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The sad, slow death of TCM.


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Keep in mind that the channel is still called "Turner Classic Movies" regardless of the appearance of the logo (and for me at least, the "C" still looks like a "C".  But maybe because I might be a bit more literate than some ;) ).  And that "classic", as often discussed here, can take on manifold definitions.  And with that in mind, there was never the promise that it would be TVM( Turner Vintage Movies).    And regardless of how the channel presents the movies they show, or any of the other trappings, take consideration of how a niece of mine treated something else.

When she was little, we were over her house visiting her and her Mother, who fixed the niece some oatmeal.  Her mother typically prepared the oatmeal with a mix of walnut pieces and raisins.   I noticed the niece was just picking out the nuts and raisins with her spoon and not touching the oatmeal.  When I questioned this she explained;

"I don't really like the oatmeal that much, but really like the nuts and raisins, so I only eat those."  ;)   

So, why not just pick out and absorb what you still like about TCM and not bother with all that "oatmeal"?  :) 

Sepiatone

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On 9/20/2021 at 3:50 PM, ootsy said:

You won't recognize TCM three months from now.

10? Rage? The Hot Rock? Super Cops?

These "classics" never would have been shown on the old TCM, but on the new TCCM, HEY! Anything goes! Just call it "Classic". 

It's only going to get worse.

TCM is dead. Long live TCM!

How many times are we old timers going to need to address these types of comments?

TCM is not dead…

First of all I see that you have been a member of the Message Boards since May of 2012, and yet you have only posted on the boards a total of six times. Four of your posts appear in the last month. So obviously you have been around possibly lurking in the shadows reading but not commenting, that is until the changes were announced recently for TCM.

Not everyone who is a member on the Message Boards likes to share their thoughts and this is okay. But I have to write this because I truly believe it.

If anyone is going to come on the Message Boards and attempt to start a thread by indicating that what they are seeing themselves is some sort of demise of the channel based on a few select films from a different time period, chiefly more recent.

And I have to assume you are making these claims which I am guessing is based on a very small sampling size, instead of looking at a much larger sampling size, let’s say over a one to three month time period.

You are going to have to do better than this.

I have said this before and it bears repeating here again. If you are going to make wild claims like you did at the beginning of this thread, then at least have the courage to go and perform some basic research to try and back up your claims.

I understand that not everyone is interested in performing research, mainly because of the time element involved. But it can be done, and once completed, one can then use that information in making much more logical opinions.

Instead of making wildly based comments that are more based on emotion that actual hard data.

Long-time member MovieCollector OH has been very generous over the years by performing a great amount of research about the types of films shown on TCM and the film release years that those films that have been shown on TCM were.

Several months ago I undertook a labourous experiment by trying to figure out what percentage of films that have been shown on TCM over the years were films from before 1970. I use that year simply because it is one year and one month removed from the MPAA’s decision to change their film content guidelines from the long and over-used Hays Production code from 1930. That code was based on moral guidelines and was used quite extensively between 1930 and the early 1960’s. It prevented film studios from tackling more sensitive topics, such as the depiction of drug use, nudity, abortion, inter-racial marriages, gay and lesbian topics and the like.

In November of 1968, new MPAA President Jack Valenti replaced the Hays Code with a voluntary system of film ratings. The new film ratings would not only protect children from being exposed to potentially harmful images, but would also allow Hollywood to produce films without any restrictions.

So based on this decision, I concluded that even though the Hays Code was abolished in November of 1968, I chose 1970 as the break from older Hollywood films from the newer generation of Hollywood films being produced.

Even though films released in the United States since the early 1960’s had already begun to change, especially films like La Dolce Vita (1960), 8½ (1963), Breathless (1960), Blow-Up (1966), Belle De Jour (1967), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), The Graduate (1967), Bonnie and Clyde (1967), In the Heat of the Night (1967) and many others.

But there were still many films being released that were simply much lighter in tone and made with general audiences in mind. It was not really until the dawn of the 1970’s that the film industry really started to change. IMHO.

So based on all of this, I decided to look back at the films TCM had chosen to show on their channel and come up with some sort of an idea that would indicate just how many films were being shown on the channel that were made before the end of 1969 and then after the beginning of 1970.

These then were the results I came up with:

79.5% of all films shown on TCM from the production years of 1915 until the end of 1959.
20.5% of all films shown on TCM from the production years of 1960 until the end of 2020.

I also looked at using a different set of years.

91.3% of all films shown on TCM were from the production years of 1915 until the end of 1969.
8.7 % of all films shown on TCM were from the production years of 1970 until the end of 2020.

So, as you can see the information clearly shows that more films have been shown on TCM over the years that were produced from before 1970 than those that were produced after the ending of 1969.

