Amph The TV Thread: TV's Love Affair with the Procedural

Discussion in 'Archive: The Amphitheatre' started by Nevermind, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. somethingfamiliar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 20, 2003
    star 5
    The Rockford Files was the first thing that jumped to mind for me, and there it is in the article picture. I used to get RTV, the Retro network, which introduced me to Rockford and a few other things, plus showed stuff I liked as a kid. The This network, which mostly shows old movies, also had a few old shows like The Outer Limits. I didn't have cable; those channels showed up when I got the little box for the digital switchover a few years ago.
  2. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    I think one of the benefits of older programming is that it's inherently more kid-friendly than contemporary sitcoms, so it's easier for parents to expose their kids to it. I can't see my parents letting an eight-year-old me watch the sex-heavy Seinfeld or Friends, but they were fine with Bewitched, I Love Lucy, Dick Van Dyke, and Gilligan's Island. I totally grew up on Nick at Nite and TV Land. That stuff is still hilarious and great comedy for kids -- what about Lucy stuffing chocolates in her mouth or Gilligan bumbling around isn't going to entertain a kid, if they're not having, "Oh no, this is old and uncool" rubbed in their faces by someone else? Teenagers may want to move away from it, but if it's something that takes hold while you're young, I think there are a lot of people who would remain fond of it. A lot of that may be on the parents shaping the viewing habits, but goodness knows we could benefit from more parents putting their kid in front of The Cosby Show instead of Spongebob.

    I admit that I'm probably an exception. I get ridiculous amounts of joy from watching the stupid late-night infomercials for The Dean Martin Show and the Dean Martin Roasts, because goddamn that stuff is hilarious. The infomercials for it are still funnier than half the stuff on TV now.

    I would love to get Murray's proposed classic-TV station, because people need to know and respect this stuff, and the quality still holds up. I think you could create a market; the key would be getting ads that don't assume everyone watching it is over age sixty. Because, seriously MeTV, I'm so damn sick of your stupid diabetes and walk-in tub commercials. I'M ONLY 23! ROCKFORD IS FOR EVERYONE!
  3. Obi Anne FF admin Celebrations, Europe

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    Nov 4, 1998
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    This makes me think back on the TV that I grew up with. When I got home from school it was a big mix of 80's action series and 70's sitcoms. The reason was probably that the new independent TV channels were starting up and needed to buy cheap stuff to fill their afternoons. Nowadays the same channel is just showing reruns of Top Model, Project Runway and Extreme Home Makeover.

    There is one channel that only shows old classics, and I'm using an offer to try it for free, it's been quite nice to enjoy it. They show mostly old British series and then some of the old favorites I grew up with.
  4. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    A TV TCM could show series from around the world, which would be very interesting.
  5. Chancellor_Ewok Force Ghost

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    Nov 8, 2004
    star 6
    This. There are shows that get mentioned on the boards every now and then, like Blake's Seven and Raumschiff Orion, which has been described as the German Star Trek. I'd be interested in seeing those shows.
  6. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    You start digging around IMDB, you find out there's all kinds of crazy, awesome stuff from the old days of television, a lot of it lost or at least never released. British miniseries from the fifties, Russian television movies about Miss Marple, etc. And, God, I'd love to see some of the old anthology shows; ABC Stage 67, Climax, Suspense, etc. I'd be up for that stuff.
  7. CloneUncleOwen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2009
    star 4
    You can see the major challenge that a TCM for TV is going to have to overcome, based on
    the posts above -- without a substantial library of material to choose from, a TCM for TV
    station is going to leave a lot of people unsatisfied. Worse still, it could go the route of
    stations such as AMC, and start running The Joey Bishop Show 'marathons'.

    Lurch Responds

    If enough programming can be secured, I think it's a great idea.


    ed/ I have nothing against running international programming as well.

    ed/ I have nothing against running The Joey Bishop Show.
  8. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    Yeah, that is a problem. Tons of movies have been lost, but the track record on television is even worse; a lot of the things I'd most like to see seem to just not even exist any more. Some shows in the earlier days weren't recorded at all and even after TV did start recording, they'd generally only keep the shows for a while and then tape over them. Too bad.
  9. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    The only French series I've ever seen is "Thierry La Fronde"...they has to be plenty of good stuff there...in Germany, Italy, and Scandanavia.

