Television is not what it used to be
By Colin Hickson, Staff Writer
Many millennials probably consider themselves lucky that they are children of the 90s, growing up with channels like Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and Disney Channel. Not only did those channels have classic shows like “Pound Puppies” or “I Dream of Jeannie,” but also originals like “Rugrats” and “So Weird,” which entertained older and newer audiences alike. It should come as no surprise that those types of shows still have a place in people’s memories due to the creative premises, and the influencing some of today’s newest creative talents.
These days, however, finding a show that appeals to both generations is a rarity. Most creators assume that to appeal to adults, the show needs to be as vulgar and rude as possible, while appealing to kids means dumbing things down. Some channels even seem to appeal to the lowest forms of intelligence, such as Discovery Family, the ridiculously unpopular successor to the Hub, which had both syndicated and original programming.
A few shows today, however, actually go against these beliefs. When people look at shows like “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” and “Gravity Falls,” both aimed at an elementary aged demographic, they see that a valiant amount of effort went into both shows to make them appeal to everyone. But then they look at shows like “Teen Titans Go!” and “Ultimate Spider-Man,” easily the two worst superhero shows ever made and they see very little effort was put into making them. Ranging from horrendous writing that insults the audience’s intelligence to trying to force the viewers to like the irritating characters, modern shows aimed at children are not enjoyable to many.
It is not just animation that draws ire, as live action television can be just as bad. Shows like “Forever” and “Constantine,” despite having very vocal fan bases, both got cancelled after one season, while mindless shows like “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” and “Austin and Ally” will probably become long runners regardless if people like them or not. It is irresponsible thinking like this that has turned channels like Nickelodeon and SyFy into jokes due to their pointless programing.
However, there is some light in this darkness. While televisions are still plagued by nonstop reruns of “Spongebob Squarepants” and “Teen Titans Go!” Nickelodeon has recently announced planned revivals for older shows and Cartoon Network is getting (mostly) better and more intelligent programming on their airwaves. Even some older shows like “Twin Peaks” and “Gilmore Girls” are making comebacks, while classics like “Voltron” and “MacGyver” are getting new takes on them, so older viewers can either relive past joys or experience new spins on old favorites. This ultimately proves for every “Sanjay and Craig” or “Rosewood,” there is bound to be a “Rick and Morty” or “Legends of Tomorrow” to even things out, and give viewers some hope that maybe there is still hope for TV.