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Head honchos missing the point again

So what should this list mean, if anything, to the broadcast nets that air them? Not much, unfortunately. Says one high-powered suit at the Big Four: “Though it’s a nice list that indicates enthusiasm for a show, right now the live ratings mean a lot more.” Translation: ABC would prefer that you McDreamy fans watch the show when it actually airs — not on Saturday nights when you’re dateless and alone. Top 10 most Tivo’ed shows on TV
Once again the head honchos miss the point. People aren’t watching these shows when you air them. They’re watching shows on their own time via DVR, TIVO, online (*whisper* illegal downloads). How is it that these suits aren’t opening their eyes to this fact? Their audiences aren’t revolving their lives around the TV schedule. They’ll save up a week’s worth of shows to watch and blast it out on a Saturday afternoon. Or maybe watch a DVR’d ep of “Glee” while something else is being recorded. We no longer have to rush around watching the clock to make sure we get our asses in front of the TV so that we don’t miss our programs. Catching a show a few days later on Hulu isn’t a big deal. Even waiting a few months to watch it on DVD isn’t a big thing.

This kind of ties in to what I was talking about the other day. Old men who are forcing us to relive their 60s nostalgia are also the same ones not able to see the big picture. Watching a show when it airs isn’t a necessity for the majority of viewers anymore.

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Putting women in their place in the new Fall TV lineup

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Martha M. Lauzen, Ph.D., the executive director for Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, suggests that, particularly in dour financial times, male viewers — not to mention the overwhelmingly male decision-makers at the networks — might be looking to retreat into less complicated, more comforting times.”In times of economic and social upheaval and difficulty, nostalgia and a longing for an era when life seemed simpler tend to bloom,” Lauzen said.

Ugh. This sounds very similar to a certain political movement spouting ideals very similar to sentiments like this. I hate to break it to them, but you’re looking at this time period through rose colored glasses. It never existed like you’re remembering it.
“As women continue to gain economic, social and political power, there is always some sort of backlash, a desire to put women ‘back in their place,'” Lauzen adds. “These programs may reflect that type of wishful thinking.”
And that’s exactly why I have no desire to watch shows like the upcoming “Pan Am” and “Playboy Club.” Jiggle TV is what this article has taken to calling it.Christine Baranski asks the very good question, ‘Really? Haven’t we gone past that, well past that?’It’s sad that the percentage of women writers has declined in the past year. So is the new trend to have white men recycle shows originally produced by white men decades before? I’m already bored.

The Morning After on Hulu did a Fall TV Preview week last week and I have to say that I was pretty underwhelmed by the choices. (TV Guide also has a list of some new shows).

Look, I get wishful thinking for a time past. I’m part of a generation that petitioned Nickelodeon to put shows like “All That” and “Clarissa Explains It All” back on the air! Nostalgia is rampant with us. Us twenty somethings (and thirty somethings too) know what it’s like to be out of work, to have a hell of a time finding a job. Or if we find a job, it’s not the one we want. Or maybe we’re underpaid. Maybe we’re still living with our parents. Life,basically, isn’t working out the way it was supposed to. We’re looking back at a time (for us it’s the 90s) when life was good. The economy was great! TV was entertaining and made us laugh all the time! Since we were kids at the time we (probably for most of us) had a sense of security and comfort. There was a routine to it. The terrorists weren’t out to get you. The banks weren’t going to foreclose on you. The world wasn’t a mess.

The problem as I see it is that we (the twenty somethings and thirty somethings) aren’t controlling the studios. It’s the old men who still hold the power. And so, it’s their nostalgia we see over the air waves.

Reality killed the video star?

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One of the reasons I live without cable is because there is a lot of what I consider to be crap on TV. It’s really possible to spend all day flipping through stations and find nothing interesting to watch. When I worked a different work schedule I used to hang out at my mom’s house before work, who has digital cable, but I would end up using the on demand feature just to find an offering from one of the channels she subscribes to. I mean why wouldn’t I want to tailor what I watch? Take MTV for instance. Two stations stations most likely playing a show about pregnant teens or a rerun of the Jersey Shore.

