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Classic Shows - Which Do We Love More, The Shows or The Era?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Frank Soyke, May 19, 2013.

  1. jperez

    jperez Well-Known Member

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    In general, what I appreciate from old shows I liked and have on DVD (of VHS) is the much better script writing... Naked City, Route 66, Maverick, Run For Your Life, Gunsmoke, I Spy, The Virginian, Ben Casey, Outer Limits, Dr. Kildare, even though they usually kept to the conventions of the era, seem much better scripted than even the better shows of the 21st century, althought these later ones, of course, are much better produced. Old times shows depended a lot more on great dialogue...
     
  2. jimmyjet

    jimmyjet Well-Known Member

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    better produced ? in what context are you coming from ?
     
  3. jcroy

    jcroy Well-Known Member

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    I would highly disagree with this for some "older" shows. :)

    (I don't really watch 50's and early-60's shows).

    In terms of stuff from the 1970's and 1980's, there exists stuff which has rather "cartoonish" dialogue and/or lackluster script writing. Imho, some egregious examples are shows like: Dukes of Hazzard, Baretta, the original Knight Rider, The A-Team, the original Hawaii Five-O, etc ...
     
  4. Ron1973

    Ron1973 Beverly Hillbilles nut extraordinaire

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    I really don't see how you'd say Hawaii Five-O was cartoonish and I don't remember enough about Baretta. The others, yeah, it was cartoonish but that was the beauty of those shows!
     
  5. Frank Soyke

    Frank Soyke Well-Known Member

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    I definitely agree on the A Team and Dukes. The dialog and scripts were horrendous (along with much of the acting). But with regard to Hawaii Five-O and Baretta, IMO you are way off base. Five-O didn't run 12 seasons because the writing, dialog and acting were subpar. Until Law and Order, Five-O was the stardard for a high quality long running police show.
     
  6. jcroy

    jcroy Well-Known Member

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    This may sound silly in hindsight, but when I was younger I use to think stuff like The A-Team, Dukes of Hazzard, Knight Rider, etc ... were actully top notch acting, writing, etc ... :) I largely held this belief over my two decades away from television.

    It wasn't until I started watching these old shows again as a middle aged adult, that I came to the realization how cartoonish stuff like Dukes of Hazzard, The A-Team, Knight Rider, etc ... actually were.

    In the case of shows like the original Hawaii Five-0, Baretta, etc ..., I think we may have to agree to disagree. Though not as outright cheesy as stuff like Dukes of Hazzard, I found myself (unintentionally) laughing a lot and having a hard time "suspending disbelief". In particular, stuff like the "cartoonish" looking violence, one-dimensional bad guys, etc ... which I initially thought looked like something straight out of a comic book. I suspect the original producers/writers/actors back in the 1970's, probably didn't intend it to come off in this manner.

    (This is strictly my own experiences with watching the dvd seasons sets of shows like the original Hawaii Five-O, Baretta, etc ... Others may highly disagree with my experiences, and have very different personal perspectives.)

    In the case of Law & Order, I didn't get that "cartoonish" vibe when I was watching the reruns back in 2007-2008. I suppose I'll have to watch the episodes again, to see whether my perception of it has changed.
     
  7. jimmyjet

    jimmyjet Well-Known Member

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    yep, seeing thru kids eyes can be different than when we experience them as an adult
     
  8. Hollywoodaholic

    Hollywoodaholic Edge of Glory?

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    Most all the of shows jperez mentions here were primarily written for adults and even originally aired at later times. The Outer Limits ultimately picked up a 'kid' audience to the point where CBS dictated it have a 'monster of the week,' by the second season - and it suffered because of that edict. But the writing was extremely literate, much along the lines of The Twilight Zone.
    Watch just one Maverick episode and I defy you to find anything today with that much story packed in, or aimed at a more literate audience (even if its western literature). Remember that new media always pilfers from the previous media content to start. Television writers initially were mostly playwrights or authors, who pilfered from stories from books for content, hence, the more literate writing in the early stages of television. Then television pilfered from itself, movies pilfered from television and comic books, and the whole devolution of media is continually diluted from its original more literate sources. Just go to your local multiplex to confirm this for films (Can you even imagine movies like Laura or Citizen Kane being released widely today?). Cable has been making inroads going back to more literate sources; The Wire, for example, used primarily crime authors to write the scripts and build a long form novel for television. But the mainstream broadcast shows follow much simpler formulas and rely on scriptwriters who may have never stepped in a bookstore. But they watched a lot of television.
     
