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The Essentials 2019


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16 minutes ago, sme1492 said:

I can understand that TCM would like to attract new viewers, especially minorities and/or younger hip viewers who see themselves as making a political statement by watching the kind of movies BM & AD are waxing poetic over, but to what end?  They can't keep the "old" viewers with this type of programming, and they can't retain "new" ones who tune in solely for this type of programming. Perhaps BM/AD/TCM think they are righting a wrong by including such films in The Essentials, but facts are facts.  The facts are that generally, minorities were marginalized in classic films (not all the films, but the majority) and were not the stars or the focus of the movie.  Is it fair? No! But it's the way it was.  I'm not sure what the answer is...Trotting out Cabin in the Sky again?  Giving up the effort to be PC? Is it unPC to merely show the movies of the era without attaching them to some cause? No more Minority night? Gay night? And now, Disabled night?  If the movies AD picked must be shown, then it shouldn't be under The Essentials brand.  And selfishly for me, not on a Friday or Saturday night when I have time to put my feet up and relax with a movie without worrying about having to get up early the next morning.

Classic movies, at least in the way most classic movie fans define them are extinct. They are no more. We can't go back to the 1930s and make more films or make them in a different way.  PC or not, they are what they are.

To me you're mixing two different concepts here;  One is how PC a content provider like TCM should be.

The other is what a content provider should to do attract new viewers (while still retaining existing ones).

Of course the these two concepts do overlap.    

As for being PC:  I say as-little-as-possible.   

But as it relates to gay-night,  ethnic-group-centrix programming,,,,,    this can be a useful tool to bring in new viewers.   Thus concept programming to bring in new viewers makes sense as long as it isn't overdone (since that may turnoff existing ones).

 

   

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  • 2 months later...

Wow! A lot of angry comments here, which I didn't expect. I consider this season among the best of "The Essentials" and look forward to watching each Saturday. Great selections from DuVernay and I love the chemistry between she and Mankiewicz. I would think diehard film fans would welcome the opportunity to see compelling cinema previously unknown to them. It's debatable whether or not everything is "essential," but I feel like I've gotten a lot out of everything I've seen this season. Thanks TCM for shaking things up!

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This is my first post here. I have to say I am SO GLAD to read that others are feeling the same way I do. I used to look forward to The Essentials, knowing that a great classic film would be shown. Now I look at what is offered and pray that my local PBS station will have a good classic movie instead. I'm lucky, in New York PBS does a block of classics, independents and shorts during the time frame of what has now become painfully long lecturing in obscure film studies on TCM.

I am a die hard TCM viewer and I am grateful for the very existence of it. But lately something has changed. First, The Essentials, next the latest round of programming has seemed quite odd. Just the other night they showed Planet of the Apes. After a long day at work, tonight I was looking forward to slipping into a little black and white heaven. Guess what? Tonight it's Planet of the Apes, followed by Return to Planet of the Apes and followed by yet another one I can't remember the name of. That is a lot of 1970s and Charleton Heston. Further, there were really no real Christmas movies this year. I like the three they kept showing, but did anyone else notice the classic ones were quite sparse?

Finally, I DO appreciate some of the "teaching" they do. I had never seen the silent "Broken Blossom" before and was so moved by it. It was on late and they were saluting cinematographers. Those are the only lessons I am really looking for.

If we didn't have Noir Saturdays I don't know what we would do. You are guaranteed a good film with a great backstory.

Thank you for letting my share my feelings. I am so glad I found this thread.

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TCM USED to be my favorite channel as I love the classics.  I agree with the others who feel The Essentials no longer deals with classic movies Robert Osborne considered "essential" and has devolved into liberal commentary for the leftist agenda.   Enough is enough.  Ava has overstayed her welcome and if I hear Ben lecturing about the House on American Activities "treatment" of poor socialist/communist film makers just one more time, I'm dropping it.  Go back to the original Essentials format and rotate in some new and varied guest hosts to discuss it. Otherwise looks like you will lose a whole slew of viewers.

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