    The Russian Miss Marple? You're kidding.
  10. Chancellor_Ewok Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2004
    star 6
    That's a good point. But, I think a good starting point would be to work out a deal with major North American networks and studios, and possibly the BBC as well, that would allow you to mine their TV archives on the understanding that you would get first broadcast rights.
  11. CloneUncleOwen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2009
    star 4
    A TCM for TV would have it's hands full securing rights. The film distrubtion market is complicated,
    but it doesn't hold a candle to the near-psychedelic morass of television distribution. Films being
    released by block is one thing, but television is released by block, episode, season... :oops:


  12. PirateofRohan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2009
    star 3
    I'd be part of that minority as well. Nothing's quite as good as Full House, Family Ties, and of course Happy Days.
  13. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
  14. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    Ten Tropes We Never Want to See on TV Ever Again

    By Margaret Lyons

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    "It happens when you least expect it, in the middle of a show you like, or on a series you at least respect. Something that was meant to be a solid punch line or a heartfelt moment instead leaves you feeling dejected or furious. This? Again? If I hear another character cheerily joke "that went well!" or see someone make a queasy face and then say, "I just threw up in my mouth," I'm going to punch a hole in this TV screen just so something original can happen!

    A character waits in someone else's home or office in the dark; when that person arrives and flicks on the lights, surprise!

    No more of this. Even ironically, Happy Endings. Even demonically, Revenge. Enough already. Surely there are other more plausible but still sinister ways to startle people. Don't villains and assassins have better things to do than sit in the dark?

    "And by [thing], I of course mean [opposite of thing]."
    Chandler Bing called and he wants his ironic detachment back. Just kidding, the "[blank] called" thing is even more overdone. Irony! Irony.

    "He's standing right behind me, isn't he?"

    Being caught ****-talking is one thing ? a thing that does occasionally happen ? but no one has ever actually, authentically said, "She's standing right behind me, isn't she?" This trope often occurs as part of a list, so in addition to being overused, it's also really easy to spot coming: "He's an egomaniac, he's stuck up, he's unkind, and he's ... standing right behind me, isn't he?" Yes, he is, and he wants you to come up with a new take on the situation.

    Nonsense language to prove that someone isn't listening.
    "So then Santa Claus and I played football on the moon, and the monkey army won, and I can just say anything right now because you're not listening to anything, right, honey?" "Mmhm." This has never, ever happened in life, ever. We can forgive the fancy apartments and the nice clothing and the geographical inaccuracies and suspend all kinds of disbelief to enjoy a show ? but this we cannot abide.

    A character throws his or her back out and is immobilized for much of the episode.

    This one has just been done to death, reaching maximum saturation on November 16, when both Modern Family and Suburgatory used it. The only way to make this work is to go New Girl's route and throw in a threat of thyroid cancer. You know, to make everything funnier. (It worked, though; this week's New Girl was great.)

    Someone has to babysit an egg.

    Oh, egg sitting. It's been a go-to for decades, but the number of TV characters who've egg-sat radically out-paces the number of actual human beings who have. Same goes for the dropping-an-egg-from-great-heights science project: Slap a parachute on that bad boy and let's have a different academic rite of passage, please.

    Someone mistakes a character's brother/sister for their lover.
    It happened on The Good Wife just last week, with Kalinda briefly mistaking Will's sisters for some kind of harem, and Grey's had a whole episode about it back in the day. She's just McDreamy's sister, Meredith! Chill out! BYO Luke/Leia/Han Solo joke.

    An animal turns its head when someone is nude, giving a quizzical "ruh-roh" look (bonus/negative points if the dog actually grumbles).

    Enough. Plus, everyone knows that dogs actually really appreciate healthy, open expressions of sexuality, and frankly they're put off by our puritanical and hypocritical attitudes about pornography.

    The nursery-school application process is unbelievably competitive/bizarre/challenging/stupid.

    Up All Night went to this well last month, with Reagan bending over backwards in an attempt to get her child ? who is an infant ? into a prestigious preschool. Rich people problems!

    A character is taken to task for using too many abbreviations or text-speak.

    Poor Penny on Happy Endings was called out for using "abbreves," it came up on How I Met Your Mother, and several scenes on Suburgatory devolve into text-speak word-salad. We get it, language
  15. JohnWesleyDowney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2004
    star 5


    Poor Margaret. Haven't sold that pilot script yet, eh?
  16. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6