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Subject   (reply to 19991)
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>> No. 19991 Anonymous
5th July 2015
Sunday 1:10 pm
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Simpsons, never found it funny and think it's the most overrated show in history.

What is /101/'s thoughts on it?
Expand all images.
>> No. 19992 Anonymous
5th July 2015
Sunday 1:29 pm
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OH, that is a terrible shame. I adore it. I'd love to know why but I don't think you would be able to explain in a way that I would understand.

could you try though?
>> No. 19993 Anonymous
5th July 2015
Sunday 1:31 pm
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Your picture sums up my thoughts on it. I recognise practically all of the characters in it, and I haven't religiously watched The Simpsons for about ten years. It's the very definition of a household name, and I feel like it deserves it.
>> No. 19994 Anonymous
5th July 2015
Sunday 4:09 pm
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American Imperialist cultural propaganda.
>> No. 19995 Anonymous
5th July 2015
Sunday 4:16 pm
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Oh me too OP. Never even raised a chuckle out of me.
>> No. 19997 Anonymous
5th July 2015
Sunday 4:40 pm
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I have seen an occasional episode on telly or elsewhere. Never cared much. Sometimes it was rather funny though.
>> No. 19998 Anonymous
5th July 2015
Sunday 4:57 pm
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It was still funny in the nineties. Never since.
>> No. 19999 Anonymous
5th July 2015
Sunday 5:13 pm
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I stopped watching it regularly shortly after it moved to Channel 4. I caught one of the earlier episodes the other day and I'd forgotten how funny it was. At its peak it really was brilliant.
>> No. 20000 Anonymous
5th July 2015
Sunday 5:25 pm
20000 You must cut your feet always walking on a razors edge.
n1 tumblr, dem hertronormative cis white males wont no wot hit 'em!
>> No. 20001 Anonymous
5th July 2015
Sunday 5:51 pm
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This is post 20000? Jesus.

>>19998 has the right of it; Season 9 was where it started getting poor, and it's just utter dross ever since. If you're only looking at episodes from the nineties, The Simpsons is one of the best shows ever made. It always kills me a little when I remember that there are now more terrible episodes than good ones. It should have been cancelled years and years ago.
>> No. 20002 Anonymous
5th July 2015
Sunday 6:20 pm
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I haven't watched it in years, doesn't sound like I missed much. Did used to enjoy it though.
>> No. 20003 Anonymous
5th July 2015
Sunday 6:52 pm
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It's probably for the best, the "new" which means within the last 15 years episodes are garbage. So you'd either be heartbroken to see the thing you once loved bastardised like that, or brain dead to actually enjoy it. Neither is a good place to be.
>> No. 20004 Anonymous
5th July 2015
Sunday 7:02 pm
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I saw this quote just now over on Dead Homer Society (an excellent website, incidentally):

>For someone who grew up on the Simpsons but stopped watching in the 1990s, seeing a contemporary episode is akin to Jesus Christ walking into the Vatican. The basic tenets may be familiar, but the presentation is shockingly dissimilar from its origins.
>> No. 20006 Anonymous
5th July 2015
Sunday 8:15 pm
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Perceived degradation of long-running creative output is something that is always going to happen over time, whether you're talking about a TV series, a band, or a series of novels. The main reason for this is that as time goes on the output either stays the same and gets stale or it changes significantly and alienates its original audience. I also have a sneaking suspicion that people simply have a finite amount of creative talent in them, sometimes just enough for a one-hit wonder, sometimes enough for decades of output.
>> No. 20007 Anonymous
5th July 2015
Sunday 9:40 pm
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>I also have a sneaking suspicion that people simply have a finite amount of creative talent in them, sometimes just enough for a one-hit wonder...

That in many ways is why punk and post-punk were so brilliant. There was no expectation that someone should pay their dues. You could record a single or an EP with your mates, send it off to John Peel and nobody expected anything more. You could knock together a 'zine with scissors and paste and your nan's old typewriter, put out four issues and then just stop when you run out of ideas.

