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The era of TV shows on DVD is coming to an end (1 Viewer)

jayembee

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Lost.

Lost went from being probably one of the last big appointment shows for a lot of people, to virtually forgotten because the ending made it clear they were just making this crap up as they went along and didn't deliver a satisfying conclusion to the mystery.

Personally, my example is Life on Mars US. It was a very good show, probably because it was a near-total remake of the UK version. But they messed with the ending. They made the ending so bad, I wanted to throw my TV out the window. I've never rewatched the show because the ending was just so horrible. I nearly never watched Life on Mars UK for a first time, because US's ending was so gawdawful horrible. But, I did, and discovered the UK version was done right, without using models from casting as the leads, and I enjoy the UK version fairly regularly.

But man, the ending to LoMUS was just unspeakably bad.

(Lost) I was fine with the ending of Lost. The problem wasn't that they were making it up as they went along, it's that a lot of viewers figured out how it was going to end fairly early on, and rather than confess that the fans were right, the creators insisted that they weren't. When we finally got to the end, it was what the fans thought it was going to be.

The other problem with a hit like Lost (same with Battlestar Galactica) is that no matter how they ended it, there were going to be a lot of people who wouldn't like it. It was essentially a victim of its own success.

(Life of Mars) Yes, that was an awful ending. This time, though, the problem was that a lot of the people who watched it were already familiar with the UK version, and the US creators had to promise that it was going to end differently from the original, so the fans of the original wouldn't just bail because they already knew the ending. (The people behind the US version of The Killing had the same problem, but I never lasted long enough to discover what they did differently, if they did so at all.)

I have to say, though, that I'd never have considered the US cast as "models from casting as the leads". One of the strengths of the US version, in my estimation, was that they had a cast that was strong enough that I was very curious to see how they played the characters. Jason O'Mara (who I normally like) was disappointing as Sam, but Harvey Keitel as Gene, and Michael Imperioli as Ray? Aces!

The British original, though, was just astonishing. Through the entire run of the show, one was never really sure whether Sam was imagining it all or had really travelled back in time. The best aspect of that was that Sam was in Every. Single. Scene. He was either there in the scene, or entered the scene just as it began. So there was no "objective reality" presented -- it was always from Sam's P.O.V. An objective reality would indicate that it was all real. Everything being from Sam's P.O.V. meant it could be either real or imaginary. I don't recall if the US version did the same thing, but I'm inclined to think not.
 

jcroy

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When was the last time you heard about Orange is the New Black? Seen any Mad Men references lately? Justified? Russian Doll?

TV shows are more disposable than ever. They're binged once and then forgotten and the hive is off to the next new shiny thing. Lack of reruns means lack of exposure, and lack of staying power.

(Thinking about this more).

When shows like Dallas and Dynasty went off the air, how often did one hear references about: who shot JR, Alexis, lily pond catfights, etc ... afterward?

The new crop of shows will likely never be remembered or rewatched the way shows like MASH or The Honeymooners were.

I think this may very well be age dependent.

I don't remember anything about MASH other than it was a show which I didn't really watch in its first run, nor in reruns. The Honeymooners were before my time, and I never watched any reruns.
 

MatthewA

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When shows like Dallas and Dynasty went off the air, how often did one hear references about: who shot JR, Alexis, lily pond catfights, etc ... afterward?

The Simpsons did a whole parody of the "Who Shot J.R." craze, which my then-newlywed mother guessed correctly right off the bat, by subjecting Mr. Burns to an attempted assassination.

Dynasty still gets name-dropped now and then, most commonly on shows with gay characters and/or writers on it who grew up in a time where there were still few openly LGB characters other than Steven Carrington.

It's outlier shows that rely on Family Guy reference-jokes to keep their names alive to those who couldn't possibly have been alive for their original runs.
 

oldtvshowbuff

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Just received the Tallahassee 7000 set from Thomas Film Classics, and it is of subpar quality, taped from Nostalgia Television in the early 90s. The episodes were remastered by LBS/CPT, separate logos which had replaced Colex Enterprises, so all 26 episodes were aired, but only getting a dozen in this collection, including The Court of Last Resort, a one season series on NBC in 1957-58 with Lyle Better and Paul Birch!
 

jcroy

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One thing which was noticable over the past 20+ years, has been the change in watercooler talk about tv shows.

Back in the early-2000s if you didn't subscribe to HBO, you might not have much to say about the Sopranos. By the time the season dvd set was released, it was no longer the "hot" thing to talk about at the watercooler.

Fast forward to the 2010s and up to today, this was compounded even more with Netflix and other streaming/online services which had their own original first-run tv shows. If you were not a subscriber, you might not have known about such shows until years later.

After "House of Cards", I didn't know much about Netflix's subsequent original first-run shows. (Never mind other streaming services).
 

bmasters9

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I don't know why they did that, but I found out it was later rerun on ABC in 1959-60, with a closing bumper, "This has been an ABC TELEVISION NETWORK Presentation."

The Untouchables all-in-one DVD (of the 1959-63 Stack version) had that on the third go as well-- when I first saw it, I thought it added much flavor, because it reflected the times.
 

Santee7

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"New, now, serialized, short, and streaming" also means no show will ever have the impact of even a Network failure ever again.

Manimal, Supertrain, Cop Rock, those are still referenced for being huge failures. But the majority of even successful "prestige" TV shows of the streaming era won't be remembered, because the audience is too fragmented.

When was the last time you heard about Orange is the New Black? Seen any Mad Men references lately? Justified? Russian Doll?

