Archive for June 12, 2021

Movies and Television Shows Made Before Mid-2000s Were Relatable

June 12, 2021 16 comments

As readers know, recently, I have been writing posts about how western countries (especially its LIEbrals) are rapidly losing all touch with all physical reality. And this got me thinking.. is there an easier and quicker way to show you that the overall mindset in western countries has moved away from dealing with reality. While there are multiple possibilities, one stands out for its simplicity and ease of confirmation. Some time ago, I had an interesting epiphany about older films and TV shows while watching copies of them on YouTube. The very short version of them is as follows: films and TV shows made before the mid-2000s had characters who looked far more normal, inhabited far more normal environments and had storylines that were much closer to reality than films and shows made after early-to mid-2000s.

Confused? Aren’t films and TV (or cable) shows always supposed to contain an embellished or idealized representation of reality? Well.. yes, of course. However, even the most fictionalized and idealized depictions of reality in older films and TV shows are much closer to reality than the absurd crap that has produced over past 15 years. And yes.. this is not just a Hollywood, TV show or NetFlix thing- since the same problem is obvious in video games. But before you are confused any further, let me take you through a few examples of what I am talking about.

Let us start by talking about what many consider one of the most unrealistic but popular TV shows of the 1990s and early 2000s- “Friends”. Even causally searching for that show on the internet today will lead you to tons of articles about how that show was unrealistic because its characters lived in very large NYC apartments, cast was too white or too good looking etc. However, I disagree with most of these criticisms, and here is why. Other that being able to afford large apartments in NYC on average wages, most of the underlying dynamics of that show was based in reality. Tell me something.. how many middle/ upper-middle class white people have real black or non-white friends, even in 2021.

While the central characters of that show were reasonably good looking actors, they were certainly not super-model grade. More importantly the dilemmas faced by characters, their actions as well as their environment was surprisingly close to reality- especially compared to similar but new TV, cable and Netflix shows being broadcast or streamed today. Even shows such as ‘Beverley Hills 90210’ and ‘Melrose Place’ were inhabited by more far more normal-looking characters than their current equivalents. Yes.. even those shows. Or look the rather ordinary looking decor on shows such as ‘Seinfeld’, ‘Home Improvement’, ‘King of Queens, ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’, ‘3rd Rock from Sun’ or even ‘Frasier’.

My point is that zany storylines notwithstanding, the world inhabited by characters in shows before pre-2003 shows felt real in a way that the shows made in past 15 years do not. Even the environment in 90s fantasy shows such as ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’, ‘X-Files’, ‘Twilight Zone’ or ‘Outer Limits’ feel real in a way their modern equivalents do not. Heck.. even the highly exaggerated characters in ‘Married with Children’ feel real in a way which those in ‘Modern family’ do not- because the motivations of the former were based in reality in a way the later was not. And this goes problem goes far beyond a couple of genres. Compare the first 5-6 seasons of ‘NYPD Blue’ or ‘ER’ to their utterly ridiculous modern day equivalents such as all those ‘Law and Order’ spinoffs and knockoffs or ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ or ‘House’.

Or compare late night talk shows from the 1990s and early 2000s (Leno, Letterman, pre-2005 O’Brien, Craig Ferguson etc) to their current equivalents. In spite of being just as formulaic, they appealed to a far broader demographic and had far less irritating gimmicks or politically opinionated bullshit that their current equivalents. They did not pretend to be anything beyond light entertainment to help you sleep, see a celebrity or catch up on some amusing news. Or think about animated shows such as first 9 seasons of ‘The Simpsons’, ‘King of the Hill’, ‘Beavis and Butt-Head’, ‘Daria’ etc had storylines that were understandable or sorta relatable. Even an absurdist cartoon such as ‘Futurama’ was relatable in ways that ‘Family Guy’ or ‘American Dad’ aren’t. This holds for almost all modern adult-oriented cartoon shows.

Moving on to movies. compare the looks and physique look at the average (or median) movie actor in the pre-2005 era to those today. Sure.. many of the chicks probably had eating disorders and a couple of implants and nosejob, but they looked far closer to what you saw in everyday life (especially if you lived in a large city) than the type of people you see in movies today. Don’t believe me? Just go through almost any movie made before 2005, commercially successful or not, and compare them to movies made in past 15 years. You will immediately notice that a lot of movie stars and supporting cast in those older movies look far closer to what you might see in your daily life than the type of people cast in newer movies.

And this extends to the set decor of the movies, whether you are talking about exterior and interior of houses, interior of offices and other non-residential buildings, lighting and ambiance and much more. Even the story-lines of those older movies have far fewer superheros, comic-book fantasy elements, nor were there so many reboots, prequels and sequels. My point is that the world depicted in pre-2005 movies (which are supposed to escapist fantasies anyway) just feel far more realistic, naturally grimy, lived-in and imperfect than the unrealistically clean or dirty, hyper-colorful and semi-cartoonish looking worlds seen in post-2005 movies, even those which are not full of comic book superheros and CGI creatures.

What do you think? Comments?