Original Television; The Biggest Thing in Entertainment?
Over the past few years or so the entertainment industry and what dominates it has been changing dramatically and quite unpredictably in some parts. However it seems that at the current time there is only one ruler of the industry; original television and it seems that it may be that way for quite some time. When I say ‘Original’ I mean it in the sense that it strays away from normalised soap opera formats or stereotypically commercialised shows and plants itself more firmly in the realm of unique and captivating new works of art. A generation of shows that is helping to reinvent the medium once again as an art form and challenge the conventional ideas set in place over what can be considered commercially acceptable.
Normally when I think of commercial television I think of universally relatable content that you see in shows like EastEnders, Coronation Street, live comedy/age-specific shows. That is not to say that these shows are in any way bad in fact I regard some of my favourite shows like The Inbetweeners and The Office as being in this category. All of these shows can still be ground-breaking and award winning, but it seems in recent times possibly from the creation of Breaking Bad we have created a whole new category of television and it’s taking over the world. Or at least the digital world… which in turn dominates the non-digital world.
So what is the new category? What TV shows fit into it and can we use them to our real world advantage? Well like I said (and forgive me if you disagree) but the arrival of Breaking Bad seems to have defined this new creation; a category that seems to be made up of shows that tackle the grittier aspects of life and that through their content focuses more intently on creating a cinematically artistic feel than on its commercial appeal. Whether this is down to commissioners just being a little more daring or more directors/screenwriters experimenting or even a mixture of the both! Either way I love it. From it we’ve had shows like Game of Thrones, House of Cards, True Detective, Sense8 and more! It also seems that the leading distributor of this content is Netflix, so is it them we should be thanking for braving it out to bring us such interesting and innovative works of art? These shows challenge, they risk, and they unify generations as so many of these have a target audience in mind, but do not let it become a burden on the shows progression and reception.
As these shows captivate hearts, eyes and minds of millions and millions of audiences across the globe, are we also improving peoples thoughts? A lot of these shows/films tackle taboo subjects and strive to represent areas that in general have quite bad history from race to gender to sexuality, and the inclusion of these into a medium that some audiences worship almost as intensely as a religion seems to be improving the open-mindedness and acceptance of such subjects by its fans. Is this a good thing? Is it really improving our societal beliefs? What do you think?