Give me a sec while I grab my cane and put in my false teeth because back in my day MTV played music videos all day long! Even when they played reality tv (you know, “Real World” and “Road Rules”) you could still find music videos 95% of the rest of the time.

As the NY Times points out, MTV does still play music videos. Just…you know…at a time of the day when no one really watches. And although the article mentions the return of “120 Minutes” don’t mistake that for the channel celebrating it’s milestone birthday. It’s not. MTV is acting like a former prom queen that’s afraid of impending middle age. If 30 was still considered middle age. Come on MTV! Even if most of us don’t give a damn about your programming anymore (you know, except for having Jersey Shore as a very, very guilty pleasure that we never talk about) at least acknowledge that once-upon-a-time a large population of people grew up with you in our lives. It was a huge success for me when my family finally did get cable around the time I was 14 and I thought I was sooooo cool and could FINALLY watch MTV like a cool kid.

Maybe MTV is just too cool to celebrate it’s own birthday?

Cage match

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Cage match: Parenthood vs. Modern Family. But to be fair, I’ve watched both seasons to air so far of Parenthood and only one disk of Modern Family. So I’m not fully versed in Modern Family.

There seem to be more family-centric shows surfacing these days. If the 90’s – 00’s were all about singletons and urban families then this decade is all about families. Maybe that’s because the people writing these shows see that their audience/target demographics are growing up. Me and my husband are part of their target audience. In the last decade it was all Sex and the City and Friends. And while I’m not quite at the Parenthood stage of my life yet, I am married and finding myself settled and living at the more “boring adult” stuff in life (I put it in quotes because I’m far from bored).

Part 1 (Parenthood) will be posted today. Tomorrow will be Part 2 (Modern Family)

Parenthood

I first added Parenthood to the Netflix queue for two reasons. 1. Because Hulu Plus doesn’t have first first season in their catalog (boo and hiss) and 2. I confused it with Modern Family. An easy mistake to make just as Entertainment Weekly pointed out. They did try to squeeze the two shows into the same genre. But Parenthood has a lot of heart. I find it impossible to watch this show and not care about these characters as if they were actual people. I think this comes down to the dialog and the acting. Lauren Graham, Craig T. Nelson, Peter Krause, Mae Whitman, and sure…I’ll even throw Dax Shepard in there because he really proves himself in this show. The dialog really flows and sounds natural. It sort of reminds me a bit of Gilmore Girls, but with less coffee. You know when you’re talking to someone and your having a conversation how you sometimes talk over each other’s sentences? That’s how dialog goes sometimes on this show – natural. They even argue like real people.

However, as my husband is fond of saying about this show, the alternate name could easily be #whitepeopleproblems. I mean, they live in Berkely, California. All the kids have money. In the first season the grandfather (Craig T. Nelson) has money problems (from a bad investment which probably took a lot of money in the first place!) and a lot of references are made to the bad economy, but it’s still white collar problems. And in fact I don’t even remember a resolution to that story line.

Now, I’m not saying every show needs to be gritty and “real”. This family represents tons of families that exist. In fact I can relate to many members of this family; particularly Haddie the teenage daughter of Adam and Kristina. She reminds me of me as a teenager. Everything was a battle between me and my parents despite feeling like I had everything under control and being a generally pretty responsible kid. And now as an adult and married person I get some of what goes on between the other married couples on the show.

After watching two seasons of the show I don’t feel like anything has gotten stale or boring like some of these shows. Sometimes plot resolutions are too quick for my taste, but it’s preferable to dragging on. The drama isn’t too heavy and the comedic moments are true gems.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s review of Modern Family!
(Parenthood’s second season is available on Hulu)