?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
31 January 2016 @ 11:11 am
Nice girls don't throw trees!  
++ For those still on that Star Wars: The Force Awakens high, swsequelfans is a community to discuss and share anything and everything in regards to the new Star Wars sequel trilogy. New fandom communities come so few and far between nowadays, particularly with remaining active, but at least with the Star Wars fandom being rejuvenated things can pick up slightly.

++ There has been a new friending meme making the rounds.

++ Over the last few months I've been watching The Facts Of Life, mostly in random rotation since it's been syndicated on TVLand and Logo. I had never seen the show before and after just viewing a few random episodes I was like, okay, this is quite good. Aside from finding it funny, loving particular characters (my favorite is Jo, unsurprisingly, along with the UST between her and Blair) and affectionately laughing at how hilariously horrible the 80s fashion they adopted in later seasons, I love how, despite its sitcom genre, it handles balancing the comedy along with a variety of serious topics like abortion, teen motherhood, prostitution, harassment, sexism and double standards, suicide, cancer, death, among so many other things. I shouldn't be surprised considering it is called The Facts Of Life where this would be the content they focused on, but it is kind of depressing when we hardly ever have shows like that anymore where serious subject matters are touched on in this manner (i.e. not in an after school special preachy way, but more addressing that these issues exist and that we shouldn't shy away from acknowledging and dealing with it). It's strange when you can look at shows from the past, from the 80s and even the 90s, that tackle such controversial but much needed topics of discussion that is still relevant to current issues in comparison to shows nowadays. I don't know, it just got me thinking about how television has changed and evolved (for better or worse) over the course of the last few decades, not just in terms of presented content and representation but the industry overall.
 
 
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: Tia Ray - Despicable You
 
 
 
Julie: Sailor Moon ★ misplaced reflectionsragnarok_08 on January 31st, 2016 09:17 pm (UTC)
I haven't seen The Facts of Life, but I have heard all about it and that the show covered all of those serious topics too. It's definitely very revealing and strange, like you said.
Renéerogueslayer452 on February 2nd, 2016 04:43 pm (UTC)
If you ever get a chance, I do recommend watching it. The first season is different from the rest of the series though, since from the second season onwards it was basically retooled to be more centered around four girls instead of a huge ensemble they originally had going. But overall, it is funny, heartfelt, and does cover a variety of topics and issues that is hardly seen much of today in shows.
americana exotica: Joaninterchanges on January 31st, 2016 11:31 pm (UTC)
I think network TV is so desperate for ratings these days that they are afraid to cover "controversial" topics, but there are some shows that go there. I think I remember hearing that Black-ish recently had episodes about the n word and owning a gun (I don't watch but I've heard good things). There's also so many shows these days (#PeakTV) that I think some shows don't want to talk about those things when they could, because they figure someone else is. Which is probably true, but with so many shows to choose from, those episodes aren't necessarily being highly watched.
Renée: Heroes. Claire Bennet.rogueslayer452 on February 1st, 2016 03:07 am (UTC)
I think network TV is so desperate for ratings these days that they are afraid to cover "controversial" topics

True, it's such a numbers game. They don't necessarily care for the creative story or content, just what the ratings bring and it's always a competition. If a show does something that pushes the envelope in a particular way that loses viewership and the ratings go down, the show can potentially be in trouble of being cancelled. And then there are the shows that try too hard to bring up something "controversial" but it will be criticized for being too gimmicky, particularly since most times it's only done for things like sweeps and for drama sakes.

It only works for certain shows that center around a particular premise that focuses on heavy topics or an already ongoing storyline. Family or kid shows don't often feature the same topics that used to during the 80s and 90s, whether it's about drugs or sex or anything of that nature, because of parental complaints. (This is why I'm hoping that Girl Meets World will transfer from Disney to ABC or ABC Family once the kids enter high school so they can focus on more serious topics like its predecessor).

There's also so many shows these days (#PeakTV) that I think some shows don't want to talk about those things when they could, because they figure someone else is. Which is probably true, but with so many shows to choose from, those episodes aren't necessarily being highly watched.

Yeah, it's such a guessing situation because while some shows may focus on one particular issue or topic, it doesn't always get noticed because it's either far too subtle or it gets lost in translation from all the other shows out there. And the whole "well, it's not our responsibility/someone else will end up doing it" is kind of a sad mentality for creators to have, particularly if they have the right platform and if it made sense with the story they're trying to tell, particularly if it helps with character development and growth in a particular storyline. There have been moments in shows where addressing something would have made things so much better in the long run, because these issues, these subject matters are very real to the audience and that kind of acknowledgement is important.
americana exotica: Kateinterchanges on February 1st, 2016 03:27 pm (UTC)
I know I've seen complaints online from parents that there aren't many "family" shows these days. I wonder if with the rise of cable in the 90s to now and kid-centered networks if the main broadcast networks have just stopped trying to make family shows. And since the kid networks are trying to make programming for kids of all ages (so parents trust they can just leave it on for their kid), they can't really make shows that have those topics, since those shows need to be for older kids watching together with their parents so they can discuss them.

