Sunday, October 02, 2011

MORE THOUGHTS ON THE NEW TV SEASON: X MARKS THE SPOT, AND MY THOUGHTS ON PAN AM

The new TV season is well under way now and folks are sizing up who the winners and losers are in the early going. So far, the expected domination of The X Factor on FOX has failed to materialize. The first four shows are in the books and the ratings are just, well, meh.

I think this points to problems down the road for these TV networks. They seem to want to keep throwing the TV talent shows down audiences' throats but the folks at home are just getting tired of them. Look at The Sing-Off on NBC; their ratings are even worse. Personally, I am fed up with all these talent shows and fed up with singing in general (ie. Glee), but more to the point I am fed up with reality shows littering prime time television. I think this is true for a lot of people, in general. I notice the ratings for the Survivor premiere were also down. That's good! I am sick of reality shows crowding out the scripted programming in prime time.

Overall, I have got to say that I am really not into this current TV season. Too many of my favorite shows that I have watched over the years have either been cancelled or have otherwise ended (Entourage being the most recent one). So when I watch TV these days I'm usually either (a) watching the news or (b) watching the sports, or (c) watching something that once played in a movie theater. What I am usually NOT watching is an actual TV show aimed at actual TV viewers.

I think the real problem is too many of these shows just aren't aimed at guys. Look at most of these scripted shows on the networks, ranging from sitcoms about females (2 Broke Girls, Whitney) to action shows about females (Charlie's Angels) to period dramas about females (Pan Am). This is all well and good for the women in the audience but it's no good for me. I don't mind women having their entertainment too, but the entire schedule?! All I want is some balance here. Actually, all I want is something good to watch on TV, and I'm not finding it.  

Now, a few words about the big trend of this TV season: towards aping Mad Men and showing off how cool and glamorous the Sixties were. Well, it's certainly more cool and glamorous than THIS economically-depressed decade is so far, that's for sure! 

I notice there has been a change in the way TV shows depict the Sixties. These days we're seeing a lot of shows heavy in nostalgia about the "cool" Sixties, filled with these ad agencies and the Playboy Clubs, and people flying on classy airlines like Pan Am.

But shows about the Sixties are nothing new on TV. What is new is that the Sixties seem to be depicted these days in a positive light! Back when China Beach, Tour of Duty and these other shows were on the air, the Sixties was depicted as a hellhole of a decade where people were shipped off to Vietnam to get shot at! So the image of the Sixties has really turned around on TV. I guess maybe they want to focus now on that part of the Sixties that was actually good before things went down the tubes with Vietnam.

I finally have Pan Am figured out. That's that new show on ABC about Sixties stewardesses flying for Pan Am. Most people say it's inspired by Mad Men, but I think comparing it to Mad Men is kind of off-base. Instead, I think it's more a cross between China Beach and Flying High.

You remember Flying High? Connie Sellecca was in that show.


Yep, nothing's changed in TV land -- they're still short of new ideas. No doubt, soon we'll see a show about United or Delta, or maybe Southwest?!

That's enough talking about TV for now.

1 comment:

Monica said...

Hi John

Just to let you know that Elaine Bedell, commissioner for shows like X-Factor, Top Gear and The Apprentice will be a guest speaker at the London Screenwriters' Festival 2011, amongst many other top speakers and events (http://www.londonscreenwritersfestival.com).

Best
Monica