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Author Topic: The three most influential shows on tv  (Read 6083 times)
Wicked Nick
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« on: September 25, 2007, 07:30:05 AM »

I came to the conclusion a while back that the shows that pushed the envelope the most and challenged the standards of television were cartoons, three cartoons specificaly; The Simpsons, Beavis and Butthead and South Park. These three shows each lead the way for the other well as leading the way for dozens of other shows.
Looking back I remeber the contreversy that surounded The Simpsons when it first came out on tv. Barts antics along with the over the top language and racy subject matter put the show in the crosshairs of many parental watch groups, christian watch groups, and even some politicians.  But despite all the press it recieved the language and subject matter featured in the show has now become common place in television. "Ass" for instance was rarely used in tv before The Simpsons, although I do recognise some notable exceptions such as Married with Children, now the word is used everywhere with seemingly little limitation.
Beavis and Butthead was next and topped The Simpsons in vulgariy in almost every way. Once again watch groups jumped on the show, politicians spoke out against it and even wrongful death lawsuits were filed against it. Yet once again the show prospered and the language and subject matter of the show was assimilated into television.
Lastly and most notably is South Park. This show pushed the envelope in everyway possible. As with the past two shows watch groups and politicians blasted it and lawsuits were filed against it. The show survived though and prospered, censorship was greatly laxed in the wake of this show and now I believe its influnce can be seen everywhere from saturday morning cartoons to reality shows and sitcoms. As further proof of South Parks affect on tv the South Park movie was featured uncut on the very first showing of comedy centrals Secret Stash.
I do understand that there were othershows before these that did simular things, but these three shows I think had the biggest impact on standards on tv. I think the reason they had such a huge impact on tv is because they are cartoons and are going to be viewed by young people, which was also the reason they recieved so much flak from the press. But the younger generation loved these shows and in order for networks to keep this valuable audience they were forced to lower there standards.
So what do you guys think? Any other shows that you think that were more influential?
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the guyver
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« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2007, 07:45:00 AM »

I would mostly agree with you. Except, I would say Ren And Stimpy over Southpark. It pushed early audiences to the limits. Not to mention the fact that it was aired on Nickelodeon! A kids network! I thought it was pretty racy for a kids network.
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HappyGilmore
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« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2007, 11:12:44 AM »

I'd agree.  Ren and Stimpy, South Park, Simpsons and Beavis and Butt-head were all influential.  I'd say South Park is the best animated show on tv right now, as far as pushing envelopes when it comes to politics, celebrity, etc.  Simpsons in it's prime was great too.  Still is, but eh. 
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« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2007, 08:40:58 PM »

Ren and Stimpy probably influenced creators of other shows more than having an effect on a large audience. It was always a cult show, a favorite of mine for sure, but it wasn't seen by enough people to cause huge amounts of outrage.

I could see in the first few minutes of one episode of Invader Zim, the influence of R&S. Call it the "Velvet Underground effect", that band influenced lots of other musicians, but never was a huge mainstream commercial success.
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LilCerberus
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« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2007, 11:03:44 PM »

I recall Married With Children ruffling a few feathers.
Of course, Wonder Woman always made the biggest impression on me.  Wink
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the ghoul
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« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2007, 12:38:21 AM »

I came to the conclusion a while back that the shows that pushed the envelope the most and challenged the standards of television were cartoons, three cartoons specificaly; The Simpsons, Beavis and Butthead and South Park. These three shows each lead the way for the other well as leading the way for dozens of other shows.

I wish what you are saying was true, but I have to partially disagree with it.  I love Beavis and Butthead, South Park, and Ren and Stimpy, and I agree that these shows paved the way for eachother and a few other cartoons, but not "dozens of other shows."  Unfortunately it's crap like American Idol, Survivor, Girls Next Door and Sex in the City that have influenced TV more than any other shows. At least it seems that way to me almost every time I turn on the idiot box.
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« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2007, 11:41:57 AM »

Sadly I have to agree. The five shows I wish had been most influential:

The Twilight Zone (original)
The Prisoner
The Outer Limits (original)
Doctor Who (original)
The Avengers
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« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2007, 01:51:18 PM »

Love him or hate him, Norman Lear really broke some sitcom ground and changed the face of televison with his controversial  programs in the early 70's  like All in the Family, Maude, and Sanford and Son.

