Sitcoms, TV Shows and Media: Then and Now.

 

    Sitcoms are a funny thing, literally. Growing up, I remember coming home from school and doing my homework to Full House, That’s So Raven, and array of other evening sitcoms that glued me to the TV for hours. The quick humor, the sudden change of scenes and constant, quirky dilemmas the characters faced was by far my favorite type of television entertainment.

       Although sitcoms are still extremely popular, for my generation, it seems the go-to form of entertainment now is to binge watch drama, fantasy, crime-filled shows on Netflix or Hulu and neglect the live, real-time viewing experience. My question is why the dynamic is so different? When I flip through the channels and come across a modern disney channel sitcom I can’t stand to watch it for more than 10 minutes. I find myself longing for the “old disney channel”. I thought I used to associate those shows with good childhood memories, but I know for a fact I would prefer to watch an old That’s So Raven or Wizards of Waverly Place show over any similar or “newer” version of these type of sitcoms. My friends and I found ourselves trying to mock the lives of our favorite characters on the shows, stealing the phrase “oh snap” or pretending to live out the secret life of a teenage wizard. The ability these shows had to connect with the viewer in such a strong way is incredible, especially considering the fact that the main characters in those shows were a psychic and a wizard.

 

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That’s So Raven- Season 3: Taken to the Cleaners (October, 2004)

   As I currently sit in my living room, typing this blog, my housemates are discussing the next show that they are considering watching. As they are comparing the list of shows they have planned to watch, my other housemate is flipping back and forth between The Voice and a new show named: This is Us. (This new sitcom has actually just been declared as the new Tuesday night house show we watch together!) TV shows have never been more popular and with websites that now give us unlimited access to millions of shows, we have the ability to watch whatever we want, whenever we want. The progressive modifications of sitcoms, and television shows is definitely evident when viewing older renditions.  Although, personally, I prefer the “old stuff” it is pretty cool to watch the wide world of television expand; developing new ideas and televised productions to continue to clench the viewers attention and expand the world of media.

 

Kendall Fischlein

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12 Responses to Sitcoms, TV Shows and Media: Then and Now.

  1. mediaphiles says:

    It is definitely interesting to think about how much media and technology have changed during our lives. I remember coming home from school and scrolling through the channels to find my favorite Nick/Disney shows that were on at the time, but now I almost never scroll through the channels of cable. When I watch TV, it is almost 100% of the time done through my PS4 because the Ps4 has apps like HBO, Netflix, Amazon Video, etc. Because it has all of these apps, I have spent the last few years just binge watching shows on those apps rather than watching live TV, and I cannot tell you the last time i watched a live episode of a tv show. Even the shows that I watch that are currently airing I do not watch them live on cable TV as they air but rather wait until the next day to watch them on the app for the channel they air on.

    -Max Lissette

  2. mediaphiles says:

    I’m not sure if television itself has changes so much as the values we have as we have matured. While I agree that I would prefer to watch the Disney Channel Original Movies on repeat than some of the drivel they come up with now, I am far more invested in more mature content on nationally syndicated television, such as Bones or Blindspot. –Serena Daya

  3. mediaphiles says:

    I agree that I definitely prefer the old Disney channel shows and movies over the ones that are currently on air, however, I feel like this is a common thought with each new generation. For example, if 20 somethings sat down and were flipping through the channels when we were young enough to still be watching primarily kids channels like Disney I bet they would have the same reaction as us if we did that today. To Serena’s point, I think as we mature we look to our entertainment to mature along with us (for the most part). -Courtney Green

  4. mediaphiles says:

    I completely agree with you in that the ‘old disney channel is way better. I feel like we are nostalgic about these shows because they are the shows that we grew up with. These shows are also made with what we thought was funny so when we watch them when we are older, we are reminded of what we thought was funny. Similarly, kids today think their shows are good but we hate them as they are not jokes for us. I guess that means we need to realize this before we judge these kids.

    • mediaphiles says:

      I completely agree with you in that the ‘old disney channel is way better. I feel like we are nostalgic about these shows because they are the shows that we grew up with. These shows are also made with what we thought was funny so when we watch them when we are older, we are reminded of what we thought was funny. Similarly, kids today think their shows are good but we hate them as they are not jokes for us. I guess that means we need to realize this before we judge these kids.-Laya Mohan

  5. mediaphiles says:

    I agree with what you say here. But in my case being from a different country it has changed a lot. When I was younger I would love watching shows that were produced in Spain, but as I grew up and started watching more American TV, my taste started to change and I enjoyed watching sitcoms more than spanish ones. What has not changed is that I continue enjoying the disney shows that I would watch when I was little.- Jon Baquero

  6. mediaphiles says:

    I completely agree with you, Kendall. I definitely miss watching Hannah Montana, Lizzie McGuire, and Spongebob! It’s interesting to think about the way in which Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming sites are changing the way in which we watch television shows. I, personally, binge-watch series all the time now and that is something that I never did before. When I was younger, I would just find a show I liked that was playing on one of my favorite channels.
    -Allie Kleinman

  7. mediaphiles says:

    I sometimes wonder what kids watch when they come home from school these days. I remember whenever I had a sick day I would always end up binge-watching The Nanny, Roseanne, or Golden Girls, because re-runs of these shows would repeatedly come on to fill the programming. Do kids even watch television when they are home, or is everything on the streaming channels? Personally, I do not watch TV anymore. I only use Netflix. Now I am partial to dramas and mysteries. I wonder, did time or changing media platforms influence this? – Andrew Guido

  8. marymdalton says:

    Ah, the old days…watching Rugrats with my son…before we graduated to King of the Hill…

  9. mediaphiles says:

    I agree with Kendall about the old Disney television shows being significantly better than the ones today. It makes me sad that my children won’t grow up with those lovable characters like Raven! They always had great morals to the story as well. Like when Raven stood up for herself and insisted she model her designs in a fashion show even though she was plus sized, and they were pressuring her to allow a size 2 model wear it. She was a strong and confident young woman- oh snap!

  10. mediaphiles says:

    I think this is a thought so many people in our generation have! I absolutely loved sitting in front of the TV from 3:30 to 4:30 pm watching Full House as I ate my afternoon snack after school. It was a religious tradition for me. I even remember watching a show called Brothers and Sisters with my parents every Sunday night at 10 pm. But now I don’t watch anything on live TV. In fact, the HDMI cord to our TV is always connected to a laptop. I can’t remember the last time we actually plugged it into the cable box and flipped through channels. Although I can’t speak for everyone, I think that there are two attributes that contribute to this fixation to the world of Netflix and online binge watching that dominate our world today. First, I think you’re right in saying that all new sitcoms and Disney Channel shows basically suck. I have attempted in good humor to watch the new Girl Meets World, the sequel to Boy Meets World. I have even made it through an episode or two, but when I think about the old one, they just don’t even compare! The second reason is that we have become such a time-constrained society. We have study group at 3 pm and soccer at 4:30 pm and class at 6 pm. We are constantly on the go and so when we get the free 30 minutes it takes to watch a sitcom, or the hour it takes to watch our favorite drama, we’re not going to waste time flipping through channels. We’re going to watch what we want to watch and watch it now. No waiting. I think its a hard world for things like this to change, but it is sad as we remember our childhood and the joy of waiting for your favorite show to start.
    -Nicolette McCann

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