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Television today.
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Senmut
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 10:43 am    Post subject: Television today. Reply with quote

Simply put... what do you all think of the quality of television today, not merely from an entertainment POV, but as a social and even spiritual force in people's lives? How see you all it, and where do you think it is going?
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mikedx
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's good and bad. With all of the extra channels, there more for everybody. When I was little, Saturday was the day for cartoons. I'd get up at 7:30am (never good get up early on a school day) and watching some track infomercial before the first cartoons. Then I'd sit there till about 1pm. Now, there are several 24 hour cartoon channels.

Have a peculiar hobby? There's probably a channel that will feature it. For example, there's a world series of darts that's going to offer a 1 million dollar paycheck.

The bad part is that they have been pushing the envelope so far, that now I have to be concerned for what my children are watching even on network television. Topics on sex have been pushed too far that I'm afraid the kids will get desensitisted to it. Reality tv came on like gangbusters. How outrageous with conflict and violence you can show will result in bigger ratings.

How far will it go? Will we get to the point where Roman Gladiator games to the death will be on pay per view? Will we see people with death sentences choose one of ten doors, nine of which lead to a different type of execution? Maybe, maybe not. But it sure doesn't look like the networks are slowing down with shock tv.
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MAD
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mikedx wrote:
How far will it go? Will we get to the point where Roman Gladiator games to the death will be on pay per view? Will we see people with death sentences choose one of ten doors, nine of which lead to a different type of execution?


Actually you're not that far off. Stephen King already wrote this story and it was filmed as "The Running Man" starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Not the best of movies though. Smile

But you're right. During my childhood I loved family movies and series (like Battlestar Galactica). I grew up on old classic adventures with Errol Flynn where the heroes were good and the villains were bad. And there was always a happy end... Hitchcock's "The Birds" or "Psycho" was something I couldn't sleep over for two straight nights.

Nowadays all has to be more realistic and I do also worry about what my children are watching. Galactica used to be a family drama show for all ages, nowadays New Galactica is a political drama that covers murder, rape, torture and Cylons that are trying to screw as many humans so they can get into their minds or make hybrid babies. So yeah, times are changing!


Marcel
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epaddon



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

By and large, I made my break with regular entertainment programs on TV in the late 80s because I was growing disenchanted with what I saw. While I have in the years since discovered a few shows on DVD that weren't bad, I've still generally stuck to that rule not only because I don't think there are many good shows worth watching nowadays that frequently push agendas I have no use for, but also because I don't like getting caught up in the weekly grind of continuing storylines. I'd much rather watch a show like "Lost" in a few days on DVD if I felt like it.

The political and social agendas of the entertainment industry are what I find by and large most offensive because it seems so increasingly shrill and one-sided with just about no acknowledgment of the audience out there that would like to see something that reflects their values better. To me, that's the real shame.
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MAD
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

epaddon wrote:
I don't think there are many good shows worth watching nowadays that frequently push agendas I have no use for, but also because I don't like getting caught up in the weekly grind of continuing storylines. I'd much rather watch a show like "Lost" in a few days on DVD if I felt like it.


I totally agree to that. Did I use to flip the channels to see if there was anything good, I now rather wait for the DVD set and view all at once. The quality in image and sound is better and no commercials!!! Plus I get a DVD full of extra cut scenes and background stories of the makers as a bonus.

I also do see an advantage in digital TV and recorders that is coming up. You can plan when you want to watch what the recorder put on the harddisc. Plus you only have to pick the show and it will record it to the end of days. The network simply send out signals when it starts and ends to your recorder (no more missing half an episode because the network decides to do an extra newsbullitin in between and you only had you recorder set for 5 minutes before and after). And when the phone rings when your favorite series is on, you click "pause" on your TV and continue 10 minutes later while it's still recording the remainder of the episode your viewing at the same time (and you can skip the commercials!).


Marcel
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Senmut
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MAD wrote:


Galactica used to be a family drama show for all ages, nowadays New Galactica is a political drama that covers murder, rape, torture and Cylons that are trying to screw as many humans so they can get into their minds or make hybrid babies. So yeah, times are changing!


