The Decline of American Entertainment

Published on October 20, 2021 at 7:19 am by LEW

Binge watching Deep Space 9 over the last few days gave me a rather peculiar insight. There is a definite decline in the quality of entertainment coming out of most American Production Studios.

Most of the new release shows and movies I have tried to watch over the past year are on a par, or slightly below quality wise, some of the old 1950’s and 1960’s B movies I used to watch on late night television. I am not referring to cinematography, that seems to be one of the few areas being done well these days. Rather I am looking at the plots, themes, and writing. The last couple of current releases I have tried to watch, left me regretting the waste of 30 minutes of time spend before seeking something better.

To be up front, I view movies to be entertained. My taste in movies usually runs counter to most movie critiques. For example, the 1997 release of Titanic. In my opinion it would have made a good 90 minute movie. But at 195 minutes run time it was downright slow though most of the middle part. You could easily chop 100 minutes out of the middle of the movie. I also liked the 2005 release of the movie Serenity, which most critiques did not like. It was very entertaining. So take anything I say here with a grain of salt.

Deep Space 9 ran form 1993 to 1999. I will not go into the premise of the series, as you can find plenty of other pages that cover that in some detail. What caught my attention is the number of social, morale, and political issues that were explored during the series. Most of these were explored in a thoughtful and tasteful way, without having the hall mark of current day productions, which seem to be written like they are the first to do this and attempt to throw their pet issues in our faces (metaphorically).

After thoughtful reflection I have come to the conclusion that in the past shows that challenged social mores did so in a tasteful manner. That is to say they explored the issues in a tasteful and thoughtful manner. Today entertainment is all about demonstrating in the most obvious way how they are expressing what the creators want to be the  changing societal norms, with almost no regard for actual entertainment. Almost nobody is even really exploring these issues anymore. Rather it is all about how they can get in your face.

I don’t want to imply that all entertainment is going down this road. Just the ones the critiques seem to like. It is a said commentary on movie critiques that I pick the newer shows and movies I want to watch based on them being negatively rated.

Thankfully there are many steaming services, where I can continue to watch entertainment that actually entertains me. Rather than what passes for entertainment but merely shows hyped social issues as their main selling point. This tend, in my opinion shows a shift in the mindset that is not aligned with the average viewing audience.

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