Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Mark To, May 14, 2004.
Regarding Fox this is a problem IMHO.
I guarantee you that the studios believe you're going to spend more money with them than us 40- and 50-something farts. And I'm sure they've spent a lot of money on marketing studies to come to that conclusion. So who are we to argue?
My point is that just among the Baby Boomer people I know, I'm in the extreme minority in spending money on TV sets on DVD. A couple or three of us who are vocal about it on a dedicated forum does not a market make.
And I really don't think you're going to convince anybody by trashing shows like Angel and Buffy and Alias and other things that you've probably seen very little of. The fact is, these shows are a hell of a lot better than some of that older stuff that you speak of so fondly. You're argument just deterioates into irrelevant idiocy when you go there.
Well, I happen to love television and I pride myself on the fact that I don't just accept that anything old is good and anything new is bad. I usually watch about a dozen shows (current) a year. I also try to give every new show a chance. Maybe its a generational thing but I don't know anyone over 40 who thinks Buffy is a good show. I tried to watch Alias and I thought it was ridiculous. It is what the creator conceived it as, Felicity in the CIA, which is an asinine concept, unless you're 20 something. But I don't just trash shows because they are modern. I happened to have loved Freaks and Geeks, The Guardian, Grosse Point, Cupid, Ally McBeal and probably a dozen more from the last 5-10 years. If you want to make an argument that Buffy is campy fun to people(like Kolchak) I won't try to disagree but if you want to defend it as a "quality" program then obviously you need to get a different definition of what a quality program is.
Scott_F_S is correct, studios can't just go by what a bunch of people say on the internet, that is the hardcore audience and is also a lot smaller than the overall potential audience, of course I've made the internet argument about a thousand times at HTF, so maybe it should be my signature, but that is correct. The internet is a good place to share interests and to find people with the same interests, but if a bunch of people talk about something on the internet that does not automatically mean that the interest in the overall buying population is high.
Plus, its not just how much people in their 20's and 30's are spending now, it is the fact that they have a longer spending window than people in their 40's and 50's. If you hook the 20 year olds now, you have potential buyers for the next 30 plus years, which is probably not going to be true for the 40 year olds you hook now, I know very few people in their 70's and 80's that are buying DVDs let alone could afford to even if they wanted. So its not just about the money they can make now, but the money they can make now and in to the future. Studios know that people in their 40's now are still more likely to buy shows that air today than people in their 20's are going to buy shows that aired a good 20 years before they were born.
47 and proud to say I have every episode of Buffy and Angel on tape from their original runs, plus every episode that's been released on PAL video and R2 DVD. And I live in the US - I'm just not willing to wait until the R1 releases happen. I think a lot of the critics who've raved over the shows over the past 8 years were over 40, too.
And curiously enough, many of my older friends (i.e., older than 47) are also fans of the shows, primarily the writing. Most of them also have many if not all Man from UNCLE episodes in their video collections, too (as do I).
The two are in no way mutually exclusive, and neither Buffy nor Angel are limited strictly to the teen set. Both series have, however, proven track records for merchandising, not just in the DVD arena, but in books, CDs, toys, magazines, comic books, posters, etc., etc. Buffy and Angel fans are very loyal and appear to have a fair amount of disposable income (even if the WB doesn't seem interested in tapping that next season). Even in its heyday, UNCLE didn't have the opportunity to merchandise to the degree that Buffy and Angel have, so there isn't the same volume of data to prove its marketability. It's a pity - I know I would buy the show in a snap. Put it right next to my complete Avengers DVDs.
And much as I may kvetch about something I'd really like to see not being out on DVD yet, I'm actually a firm believer that if one is patient enough, everything will eventually become available. The fact that Strange Report, an ITC summer replacement show from the late '60s, is coming out on DVD in the UK later this summer is enough evidence for me that I'm on the right track. :>
I think it all boils down to newer stuff is easier to release. Contracts are still untangled (some may still be in force), rights haven't disappeared into the morass of multiple buyouts, and interest is still readily measured. Older stuff is much more of a risk with far more unknown variables, especially with all the "I won't buy it if they don't do X" claims I see over and over again on this board. Frankly, if the folks at the studios are reading some of these posts, I'm surprised they try to prepare anything for the home DVD market.