Marcel

NuBSG, aka GINO, is NOT a political drama, IMNSHO. It is a political and social diatribe, trying to be relavant by being as shrill as possible. Dump in enough rough, gratuitous sex, murder, mutilation, torture, et al, and then you can claim to be "social commentary". Yeeeech!
C'mon. My grandmother could have seen through that! Come to think of it, my dog probably could have, as well.
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MAD
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Senmut wrote:
NuBSG, aka GINO, is NOT a political drama, IMNSHO. It is a political and social diatribe, trying to be relavant by being as shrill as possible. Dump in enough rough, gratuitous sex, murder, mutilation, torture, et al, and then you can claim to be "social commentary". Yeeeech!
C'mon. My grandmother could have seen through that! Come to think of it, my dog probably could have, as well.


I gather you're not a fan of the new series?!?! Wink

Me calling it political drama wasn't concluding that it was also relavant to society today, nor was I saying I saw it as serious "social commentary".

Political drama as well as family drama is still fiction and in this case it's even worse: science fiction. Meaning they put in scientific not yet reached technology and they mix it with fiction (that's already 2 steps away from reality!). Problem is that in the science part they put in just enough advanced technology that the viewer (or reader) is made to believe "it could be like this one day", but it's still a fantasy world. Just as the fiction part they try to reflect every day life, but then seen through the eyes of the writer. It's his opinion how he sees society and politics today... and trust me, we Europeans see it completely different then you Americans already (but that another discussion)

In the end I'm just watching a scifi show on TV after a long day at work that has some value of entertainment. I'm not trying to improve my social skills nor political knowledge here. I loved Baltar in the original series when I was 8. I didn't see my parents worried at the time that I would take him way to serious and would grow up to a genocidal maniac wanting to destroy as much of the human race as possible.

People and television makers alike see what's put on TV nowadays way too heavy. I do worry what my children are watching, but in the end it's just such a small portion of their entire life experience. I loved to watch science fiction, war movies and was fascinated by serial killers. I turned out just fine... Smile
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Senmut
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I gather you're not a fan of the new series?!?! Wink

Gee, and I thought I was being soooooooooooooooo subtil!!!!!


Wink
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epaddon



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are plenty of other outlets where I feel comfortable letting loose about the controversy that divides many regarding that other show, and I won't be doing that here. But I think if there is one general thing about that show I don't like, totally separate from it as a product called "Battlestar Galactica" it's the fact that to me it typifies the advocacy of one particular political/social agenda to the exclusion of all others which is usually the norm in most Hollywood entertainment. A lot of advocacy shows I could feel comfortable with if I felt the overall pool of end-products for me to choose from was evenly balanced. But in entertainment dramas at least, I really don't see it there and find that I'm usually better off just discovering more shows from the classic era where there was greater diversity.
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Senmut
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And.....

Shows that promoted socially redeeming values and concepts. While alot of entertainment was hokey, it served to reinforce certain social values. Good over evil. Honesty over lies. Trust and honor over deceit and betrayal. Decency over perversion. Those who lived by or promoted such anti-values were shown as bad. Right and wrong clearly defined. Our shows and films of the past, however they stack up as drama/comedy/whatever, served these sorts of values.
Today, we see much the opposite. Those who lie, cheat, murder, practice various sorts of deviance, you name it, are often not punished. They are even rewarded, and lionized.
I see this in a certain show that shall not be mentioned. In an earlier incarnation, the person responsible through betrayal for billions of people being slaughtered was seen for what he was. Evil. Simple, clear, and without ambiguities. Evil. Now? We need to be understanding, and he gets great sex with the enemy.
We've come such a long way!
Rolling Eyes
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MAD
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm also applauding series and movies from times long ago that had values like good over evil, honesty, respect, family values, honor, etc. I grew up on movies of the 50s-60s (I'm just 35 years old so they were from "before my time"). I was glued to the TV when there was an epic movie on. The original Galactica also had all of these values and I never saw or will see it as "hokey" (just as all the other classic movies I still love to watch).

I do agree that there a very thin line between good and bad nowadays and it is confusing, but is this bad? It only reflects society today. When a burglar enters your home, he’s committing a crime. But as soon as you and 3 neighbours kick the shit out of him and the guy ends up crippled, you all will be arrested for excessive violence. Chances are the burglar gets off with a note on his record, but YOU will be convicted, because this guy had rights too! This guy has been terrorizing the neighbourhood for month and you were afraid, you felt threatened by just the sight of this guy. But who was good and who was bad in this case? Society is filled with stories like this. Are you allowed to torture a terrorist to save millions of lives because this guy has hidden a bomb and you need to find it in time? Or does this guy have rights as a human being? And what is a “terrorist”? During WO II people of the resistance were placing bombs to disorient and fight the German enemy. Nowadays they’re looked upon as heroes. During the Vietnam war there bombs placed by the Vietnamese to disorient and fight their American invaders… Heroes, right?

