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Quality Television Disapearing??

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  • Quality Television Disapearing??

    One of the biggest reasons why I liked Babylon 5, Crusade and Jeremiah was the quality of the story telling. Unfortunately this is becoming a thing of the past with television.
    My buddy and I were discussing how pathetic television has gotten. It's essentially dominated by some form of a so called reality show. Even the specialty channels are becoming more and more dominated with these reality type shows ranging from cooking competitions to antiques and auctions. With more and more channels to choose from it's becoming more and more frustrating to find something with a quality story behind it to watch.
    I told my friend that it gets pretty pathetic when I have to resort to watching a Barbie movie with my 6 year old in order to watch at least something that has a story to it.
    If anyone has some recommendations of good quality story telling on television, I'm all eyes and ears.

  • #2
    Yes, quality television is disappearing, because TV is run by corporations that care only about making a profit, and not even about making a profit by producing something good. The people in charge are more interested in shuffling around a few numbers than in actually creating something.

    But good TV isn't entirely dead yet.

    One show that's currently on that I really like is Fringe. Probably won't be on much longer, but at the moment it's fantastic. The first two seasons were problematic, but by the third season the plot had become really interesting, and even the duller characters had acquired quite a bit of life. The show's main draw, however, is the father-son dynamic between its two male protagonists. John Noble and Joshua Jackson are simply outstanding in their parts.

    Then there's Doctor Who. The last two seasons weren't really my thing, especially the first season of the new Doctor, but the show is worth watching.

    It's been over for a while, but if you haven't seen Rome, I highly recommend it. It's brutal, but very intelligent and relevant. Also an excellent depiction of that time and that civilization.

    I also think Lost is highly underrated/misunderstood, and Stargate Universe evolved from what should have been crap into one of the most beautiful shows of the last few years.
    Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream


    • #3
      I've heard great things about "Game of Thrones" and I enjoyed the books enought that I may actually get this on DVD. My only hesitation is that the books seem to have the same 'unrelentingly grim' aspect that caused me to give up on Battlestar Galactica.

      I don't know anything about it but some friends really like 'Community', too.

      "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization we're seeing now.


      • #4
        Rome: not seen it yet but I do have it - will get around to watching it one of these decades.

        Lost: I followed it through the car crash of the last two seasons, it was odd, the plot made no sense but the characters were still compelling, even if the ending made me almost as mad as the ending of King's dark tower series.

        @Jan if BSG(2003) was too grim for you then I'm not sure Game of thrones will hold up, you say you've read the books so you know that no character is safe, the first season is pretty much the first book and you know who dies and what happens. I will say that the series looks beautiful. Two and a half years of doing a stargate podcast has led me to pay attention to things ike cinematography and the production values on GoT are second to none, so bearing in mind you know the story it is worth picking up, I know you don't have a blu ray player so it might be worth holding off on that one until you do - it is beautifully shot and to buy it on standard definition would be a tragic waste.

        : I've watched about 3/4 of the first eason, it's quite a funny show but rather light and fluffy, if it's on netflix instantwatch then give it 4 or 5 episodes if you don't like no great loss but I love Chevvy Chase in it.

        Recomendations from myself
        Jekyll: A couple of years old now but six compelling hours (that's proper hours not the 42 mins plus commercials that most shows are) well written and excellently acted by James Nesbitt.

        Linking with James Nasbitt again (assuming you don't mind Medical Dramas) something that popped up on my recently launched in Ireland/UK netflix was Monroe an acerbic (but still gentle and slightly tragic) Neurosurgeon only six episodes so far but quite entertaining and well written.

        staying on the Medical theme, there is House a lot of the early seasons do seem to be "patient of the week" but the characters are entertaining and Hugh Laurie just sparks as the very acerbic, downright hostile Doctor.

        BBCs recent recreation of Sherlock is just Brilliant, it's on the second "series" now, series is a bit of a stretch as each one consists of 3 90 minute episodes but the writing really does just jump off the screen and the acting and visual effects are second to none.

        two shows I will call linked in the Spy Fy Genre are Burn Notice and Chuck the first featuring a professional spy who gets "burned" and sent to Miami (well dumped there) and the second featuring Zach Levi and the extremely pleasant to look upon Yvonne Strahovski as Zach's title character gets the combined CIA NSA database downloaded in to his head and is forced to become a spy.

        Both shows are in their fifth season now and still going strong.

        Assuming you want Genre television I will close with the UK edition of being human again some quite short seasons but the premise is a werewolf a vampire and a ghost sharing a house in Bristol. I know it sounds like the opening of a bad joke but it's wonderfully shot and at times tragic, funny and then scary. There are three series out to date - oh and by all accounts make sure you get the original British version of the show, any one I know who's seen the American remake says it's just terrible.

        Sorry there isn't much Gendre stuff there but you specified shows with good writing and I've listed a few, should keep you busy for a while, by all means to back to us and let us know what you thought of any of them.
        on the "Promises to try and post more actively in the future but right now needs to get his lazy ass out of bed and going this fine Sunday morn" ID
        "There are no good wars. War is always the worst possible way to resolve differences. It degenerates and corrupts both sides to ever more sordid levels of existence, in their need to gain an advantage over the enemy. Those actively involved in combat are almost always damaged goods for the rest of their lives. If their bodies don't bear scars, their minds do, ofttimes both. Many have said it before, but it can't be said to enough, war is hell. "


        • #5
          Thanks for some of these recommendations.

          Unfortunately I think many of these shows are either off the air right now, or may not be available on the 50 plus channels that I have. However, I will definitely check. Anything for a break from my daughters Barbie movies (lol) to enjoy some kind of quality television.