Your belief that the ending of TCM as you know it is really just a fantasy.

Also, just because you may have seen a few more recently made films that many might conclude are just glorified “B” pictures is way off the mark. Yes, TCM shows more recent films. But all in all they show many more older films that were made before 1970.

And as others have pointed out, when Robert Osborne first came on TCM to introduce himself and TCM to the general public, even he said at the time that more recent films would be shown on the channel. That was in 1994.

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2 minutes ago, JamesJazGuitar said:

Next people will be saying that TCM didn't show post-2000 films back in 1998!

 

It will be interesting to see if Ootsy will be coming back to comment on our thoughts....

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1 hour ago, fxreyman said:

It will be interesting to see if Ootsy will be coming back to comment on our thoughts....

I gave the  same reply I always do:  as long as 80% or so of the films TCM shows are American Studio-Era films (pre-1969),  I'm fine with the brand.

What we are seeing is the same-old-same-old;   TCM shows a couple of post-2000 films and oh,  my,, oh my,,,,   all is lost!

 

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4 hours ago, ElCid said:

As for old or "classic," it is a moving target. The same argument occurs in the old car hobby.  God Forbid, they are now including cars from the 70's and 80's as "classics" and soon cars from the 90's.  Roughly 25 years ago.

It's already happening.  Look up "Radwood".   It's alays almost exactly 25 years ago that they stopped building "real" cars.

But yes, there is a big difference between classic, and just old.   Good films still got made after the studio era, and some of them rightly deserve the title of Classic. 

Even films that are just old are still interesting as glimpses into another time, whether it's one we remember fondly, or one that happened before we were born. 

Just an aside bout the studio era.  In some ways, we seem to be headed beck to the studio system as the companies that make movies are also increasingly involved on the distribution end.

 

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1 minute ago, rjbartrop said:

It's already happening.  Look up "Radwood".   It's alays almost exactly 25 years ago that they stopped building "real" cars.

But yes, there is a big difference between classic, and just old.   Good films still got made after the studio era, and some of them rightly deserve the title of Classic. 

Even films that are just old are still interesting as glimpses into another time, whether it's one we remember fondly, or one that happened before we were born. 

Just an aside bout the studio era.  In some ways, we seem to be headed beck to the studio system as the companies that make movies are also increasingly involved on the distribution end.

 

TCM uses "classic" as just a marketing term it has  no actual meaning with regards to the qualify of the film.

E.g.  how many 30s "programmers" are high qualify films?   Few IMO.   The studios made these to be released one time as the "B" picture.    

Hey,  I love many of those films warts and all because I'm a fan of the actors and directors of that era,  but they are not high qualify films and they were never meant to be. 

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5 minutes ago, JamesJazGuitar said:

Hey,  I love many of those films warts and all because I'm a fan of the actors and directors of that era,  but they are not high qualify films and they were never meant to be. 

Preaching to the choir here. 

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Been watching TCM since it’s inception and intend to continue. I don’t think it’s dead, dying, or even feeling poorly. They just made a few changes; some ok, some not so much. Nothing seems irreversible. If the content makes a big swing in what would be the wrong direction for my tastes, I’ll watch something else. It’s really pretty simple. I don’t anticipate that, based on past performance, but who knows? 

I don’t like the new logo and think it’s a big mistake to ditch such a beautiful logo that had served the brand for so long, but that’s not enough to change my affection for TCM. 

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5 minutes ago, Vautrin said:

Do folks still think that large corporations care about what a small number of their customers

like or dislike about their product? Hilarious.

In these times,  large corporations do care about the potential harm a small number of customers can do using social media.     It would be foolish not to have a strategy to try to minimize that potential harm. 

 

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1 hour ago, JamesJazGuitar said:

In these times,  large corporations do care about the potential harm a small number of customers can do using social media.     It would be foolish not to have a strategy to try to minimize that potential harm. 

 

It's often the views of the customers on social media that get corporations in hot water, not the products or

services themselves. TCM doesn't really care if a small number of people don't like their new logo or sets

or their harmless superficial social commentary.

 

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1 hour ago, Vautrin said:

It's often the views of the customers on social media that get corporations in hot water, not the products or

services themselves. TCM doesn't really care if a small number of people don't like their new logo or sets

or their harmless superficial social commentary.

 

Well I guess it all depends on how defines "product";   as you have seen some TCM viewers believe the social commentary is part of the TCM "product"  (i.e.to them it is not only the movies  shown).

While I find that POV silly,   it could impact viewership.        E.g.   if a guy with orange hair was to advise his followers not to watch TCM because TCM hates white people based on their social commentary,    that could be something that would impact TCM's bottom line.      

(just like if famous African-Americans like Oprah said to boycott TCM because they are showing films like GWTW or Birth of a Nation etc..).

