Monday, July 28, 2014

TO THE MOON:  The NYT's Neil Genzlinger makes the shocking discovery that most "classic" tv just isn't very watchable anymore: "Sluggish pacing, wooden acting, wince-inducing jokes and obvious plot twists abound in the television of the distant and even not-so-distant past. Too much of this will turn your brain to mush as surely as too much of today’s reality TV will."


  1. Joseph Finn9:14 AM

    Oh, we have a perfectly example of this at Casa De Finn. We love the later Inspector Morse episodes as well as the successor series Lewis, so we decided to start Morse from the beginning. Whoa. 1987 Morse is very, very slowly paced, even for the period. It should have been right up our alley, and the acting was still good, but it just doesn't work as well (also, it looks like it was filmed on bad videotape and is very, very dark).

  2. Nancy Skaggs8:05 AM

    Agreed. I've been watching some older stuff recently on some "classic TV" cable channel and was thinking this very thing during an episode of WKRP in Cincinnati, which was sort of a sad moment as I'd held that show in high regard in my mind. But I just can't get through it any more.
    The exception? Barney Miller. Never gets old.

  3. Fred App9:34 AM

    First of all, most of the shows on that list were never any good. Even contemporaneously, did anyone think that "Gilligan's Island" was a classic? It was sluggish, wooden and wince-inducing even then.

    Beyond that, though, is just the fact that a lot of pop culture doesn't age well (and isn't necessarily meant to). "I Love Lucy" and "The Honeymooners" are perfect examples. They were great shows at the time because they were groundbreaking. No one was doing that kind of humor before. Now, everyone does it, and many do it better, so it seems jaded. They'll be saying the same thing about "Seinfeld" in ten years.

  4. Adam B.11:36 AM

    Yes and no. Chaplin and Keaton were innovators, but their stuff is still funny today. Citizen Kane popularized how many different techniques? But it still works as a great film.

    But no one's queueing their DVRs for the next broadcast of The Jazz Singer. (Either version.)

  5. Heather K4:59 PM

    You might try Endeavour (which is 1960's new cop Morse).

  6. Joseph Finn5:09 PM

    We've watched a few of those and like them quite a bit.