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A VAST WASTELAND


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On 2/5/2018 at 6:30 PM, Palmerin said:

I grew up with PBS, and, with the sole exception of some MASTERPIECE THEATRE-type dramas, I never felt any affection for the deadly dull programming of that drastically overrated station. Nothing interesting for children, and very little of interest for adults.

You mention shows deserving of Minow's poor opinion; which shows and channels would you say deserve praise for taking to heart NM's opinion that TV had potential for more than soaps and game shows?

The network that was the home of Sesame Street has "nothing interesting for children"? I couldn't possibly disagree more. 

And as someone who works with kids, I can tell you they universally love present-day PBS Kids programming. Clifford the Big Red DogArthurThe Magic School Bus. If you told them PBS had nothing for them, they would not agree with you.

While I was intrigued by the thread topic, I too must join others on here completely baffled that of all the incredibly vast amount of garbage in TV history, the only thing you chose to attack was one of the incredibly few examples of high-minded television.

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12 hours ago, Palmerin said:

MANY PEOPLE ... of the USA, for whom CIVIL WAR means strictly one very specific conflict during the 1860s; they should learn the remarkable fact that every country in the world has had at least one major civil war.

I would gladly kiss the hands of Ken Burns if he created a documentary series dedicated to the Spanish War of 1936-39, complete with the complex story of its origins in the French Revolution--an story of which Hemingway knew absolutely nothing.

I doubt every country has, but enough to qualify that comment.  One civil war in particular besides our own WAS recently covered by both Burns and PBS, and was too, our longest and most disputed military involvement.  Or have some already forgotten the recent VIET NAM documentary that aired on PBS not long ago?

And in Hemingway's defense, sure.  He may not have been aware of all the backstory concerning the Spanish civil war, but I don't think it was ever his intention to write a Spanish history textbook.  

Sepiatone

 

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15 hours ago, Palmerin said:

John Grisham, Stephen King, Robert Frost, and Carl Sandburg.

You are not from the USA? Which is your homeland, and which literary luminaries does she have, please?

Were you referring to the United States of America? If so, I would say they include both my self and my home.

13 hours ago, Fedya said:

There have been some very underrated quizzers out there:

 

 

I had always liked the "Blockbusters" usually hosted by a certain person named Bill Cullen (as for the "Double Dare" usually hosted by a certain person named Alex Trebek, I cannot say whether I had always liked it or not since I had not seen enough of it to make a good assessment of it).

 

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6 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

The network that was the home of Sesame Street has "nothing interesting for children"? I couldn't possibly disagree more. 

And as someone who works with kids, I can tell you they universally love present-day PBS Kids programming. Clifford the Big Red DogArthurThe Magic School Bus. If you told them PBS had nothing for them, they would not agree with you.

While I was intrigued by the thread topic, I too must join others on here completely baffled that of all the incredibly vast amount of garbage in TV history, the only thing you chose to attack was one of the incredibly few examples of high-minded television.

when I was a kid I was more interested in 8th man, Gigantor, Thunderbirds, Stingray, saturday morning superhero cartoons and all the 1950s monster movies I could catch.

stuff that was genuinely eyecatching and attention getting to young minds. the msm loved sesame street as soon as it debuted back in 1969. the msm was always partial to PBS because they knew it was liberal agenda-driven.

:D

 

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14 hours ago, Palmerin said:

I have never found any satisfactory material on the subject. It seems that practically everybody in the USA sees the 1936-39 War through the eyes of Hemingway, who was no historian.

And we can add Hemingway was a much overrated novelist as well. 

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16 hours ago, Vautrin said:

As Grisham and King are novelists and Frost and Sandburg were poets,

I can see the point.

In his time Dickens was often dismissed as a popular entertainer who only wrote for money, whereas the Brownings and Baron Tennyson were lauded as exalted artists whose verse made the English language into something divine.

Are either Grisham or King widely regarded as likely candidates for the Nobel?

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16 minutes ago, Palmerin said:

Are either Grisham or King widely regarded as likely candidates for the Nobel?

Well, to use another analogy - some of my favorite sci-fi/creature features from the 50s/60s were never likely to land many prizes for high art, but they're still darn good entertainment (and some, like the original Godzilla had some fairly thoughtful points to make, along with the marvelous monster mayhem).

BTW, here's my favorite Nobel, err, Noble:

Screenshot-2016-01-31-22.31.44.png

 

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18 minutes ago, limey said:

Well, to use another analogy - some of my favorite sci-fi/creature features from the 50s/60s were never likely to land many prizes for high art, but they're still darn good entertainment (and some, like the original Godzilla had some fairly thoughtful points to make, along with the marvelous monster mayhem).