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  9. HDvision

    HDvision Well-Known Member

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    The shows, not the era.

    The Avengers, The Prisoner, THE WILD WILD WEST are still incredible and have fought against the ravages of time and held up.

    Don't tell me you can see equivalents today, of Bob Conrad jumping onto 5 people and knocking them out for real without a stunt double or crashing through a window full front with his face clearly seen when he wakes up without the famous
    texas switch, ever.

    I would not say the same thought, to The Fugitive, The Invaders, and many other shows from those eras, which firmly belongs to them.
     
  10. HenryDuBrow

    HenryDuBrow Well-Known Member

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    70s, both era and shows. Dated? Hope so, that's mostly a good thing. Many people frown at nostalgia I don't get that, either they came late to collecting or don't realize they too have it otherwise they wouldn't have their favorites. Pristine picture is not important for enjoyment the plot is, I'm still fine with VHS don't mind its rusty images. The only thing I won't watch anymore is pan&scan scope movies. As I see it, we had three decades of excellent storytelling and unsurpassed actors in classic film-like television; 50s 60s and 70s. 80s excesses are tolerable but mindless fun, it's down hill from there to the pretend smart art or sometimes amateur widespread today with technical styles I view as steps backwards not forward. TV now looks and feels somewhat samey to me with soapy 'human' scripts for serious drama, it bores me personally and conflicts with my idea of dramatic structure. What's wrong with a one-dimensional cop or P.I. catching crooks (that aren't any less one-dimensional today), the case is the story not the character, I don't want to see him change baby diapers. Have a glass of milk maybe.
     
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  11. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Premium
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    I like the shows. Many of my favorites were from the 1950s and 1960s, and I didn't even live through that era. With a few throwback exceptions (WKRP, The Brady Bunch), I don't like post-1970 sit coms, but I really like 1970s mystery, cop, and horror shows (Columbo, Hawaii Five 0, Kolchak). Although I think that Seinfeld after the first few seasons could be very funny, the last show I really have any affection for is Dukes of Hazzard. Although I kept watching a lot of network shows into the 1980s, I think that the sense of light spirited fun that I enjoy so much about a lot classic shows really disappeared after about 1980. Too many shows after that were either overly serious (Star Trek: The Next Generation); going through the motions (Family Ties), or being crude as a substitute for being clever (virtually any post-1990 sitcom except Seinfeld).
     
  12. Ron1973

    Ron1973 Beverly Hillbilles nut extraordinaire

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    And I never could get into Seinfeld. Maybe it's just my lean towards classic stuff but I never found it funny. One of the few I did like during that era would be Mad About You.
     
  13. jcroy

    jcroy Well-Known Member

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    For some unknown reason, I couldn't really get into that many sitcom/comedy type shows. My then-gf was really into stuff like Seinfeld, but I couldn't get into it at all. (Watched it a few times with her in the 1990's).

    The only comedy type stuff I ever got into was stuff like Cheech & Chong and later Beavis & Butthead. (Mostly watched a few Beavis & Butthead marathons on mtv whenever I had cable, and the movie. Didn't follow the regular episodes at all back in the 1990s. Eventually picked up the dvds a few years ago). Though I never really got into South Park or King of the Hill.

    In terms of sitcoms, sometimes I watched Diff'rent Strokes when I was younger. Didn't really watch many other sitcoms at the time, nor many since.
     
  14. The Obsolete Man

    The Obsolete Man Well-Known Member

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    For me, it's mostly the shows.

    I grew up in the late 80s and early 90s, so the classic shows I enjoy were already chopped for syndication and airing on cable by the time I first saw them. I have no connection to the 50s, 60s, 70s, and most of the 80s to get nostalgic about. So if the show sucks, I have no reason to watch.

    But, I do love seeing old commercials, bumpers, and even scouring youtube when bored for old channel sign-offs and start-ups, because that's a window into an era I never knew... and that's just interesting to me.

    ...and going through 70s and 80s BBC Continuities and closedowns is even more of a window into something completely alien to me.
     

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