The Golden Age of TV
While watching the Big Bang Theory a couple of days ago, Sheldon made the observation that we are living in the golden age of TV. It got me thinking about TV in general. I am a huge fan of TV. For the last ten or so years I have watched, what some people might call an obscene amount! I’ve always enjoyed watching what my wife and I refer to as the “Tellybox”, but it got me to thinking; where and when did this current obsession begin?
I’ve traced it back to my obsession with three shows. The first was Quantum Leap. For me this is still one of the greatest shows ever put on the air. The chemistry between Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell was second to none, the story was always gripping and more often than not we were left saying “Oh boy” at the same time as Sam. Then came The X-Files. The geek in me did and does still adore this show. Yeah there were some low points, but I was one of the few who thought in the last two seasons it got back to it’s best, Robert Patrick and Annabeth Gish were brilliant replacements for Mulder and Scully. Much like with Quantum Leap though it had a god awful ending.
Then came the show that would quite literally change my life forever, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I had just been to the cinema to watch “I Know What You Did Last Summer” (don’t judge me!) and when I got home there was a new show starting. I recognised Sarah Michelle Gellar and my love for the show began. Those who know me know that I’m a massive Whedonite, I mean I am utterly obsessed with everything Joss and Team Whedon do. I have a Joss Whedon DVD section that starts off my DVD collection. Buffy led to Angel, Angel led to Firefly, Firefly led to Dollhouse and each time I was as equally blown away. Of course I am also rather fond of Dr Horrible, Agents of SHIELD, Cabin in the Woods, Much Ado About Nothing etc etc.
It’s been said to me many times that I shouldn’t be so obsessed, it’s just a TV show. For me it was these shows that made it so that wasn’t the case. I’ve been to many conventions dedicated to these shows. I’ve met virtually the entire Buffy and Angel cast. Most importantly I’ve made some amazing friends. We are people who had come together to celebrate our love of all things Joss, other people as crazy as me and they are people who I love dearly.
Seeing Ronald D Moore’s version of Battlestar Galactica for the first time was a moment I will never forget. I was a huge fan of the original growing up and I couldn’t wait to see what they were going to do with it. It changed my love for Sci Fi forever. It was a perfect cast, perfect scriptwriting, special effects that even now are better than most of what you will see in the cinema. I’ve seen this series from start to finish at least fifty times. There is only one show that I’ve ever seen that for me is it’s equal, that show is Supernatural. A show that for nine years has grown and become better and better. I hope it never ends. Every week I am treated to 42ish minutes of pure TV pleasure. My wife is more obsessed with it than I am. Every year I buy her the current season box set for christmas. She’s said to me many times that it’s not christmas without unwrapping her boys!
We also now seem to be in a time of TV shows based on movies and boy some of them are good. Hannibal has continued my love of Hannibal Lecter. Showing us the things we never knew that led up to Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs. I never thought I’d be able to accept anyone else as the good doctor, how wrong was I?! Mads Mikkelsen has been as equally captivating as Anthony Hopkins was. Showing us a new take on a beloved character, truly making it his own. Then there is Bates Motel, the story of a young Norman Bates and just what makes a mother a boys best friend. Then finally the one that currently had me gripped, From Dusk Till Dawn. Taking to Tarantino/Rodriguez classic movie and expanding the story in one hell of an amazing way.
The time and effort put into TV is more than ever before. With as much and in a lot of cases more love put into it than movies. Shows like Doctor Who, The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, Game of Thrones to name but a few showing us that TV really really is in it’s Golden Age.