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Thread: What have you watched lately?

  1. #5451
    You can disagree that's OK. For me it took TV in a direction that no one ever thought to take before, and paved the way for more. It being a quirky David Lynch production helped it in that regard, because audiences were hooked on the mystery, but it's the production standards, the attention to detail in scripts and characterization (and arguably, casting choices too), the pacing and storytelling methods that were a game changer... All these things fundamentally changed in TV after Twin Peaks, to reach standards that were previously virtually only found in cinema, and the best thing about it is that it was completely genre-agnostic so different directors and script writers could take the cues and run with them the way they wanted. It showed what was possible, and proved that audiences were lining up for it, and it only got better with time, especially after HBO got in the game and started delivering solid series one after the other.

    In any case, it was not a typical 80's production, which was my initial argument

  2. #5452
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    For me, Twin Peaks slots in nicely with other quirky/weird 90s shows like Aeon Flux rather than anything from the 80s. But as for its impact on the TV in the 90s, outside of perhaps The X-files, I'd say it had way, way more influence on the people who saw it when they were young and became nostalgic for it and produced shows like Stranger Things, Wayward Pines, True Detective, and Riverdale.

  3. #5453
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2004
    Location: Back Home
    You can trace the roots of the "Golden Age" of TV back even further to the late 70s, early 80s if you like, with some British productions such as I, Claudius, Jewel in the Crown (starring Charles Dance yes him off GoT!) or The Singing Detective for instance (I suppose they would be considered "limited series" now) raising the bar in terms of scriptwriting, acting, artistic intention and for their time production values (Jewel in the Crown was largely shot on location in India). They were adaptations of novels or series of novels, like GoT I suppose and don't fit into this idea that TV was always self-contained and episodic, or soap operas - rather a simplistic view of the past I think.

    Internationally, what about series like Heimat? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heimat_(film_series)

  4. #5454
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    In the '60s you had The Prisoner. In the 1950s you had Playhouse 90. In the radio era you had Lux Radio Theatre. (Okay, those last two are variety serials; but the stories themselves were pretty sophsticated.) You can keep going back with live theatre, and great live theatre was going on during the TV era as well (Aurthur Miller, et al), to not even mention literature.

    There've always been great scripted shows somewhere in the margins. I think what changes is the socio-economics of being able to produce them, especially for TV shows. In that respect, I think the crystallization of sustainable premium shows with cable, the model defined by The Sopranos, is what set that bar, and that show and shows after it in that model drew inspiration from a lot of those preexisting sources for their actual plotting and arcing & flow, etc. Or something like that. The point is I think the story is more about financing & economics than "inspiration".

  5. #5455
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Land of the crazy
    Part of this history is home recording tech. TV is fundamentally different now that nearly everything is available on demand.

    When I was growing up, we couldn't binge-watch shows. It was all broadcast. Nobody had a VCR yet, and most households only had one TV. If you missed a show you wanted to watch, too bad, you'll probably never have another chance to see it. Maybe if the series is popular enough, and you are still dedicated enough, you might get another chance to see the episode you missed about 20 years later in syndication. But in general, if you missed it, it was gone.

    And a typical family with jobs and children and homework and sports and activities and such wasn't always able to keep the same TV watching schedule every week. TV was something you spent your down time in front of. It wasn't something you rearrange the rest of the stuff in your life around. So watching a mini-series was a commitment. The longer the series, the bigger the commitment. I remember when James Burke's Connections came to PBS when I was about 10 years old. After the first espisode, I was hooked. I spent the next 9 weeks negotiating with my parents to make sure we could be home to watch the show every Wed @ 8PM, or whatever it was. Even with all my lobbying, I think I only saw 8/10 episodes. V, the TV series that came after the TV movie, took things too far in the serial direction. I tried to follow it, but missed episodes frequently enough to make it difficult. Every time I got to watch it, I'd spend part of the time confused about what was going on because I had missed a significant plot point. We could have really used a VCR for that show, but we didn't get one for two more years. If I remember correctly, the miniseries format got a lot more popular in the second half of the 1980s when most people had VCRs. The studios found out that a good miniseries could generate a lot of after-sales in the video stores.

    Now that I think about it, the "golden age of TV" is a big misnomer. The best produced stuff that people consume doesn't reach them via broadcast TV, but by on-demand streaming. It's more like watching a boxed set of DVDs at your convenience than watching TV.
    Last edited by heywood; 22nd Jul 2021 at 11:03.

  6. #5456
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Anybody else here get introduced to TV-shows-with-continuity via Robotech? XD

  7. #5457
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    I think the first really great show I saw was La Piovra that ran here under the title Sea Monster and IMO it remains one of the best shows about the mafia to this day. Otherwise, we got a few immensely popular telenovalas like Escrava Isaura, but there wasn't a real selection until we got proper satellite TV and could binge on all the reruns of 80s shows.

  8. #5458
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Land of the crazy
    Quote Originally Posted by Pyrian View Post
    Anybody else here get introduced to TV-shows-with-continuity via Robotech? XD
    I didn't see any of that series until freshman college dorms. I hadn't even heard of it before then. The networks didn't pick it up, so it went straight to syndication and you were lucky if one of your local TV stations bought it. Even with cable TV, we only had one independent local station and one or two independent NYC stations, and none of them aired Robotech that I could recall.

    Limited technical horizons in the 1980s meant that it was hard for good stuff to find a market unless a major network exec believed in it.

  9. #5459
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Location: Netherlands
    Yeah, so Ted Lasso season 2 started today and that show is well worth your time. Iím also watching Never Have I Ever, a pretty smart show about teenagers, based on creator Mindy Kalingís own childhood.

  10. #5460
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Robotech aired at 5am here in San Diego, CA. Straight from the colored bars.

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