Last Night's Episode

January 2, 2010
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The boob-tube of today's society serves up hundreds of different channels and thousands of different television shows each day across America. I run across a new show nearly every week or so when browsing the channels. Thinking back to the golden age of the entertainment business, the 1930s and onward limited their television shows to one or two per channel; mind you, the radios of the thirties and forties generally came equipped with only two or three channels, and when the television sets came into the limelight, the total number of stations was only thirteen.

During that time, the television became an exemplary family outlet, considering that at some point each week, usually at night, one show would broadcast on the silver screen for about an hour or so. It gave people something to look forward to; that one television show they waited for all week. Back in the day, most shows were either dramas or game shows, and of course, Saturday morning cartoons. The 1940s drama, Actor's Studio, aired from 1948-1950, and won the Primetime Emmy Award and the Peabody Award. The storyline was simple, and the cast consisted of only the Narrator, who told the stories of several heroines and their journeys through relationships. Another hallmark of the entertainment industry, I Love Lucy, airing from 1951-1957, showcased the life of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz and the many comical disasters they ran into. Those were simpler times...

In contrast, today’s television industry has glued together a mess of wild and absurd television shows in which the storylines run across every possible event in one’s life. It seems that television has erupted into a chaotic cluster of random and sometimes pointless shows that deal with the most magnified topics in our society. It’s all here; pregnant teens, aliens, wealthy women in Los Angeles, Kardashians, whale watching, food channels, twins living in hotels, a girl who can’t decide if she’s a rock star or an average teen in Malibu, becoming Paris Hilton’s best friend, a boy named Malcom who’s in the middle...the list is endless. Television directors have become less creative in designing their shows. Instead of capturing a plot that people can actually relate to, script-writers have designed every-imaginable lifestyle of every-imaginable type of person there is. Some may digress, but I think it would be nice to have simple year-round show that I can actually follow without getting bored after two months of episodes. There have been numerous shows within the last few decades that only produced a total of 30-something episodes. Honestly, a real television show doesn’t end at that. For example, I Love Lucy ended its broadcast with 181 episodes. That at least gives viewers a story to consider, rather than leaving them in the middle.

On a side note, there is a handful of modern shows that have proved successful. Friends, for instance, served up a hearty helping of 238 episodes, before giving up their slot in 2004.

On the plus-side, modern television gives our society a wider range of choices. Yes, nothing beats that old-fashioned black and white entertainment, but in these times, we’ve got good ‘ol Dr. Gregory House to watch instead.

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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

Hootie said...
Mar. 13, 2010 at 4:54 pm
Great article Joey. Right in line with today's teens. Keep writing and give us all something good to read.
hb1093 said...
Jan. 12, 2010 at 11:47 am
This Joey Sevin kid is right in every way! This kid can write! For sure publish this in you magazine! Everyone should read this and hopefully then we will get some good tv shows.
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