TV Shows Are Just Like 'B' Movies from the 1940s ... And Other Nonsense
Sometimes I wonder what has happened to the state of good theatrical dramas in this day and age of big-budget, small-brained blockbusters rockin' theater screens nowadays.
Apparently, we've reached the point where any drama in theaters -- no matter the cast, the advertising, or the critical buzz -- is doomed to fail. I guess the thinking is: people will pay to see special effects, but want their laughter and tears for "free." Enter TV!
The problem is, today's TV dramas are high on melodrama, higher on painful writing, even higher on painful acting, and very low on plausibility. I have seen a grand total of about 30 seconds of this year's crop of new dramas, and they all kind of, well, suck.
My wife is watching a few of them herself, and we watch "The Forgotten" together, in addition to our dwindling crop of returning shows. In fact we both proudly dropped "Grey's Anatomy" this season after 15 minutes into the season premiere, when Cally was all whiny and upset about not being able to decide how George's organs are used (God bless you if you have no idea what I am talking about here, because that means you already don't watch GA!)
Ever since "Studio 60" was canceled, I have had less interest in TV drama than I can ever recall. I also miss "Journeyman," which didn't even get a full season. And I liked the first season of "Life" quite a bit, although I could never muster enough interest to watch the second season.
I enjoy a few sitcoms, including "The Office," and all the CBS Monday night comedies. I think I like them because they require such a short commitment, and I seem to have a short attention span these days with work taking up so much of my time.
I think the studios, being faced with dwindling amounts of viewers the past few seasons, have started churning out the TV shows the way the old movie studios used to film those old "B" movies in the 1930s and 1940s -- shoot 'em quick, on the backlot, in about 2 weeks, as cheap as possible. Nevermind rewrites or scripts that make any sense at all.
Of course back in the day, "B" movies were created as second billing for the double features that used to be routine in movie theaters. (Hey, people expected two movies, previews, cartoons, newsreels, and short-subjects for their nickel!)