Taste and the Lack Thereof

Now that the Emmy nominations for 2018 have been released (https://variety.com/2018/tv/news/emmys-nominations-list-2018-1202871084/) I would like to comment on how the Academy sees the world of television entertainment for the top three program categories, drama series, comedy series, and limited series.

A perusal of the nominations for drama, comedy, and limited TV series leads me to the conclusion that my fellow ATAS members have excellent taste. In particular, it seems to me no matter which limited series wins, it’s a well-deserved achievement.

So why don’t our producers and distributors offer us more like these?

How to explain the presence on our various screens of the likes of Twin Peaks (an utter catastrophe​ I sincerely hope never sees another​ sequel), Claws (a season 2? OMG), or the upcoming​ Purge (violence porn)? Tasteless vehicles of unbridled exploitation all.

Add Shameless to that list. I think William H. Macy deserves his comedy lead actor nom for his portrayal on that show, but my broader point is that the show is an utterly unredeemable piece of trash that objectifies human fallibility​ at its worst. Watching it is surely a masochistic exercise akin to listening to someone drag fingernails across a chalkboard. I liberated myself about halfway​ through season 1.

What are we to make of the apparently unlimited popularity and programmed availability of zombies? Multiple programs drenched in blood. Why?

I confess the psychological appeal of these shows amazes me. But I did some online research and found a piece from Concordia University that I think does a good job of explaining that appeal: https://online.csp.edu/blog/psychology/psychology-of-fear

Nonetheless, I still find it unsettling to see the degree to which people will seek out these exemplars of tension relief. Certainly, there are others more edifying, like​ the shows nominated in the three categories that led off this post.

What do you think?

About mediainmind

Education: BFA in Painting & Sculpture from California College of the Arts (Oakland); Executive MBA in Executive Management from the Peter F. Drucker & Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management at the Claremont Graduate University (Claremont); MA and PhD in Media Psychology from the Fielding Graduate University (Santa Barbara). Experience: Over 40 years experience in marketing, advertising, and public relations on the client and agency sides of the business; for-profit and nonprofit, as well as government. Special Expertise: The interface between human behavior and the media. It's all about "media in mind." View all posts by mediainmind

One response to “Taste and the Lack Thereof

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