More of the Same: Television and Movies in the 21st Century

The biggest problem with movies and television today is that it has become formulistic—variations on the same theme or copying the latest trend. There seem to be no movie or television executives willing to risk their careers by green-lighting new and original productions. This is part of the reason that cable networks are seeing increased viewership while the old networks are losing audience. But even the cable networks are starting to trend this way as they put profits before creativity also.

Most of what you see in movie theaters these days are reboots of old concepts(Superman, Batman, Star Trek, etc.) or franchise sequels(Iron Man 1, 2, and 3; Captain America and its upcoming sequel; Thor and its current sequel; Avengers and its planned sequel; the rebooted Star Trek; The Hunger Games and its planned multiple sequels; the planned Star Wars sequel; etc.). Don’t get me started on the blasphemy of Keanu Reeves starring in the remake of 47 Ronins!

On television, there is the run of the JAG, NCIS, NCIS:LA family of shows, the multiple Law and Order group, the multiple CSI shows. We also have the reboot of Hawaii 5-0. We have Castle, which while a good show, is a sexed-up, male version of Murder, She Wrote. In the last couple years we have had at least 2 or 3 variations of the Anglo-Hispanic young lovers with feuding families that had been done to death by the time Matthew Perry and Salma Hayek did “When Fools Rush In” in 1997.

How many vampire and zombie movies and TV shows can we take before we start envying the dead not having to watch them or hear about them? The Twilight movies were tolerable, barely, but how many shows like the Vampire Diaries and now its spin-off, The Originals, will we have to endure before we want to stack ourselves in the heart? 28 Days was great; 28 Weeks was tolerable, but did we have to suffer through the awful World War Z(please, Hollywood, pay Brad Pitt whatever he wants NOT to make a sequel!!!). Does America really need the NBC series, Dracula?

Where are the challenging off-the-wall TV shows like Max Headroom, Soap, Firefly, Babylon 5, All in the Family, Maude? Where are the movies of USA Up All Night on the USA Network before it went the route of the formulistic dramas and cop shows? When I was much younger, I loved watching the B and C movies Friday and Saturday night—you have not lived till you have experienced “Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains”.

Please, Hollywood executives, do America and the world a favor and take a risk—find original scripts and concepts! God (and the American public) will bless you if you do.

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