So that's my theory anyway. Since I'm not a parent, it's a bit hard to know what programming for family and kids is actually happening these days (and of network shows, I'm not even sure what kids would be interested in), but I do definitely think there's less shows tackling heavy issues in a way that kids could watch and understand.

I doubt Disney will move GMW to ABC and now that ABCFamily is "Freeform", who knows what they're doing there. I am surprised at some of the issues the show has tackled so far, but obviously they're very watered down. Sounds like s3 will still be on Disney but maybe it's something they'll consider in the future. I wonder how many years the kids will be in high school on GMW since they skipped some in BMW.

Edited at 2016-02-01 03:30 pm (UTC)
Renée: Pretty Little Liars. Emily.rogueslayer452 on February 2nd, 2016 09:57 pm (UTC)
And since the kid networks are trying to make programming for kids of all ages (so parents trust they can just leave it on for their kid), they can't really make shows that have those topics, since those shows need to be for older kids watching together with their parents so they can discuss them.

That's a good point. I also think with the different accessibility of such programs on different platforms, especially with the Internet, it would be harder to make such shows if kids, particularly older kids, already know about things already from what they are exposed to through the Internet and other means. Television has definitely shifted in terms of what kind of content should be shown to which demographic and at one time. I grew up watching a variety of things that had specific shows at specific times. Disney Channel back then had kid shows in the morning, older kid/teen shows shows in the afternoon, and family-oriented movies in the evening, with things for the adults (i.e. older black and white shows) late at night. This was, of course, back when the channel was so young and it marketed towards everyone in the family. Nowadays the entire channel is run with all original content and mostly for young to teen crowd, which is constantly played on a loop 24/7. It's a completely different demographic which doesn't often have a lot of what used to be in terms of the content of certain shows. In fact, aside from Girl Meets World now, the last show on that channel that dealt with serious subject matters that I remember was in the early-to-mid 2000s with things like That's So Raven where there were episodes that dealt directly with body-shaming and racism.

Perhaps a lot of it is about parental complaints, perhaps it's because things are changing with media, different approaches to certain demographics, I don't know. It's just an interesting look with how things have shifted. It also makes me nostalgic with the shows I grew up with because, while not perfect, it's fascinating that some of the things we watched during childhood.

I am surprised at some of the issues the show has tackled so far, but obviously they're very watered down. Sounds like s3 will still be on Disney but maybe it's something they'll consider in the future.

Same here. I have been pleasantly surprised with the things they have been able to get away with in terms of subject matter, since Disney Channel has changed so much from before. I know that Rowan has mentioned that she was to be as inclusive as possible because it's important to have representation for everyone (and for that I applaud her so much), and it's just a matter of how can they do that without "ruffling" too many feathers of the conservative parents still watching the channel. Not that I care about their feelings, but the power of parents complaining might place the show at risk no matter how popular it is, and we all know Disney is all about a image. That's why I wish that GMW would eventually transfer over to the likes of ABC, which is where BMW originally aired on before syndicating on Disney Channel.
night_owl_9: Alice Seno - to save a white rabbitnight_owl_9 on February 1st, 2016 12:03 am (UTC)
It's strange when you can look at shows from the past, from the 80s and even the 90s, that tackle such controversial but much needed topics of discussion that is still relevant to current issues in comparison to shows nowadays. I don't know, it just got me thinking about how television has changed and evolved (for better or worse) over the course of the last few decades, not just in terms of presented content and representation but the industry overall. - I agree wholeheartedly.
orangerfulorangerful on February 1st, 2016 04:51 am (UTC)
oh I am so joining that comm! Thanks for sharing it!
Renée: Inara Serra. Smile.rogueslayer452 on February 1st, 2016 12:20 pm (UTC)
You're welcome! :)
the girl on firethegirlonfire on February 12th, 2016 03:17 pm (UTC)
Oh man, until you brought it up, I never really thought about how issues were addressed now vs. then in television. Even in FRIENDS (which definitely has flaws, of course) had a gay couple and it was totally normal (and it was addressed in the first episode!). Whereas now that's a big deal for a show and a lot of them shy away from it even though it should be something that's there.

(I hope what I said makes sense - I'm pretty brain fried.)
Renéerogueslayer452 on February 12th, 2016 08:16 pm (UTC)
There is definitely a huge cultural influence of how things are handled in media. From LGBTQ to gender and racial diversity, never mind the discussion of other social issues, looking at things back then and now there are major differences of how things were handled and portrayed. That's not to say that things were perfect back then, far from it in fact. It just feels like every time we take a few steps foward, we end up taking a step back, while in some cases there is a complete standstill.

Edited at 2016-02-12 08:16 pm (UTC)