Final Reflective Report

October 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

Television Cultures

Assignment: Final Reflective Report

Mark Goldstein s3248563

Intro:

Television. One of the major pieces of technology I grew up with watching many kid-shows as a child life (list shows here) then moving to more teen-based shows (list more) and now mostly comedic/sitcom shows. I don’t watch that much TV nowadays so I haven’t been playing to close attention to what is the current culture of TV. (Other then the abundance of Reality TV shows in the past 3 years.)

Middle:

Television In Time (Broadcast, Multichannel and Post-Broadcast Eras)

When we move forward in time, from decade to decade, along with music and fashion, television also changes with the times. If you compare how TV is today compared to the 1950’s noticeable changes are apparent in both accrual TV’s and the content that appears on them.

There are many differences with the units themselves between the broadcast and post-broadcast era such as colour, with earlier TV’s being limited to black-and-white with televisions of today able to display in colour, a limitation of the number of televisions per household being around 1 due to the price of televisions at the time and being seen as more of a rich family, high luxury item.

On the content side of things, media such as news and the way it’s presented while at the base level stay the same with most news in the pre-broadcast era had the news presented by a serious, respected reporter such as Walter Cronkite (Charles Franklin, 2009,http://www.pollster.com/blogs/walter_cronkite_most_trusted_m.php?nr=1 ) , in a sterile environment and while this still exists in the post-broadcast era such as Nine-Evening News, there is now news being reported that have a comedic/sarcastic take with shows like Colbert and Stewart.

News isn’t the only the type of programming to change with the times. When it comes to sitcoms, the ones that existed in the broadcast era weren’t so much sitcoms as they were about the average American Nuclear-Family (such as The Waltons, The Brady Bunch and the Partridge Family) being in situations that were effecting either single members, or multiple members of the family that would result in an unhappy family and they resolve the problem to become a happy family again.

For a post-broadcast show these family type shows only really exist in a sitcom format were the situations that happen normally didn’t happen on the broadcast shows due to them being taboo for the time, such as sex/pregnancy with married couples being depicted as sleeping in separate beds (‘Broadcast Firsts’, http://www.tvacres.com/broad_bed.htm ) and violence based situations.

Taste

In the beginning of this piece you may have noticed my taste is pretty limited to two genres. Comedy/Sitcoms and Crime-Drama shows. Though the term limited may not be best word. Is it limited if I only like a small amount of genres? Is it overboard if someone likes a large number of genres?

Taste is definitely subjective as everyone will have different tastes on different shows as well as reacting differently to the shows. Case in point: Lost. The show had millions of fans in across America (ABC Prime-time Ratings for 09/20/04 – 05/19/05, 2005,http://abcmedianet.com/web/dnr/dispDNR.aspx?id=062105_06 ) and cross the world who tuned in to the show to follow the stories and try an make sense of all the mysterious goings on on a remote island that the survivors of plane crash stumbled upon. Over the course of the six seasons a lot of lore that had been built and the fans, who called themselves as ‘Losties’ or ‘Lostaways’ were trying to piece everything together as much as they could. They would do so with the use of the internet to host a bunch of fan-sites to discuss the key plot points and events to try and piece everything together.

(Collette Bancroft, 2006, http://www.sptimes.com/2006/01/10/Floridian/Web_ensnares__Lost__s.shtml )

Evidence Locker : A look at Police/Crime Shows

One of my favourite genre of shows outside of comedy/sitcoms are the crime or ‘Police Procedural’ type shows such as Law and Order (SVU and Criminal Intent) and NCIS. When I watched these type of shows, I noticed after a while they always followed the same pattern, the set-up of the crime pre-intro sequence, showing the victim, the perpetrator and the events leading up to and then the actual committal of said crime.. Then it begins with the detectives at the scene getting as much information as they can, then walking along a path with the camera looking at them front on as they discuss the next potential course-of-action. Though at the same time it also shows the perpetrator and what they are doing post-crime. Then they show the detectives trying to solve the crime when suddenly something major happens that throws off the balance of solving the crime such as a key-witness dying or something happens internally to the detectives themselves like the chain of command disapproved of an action they performed earlier and then the case gets solved, the perpetrator is caught and justice is served. While this is especially true for NCIS I do like that on Law And Order the aforementioned style of ending is not always the case. Sometimes a twist will happen were the case either can’t be solved or some outside force affects the perp and while some form of justice was served it still isn’t a satisfactory ending for the family of the victim/s and or the detective them selves.