  

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1 hour ago, JamesJazGuitar said:

Well I guess it all depends on how defines "product";   as you have seen some TCM viewers believe the social commentary is part of the TCM "product"  (i.e.to them it is not only the movies  shown).

While I find that POV silly,   it could impact viewership.        E.g.   if a guy with orange hair was to advise his followers not to watch TCM because TCM hates white people based on their social commentary,    that could be something that would impact TCM's bottom line.      

(just like if famous African-Americans like Oprah said to boycott TCM because they are showing films like GWTW or Birth of a Nation etc..).

  

While it's unlikely to happen, it would be interesting to see what would happen if the orange haired man

went on a rant about TCM, maybe on his official orange haired man stationary.  Likely wouldn't have much

of an impact,  but if it did TCM would probably cave before the week was out.

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The only one of these new changes I can't handle is the slowly moving background behind Ben. I have to close my eyes! It makes me queasy, and I hate it. The rest doesn't matter, in my opinion, as long as I can still watch old French horror films and Michael Redgrave movies!

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1 minute ago, Twokeets said:

The only one of these new changes I can't handle is the slowly moving background behind Ben.

I know how you feel. I can't watch it.  Some will shake their head and wonder why, but, your reaction to this pointless movement is not unique.

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There were people complaining about the new look, saying that trying to include a younger audience was a mistake. A "sad, slow death"? Where do you think they'd be in a generation from now if they didn't? The truth is that a sizable percentage of their current audince will be dead by then. I suppose if the extent of their ambition is for the channel only to last until 2045, then they'd survive that, but what business thinks in those terms? They already were showing 1-star scifi movies, ....... and then there's TCM Underground, lol. They could start showing neo-classics from 20-30 years ago, though. Turning 60 in a few months has me shocked at the age of some great movies that I still considered fairly recent. When people of my generation were kids, a 30 yr old movie was an OLD movie, classic or otherwise! I don't know if licensing is an issue with these flicks, but not every classic has to be 50-60+ years old, and it most certainly doesn't have to be B&W. The 70's, 80's & 90's had a great classic or two. THAT should be their concentration - acquiring, then mixing in some of those, while continuing to show what's in their current library.

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On 9/21/2021 at 3:08 PM, TopBilled said:

I find this type of thread VERY disrespectful. 

I've said it before. We are all guests on this site. TCM pays to maintain and moderate this website.

I believe we should provide constructive criticism (helpful criticism).

But to make a thread that talks about the death of the channel on the channel's own site, that's tacky. And not what a good guest does.

Classy approach! I would say, though, that, first off, human nature dictates that the negative motivates most to start a topic, because they have a beef, or are looking for sympathy from this 'community'. Either way, it's venting about the channel, and where else is there to do that with fellow fans who would understand? Secondly, they (and I must admit that I too, somewhat secretly, lol) have the slimmest of hope that TCM is actually monitoring these, and that maybe, just maybe, they're listening to our criticism, especially if they deem their criticism constructive, even if presented negatively. At least, we believe, it'd be foolish for TCM not to have a staff skimming through for feedback's sake.

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54 minutes ago, David Proulx said:

At least, we believe, it'd be foolish for TCM not to have a staff skimming through for feedback's sake.

Well, I hate to tell you this Dave, but I've had the "feeling" since about a year or so after I became a member on these boards (this being just over ten years ago now, mind you) that the ONLY thing the "staff" around here has ever "skimmed over" in search of WASN'T or ISN'T for any "feedback", but was REALLY only to edit posts that they've felt might contain "questionable language" and/or language which might create  a "flame war".

(...nope, other than THAT and sorry to say once again, I don't think "feedback" is that high on the "staff's" priority list, and IF it's even ON their "priority list" AT ALL!)

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4 hours ago, unwatchable said:

Vautrin, I like the way you think. Mostly 😛

I'd love to get a look at that stationary.

 

By the way, I'm curious- your avatar- is that Fassbinder?

It's just his website or whatever one wants to call it. It always looks to me like a letter.

Good catch. That is Fassbinder, with Hanna in the background.

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10 minutes ago, Dargo said:

Well, I hate to tell you this Dave, but I've had the "feeling" since about a year or so after I became a member on these boards (this being just over ten years ago now, mind you) that the ONLY thing the "staff" around here has ever "skimmed over" in search of WASN'T or ISN'T for any "feedback", but was REALLY only to edit posts that they've felt might contain "questionable language" and/or language which might create  a "flame war".

(...nope, other than THAT and sorry to say once again, I don't think "feedback" is that high on the "staff's" priority list, and IF it's even ON their "priority list" AT ALL!)

but I still think they 'glean' ideas from the Programming Challenges thread........

;)

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