I don't want to debate quality TV with you. We obviously are not going to agree on that point. But I will tell you than I'm way past my 20s, way past my 30s, and I think Buffy and Alias are excellent shows.
Be that as it may, the discussion here is not what is a good show and what is a bad show ... but rather what shows would appeal to a buying audience large enough for a studio to release a DVD box set. And my guess is that the studios have marketing studies that tell them that it would not be profitable to release most of those shows from three and four decades ago. And I would argue in support of that just from my anecdotal evidence.
This is for Scott F_S- Just what do you have against shows made before 1990, anyway? Guess what- the shows on DVD I collect are roughly 90 precent pre-1980! The only shows post-'90 I collect are The Simpsons, Friends, and I'll be first on line later this year when the first season of The Nanny is released. Otherwise, I have:
The Forsyte Saga (the original and best- in B/W!)
Dark Shadows (an ongoing collection- 1225 shows!)
Pink Lady & Jeff (if Ed Wood made a variety show...)
The Judy Garland Show (a legend at her best!)
The Pallisers (another lush series w/Susan Hampshire)
The Lucy Show (various PD releases)
and many other PD releases of classics like Dragnet and others.
As to your argument that today's shows are better than yesterday's - here are a few words:
The Twilight Zone, Dark Shadows, Star Trek, The Forsyte Saga, The Munsters.
Those above shows are classic. With the forthcoming DVD release of the 1st season of The Munsters, those five series are classic series that have remained popular with audiences for decades with home video releases. More importantly, each show was revived in later decades in new incarnations of varying success! Why on earth would PBS decide to do a new version of "Forsyte"? What about the various "Trek" series, and the primetime revivals of "Zone" and "Shadows"? Why? Because the networks knew that there was still a big interest in the originals, and the felt that new versions of old favorites would be a ratings grabber. This is the same rationale why movie studios keep doing remakes of earlier films- something that Hollywood's been doing since the silent era. (Think of all the various versions of "Dracula", "Tarzan", "Sherlock Holmes", "Dr. Jekyll" et cetera. The audience is there for the classic TV shows, the same way a lot of people would prefer a Bogart or Gable film released on DVD over anything made today by a Tom Cruise or Russell Crowe! Obviously you never heard of TVLAND or Turner Classic Movies- you don't know what you're missing. So show some respect to those you see as "old fogies". By the way, I'll be 39 next month..........
I don't have anything against them, Charles. I merely said -- in reaction to your off-topic comment earlier -- that Buffy and Angel and Alias are better than a lot of those older shows. That's my opinion. It doesn't mean I have something against older shows.
And by the way, I'm 11 years older than you.
Not that it matters any, but I'm 43 and only watch old TV classics. I suppose the last show I really watched and enjoyed was Seinfeld. I don't watch any of today's TV, however, I did enjoy Family Guy when it was on a few years ago.
You sound like me, Carlos. I just turned 42, and I only watch older shows too - and I felt SEINFELD was the best of the "newer shows," and deserves a classic status. FRASIER wasn't too bad either, but let's not push it
I'm 23 and own a whole hell of a lot of TV on DVD. Probably about 2/3 of it is post 1990, most because I buy shows I'm familiar with. I also buy shows I'm familiar with from syndication (Gilligan's Island) and there are plenty of shows my parents loved that i would buy if they were available, i.e. Dragnet, Million Dollar Man, The Fugitive, Man From U.N.C.L.E. and especially Get Smart.
BTW, my parents are 45 and 46 and love Buffy.
