Production values of TV shows have gone up, but writing remains about the same.

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by JediFonger, Sep 24, 2006.

  1. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

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    i've been noticing a trend on recent HDTV shows. they all look great. from clothes to sets to everything about the physical values of the show is just top notch. the cameras, angles and lighting everyone used. very polished.

    i'm comparing this against shows from the 90s, 80s and before... where you KNEW it was a TV show by watching a few seconds of it... like Married w/Family, Seinfeld, All in the Family, etc. some of them are stored on VHS!

    TV has come very far from the days of old.
     
  2. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor
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    I'm sorry, but you mentioned something about writing in the topic, didn't you?[​IMG]
     
  3. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

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    oh yeah... good writing is about same quantity. the point i'm trying to make is the technical aspects of the show have improved greatly... but number of good writing has remained more/less about the same.
     
  4. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    Well, I think there's more good writing in total - remember that twenty years ago, all we had were three broadcast networks. There's a lot more original programming being produced today, in total.
     
  5. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    The writing and quality of television today is waaay up from years ago. I barely have enough hours in the week to watch all the TV I like, and hours of quality fall by the wayside because I simply cannot watch all of it. Like Jason said, between HBO, Showtime (Weeds is insanely good), Sci-Fi, USA, FX, not to mention that Fox wasn't even around 25 years ago, and you can see that you can spend all your time watching well written shows with high production values without even tuning into the big three. And then there are those great shows on NBC, CBS, and ABC anyway. So while I totally agree that production values in TV these days are through the roof, I disagree that the writing has remained static because the writing has risen greatly in quality and quantity.

    I don't know if there's a brain drain or if Hollywood has just given up on making good movies, but I haven't gone to the movies at all in the past couple of years, and I rarely rent or buy DVD's because I can't see any reason to waste my time on movies when there so much (and much better) TV to be had.
     
  6. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

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    well... 24, Lost, BSG is good... but we can also name X-Files to be good in the 90's, Twin Peaks, Buffy, etc. I didn't know many shows in the 80s and 70s... but i'm sure we can name them too.

    the number of GOOD writing has remained more/less the same. just because there is more written fiction... doesn't mean it's ALL good. an example is shows like Bones. it's OK... run of the mill... but it's not a classic like X-Files. the criterias of a good show like Twilight Zone, etc. are hard to come by. thus, I think writing QTY of good and bad remains about the same.
     
  7. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    I remember in the 80's and early 90's that putting together a 10 ten show list was no mean feat. You could barely scrape together 10 good shows considering you only had 3 Nets, Fox was a laughingstock (aside from The Simpsons), and HBO's premiere shows were Tales From the Crypt and Dream on.

    Sure, you could argue that The Simpsons has gone down some in quality, but in the late 80's/early 90's, the Simpsons was a perennial top five show. Now it couldn't even crack a top 25.

    One of the things that has changed so drastically is that the economics of TV have been altered for the better. With only 3 viable nets, they put on tons of dumb shows that could garner a passive audience that had nothing better to do. They didn't really stretch much or even try that hard in creating quality shows. So the good writers either had to swallow their pride and write Alf eps or try to write a movie script that never got made. With the explosion of cable channels, those creators had outlets, and with the erosion of the Network audience, they could no longer afford to make crap just because they could. Serial TV has really changed they way people watch TV and upped overall quality. In the past, there were a couple of shows here and there that I didn't watch that were critical darlings. Nowadays, the list of critically acclaimed shows I don't watch is equal to or greater than the number of shows I do watch. And I watch a LOT of TV.

    Just think -- the best the cable networks could offer in the 80's and early 90's were TV Movies. Even so, a crappy network like FX just showed reruns. Now they have The Shield, Thief, Rescue me, and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (of which, I confess, I only watch the latter). That's crazy. Even Showtime has Weeds and The L Word. It's just everywhere.

    And mind you, this is with all the reality shows competing for air time.
     
  8. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Producer

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    > Well, I think there's more good writing in total

    I agree... maybe the "average" quality of the writing is no better, but look how many shows now are of almost movie-like quality, and look at how many film actors are working on TV now that it's no longer considered slumming?

    Maybe people think the writing was better in the past because they only remember the good shows.
     

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