If you’re an older reader of our website, then chances are you grew up in the golden age of television. From Blackadder to Father Ted, Only Fools and Horses, and even as far back as The Avengers (not those Avengers), there seemed to be a near-endless parade of quality programming on supply.
Today we have access to so many more show, so many more forms of access, and so many more channels, yet we rarely see the level of programming which we enjoyed before the new millennium. So what caused this shift, and how can we get back to the classics?
As we see it, there are three primary reasons for the decrease in quality shows over the years.
The first is the growing overall network infrastructure. With so many more national and international channels and now streaming services available, there has been an immense call for new shows. Recent history has shown many of these are rushed, poorly thought out, and lacking in execution.
Second is a shift towards youth culture. By targeting the young, writers and directors are moving away from classic entertainment and towards flash and instant gratification.
The final element is that of reality shows. A curse on the entertainment world, reality TV shows are anything but. Highly staged by the incompetent and fronted by the insufferable, these seem to take pride in focussing on the worst dregs of humanity. Reality TV is not good, it has never been good, and it will never be good.
We might point the situation of today as dire, but not all is lost. The proportion of good shows to bad might have shifted violently, but the sheer quantity of output has increased on such a level that choice still exists. It’s just a matter of sifting through the garbage to find some gems.
The most obvious way to find saving graces is to turn to the world of game shows. We’re talking the classic style of game shows, not the obnoxious wacky Hole in the Wall style that wastes everyone’s time.
Deal or No Deal, for example, was a modern game show which tied into our love of real people doing their best to guess their way to victory. Running for over 3,000 episodes, this show is still available to watch for free on Youtube, with a little bit of searching.
Winning awards such as Best Daytime Programme, and Daytime Programme of the Year in the TV Quick Awards and Royal Television Society Awards respectively, this is the show which is easy to go back to, without knowledge of an overarching plot. So successful was Deal, that it even encouraged a variety of spins offs such as video games, and even some jackpot slots at Paddy Power, among many other popular translated properties.
For older shows like The Avengers and Blackadder, you’ll need to take a different route by searching them out either on DVD or streaming services. For streaming, we would recommend using a search site like Reel Good to track down the right service to subscribe to. Otherwise, check out Youtube, or go to Amazon to buy them on the cheap.
Don’t let the rubbish of today get you down, there are solutions to this growing problem. It might take a few days to get back in the action, but we can still fall back on the classics.