The "DIY spirit" has been lionised to the point of cliché, but it meant a great deal. Something magical happens in a subculture that lauds the idea of just having a go; Unique voices come out of the woodwork that would otherwise go ignored. Today we bang on about the democratising effect of the technological revolution, but our culture is still dominated by middle-class white men with very little to say. The hail of spit and bottles that greeted bands at the 100 Club seems in hindsight to be more welcoming than the comments on YouTube.

I am the worst kind of old codger.

>> No. 20011 Anonymous
6th July 2015
Monday 9:13 am
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I know it's irrelevant to the thread topic but if you're as old as you are, I have to ask:

How popular or frequently mentioned were classical pianists like Vladimir Horowitz or Artur Rubinstein? 30 years on from their deaths, I see no mention of them now but supposedly, during their twilight years, they gave legendary concerts. I just want to gauge their relative popularity compared to whatever was "big" in your day.
>> No. 20012 Anonymous
6th July 2015
Monday 9:47 am
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It's okay I guess, but it's no Family Guy, is it?
>> No. 20018 Anonymous
6th July 2015
Monday 11:45 am
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Horowitz and Rubinstein were more well known than any contemporary classical musician, but their fame was still relatively niche. What is undoubtedly true is that attendances at concert halls have been in terminal decline for decades, with many orchestras struggling to stay in business. The audience for classical music is literally dying off, with a near total absence of younger listeners.

The biggest difference in my opinion is that we now have a lot more choice, which makes it easier to choose to be ignorant. Relatively highbrow TV programmes attracted very large audiences in the 1970s and 1980s, because there were only three or four channels. The BBC could broadcast pretty much anything during prime time and get massive viewing figures. They could get ten or twelve million people to watch a ballet or a documentary on nuclear power, because there were so few other options. The advent of Sky TV in 1990 created increasing commercial pressure in broadcasting, with programmes across all channels becoming more populist and attention-grabbing.

I don't want to be overly negative. The internet has created vast opportunities for learning and enrichment. No matter how niche your interests, there is a community out there for you. Many YouTube creators are making superb content that simply wouldn't have existed ten or twenty years ago. Services like Coursera make university-level education available to everyone. The problem is that you have to seek all this stuff out, and a lot of people just aren't bothering. Lowbrow crap is sinking to depressing lows, as broadcasters and journalists find themselves competing with pictures of cute cats and videos of people being hit in the balls.

I worry that society is becoming increasingly polarised, in terms of both financial and cultural wealth. It is clear that globalisation is increasing the gap between the rich and poor, and I think that the same thing is happening to the knowledge gap. Not watching the news used to be a conscious choice, but now it's easy to overlook when there are 200 other channels competing for your attention. If you weren't raised in an environment that valued learning, it can be difficult to engage with challenging information and ideas, especially when you're being bombarded with tempting clickbait and glittering light entertainment.
>> No. 20024 Anonymous
6th July 2015
Monday 1:26 pm
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> Relatively highbrow TV programmes attracted very large audiences in the 1970s and 1980s [... ] They could get ten or twelve million people to watch a ballet or a documentary on nuclear power [...]

I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels like contemporary BBC / Channel 4 documentaries try to spoon feed me the same simplistic idea over and over like a dinner lady working in a canteen for Alzheimer’s sufferers. "Hey lads ,do you remember when some TV at least used to seem like it was for intelligent people and not for very slightly retarded Year 4s?".
>> No. 20037 Anonymous
6th July 2015
Monday 2:39 pm
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TV is not made for clever people.
>> No. 20039 Anonymous
6th July 2015
Monday 2:40 pm
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...any more, would be the point of that post.
>> No. 20044 Anonymous
6th July 2015
Monday 2:54 pm
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> In fact I think a lot BBC2's docos are really quality.

With English like that I'm hardly surprised.
>> No. 20045 Anonymous
6th July 2015
Monday 2:54 pm
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Ever. The term 'idiot box' originated in the fifties.
>> No. 20046 Anonymous
6th July 2015
Monday 3:42 pm
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In fact I think a lot of BBC2's docos are really quality.