          • #6
            I second Burn Notice. It's a neat twist for a spy, in that he gets burned, and while there are certain things that cannot be explained in depth for legal reasons, the homemade spy manual parts are very cool. And then Bruce Campbell is on the show.

            I also like NCIS. It's been on for a while now, USA is re-running constantly, but I've found it to be addictive.

            Other than those 2 shows, DVDs have provided my fill for great TV.
            RIP Coach Larry Finch
            Thank you Memphis Grizzlies for a great season.
            Play like your fake girlfriend died today - new Notre Dame motivational sign


            • #7
              The new Sherlock is excellent indeed.

              My recommendation would be In Treatment, not action but I find the characterizations fascinating.
              Understanding is a three-edged sword: your side, their side and the truth.
              John Sheridan


              • #8
                I disagree. The problem is most of the good shows are in the UK now. With Doctor Who, Sherlock, Being Human and Torchwood. The thing is the genre shows like Game of Thrones and Walking Dead are now notable. They are winning awards when back in the day the only big thing was TNG getting nominated for best show and losing. It was more of a pat on the back than anything else. Now, you got Dinklage winning last night for best supporting actor.

                Big Bang, How I meet your mother and Archer are some of the best comedies on TV. And if you like Drama, Mad Men and Breaking Bad, but I am not a big fan of those shows, but those who do watch it love it. Personally, I love Sons of Anarchy. TV is not as bad as it was in the mid-2000s when there was little or nothing to watch. I would say this is one of the better times for TV.


                • #9
                  My take is that quality television is only disappearing in a relative way. I think there is just as much quality television if not a little more, but there is so much more programming in general that it is a smaller percentage.

                  I guess part of it depends on your definition of quality television. For me, that's well made shows that entertain. It doesn't always require an overarching story. It does require good characters (I'm talking about my own personal tastes, remember.) To that end, I enjoy things like Castle and White Collar. I also like procedurals like Body of Proof or NCIS. I don't get HBO, but I'm getting the Game of Thrones disks. Having read the books, I'm looking forward to complex story telling there.

                  Looking back, though, what would you pick as quality television? B5 was unusual in its story telling. There are things like M*A*S*H that I would call real quality TV, but in m y memory it seems there was usually only one or two at any given time. That's why I think the numbers may well be better, even though the 100's of channels make for a *huge* amount of crap.
                  "That was the law, as set down by Valen. Three castes: worker, religious, warrior."


                  • #10
                    Well, while the g/f was out on a "girls' night out" with friends last night, I watched the first 7 episodes of Community and found myself liking it. Am definitely going to continue watching.

                    I would also recommend the two seasons so far of Sherlock, though the g/f and I have some reservations about the last 20 minutes or so of the second season finale. Moffat has written himself into a difficult corner and I look forward to see how he's getting out of it in season three.

                    South Park continues to do good social satire and what Stephen Colbert has been doing with his Super PAC has become one of the most brilliant pieces of political satire in a long time. I'm interested to see the SC primary results tonight.

                    Has anyone caught the British series Misfits yet? I've been hearing some good things but haven't had to check it out on Hulu yet.

                    Finally, the two Absolutely Fabulous specials were far funnier than I expected them to be, especially the second one.
                    Last edited by frulad; 01-21-2012, 09:35 AM.
                    Got movies?


                    • #11
                      i dunno...while we obviously were more excited by the PERCENTAGE of quality television back in the day, there were only a few decent programs. Our standard of what "quality" is has also changed. We expect a LOT more out of the storytelling than we did then.

                      Right now with Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, Hell on Wheels, Doctor Who and Sherlock, I'd say there's a lot more shows on that are still ongoing that are way higher quality storytelling than ever before. There's just not a space adventure on TV.
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                      • #12
                        I would have said Walking Dead during the first season, but the first half of the second season bored me to the point that I've given up on the series.

                        At least the comic is still solid.
                        RIP Coach Larry Finch
                        Thank you Memphis Grizzlies for a great season.
                        Play like your fake girlfriend died today - new Notre Dame motivational sign


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by frulad View Post
                          I would also recommend the two seasons so far of Sherlock, though the g/f and I have some reservations about the last 20 minutes or so of the second season finale. Moffat has written himself into a difficult corner and I look forward to see how he's getting out of it in season three.
                          Thanks ... I had reached the point of deciding there must be something wrong with me for feeling that way about the end of the finale. At least I am not alone in my reservation.

                          Hopefully, his get out of jail card will be a little more satisfying than the resolution to the end of season 1 cliffhanger.
                          The Optimist: The glass is half full
                          The Pessimist: The glass is half empty
                          The Engineer: The glass is twice as big as it needs to be


                          • #14
                            Moffat getting out of the season two cliffhanger is fairly easy considering who Sherlock meet prior to his jump before Moriarity and what she does for living and Sherlock has a Supercomputerx20 for a brain who can calculate a lot of variables. If anything we get rid of the one terrible rendition of Conan Doyle's work that Moffat has done. If you didn't like the first half of Walking Dead season two then I am not sure how you can call the comic books solid when they are sowing people's faces back on. I also think Hell on Wheels is a bit overrated. I have been watching it with my wife via DVR and we skipped about three episodes by accident and got to the finale. We felt like we didn't mess anything important thanks to the one minute recap. Its a good show, but man if people think Walking Dead is slow, don't bother with Hell on Wheels. Also no love for Broadwalk Empire.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Truth66 View Post
                              If anyone has some recommendations of good quality story telling on television, I'm all eyes and ears.
                              Reruns on This-TV and MY TV.
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