Sunday, May 16, 2010

What were you thinking?

One of my least favorite things to do is ‘talk-up’ a TV show or movie of my youth. It is not that people today don’t understand good entertainment, but it is the fact that those shows I used to love, just don’t always age that well. Oh sure there are a few classics that everyone from critics to the ordinary popcorn popping public seem to love. But for the most part, no matter what I once thought was captivating, now will probably disappoint me and leave modern younger viewers concerned for my lucidity.

Beyond the obvious changes in music styles, hair, and clothing, shows of just 20 years ago seem so dated in technology and raw production. Of course computers and cell phones are in short supply on screen, but sets, store-fronts and corporate logos look so different too. Synthesized soundtracks were so new then that they seem somewhat overused and artificial in the overall production. Where I remember witty, hip repartee in the good ol’ days, now the dialog seems long-winded and the sound is mushy and flat.

This is not to say that modern TV and movies have reached perfection, though I am sure everyone watching their weekly favorites thinks so. No, there is only so much one can take of long brooding looks and minimalist dialog too. Now, oh so edgy filming techniques, like shaking hand cameras, split screen views, and ultra-close-ups are the norm. In a few years, those loyal current viewers will scoff at the production follies of these modern shows just as I do, to the stuff that seemed so special in my youth.

So the moral of the story is ENJOY your favorite programs now, because you probably won’t later. In the future, excitedly you’ll screen your formerly super-hip shows to your kids and grandkids and show them how ‘cool’ you really were in the day. You’ll want those impressionable youngsters to see why the good old days were actually GREAT, and how lucky they are to know you since you experienced it firsthand, and are even willing to share. But don’t be surprised if after a few minutes, those curious whispers and fingers point in your direction with a solemn query “What were you thinking?”

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