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Favorite/least favorite genres or programming themes on TCM?

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Hey all,

Just curious about the different programming/genre tastes of TCM viewers. What types of programming has you salivating over that you can't wait to watch and which types of programming blocks don't appeal to you or can do without?

I'll share mine:

Most things science-fiction will hook me (whether it's good or bad).
Most war films (WW2 especially, but others can be good too)
Action/adventure and to a certain extent Westerns (lots of good ones, but also lots that are run of the mill)
Film noir/crime drama
Suspense/thriller (Hitchcock and Hitchcock-adjacent)
Certain foreign films (mostly this means French New Wave)
Political/election campaign films (this can include biographies of politicians, challenges of governing, indictments of corrupt figures, etc.)
Pin-up girls (or those starring/featuring blonde bombshells)
Ransom/heist films (these are especially effective if it's a tight deadline to meet and people have to work fast to resolve it)

Lesser favorites:
Musicals in general (there can definitely be good/great ones, but it has to be really exceptional)
Silent films (these are not necessarily bad films, but it's more difficult for me to get into them unless it's something like Metropolis)
Certain period pieces (if it's set in ancient times, less likely to be enamored with it)
Comedies (this is context/situation dependent, some comedies age really well, others fare poorly, tastes can vary)

What say you?

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There are great movies in every genre. There are mediocre movies in every genre. And there are bad movies in every genre.

But personal likes and dislikes abound--

There is very little to enjoy in a war movie. Those that are great are exceptional and extraordinary.

The same can be said about any film about the Holocaust. The same can be said about any film about slavery. The same can be said about any film where people are raped and brutally abused.

Yet great filmmakers have made important comments of greatness that were not just statements of art --but were statements in humanity using those very tragic subjects.

While I don't like to watch films with those subjects, I have watched the very best ones because it's necessary to always remind us about Humanity and what happens when Humanity breaks down in the society.

Aside from that, I would say there are too many westerns that we've had in movies and on television in general. The genre has glutted and inundated movies and TV. But the very best is worth seeing--

I love  the Westerns that John Ford made with Richard Widmark and James Garner in "Maverick" will always be one of my favorite TV shows.

 Growing up in the 1950s it was thrilling to see Gail Davis as "Annie Oakley" on television. She was a tremendous Western athlete and had all the prowess that any great cowboy had in the movies.

She was a real role model, and the only role model, for girls in that era who wanted to be cowgirls too.

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I'm on record here as not caring terribly much for most Westerns or musicals and pretty much all movies set in eras earlier than 1800. But, there are exceptions to all my so-called rules, because I probably have at least a few examples of some of my favorite movies applying to each of those genres or subgenres.

But in general, I would say I mostly seek out any film set within the past 200 years on TCM, most especially dramas or noirs. Comedies are okay, depending upon certain extremely random criteria that I'm probably unable to specify on without deeper thought. Anything that's a dramedy is probably in my most preferred list, say anything from Billy Wilder. Action/adventure/espionage are okay, depending on their setting. And, generally, I prefer "town" Westerns that are mostly set in saloons or the sheriff's office than out in the dry, dusty desert and war films that are set on base or in civilian settings than out in the battlefield. I'm weird like that. Silents I have mostly ignored other than the most famous examples. But I'd like to think I'd watch pretty much any movie at least once.

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Like others, I like films of all genres.  There are genres I like more than others.  If a film falls into one of my "lesser" categories, there usually has to be something that attracts me to the film, or something that makes me want to watch it.  That might be why it takes me awhile to get around to some of the tried and true classics, because I just haven't been on the right kick to make me prioritize watching it.


50s/60s teen beach movies

Ladies in Prison


Film Noir

Romance. Not specifically rom-com, but tried and true romance, like Summertime or Brief Encounter




Musicals, primarily the dancing ones.  If it's all singing, it better star a person that I like, or have some amazing songs

Contemporary drama

Really bad Z-list Science Fiction/Horror



Not as Big a Fan

Science Fiction-- Especially ones that focus specifically on aliens or weird monsters.  With that said, I really loved The Day After Tomorrow (1951).

Horror-- Except I do enjoy Psycho (if that is considered horror) and the James Whale films. 

Westerns-- These movies all seem so repetitive.  How many stories about the cow people vs sheep people can we have? However, I will watch westerns if there's a star I like (e.g. Errol Flynn), highly acclaimed, or some other reason why I should watch it.

War-- Ugh.  Probably my absolute least favorite genre.  I do like war movies however if there's something else going on, e.g. a romance, that unfolds throughout the film.  If it is just one battle after another, then blech. 

Musicals that only feature operatic music

Anything where Mickey Rooney is the primary focus


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Oh, one thing I forgot to add that would go into my "Faves" pile would be Movies about Journalism, which I guess would mean mostly newspaper movies, but also television broadcasting. My avatar is Robert Redford from "All the President's Men" so anything that is investigative journalism uncovering corruption and getting after the truth is something I would watch with keen interest.

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I'm going to follow along with how Speedy responded. 



50s/60s teen beach movies

Film Noir \ crime \ gangsters 


Comedy - I lean more towards sophisticated comedies but I also enjoy many screwball ones of the 30s, and Judy Holiday revised the genre in the 50s 

Romance.   Specifically    rom-coms.

Adventure films - Errol Flynn and other type of films that followed Captain Blood and The Adventure of Robin Hood mode

Drama -  Now I list this 'genre' in both places.  What is a 'drama' is debatable (e.g.  this website doesn't have a drama sub-forum).   I do like many 'women pictures' e.g. most films with Bette Davis,  Stanwyck,  De Havilland and other stars.    So like Westerns for me it is the actor (typically the female star), that makes these for me.    

Westerns - but mostly only the ones with certain stars like McCrea.     I agree that too many are 'programmers' and only the actors add a degree of interest

Camp (which would include some horror films since to me all horror is camp by default)


Not as Big a Fan

Musicals other than Astaire \ Rogers and some Gene Kelly and a few more like Footlight Parade,  and Lili.  

Science Fiction--  Of course there are some very good ones,  but for me that is one out of 25.

Horror--  enjoy the camp value but I laugh more than I'm scared 

Dramas - No fan of heavy handed dramas and ones with leads that I'm not much of a fan of.

War--  Not much of a fan since these are like adventure films (manly movies but without the fantasy \ fun element found in adventure films).  


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1 hour ago, Lambear1982 said:

Oh, one thing I forgot to add that would go into my "Faves" pile would be Movies about Journalism, which I guess would mean mostly newspaper movies, but also television broadcasting.

I was a journalism major and am a sucker for good journalism films, as well: watching All the President's Men in my high school U.S. history class made me want to become a reporter. The nature of journalism has changed radically, but you still get a good modern movie like The Paper or SpotlightBroadcast News is probably the best one for the TV side of things, although The China Syndrome is great too. Darker movies that remind us that journalists (and their media bosses) themselves can be subject to human frailty are also worth watching: Absence of Malice and Network are good examples.

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