I'm sorry, commercial TV shows are a snooze to me now...

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by todd stone, Jul 20, 2004.

  1. todd stone

    todd stone Screenwriter

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    You can take all of your CSI shows, all of your everyone loves Raymond shows, your 24 etc but to me these shows are sub par compared to the JBO and Showtime series.

    I can NOT stand commercial TV any longer and have not watched one in quite some time.

    Anyone else just not excited by these shows compared to the dialogue, pushing the limits etc of the PAY tv series?
     
  2. ZacharyTait

    ZacharyTait Cinematographer

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  3. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    Just Being Ornery?
     
  4. Jeremiah Peck

    Jeremiah Peck Auditioning

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    I totally agree with you, I have given up watching network television, and only watch HBO, with the occasional show on Comedy Central and FX. Network has gotten so bad, and is such a horrible place for creativity, I don't know why more writers and producers don't go immediately to cable. Actually, I do know why: money.
     
  5. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    Who exactly are you apologizing to?
     
  6. Jeremiah Peck

    Jeremiah Peck Auditioning

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    I'm not apologizing, I'm just saying that all network TV is crap, and there's no real excuse to even be watching that dreck anymore, with all the great things on cable, and all the freedom they have on cable, plus the no-commercials.
     
  7. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    The pay networks may be able to do more, but they're not neccessarily better.

    I'm still a fan of network TV, except for reality shows
     
  8. Kevin Hewell

    Kevin Hewell Cinematographer

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    I do tend to watch more shows on cable (not necessarily the pay channels) than I do network shows.
     
  9. Blu

    Blu Screenwriter

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    I think that cable networks have set the bar quite a bit higher with shows like The Shield, The Sopranos, Dead Like Me, Deadwood, etc. I haven't seen Rescue Me yet but it looks outstanding. Even Scifi has got a good thing with Stargate which I have just started to watch occasionally.
     
  10. Tim Markley

    Tim Markley Screenwriter

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    I like the HBO shows too but there's still some quality stuff on the networks. Arrested Development was a great show that not nearly enough people know about. I still enjoy CSI also and am looking forward to CSI:NY. The key for me with network shows is to record them on Tivo and then watch them when I want and skip through the commercials.
     
  11. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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    While I have a lot of respect for HBO for their programming, the high cost of buying into HBO is rather restrictive. At least with my cable company, I'd have to upgrade to the digital tier, in addition to the monthly fee for HBO. For just a couple of shows, that just isn't worth it. Considering I'm not much interested in their other content (P&S movies), I'm just better off waiting until it comes out on DVD.

    Beyond the pay stations, cable is a mixed bag. There is some good stuff, and there is crap as well. The only difference is that they do take more risks than the networks.

    Jason
     
  12. LanieParker

    LanieParker Supporting Actor

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    I don't get HBO or Showtime, so I don't know what I am missing there, but I will agree that network tv is just awful. I have been watching PBS or Discovery lately. Good shows there.
     
  13. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Actor

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    Jason - I have Dishnetwork, so I wouldn't have to worry about a "digital tier" of programming to add before I could purchase HBO. But I don't subscribe to HBO or any other premium channel, mainly due to the "other content" you mention. Somehow, HBO seems to feel that widescreen is fine for their original series, but not for other movies they show. If HBO would commit to showing every film in OAR, even if only one time per month, I'd think seriously about adding it. They certainly have enough original programming to brag about, but I refuse to pay for any premium service that doesn't show widescreen movies properly...which unfortunately is true of all the premium services. You would think that with all the channels that each premium service offers they could have even one channel offer OAR, but unfortunately none of them have done so yet. As a result, I don't subscribe to any of them, as much as I might enjoy doing so because of the original programs they offer.

    Steve K.
     
  14. Phil L

    Phil L Supporting Actor

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    I don't watch many TV shows at all but 24 is my favorite, followed by Deadwood. Actually those are pretty much the only shows I watch anymore.

    There hasn't been an episode of the Sopranos in the last 2 seasons that was as good as an episdoe of 24.
     
  15. Tim Markley

    Tim Markley Screenwriter

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    Many people here, me included, would disagree with that. This past season of The Sopranos was excellent! I've never been a big fan of 24. Not sure why but it just never caught on with me.
     
  16. todd stone

    todd stone Screenwriter

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    you are in the minority on that one
     
  17. Darren Haycock

    Darren Haycock Second Unit

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    It seems to me that you're a fan of mature series, which I think says more about your personal preferences than it does about the quality of cable shows compared to network shows. I for one find 24 to be one of the best shows I've seen in a long time. I catch The Shield now and then and I caught the premiere of Rescue Me, but they don't hold my attention like 24 does. In my opinion, a show's quality comes from its writing, not from what profanities it gets away with.
     
  18. Jeremiah Peck

    Jeremiah Peck Auditioning

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    Sure, but plenty of shows do use profanity and utilize very smart writing (The Sopranos, The Shield, Deadwood, Six Feet Under).

    Whenever I flip by CBS, ABC, NBC, and FOX, I just see the same crap, recycled over and over again, lines from sitcoms that are not funny at all, and everything is done to please the advertisers, which is not how creativity should be funneled through. Creativity, in regards to television, should not be held back because there's a part of America that doesn't like to hear swear words, even though in this day and age, there's no reason for offensive words. If you know what it is, you know the meaning, then how the hell can you get offended when you hear it out loud?
     
  19. LewB

    LewB Screenwriter

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    Agreed, using profanities for shock value or to get people to watch the show are poor reasons to include them in the script.

    Having said that, the profanities add a 'realism' or credibility depending on the show. My 3 favorites are the Sopranos and Deadwood, and to a lesser extent NYPD Blue. These are shows about people who are not college educated and who's background is only 1 generation or less 'off the boat', blue collar or lower. These people cuss up a storm, other people I know cuss up a storm. I am one of the worst. Swearing is a crutch when you can't, or don't know how else to express yourself. I usually cuss because I frequently can't come up with the word(s) to express myself. I also must admit, some of the phrases are priceless and sometimes covey the exactly what you or the character means. In the Sopranos or NYPD, you'll notice that the 'more educated' or professional characters (lawyers, shrinks, etc.) swear much less or not at all.
     
  20. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Then I guess you're missing the good stuff. The only reason network TV looks more crappy in comparison is because it outputs so much more original programming. The cable networks only have a handful of original shows a season and can therefore be more selective in their choices. Yes, not having to appeal to as broad a base helps, but it's not the end all be all.

    The restrictions placed on network TV occasionally results in more creative approaches to things that would the pay networks. Buster's streams of swearing and the other characters subsequent reactions on "Arrested Development," for example, are far more hilarious and suggestive that any real profanity that they could come up with.
    (Speaking of, "Arrested..." is consistently funnier than anything on cable. While "Curb Your Enthusiasm" is hilarious and the way it builds up to it's big payoff is fantastic, it just doesn't have the spontanity and life of "Arrested...")

    "Scrubs" is another example of excellent network television thriving, even if NBC abused the hell out of it last season.

    And shows like "Smallville" would be right up there if they only had to worry about an HBO sized season. Take the best 13 episodes of any given season and schim off the the bottom, and you'd have a fantastic season of television.

    "Joan of Arcadia" is another example of an intelligent, well-written show that has thrived on network television despite an offbeat concept and a horrible timespot.
     

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