Should have waited until my hour was up, now you look silly!
>> No. 20047 Anonymous
6th July 2015
Monday 4:03 pm
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> In fact I think a lot of BBC2's docos are really quality.

Is still terrible English.
>> No. 20049 Anonymous
6th July 2015
Monday 4:11 pm
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Perhaps but you still look really silly!
>> No. 20050 Anonymous
6th July 2015
Monday 4:30 pm
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Channel 4 isn't always terrible I found 'the secret life of four year olds' absolutely fascinating from a sociological angle.

That said
9/11: The falling man, is the worst example of content just designed to fill air time I have ever seen.
>> No. 20051 Anonymous
6th July 2015
Monday 4:48 pm
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> I found 'the secret life of four year olds' absolutely fascinating

Oh aye?
>> No. 20057 Anonymous
6th July 2015
Monday 5:46 pm
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>air time

I hope that was intentional, you sick bastard.
>> No. 20058 Anonymous
6th July 2015
Monday 6:35 pm
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Think of the children, they said. So he did.
>> No. 20059 Anonymous
6th July 2015
Monday 6:46 pm
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"Idiot box" was coined in America, and would be an entirely accurate description of their atrocious broadcast media.

British broadcasting was historically guided by Reithian principles, the belief that radio and television should seek to encourage the highest aspirations of the audience, rather than pandering to the lowest common denominator. I argue that these values were largely upheld by the BBC until the early 1990s, when commercial competition started a race to the bottom.

I don't think that this belief is merely nostalgia. Take, for example, this news bulletin from 1986:


Note the calm tone, the plainly worded reports devoid of cliché, the absence of flashy presentation gimmicks. There are no frivolous human interest stories, no vox pops, just the facts. The programme makers clearly felt under no pressure to constantly dazzle the viewer to keep their attention.

The BBC routinely broadcast programmes of niche interest that would be laughed out of a commissioning meeting today. To give a slightly extreme example, this ten part series on model making was broadcast at 6:40pm on BBC Two and repeated on several occasions over the following years:


There is an entirely legitimate argument that a programme like this is simply interminably dull. I would argue that it represents what television ought to be. The programme was made with the singular and earnest desire to enrich the lives of viewers by introducing them to a fulfilling hobby. It makes no concession to the casual viewer who simply leaves the television on as moving wallpaper. Television can and should be a tool to improve your life, not merely a distraction from it.

Of course the internet now makes it easy to find niche content of this type, which is a wonderful thing. My concern is that television is highly influential in shaping our understanding of the world, and that the world depicted by modern television is shallow and narcissistic. Broadcasters used to believe that they had some obligation to represent and serve the whole of society, but that obligation has been abrogated because minority audiences can find content on specialised channels or online. Being able to learn about model trains or rambling or particle physics on the internet is no use if you aren't made aware that those things exist in the first place.

In 1965, the BBC started broadcasting a regular TV programme for Asian audiences on Sunday morning. This service continued until 1992, when it was thought that satellite broadcasting had obviated that need. It is great that immigrants can now watch a wide range of programmes in their native language, but the fact that these channels are tucked away at the dog-end of the Sky programme guide smacks of ghettoisation. Television has a role to play in informing us of the diversity of human life in all senses of the word.
>> No. 20060 Anonymous
6th July 2015
Monday 6:57 pm
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You're smart. Can we make you king?
>> No. 20061 Anonymous
6th July 2015
Monday 7:31 pm
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This is why Bill Hicks was right when he said anyone who works in marketing should kill themselves.

We've had a generation of adults who firmly believe in the patronising notion that kids these days won't go for anything that isn't loud, brash and steeped in the mystical, ethereal concept of "cool". As a result it's becoming a self fulfilling prophecy that people grow up to be mindless ADD fucktards capable of consuming only Nandos and Geordie Shore.
>> No. 20062 Anonymous
6th July 2015
Monday 7:41 pm
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I think I'd rather be on JSA and a lifelong NEET than have a career in 'marketing' or 'PR'. Fuck that noise.
>> No. 20066 Anonymous
6th July 2015
Monday 8:32 pm
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I must take issue with your characterisation of the news broadcast.