When you look at the TV on DVD they have, you'll get a somewhat different picture than mine. They have Mister Ed, Green Acres, I Love Lucy and some public domain Beverly Hillbillies and Red Skelton. The only post-1990 shows they have are Mad About You and Firefly.
However, they only have about 6 seasons-worth of material, whereas I probably have 100 or so. The studios probably do a lot better targeting me than them.
I have no problem with the amount of these threads. As stated maybe some of the studio reps that visit here will see the numerous threads and will pass on to their bosses the need for classics on DVD. God knows they are pumping the 80's out en masse, and the eighties overall IMHO was one of the weakest for TV, Sure there was Maried With Children, MASH, Taxi etc but there was also alot of schlock. I know theres fans of stuff like Punky Brewster and Growing Pains, but to get these shows out ahead of Get Smart, Mission Impossible, Six million Dollar Man etc is mind boggling.
The 1980s has a huge nostalgia market, whether TV was better in the sixties or seventies really is irrelevant because because it is more about the attachment to the show from the audience in many cases than the actual show.
BTW, Married with Children was a 90s show and Mash was a 70s show.
Ugh, I love it when I hear the older crowd complain about how the shows they grew up with are the best. Sure, the FLinstones, Scooby Doo, The Man From Uncle, etc... have some serious nostalgic value, but they, IMO, are not even close to being the best TV has had to offer. They are cheesy, with poor dialog, and for the animated shows, poor animation. I love Scooby-Doo and own the new box set, but it's not due to it's great writing or rewatchability. It's because I love this idea of the show and the memories I have of watching it when I was a kid. When I try to watch it on Cartoon network now all i see is bad animation and terrible storylines with insanely cheesy dialog.
Stuff like Gilligan's Island, I Love Lucy, and shows in that same vein are so unwatchable to me that it's painful and most everyone I hang out with (I'm 26 so all my friends are in that age range) agree. Whether or not the small group of people out there would buy these DVDs, they won't make them because they are a niche tv show. I'm sure their are studies somewhere but from my personal observations, it's our age group (25-35) that drive the entertainment industry, with the exception of music which is unfortunantly apparently dominated by 12 year old girls and 17 year old thugs based on the crap I hear on the radio.
My parents are in their mid 50's and while they watch tons of movies and have a sizable DVD collection, they don't own any TV on DVD. They grew up with these shows but have absolutly no desire to own them now and I think they are in the majority as far as that age group is concerned.With anything, especially an undertaking like soing seasons of TV on DVD, the studios want to make sure they will get a sizable return on thier investment and niche shows don't qualify. Realize that the opinions and desire people express about having these shows on DVD in this forum are from the passionant minority, not the majority.
Well so says you. From the passioninant Minority a 42 year old male I can say we feel the same way about Dawson's Creek and 90210.
Also terrible shows. My only point was that I can't figure out why I keep reading these threads people keep posting complaining about the state of TV today and how it was better back in the day. IMO it wasn't, it may not have been much worse but it defianantly had less quality shows. As bad as 90210 and Dawsons Creek are though, I'd still rather watch these shows than watch a cop drop tidbits of southern wisdom, watch a bumbling Marine, and group of idiots who can't get off an island but can build everything else in the world on the island, a ditzy loudmouth redhead in absurd situations, etc...
Again though, that's just my opinion.
Jonathan, those shows about the Southern sheriff, the bumbling marine, the castaways and that crazy redhead are still being seen all over the world and winning new fans every day. The fact that two of those shows (Gilligan's Island and I Love Lucy are the most rerun TV shows ever seems to have escaped your mind. Millions (and several generations!) of viewers can't be wrong. Obviously you are in that small minority. I just can't see 90210 being as durable in the decades to come, and I bet neither can most of the people on this board! Buffy The Vampire Slayer has the potential, as does The Simpsons and Friends, but Dawson's Creek???
Oh, well- I suppose there are those who prefer I Saw What You Did Last Summer to Casablanca and rather watch 90210 and follow the inspid dialogue than laugh at Lucy Ricardo's still-hilarious antics! Chacon a son gout........
