The changing nature of television

Alexandra Seltzer

If there is a word, or two, to define TV now, compared to our younger years, it would be reality TV. Does anyone even know what season of ‘Survivor’ we are on? And how many ‘Bachelor’ and ‘Bachelorettes’ are there in this world? Remember when MTV’s ‘Real World’ wasn’t how many people can we hookup with in one night and how many fights can we cause? ‘Real World’ is supposed to be seven strangers together battling “real world issues.” For instance, in ‘Real World Hawaii’, Ruthie had a serious problem she had to deal with. And it wasn’t which boy to bring back to her room. It was dealing with being a depressed alcoholic. Did we miss the memo that drunken hookups were a “real world issue?”

A few of our fellow students here at Quinnipiac were interviewed as to what their favorite show currently is. It seemed as if they had trouble pin-pointing their favorite show. But when asked what their favorite show was in the mid 1990s, right away they knew what it was. Quinnipiac student Jordan Dagnall states, “I don’t really watch much TV anymore, but I guess my favorite TV show is ‘American Idol.'” But when asked what her favorite television show was when she was younger, without even a second passing, she exclaimed “‘Full House’, definitely.”

Since we’re on the issue of ‘American Idol’, how long is this show really going to continue? It is questioned if American Idol is as “reliable” or “accurate” as it was the first season. What happened to the good old days when television was humorous and fun? ‘Friends’, ‘Seinfeld’, ‘Saved By the Bell?’ The closest shows we have to those would be ‘The OC’ or ‘One Tree Hill.’ Both shows are filled with so much superficial drama as opposed to just good humor. Then again we do have shows such as ‘Desperate Housewives’ and ‘Grey’s Anatomy’. what a great Sunday night line up.

Quinnipiac student Beth Logue seems to agree. “My favorite tv show now is ‘Grey’s Anatomy,'” she said. “I love the drama because it’s not too over the top. Two words. Dr. McDreamy.”

Friday nights in the mid ’90s were packed with a great line up – ABC’s TGIF and Nickelodeon’s Snick, or how about the good old ‘Full House’ episodes. Although many of our favorite shows have gone off the air, a few have remained. ‘The Simpsons’ is a perfect example of this. ‘The Simpsons’have had 17 seasons since 1989. Apparently teens aren’t the only ones who love ‘The Simpsons.’ Communications professor Nancy Worthington states, “I love ‘The Simpsons.’ That’s almost like breathing for me. I like old episodes and new episodes.”

But on the other hand, there are some TV shows that have been airing for a few seasons now that just don’t have that magic charm they used to. Professor Worthington states, “I used to be a big ‘Alias’ fan, but it is horrible now. Jennifer Garner is hugely pregnant and therefore is not in any action scenes.” All good things come to an end at some point, right?

Quinnipiac student Kelly Stafford brings up a good point, “Now television is a lot more reality and when we were younger it was more lighthearted. Now kids’ shows are geared more towards educating them, rather then fun shows when we were younger. In a sense it takes away from younger kids’ childhood.”

It’s up to you to decide if television is “better” now or when we were younger. But I’m sure you can agree it definitely has changed.