Conclusion:

The culture of television is deeper then I thought. There is so much to look at observe and to think about its almost mind-blowing. The individual genres that exist of past and present television shows, how shows changed over time, like how programmes from the 50’s-60’s differ to the modern day (00’s).


American TV for an Australian Child

October 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

As we all know a lot of television shows come from America and broadcast to many countries around the world including Australia.

Just look at channel 10, appart from some reality shows a majority of its content is US.

I grew up watching a lot of television and a lot of what is broadcast is American T.V. Such as kids animations: The Simpsons, Hey Arnold, Rugrats; Children’s T.V like Sesame Street and teen shows like Saved By The Bell.

Growing up to some of those US based childrens show their use of measurements and pronunciation was confusing  in contrast to what I learned in school. I picked up on the pronunciation of Z as ‘zee'(American English) as opposed to “zed”(British English). Today I now pronounce it ‘zed’, but I remember being confused when people would say it as ‘zed’. What is a foot or a mile or a yard? Talking about Imperial to a Metric based population along with Fahrenheit vs Celsius would always confuse me.

 Fast forward a few years with Saved By the Bell which would air every Saturday morning and I’m still a little miffed with seeing they (US schools) getting those tall lockers (big enough to fit a person inside) as opposed to smaller ones divided in to 2 (one above, one bellow) which was supper annoying to get to if the other person was also their getting their equipment.

I’m still peeved about that…

The Longest Running Cartoon to end?

October 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

There has been reports(Alex Navarro, 2011, http://www.screened.com/news/lets-all-start-wringing-our-hands-in-anxiety-over-the-outside-chance-the-simpsons-may-end-this-year/2970/ ) going around of the voice cast of The Simpsons are in a negotiation with broadcaster FOX over getting more of the money that is made from syndicated airings of the show and the fact FOX isn’t budging on this may put the future of The Simpsons in jeopardy.

At first thought there is no way FOX is going to let it’s probably highest grossing show get away from it but another report (Alex Navarro, 2011, http://www.screened.com/news/if-the-simpsons-survives-beyond-this-year-it-probably-wont-survive-long/2986/ ) that according to an anonymous FOX exec that the show is turning less a profit and drastic pay-cuts to all involved in the production of The Simpsons is needed to keep it running.

I’m a fan of the Simpsons, but my enjoyment of the show only lasts for the first 10 seasons of the show which were all humorous and I can watch them repeatedly till the end of time. The rest of the seasons 11-23 just have been almost painful to watch. Truthfully I’ve only seen up to 17 since (at the time when I still watched the newer episodes 18 onwards had yet to be broadcast here in Australia, but the writing and the jokes have all been the kind of stuff that heavily uses pop-culture and almost ‘ripped from the headlines’ that while the earlier stuff did use the put a great ‘Simpson-esqe’ spin that made them great and actually funny.

As for the characteristics of the main characters have been changed as time went on and the kind of dumb Homer is now is almost painful to see.

I for one will not be sad when this show goes, I’ll be too busy watching my season 4 box set to care.

The 4 Blogs of Choice

August 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

Cult Followers

Kochie Kills Me

Television Expensive

Transmedia

 

Webisodes And Transmedia

August 28, 2011 § 1 Comment

Some shows have a universe and characters that may be particularly interesting and getting to know more would be particularly interesting for fans of said show. I like the use of transmedia as a concept, as I really never read and or watch the extra fiction. The use of webisodes and other transmedia outlets can be great as most of this extra content is mainly side stuff that compliments the main series of a show to help flesh out story arc’s/trappings, fill in the missing pieces or even show events in a different perspective, but also use to getting to know more about some of the more popular characters and what has happened to them in the past that has only been mentioned briefly.