>the plainly worded reports devoid of cliché
There is an awful lot of cliché in there. There's a fair amount of what our retarded cousins across the water would call "B-roll Rebus". The segment on Reagan opens with a drive-past of crowds waving American flags. Several times we are treated we are treated to a shot of plane to represent someone arriving. The fox-hunting report ended with a thinly-disguised hunter/hunted construction. Then there's the good old "we're talking about him, so let's throw up a picture", where we get a long still of Geoffrey Howe for no reason (no recording to go with it, and no in-context imagery, just a headshot) only to be treated to a veritable barrage of them throughout the sports report.

>the absence of flashy presentation gimmicks.
We have the opening animation and the headline reveal and subsequent transitions. Then there's the aforementioned headshot brigade. The studio background is overlaid. It would be interesting to hear the talkback here - it would give you some idea of just how slickly produced the whole thing is. If you want to see BBC presentation of the area being particularly flashy and gimmicky, go watch the 1983 election coverage. It's got it all - flashy animation, flying dolly shots, the works.

>There are no frivolous human interest stories
That may have more to do with the news agenda of the day rather than any desire to avoid them.

>no vox pops
Again, more to do with the agenda of the day not lending itself to them, as well as being a weekend bulletin when fewer news crews would be doing the rounds. They did plenty of them on other stories - typically anything involving "the pound in your pocket" would see a few people stopped on the streets of west London. A good part of this is technological - we are in the early days of video here, whereas just a couple of years previously most of their mobile camera units would have been shooting on film with separate audio.
>> No. 20068 Anonymous
6th July 2015
Monday 8:43 pm
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Well now you seem quite smart, maybe you should be king instead.
>> No. 20069 Anonymous
6th July 2015
Monday 8:52 pm
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I think we've got ourselves a reality format. Stick it in the Saturday night double-header on Channel 5, along with Monkey Tennis.
>> No. 20072 Anonymous
6th July 2015
Monday 10:34 pm
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I get what you're saying, but I think that the difference between news presentation then and now is remarkable. Part of that is technological, but there are also a lot of aesthetic decisions involved. Here's a randomly chosen news bulletin from last year:


We can see a drastic difference in tone almost immediately, with incessant motion and visual clutter. Throughout the programme, the language is notably more hyperbolic and there is a great deal more focus on opinion and personality.

The story on energy prices is opened with a human interest framing. The coverage of the teaching strike was dominated by the impact on parents rather than the issues behind the strike. An entire story was given over to public opinion on the EU. Parliament passing a cap on welfare spending merited just 15 seconds of coverage, while a celebrity divorce got two minutes.

I think it's informative to look at a news bulletin from 1997:


We have a hint of the flashy graphics and bombastic music of the modern bulletin, but all the studio shots are locked down with a minimum of visual clutter. There are no flashy animations of the name supers. The report on the suspected bomber doesn't include an interview with a nervous resident. The piece on rail privatisation doesn't include vox pops from commuters. We were well into the era of DigiBeta and NLE at this stage, so I don't think that the difference can be explained away as purely technological.
>> No. 20643 Anonymous
17th August 2015
Monday 7:51 pm
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I'd like to echo views that The Simpsons inevitably went down hill after season 12 or so.

Family Guy peaked in it's infancy during season 1.
>> No. 20644 Anonymous
17th August 2015
Monday 7:53 pm
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Sampling mate.
>> No. 20645 Anonymous
17th August 2015
Monday 9:31 pm
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When youtube got big I thought things would change. People could watch what they want whenever they want and a lot of them created content. Then almost ten years later the most famous youtubers are girls with big breasts, girls who talk about make up, little dumb kids and guys who play video games while talking about playing video games. TV may be almost dead but it killed our taste long ago.
>> No. 20649 Anonymous
18th August 2015
Tuesday 2:36 pm
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You're actually just wrong. The writing in the first 7 series or so is some of the best and most heart-warming comedy ever made.

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