TV shows are more disposable than ever. They're binged once and then forgotten and the hive is off to the next new shiny thing. Lack of reruns means lack of exposure, and lack of staying power. The new crop of shows will likely never be remembered or rewatched the way shows like MASH or The Honeymooners were. And their soap opera serialized nature just compounds the lack of rewatchability, as does the mystery box format.

It's funny, TV was treated as disposable entertainment when it would be seen for decades in reruns, and now that it's treated as legitimate and "pressteege", it's disposable.
very simple, very insightful, very true, and if I were still teaching "mass media", remember when that was a real class? I'd use that thesis as the basis for the class.
 

ScottRE

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The whole subject of why TV shows don’t have the same staying power is fascinating to me. So many of the points listed in this thread are right on the mark as far as I ‘m concerned. The serialized nature, the mystery box formats, streaming and moving on quickly, the plethora of choices, it’s all a part of it. Compared to having 3 networks and a couple of locals, there’s no longer that feeling of society sitting down to watch the same shows anymore. Everything is “whenever you can watch it” and you run the risk of spoilers if you’re not fast enough.

Compare that to J.R. getting shot, the cast of Dynasty being mowed down at the wedding, the 4077th going home, Richard Kimble going free, Diana eating a rat, Sammy Davis Jr kissing Archie Bunker, Caitlin dying in Sonny Crockett's arms, and so on. The very next day, we were talking about that stuff to our friends.

Because of the episodic nature of TV for decades, reruns were easy. You could watch any episode in any order. You had favorite episodes. If you were young in the 70’s and 80’s, your daytime watching was filled with old cartoons and 60’s reruns. Old cancelled shows got new life. Gilligan, Star Trek, Jeannie, The Brady’s, The Munsters, and dozens more played endlessly for 20-30 years after their cancellation, to the point where you were like “The Munsters only ran two years???” Back then, you either played outside or you watched TV. Saturday mornings were for cartoons.

All of those shows, all over 50 years old now, will live on in some form while hundreds of streamers come and go.

But there is a point where it stops. My grandkids have no idea who Popeye, Tom and Jerry, Heckle and Jekyll or Woody Woodpacker are. Yogi Bear? Nope.

In some ways, that’s makes me sad.
 

jcroy

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But there is a point where it stops. My grandkids have no idea who Popeye, Tom and Jerry, Heckle and Jekyll or Woody Woodpacker are. Yogi Bear? Nope.

In some ways, that’s makes me sad.

(On a tangential contrast).

There is nothing to be "sad" about.

I don't lament over the fact that my younger relatives have no idea who Pink Floyd, the Bee Gees, Thin Lizzy, Phil Collins, John Lennon, Van Halen, the Beach Boys, the Bangles, etc ... are.
 

ScottRE

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Well, it's not like I'm in tears here, I just feel like these characters, who entertained a generation or two of children and adults, are now slipping into faded memory. I absolutely know my grandkids find the same amount joy in other avenues and media. I appreciate Puppy Dogs Pals (I am partial to the pug). And much of the stuff we liked as kids can be enjoyed on some level as adults because of the subtext. I'm less certain kid's entertainment today is meant to appeal to other than their age group.

But I guess my parents felt the same about Fibber McGee and Molly...
 

jcroy

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Well, it's not like I'm in tears here, I just feel like these characters, who entertained a generation or two of children and adults, are now slipping into faded memory. I absolutely know my grandkids find the same amount joy in other avenues and media. I appreciate Puppy Dogs Pals (I am partial to the pug). And much of the stuff we liked as kids can be enjoyed on some level as adults because of the subtext. I'm less certain kid's entertainment today is meant to appeal to other than their age group.

But I guess my parents felt the same about Fibber McGee and Molly...

(Without getting heavily into politics).

Much more dire is when younger people have no idea what "Birkenau" is.
 

bmasters9

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Old cancelled shows got new life. Gilligan, Star Trek, Jeannie, The Brady’s, The Munsters, and dozens more played endlessly for 20-30 years after their cancellation, to the point where you were like “The Munsters only ran two years???”

That's right-- even the shortest-run series can have a following if something about their nature is talked about long after that series ends.
 

BobO'Link

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Well... my older (11, 15, 18) grandkids *do* know who those cartoon characters are (and many others), who Pink Floyd, the Bee Gees, ZZ Top, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles (group and solo stuff), (and many, many others) are, as well as dozens of 50s/60s TV series, and like many of them (the 18yo loves I Love Lucy and Bon Jovi, the 15yo loves Rocky & Bullwinkle and The Beatles, the 11yo loves Batman and The Allman Brothers Band). That's because I've made a point to introduce them to those shows and musical groups. My younger (5, 8, 10) grandkids do *not* because they live too far away - though they know several 70s rock groups thanks to their dad (my son) and I've made the 10yo a couple of "mix CDs" at my son's request that include a few of the 10yo's favorites as well as some new discoveries.
 
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BobO'Link

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It might resonate more quickly if you just call it Auschwitz.
I'm not so sure. According to my 18yo grandson, who's somewhat a WWII buff, they kind of glossed over WWII in school. He's asked me about most of it and was shocked when we watched a documentary on Auschwitz.
 

bmasters9

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My younger (5, 8, 10) grandkids do *not* because they live too far away - though they know several 70s rock groups thanks to his dad (my son) and I've made the 10yo a couple of "mix CDs" at my son's request that include a few of the 10yo's favorites as well as some new discoveries.

How were you able to find the music of those groups/artists to put on those samplers (or as you put them, "mix CDs")?
 

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