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R.I.P. Originality

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It is somewhat insulting actually. If you think about it, all Hollywood and major television studios are doing anymore is repeating patterns. Patterns in the casting and in the writing; either based on a major book series, remade based on a hit movie or show or a sequel or spin- off of a major franchise. Each time a new movie comes out anymore, I find myself wanting to roll my eyes as my parents mention on how it was a remake of a movie from when they were kids. Alternatively, in the casting, how every hit movie has a big name star attached to it. Not just in movies either. This pattern seems to be running off the big screen and into every home in America through television.

An originality of a film is something that is not based on anything previously released. Something that is based on a book or comic book or even a television is not an original. Same thing with something that is a remake.

This decline is nothing new. From roughly 58.45% in 1996 of films released were original. This number dropped about 4.5% by a decade later. By 2011, only about half of the films being released were original. The lack of people to write original screenplays is no excuse for this decline. There was a six percent hiring increase between 2001 and 2006 in the screenwriters industry.
Why this decline is happening is no mystery. In the past 25 years, the number of movies released has roughly tripled. Between 2001 and 2006, the number of movies released increased 41% despite the 33% drop in average revenue. While these numbers make no sense, if you consider the economic state of the country during these years, the drop in attendance makes sense.
Now, it might be because of need on consistent revenue or it might be because of typical human behavior but either way the movie studios are getting lazy. And their behavior is being reflected in what we watch on television.
The shows that are coming out lack an unknown, atypical behavior that shows ten years ago had. Anymore it seems that if it is a drama; it is either an NCIS, CSI rip-off or something having to do with lies, secrets, and scandal. If it is a comedy, it has to have a big time name to it. In addition, if that is even bad enough, then there are the competitions. It seems like everything from singing to murder is being made into a competition. Or a reality show. There seems to be a new one coming out every month.
This behavior was mainstream and is now starting to show on cable networks with spin offs replacing the originals. Hit shows that were original are being taken off the air in favor of stuff that is channeled ten weeks later. While there had always been variations, there is an increase in variations over original programming.
Personally, I do not mind having a big time name on one or two comedies. I am a fan of some of the competitions and NCIS, CSI rip- offs. But the staggering amount of this is making television predictable and mind numbingly boring to talk about. This and the lack of original programming in the movies is a trend that cannot continue if the entertainment industry, as a whole, hopes to survive. History shows that this trend will stop. I just hope sometime soon.




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