Category Archives: Op-Ed
With British programs becoming more popular in the United States, Americans are noticing more and more that a British show can run for 10 years, but only have 32 episodes. A show produced in the United States usually accomplishes that feat in a season and a half, which typically takes place over the course of 18 months. This occurs because British series, which an American would call seasons, range from 6 to 8 episodes; it’s not uncommon for shows to then go on a two year hiatus. American networks like to bang out as many episodes as possible as quick as possible because 100 episodes is the magic number for syndication. Neither system is bad, but the British way of making television has some distinct advantages.
3D movies have become extremely popular over the last few years. It only makes sense that television would be the next medium to become viewable in 3D. However, 3D television has a couple of problems to overcome before it becomes mainstream.
The first problem is that buying a 3D television will cost you around $1,500. That’s not including the extra goggles you will need for other family members and visitors. Even if you do have enough, not everyone can enjoy 3D because it gives them a headache. While there is a complex physiological reason for this that David Wood can explain better than me, it basically comes down to the fact that are bodies aren’t meant to watch simulated 3-dimensional objects.
As Andy Quested, BBC’s head of 3D and HD, told the Hollywood Reporter, “About 20 percent of people find sports matches in 3D simply too long. Twenty-five percent of people are apathetic toward 3D viewing no matter the content. Another 10 percent can’t see 3D because of visual impairments, but arguably up to half the audience for 3D content is put off by having to wear glasses.”
It seems like everyone wants reality television to run its course and get off their television sets. The truth is that’s never going to happen. Reality TV is here to stay. Since the late 1940s, it’s existed in one form or another and many of the first reality shows were adapted from radio. For example, Candid Camera started as Candid Microphone. While it may seem quaint now, Candid Camera basically had the audience spying on people who were put in uncomfortable situations without being in on the joke.
Even though Candid Camera still seems tame, Queen for a Day, which also started on radio and aired on TV from 1956 to 1964, is shocking by modern standards. The host would force housewives to recount all the misery in their lives, many broke down and cried, so that they could potentially win whatever they needed. Whoever the audience determined had the most tragic story would get help, everyone else was sent home without so much as fare for the bus.
Year after year, Modern Family continues to bring home the awards. This past year, the show took home an Emmy for outstanding comedy. Since the show is so popular with award show voters and the public, some people may wonder how accurately the show portrays modern suburban life. You might even compare Modern Family to the family oriented Leave It To Beaver. However, we as a society have come a long way from the 1950’s. The suburban lifestyle and TV show’s morals and values have changed over the course of many generations.
Most viewers would have to agree that the writers do a great job with the well written dialogue and an interesting portrayal of the diverse characters. The show brings a new insight to family dynamics. Not only are the characters relatable, but the dysfunction of the Dunphy/Pritchett family makes it feel real. Dysfunction is the new normal. Now we can embrace this show as part of our society because more and more families are becoming blended. Modern Family is a nice change of pace and is very refreshing to watch.
With the proliferation of tablets and the ability to watch television on your phone, there is a fear in the television industry that the traditional television sets are going away. While it is true that Hulu, Nexflix, and Amazon Prime are giving broadcast and cable networks are run for their money, that doesn’t mean people are going to ditch the giant 50 inch television currently occupying their living room wall. People are ditching their cable companies, not their television sets.
Sure, there are going to be a few people who own tablets, computers, and smartphones that won’t replace their television when it breaks, but they are in the minority. Right now, people are opting for Roku boxes or Google Chromcast, so that they can stream television and movies on their TV set. No one really wants to sit on their couch hunched over their tablet. Because of television’s bigger screen, it is more comfortable to watch. A tablet or smartphone is useful for a long plane or bus ride, but not for those who are only watching television in their house.