BTW, here's my favorite Nobel, err, Noble:

Screenshot-2016-01-31-22.31.44.png

 

OK, so most here have regard for the PBS with which they grew up; what about what in PR is called=dismissed as commercial TV? I still have regard for THE NAKED CITY.

Speaking of creature features, master limey, do you still have any affection for the sci fi of Irwin Allen? Back in the 1960s, his shows nourished my hunger for fantasy and adventure; now I'm embarrassed at having had such poor taste that I actually cherished those piles of horse droppings.

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5 minutes ago, Palmerin said:

OK, so most here have regard for the PBS with which they grew up; what about what in PR is called=dismissed as commercial TV? I still have regard for THE NAKED CITY.

Speaking of creature features, master limey, do you still have any affection for the sci fi of Irwin Allen? Back in the 1960s, his shows nourished my hunger for fantasy and adventure; now I'm embarrassed at having had such poor taste that I actually cherished those piles of horse droppings.

I had to laugh at the Irwin Allen assessment. I, too, enjoyed those shows as a kid, but when I saw them more recently, like Lost in Space, I couldn't believe how utterly dreadful they were. 

What do you mean by commercial TV? Everything other than PBS, and maybe CSPAN, is commercial TV, which is a broad variety. There's network TV (NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, The CW), which is still constrained by FCC censorship guidelines. There's basic cable (History, TLC, E!, SyFy, Comedy Central, etc. etc.) which isn't as restrained, and is a little more adventurous. Then there's pay cable (HBO, Cinemax, Starz, The Movie Channel, Showtime), which has no restrictions. And of course there's streaming TV (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc.). So you may need to narrow down which you are referring to.

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7 hours ago, NipkowDisc said:

when I was a kid I was more interested in 8th man, Gigantor, Thunderbirds, Stingray, saturday morning superhero cartoons and all the 1950s monster movies I could catch.

stuff that was genuinely eyecatching and attention getting to young minds. the msm loved sesame street as soon as it debuted back in 1969. the msm was always partial to PBS because they knew it was liberal agenda-driven.

The Thunderbirds organisation had a fairly liberal agenda - helping folks (even bad guys) in distress at their own expense/risk, without expectation of any reward beyond giving Gerry Anderson a chance to blow stuff up.

8 minutes ago, Palmerin said:

Speaking of creature features, master limey, do you still have any affection for the sci fi of Irwin Allen? Back in the 1960s, his shows nourished my hunger for fantasy and adventure; now I'm embarrassed at having had such poor taste that I actually cherished those piles of horse droppings

When I think or Irwin Allen, I tend to visualize his later master of disaster fare, like Poseidon / Inferno / Swarm, all of which are good for a giggle or two. I'll also admit to enjoying The Lost World, not least for the opportunity to see Claude Rains in full ginger mode!

531px-1960-the-lost-world-challenger.jpg

Put another way, I find that I can appreciate both the Mona Lisa and the Muppets...

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2 hours ago, Palmerin said:

In his time Dickens was often dismissed as a popular entertainer who only wrote for money, whereas the Brownings and Baron Tennyson were lauded as exalted artists whose verse made the English language into something divine.

Are either Grisham or King widely regarded as likely candidates for the Nobel?

Perhaps this shows that novels have risen in literary esteem in the last 150 years

or so. Of course Dickens is now regarded as both an author very popular with

the mass audience of his time and as a sophisticated "literary" writer. I doubt either

Grisham or King is in line for a Nobel. That isn't to say they aren't good writers.

I know I've written about this before, but back in the 1990s conservatives were

saying that there was no longer a need for PBS. With the explosion of cable channels,

one or more of them would fill any void left by there being no PBS. One example

mentioned at the time was A&E. That didn't quite work out. 

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25 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

I had to laugh at the Irwin Allen assessment. I, too, enjoyed those shows as a kid, but when I saw them more recently, like Lost in Space, I couldn't believe how utterly dreadful they were. 

What do you mean by commercial TV? Everything other than PBS, and maybe CSPAN, is commercial TV, which is a broad variety. There's network TV (NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, The CW), which is still constrained by FCC censorship guidelines. There's basic cable (History, TLC, E!, SyFy, Comedy Central, etc. etc.) which isn't as restrained, and is a little more adventurous. Then there's pay cable (HBO, Cinemax, Starz, The Movie Channel, Showtime), which has no restrictions. And of course there's streaming TV (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc.). So you may need to narrow down which you are referring to.

Speaking in the Puerto Rican jerga=slang of the 1950s to the 1980s, commercial TV was everything that was not in WIPR-TV, the radio and TV station of the PR Department of Education. Since later in the 1980s, the TV of Boricua is as you describe it here.