Lear is to thank (or blame) for all those 'Very Special Episodes' on comedy programs about abortion, rape, alcoholism, drug addiction, child predators, homelessness, teenage sex, cancer, cock fighting, etc.
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« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2007, 05:43:49 PM »

  Ah well, TV is TV . Like any trend, things come and go. It's just too bad that (to quote Jello Biafra) "-the dumbest buy the mostest ,thats the name of the game.The lowest common denominator rules!"  Bluesad
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LilCerberus
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« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2007, 09:44:44 PM »

What about Phil Donahue?
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« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2007, 09:49:53 PM »

This may sound funny, coming from a B- move fan . . .

but where will the race to the bottom of the barrell end?

When hardcore pornography is shown during primetime and every 2 year old in America can say the F-word?

With movies, you make a conscious decision to buy them and watch them, having a pretty good idea what they contain.

With TV, any manner of trash can be broadcast into your home, and if you relax your vigilance for a moment, your kids wind up learning things you'd rather they didn't know yet.
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« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2007, 09:51:01 PM »

I'll just list the shows that I spent a lot of time watching over the years. There were many show that I watched, but these were the ones I always watched. I can't say that any of them influenced me other than the time spent watching them.

Star Trek (original)
Happy Days
Leave It To Beaver
Gilligan's Island
Get Smart
Twilight Zone (original)
Laverne and Shirley
Welcome Back Kotter
The Honeymooners
Addams Family
The Munsters
M.A.S.H.
Seinfeld
Taxi
Cheers (Shelley Long episodes)
All In The Family
The Odd Couple
Three's Company (original cast)
I Dream Of Jeanie
Dukes Of Hazard
Sanford and Son
« Last Edit: September 26, 2007, 09:55:50 PM by Scott » Logged

Yaddo 42
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« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2007, 10:09:22 PM »

Love him or hate him, Norman Lear really broke some sitcom ground and changed the face of televison with his controversial  programs in the early 70's  like All in the Family, Maude, and Sanford and Son.

Lear is to thank (or blame) for all those 'Very Special Episodes' on comedy programs about abortion, rape, alcoholism, drug addiction, child predators, homelessness, teenage sex, cancer, cock fighting, etc.

He had his effect on things for many years, but the three camera sitcom has pretty much run its course. Even the single camera filmed sitcom is having a hard time competing against reality TV and the latest wave of game shows.

I'd take a mediocre sitcom over the "best" of reality TV anyday, but it's cheaper programming and doesn't have to pull in as big of ratings to be profitable, most sitcoms don't make their money back until it hits syndication or now when the DVD sales begin. Survivor made money for CBS before it even aired, IIRC, because the coporate sponsorships more than covered the cost of producing the first season.

Variety/music hall shows, westerns, detective shows, high concept/fantasy sitcoms, etc. were all hugely popular for a time and have mostly died out.  Types of shows play out and either go away for a while and then return (game shows, medical dramas, police procedurals), come back in a variation on the original formula (the various "talent" shows making the rounds), or they try to come back from time to time but eventualy the audience has no use for them (anthology shows).

Maybe sitcoms will come back, they had a huge run on TV, but even sitcoms may have seen their best and most popular days.
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the ghoul
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« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2007, 11:33:15 PM »

Sadly I have to agree. The five shows I wish had been most influential:

The Twilight Zone (original)
The Prisoner
The Outer Limits (original)
Doctor Who (original)
The Avengers

That would make a cool thread.  The 5 that come to my mind at the moment would be:

Dark Shadows
Police Squad
South Park
Wild Wild West
Monty Python's Flying Circus
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the ghoul
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« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2007, 11:37:57 PM »

  Ah well, TV is TV . Like any trend, things come and go. It's just too bad that (to quote Jello Biafra) "-the dumbest buy the mostest ,thats the name of the game.The lowest common denominator rules!"  Bluesad

So true.  One of Jello's best lines.
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