There’s even Behind-The-Scenes works providing an in-depth look into the production of the show a lot of people may find interesting and its usually this kind of stuff I’m more interested in personally.

Remember that banana from episode 245? Here's the follow up!

There have been several novels that have been published on various popular T.V shows, film adaptations: with an example with The Simpsons who has outside of the main show; games,

comic books, behind-the-scenes books etc. that fill you in each of the characters from the show ans what has happened to them over the years.

But the use of transmedia like webisodes is a way for the creators of said show to experiment with extra-side story’s which can be easily turned to Alternate-Universe as well have user visit a site that most likely has a bunch of ads (such as those annoying ads that cannot be skipped, that play before every video) which in turn would become some form of revenue for the company to continue making the show, you know a standard business cycle.

Reality Television

August 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

 *Sigh* If there is one thing about the world of television that I despise the most it has to be Reality Television. While shows like Survivor, The Amazing Race and to a lesser extent American/Australian Idol are at least bearable. It’s shows like Big Brother that are the worst offenders that show the daily lives of everyday people and glorifying it to the public.

I watch T.V to get away from reality (minus News programs) and in to the fake stories of fake families like the The Simpson Family (The Simpsons) or The Formans (That 70’s Show). Not to watch other people who who think they can sing and butcher some classic songs and/or doing stupid challenges for money and prizes. It just seems sad and some times pathetic and I don’t want nee need to see that. (There’s Youtube for that.)

With Big Brother, it’s constant pushing of the envelope of getting the contestants to participate in certain challenges and airing certain aspects of house life had it canceled (Australian version. International versions still run), with even then Prime Minister John Howard calling for it to be axed.

But there are people who continue to watch such shows and I will always wonder why?

What is it about seeing people doing stupid, weird and some times disturbing stuff for what ever prizes are up for grabs. Or maybe I just answered my own question.

Cult Followings (or how I will never say anything bad about TorchWood. Ever.)

August 28, 2011 § 1 Comment

I’m a fan of a lot of things; ranging from TV shows, video games and music groups. I like to follow

the development of characters and the goings on in and around them. I like to think there are two types of fans with anything. The casual fan and the dedicated fan. The former is interested at a basic level and will follow anything about the show for example and may leave if things change for the worst, I.e.: A change in tone. The latter how ever will fear any change even something so minute that, will not change anything on the surface of the show, the fans will pick apart at it and try to prove how it will not benefit the series. I’m a little of column B to be honest. I’m a fan of

That 70’s Show and with season 8 two major characters departed from the show and another character was bought in and many a fan did not like him, I too personally did not like him either but I didn’t get to hung up about it.

Having a group of dedicated viewers can either work in your favour or against you.

Notable examples are the American TV drama show Jericho in which after being cancelled by the broadcaster hundreds of fans of the show sent letters, started up petitions and just gathered up as mush public support as they could and the show eventually returned for a second season.

Now I would never go to these lengths to get my favourite show back but it is kind of cool to know that there are people who would.

Fred went through them to get to where he was going. He was never seen again.

The counter example to this would be fans of Torchwood who took the death of one of characters as shall we say negatively. That’s putting it lightly as fans contacted the people behind the show with comments on how they would stop watching, how they were ruining the show and even saying

“…“passive aggressive nonsense”. He [James Moran (show writer)]noted that fans had accused him of deliberately trying to “mislead”, “lie” and “hurt” them, said that he hated them, was “laughing at them” and “slapping [them] in the face”, and claimed that he had “killed the show”, had attempted to drive away existing fans …”

Also death threats. Yeah. Not to be judgemental but… some people are just crazy for shows and that can’t be normal right?

It’s just amazing to see people get so attached to something like T.V shows but why not eh?

No fans no show right?

Jericho

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/05/AR2007060502724.html

6:15AM 28/08/2011

http://web.archive.org/web/20070609193738/http://fe6.news.sp1.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070606/ap_en_tv/tv_cbs_jericho 6:03 AM 28/08/2011

Torchwood

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ianto_Jones#Fan_reaction_to_death 6:36AM 28/08/2011

http://io9.com/5317165/is-torchwood-homophobic-fans-debate