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THAT'S for sure.  If there are two networks(channels) that lost their sense of integrity and have lost what it was that they started out as, it's A&E and BRAVO.

I used to tune in to them for quality programming not found on any other channel.  Now, I no longer see anything on Bravo worth my time and tune in to A&E to watch idiots bid on abandoned storage units.

Sepiatone

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2 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

THAT'S for sure.  If there are two networks(channels) that lost their sense of integrity and have lost what it was that they started out as, it's A&E and BRAVO.

I used to tune in to them for quality programming not found on any other channel.  Now, I no longer see anything on Bravo worth my time and tune in to A&E to watch idiots bid on abandoned storage units.

Sepiatone

A&E ran WASHINGTON: BEHIND CLOSED DOORS a number of times a few decades ago.

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3 hours ago, Vautrin said:

Perhaps this shows that novels have risen in literary esteem in the last 150 years

or so. Of course Dickens is now regarded as both an author very popular with

the mass audience of his time and as a sophisticated "literary" writer. I doubt either

Grisham or King is in line for a Nobel. That isn't to say they aren't good writers.

I know I've written about this before, but back in the 1990s conservatives were

saying that there was no longer a need for PBS. With the explosion of cable channels,

one or more of them would fill any void left by there being no PBS. One example

mentioned at the time was A&E. That didn't quite work out. 

If Bob Dylan can get a Nobel then so can Grisham and King. :lol: 

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I never meant to imply that I believed that King was Nobel Prize material, I merely stated that many people have found much to be entertained by his work.

I too used to like LOST IN SPACE. The first season, when it was still trying to be a serious SCI-FI show, was quite enjoyable. However, once it turned into the 'Dr. Smith' show, that's when it went downhill. It went from being a potentially great show (season 1) to somewhat mediocre (season 2, I say somewhat because it still had some watchable episodes here and there during that time) to out-and-out awful (season 3 was truly the bottom of the barrel).

As for Irwin Allen, I have a soft spot for THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE and THE TOWERING INFERNO.

And I will still take PBS over the garbage on commercial and cable TV nowadays.

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I think ernest borgnine deserved a best supporting oscar for Rogo in The Poseidon Adventure and The Towering Inferno is a great hodgepodge of entertainment...I even think The Swarm and when time ran out are pretty watchable.

 

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2 hours ago, Gershwin fan said:

If Bob Dylan can get a Nobel then so can Grisham and King. :lol: 

That thought crossed my mind too. And if Bob Dylan, why not Pete

Townshend? :) Many of the deserving writers never received a

Nobel Prize, but not because they were popular with a mass audience.

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6 hours ago, NipkowDisc said:

I think ernest borgnine deserved a best supporting oscar for Rogo in The Poseidon Adventure and The Towering Inferno is a great hodgepodge of entertainment...I even think The Swarm and when time ran out are pretty watchable.

 

While Borgnine was really good in his role the emcee from Cabaret really did it more. 

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It's like everything else.....you get out of it what you put into it.

While it can take time to sift through the chaff, you should be able to find something of merit, something interesting & fulfilling to watch on TV. After all, we're talking about TV-there's a show, a subject, an opinion to make anyone happy.

No longer limited to live broadcasting, with streaming service you can search to find exactly what you desire for entertainment: mindless comedy/smart comedy, historical information, classic films, travelogues, sport games, old stuff, new stuff, foreign stuff.....whatever entertains you.

A vast wasteland? I think the offerings are rich and far reaching!

(BTW there are many who lurve plain yogurt and wouldn't touch any flavored yogurt)
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While watching something else, I was reminded about something concerning both PBS and SESAME STREET.....

Many of the songs and much of the music featured on the show was composed by JOE RAPOSO,  an otherwise serious jazz and blues composer( and excellent pianist besides) .  I took note, when being in the same room while my daughters were watching the show, that the music often was more advanced and sophisticated than the typical "children's" music offered when was growing up.  It actually gave my kids a sort of appreciation for that type of music.  I recall( but not the artist) when listening to one of my jazz LPs my older daughter remarking, "I LIKE that.  It sounds like SESAME STREET music!"  

And now, let's discuss FRED ROGERS:

Sure, everybody liked to make fun of Rogers and his "Mister Rogers" show and his presentation, but the KIDS loved him!  And one day it occurred to me why.  He managed easily to talk to them on THEIR level WITHOUT really appearing to talk DOWN to them, as many adults have a tendency to do.  Noticing this, I quickly adopted the manner, and so for a long time had "adult" level conversations with my kids regardless of sometimes the child-like quality of the subject matter.  

Yep.  Fred was NOBODY's fool!

Sepiatone

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