The New Duality of Old TV

 

Have you noticed that it’s near impossible to not have access to any of your favorite television shows? If you’ve forgotten to TiVo Empire, you can always watch it on Hulu. If you can’t catch up with the whole season of Scandal with your busy schedule, you can wait for it to show up on Netflix, and then you can watch the season anytime you want. You can even catch up on sporting events and other live shows on YouTube or on the network’s website. They make it so you don’t have an excuse anymore, other than simply not liking the show.

It’s hard to believe that it wasn’t always like that. Back before the internet and video players, even before networks stayed on all night, viewers could only watch their desired episodes at the time that they were shown on television. Now you watch some of these shows (The Andy Griffith Show, M*A*S*H, Colombo) on Netflix and even more of them on MeTv, a network dedicated to the shows from the eighties and prior. While a majority of the audience who are fans of the network originally watched these shows when they first aired, most are only watching these shows for the second time, as opposed to all the younger generations who grew tiresome of their favorite shows because they had so much access to them.

However, who said that was a bad thing? They are called the classics for a reason. When we actually find them while channel surfing, it’s like finding gold, but even gold will lose its value if we find it everywhere we look.

As someone who used to watch Spongebob Squarepants repeatedly, to the point where I knew every word of the each earlier episode by heart, it’s nice to have a change of pace. In contrast, it’s also nice to see that the shows that we love so much today were heavily inspired by the classics. For instance, That 70’s Show had parody clips of I Love Lucy and Three’s Company, not only highlighting the pop culture of the time the show was set in, but also rekindling memories for the original audience.

I’d like to say that the classics are making a comeback or that they ought to make a comeback, but do they really need one? They’re at a status that popular television now couldn’t mimic even if their writers or directors wanted them to. On the other hand, entertainment is constantly evolving and soon what’s hot right now will just be another era on a timeline. Yet, with every era comes with a memorable style, and this will inspire future generations.

Rebecca Szabo

Rebecca Szabo graduated from Valparaiso University with a Bachelor's degree in Creative Writing. Her main goal is to write science fiction and contemporary fiction novels. In her free time, she likes to read multiple genres, including science fiction, the classics, and young adult fiction.

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