emotionally involving and far from predictable.
Besides the shows already mentioned, current programs worth watching include House, Bones, Cold Case, Grey’s Anatomy, Criminal Minds, CSI: New York and Law and Order: SVU. Plus we have the new season of 24 coming soon. Yes, there are no sitcoms on my list. I don’t think I’ve watched a TV comedy on a regular basis since All In The Family. However, if TVLand is planning a Get Smart marathon, let me know.