1st off, I just said 90210 sucks and so does Dawson's Creek so lets just get that right out of the way. Anyway, rating and viewer #'s don't equate to quality. People on this forum show realize that more than anyone else. If that were the case Titanic would be considered the best movie of all time and crap like Friends, American Idol, and Survivor would be the most revered shows ever.
I flipped past Baywatch on TV 6 times a day and it was/is watched globally but that doesn't make it good. And while Lucy's antics may be hilarious to some, they are ridiculous and childish to others. As for insipid dialog, please don't tell me the dialog in Lucy, GI, Andy Griffith, etc... is supposed to be respected and appreciated. It's like some 3rd grader who had to write a story with a weak moral at the end wrote it.
All these shows follow the same formula. Someone in the group is an inept moron (and it's always the same person) and screws something up or gets in a sticky situation. It gets fixed/ they are baile dou of trouble after some misadventures and hijinks ensue and everyone learns a lesson when in actuality, their friends should have hung them out to dry for a change just to teach them a lesson. Ugh, talk about cookie cutter crap. No plot or charachter devolpment at all. Just the same episode each week wrapped up in a slightly different "storyline". Yes, there are a few gems like "The Prisoner" and "The Fugitive" but they are rare gems from that era of TV.
Obviously people are welcome to watch and enjoy whatever they want to. I just get irritated when I hear about how everything was better back in the day (movies, music, TV, books, etc...)because it simply not true.
There are certain shows you watch where you know what is going to happen, where characters never really develop, and none of that really matters.
I Love Lucy was one of the best shows of alltime, because you could sit down, turn your brain off after a busy day, relax and laugh at what happens.
That being said, people my age aren't rushing out to buy this show. They are into shows like the Simpsons, Family Guy, Futurama, Angel, Smallville, Buffy, and other stuff like that.
And just like Jonathan said, my parents are into older movies but they are NOT into TV on DVD except for the Sopranos. They view old reruns as TV they have already seen before and they can see in syndication if they really want to watch them.
All that being said, I think fans of older TV shows just need to be patient, Paramont just announced a ton of older titles that should keep the thirty to forty year olds happy and I'm willing to bet that if those titles do well, they will continue to release the older titles because they want to make money.
You are going by what you've seen, which is about 2% of the shows from the 50s to the 70s. There are a ton of great, quality, well written shows which for whatever reason, do not air any more. Gilligan's Island sucked then, it sucks now. It was a stupid show, as is anything Sherwood Schwartz was associated with. The best era for drama in TV history was probably 1960-65. Shows like The Untouchables, Route 66, Naked City, Mr. Novak, The Defenders, The Nurses, Eastside Westside, Cain's Hundred, The Lieutenant, For the People, Combat, Ben Casey, Dr. Kildare, Slattery's People and maybe a dozen more. Have you ever seen even one of these shows? Probably not. As for comedies, judging old comedies by Gilligan would be like judging modern comedies by Suddenly Susan. The differences between older shows and current shows are:
1 - Comedies did not have to have a joke every 7 seconds. The stories and situations could build within the show. Now, every comedy has to be joke, joke, joke. No pacing, no building up to something.
2 - Every show, comedy and drama, was not a soap opera with continuing plots. All shows were self-contained. If you missed a few shows or started watching something after it had been on, you weren't lost. Besides the Law and Orders and the CSIs, name a show you can just pick up watching and not miss half of the dialogue because of running plots.
3 - Many of the best shows were character studies, something non-existent now. Unlike your modern shows, people had an attention span longer than 30 seconds so they could get into the developement of the plots and the characters.
Oh, and unlike the 20-somethings, I've seen both older shows and new shows so I can compare. And there are some new shows that are good, like Joan of Arcadia. However, if you took the 10 best comedies and 10 best dramas from 40 years ago and compared them to the 10 best now, its no comparison. The older shows were so much better written, so much better produced.