The thin line has always been there only television and movie makers decided for you who were good or bad. The moral values THEY taught us were seen as the right ones. Television nowadays is much more divers than that. Some series and movies continue in the paved path and still have the clear good vs. evil storyline, others are trying new paths. In the end YOU are still in control what to watch and what not. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it or write to the Studios about it and try to start a discussion (you and a couple of million others of course)!

In 1978 the original series was not just watched so well because of the good family values it had, there was enough comment on it as well. Starbuck being a womanizer and smoking cigars, women portrait as lust objects serving their brave men (not being allowed to even join the force unless all the male warriors were down), a Black actor as a high ranking officer, etc., etc. Science Fiction was evil, a fantasy world, no good could ever come from that by the standards of many parents at that time. But still, it was watched by millions! As long as there is an audience, television and movie makers will continue to milk out ideas that have proven to be successful even if some eyes they’re seen as controversial.
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Senmut
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that there is a thin line, but I also believe that there abosolutes. Wrong is wrong, and no amount of "diversity" can make it otherwise. Re the burglar, the bad guy is the one who violated the property rights of others. Those who punished the wrongdoer are in the right, for that reason. Those who fought the Germans are and were heores. Those who bombed our guys were fighting to support a government based upon tyranny and fear. Who was right? It's very clear. Just as it is clear that Baltar was pure evil, and Adama is good.
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MAD
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

5 years ago I traveled trough Vietnam. They have a Memorial Museum there that is trying to be as neutral as possible and is showing both sides of the medallion. The museum is visited by Americans as well as Vietnamese. They have a plane on display that used to drop napalm. One of the Americans in our group pointed at it and said: "I used to fly one of those suckers!". A couple other Americans veterans asked him where he used to serve. So he named some of the areas he "cleaned". They padded him on the back and thanked him because he probably got them out of some hairy situations. He said he was awarded something like the Silver Cross for his missions. He was seen as a genuine hero by the American government, a role model for others.

Our Vietnamese tourguide took him by the arm and pointed out some images of villages he bombed. He said: "Yeah and I'm proud of it, those areas use to crawl with VC!". She got tears in her eyes and ran off. We later saw her on a bench and I went to talk to her. She said her family used to live in that village. They didn't ask for the VC to put their base on the rim of their village. They weren't aiding the VC, they were forced to give them food and were tortured and raped by both Vietnamese as Americans because of it. The Americans cleaned the village with napalm one day. Both of her parents and her brother were killed in that raid. She was not in that village that day and was one of the few to survive. While she was telling me this sad story we watched the Americans pointing and laughing at the bar.

I don't believe in absolutes. There are aways two sides to a story. I'm at least interested to see what's makes the other side tick. Why did Baltar betray his own race and tries to destroy it with the Cylons. The story only gets "interesting" when characters like that are fleshed out.

Good ol' Apollo is only interesting because of his less politically correct sidekick Starbuck. Adama was at his best when he went at odds with Cain. All different shades of good.

I would have loved for the Galacticans to join forces with the less politically correct Eastern Alliance to fight a common foe of the human race, the Cylons. In stead they're now from start determined as evil and can only join sides with Baltar and the Borellian Nomen. Completely unlogical: Baltar's "commanders" would want to destroy these humans in the end anyway.
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epaddon



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to disagree Mad, because I am one of those who do believe that there are absolutes in certain conflicts (and ultimately in the big picture of Good and Evil in this universe) and that while it's great to know more details to understand a dynamic that doesn't necessarily mean it changes the dynamic in the nature of the conflict. The average German foot soldier who fought in Hitler's army in WWII for instance is not the same kind of person as the man in the SS uniform who would arrest Jews in the dead of night and pack them off to concentration camps, but that doesn't change the nature of how the cause and the general struggle should be seen, which is that of a good vs. evil conflict as WWII was.
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MAD
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

May I quote from "Schindler's List":

Oskar Schindler is a vain, glorious and greedy Nazi Czech businessman who uses cheap Jewish labor to start a factory in occupied Poland. As World War II progresses, and the fate of the Jews becomes more and more clear, Schindler's motivations switch from profit to human sympathy and he is able to save over 1100 Jews from death in the gas chambers. Based on the true story of Oskar Schindler who managed to save about 1100 Jews at the Auschwitz concentration camp. A testament for the good in all of us.
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