What Does American TV have to do with 21st Century Australia?

What does this question have to do with a quiet Sunday afternoon? Well I just tried to find some viewing to chill out to on a lazy Sunday afternoon, that’s what! And here is what I found:

Hail Caesar

A political Hollywood movie about 1950’s entertainment. It is a movie within a movie where males dominate. It tries to portray these “poor suffering communists” – well, they were labelled that, and where women play an accessory role. Men were the ones with all the power, and that continues until now “ever thus”. Hence, the continuing emesis that spews out from that location.

Do you know that there are so many examples of TV shows on our Australian TV channels to this day, that were abundant when I was a child, adolescent or young adult! And I am 67 years old now! It is all recycled American trash! You want some examples – well here goes!

My Favourite Martian which ran for 3 seasons in the 1960’s

“Two and a Half Men” – a misogynistic series which popularised Charlie Sheen and ran in the early 2000’s still defiles our TV as well as the bucolic “Friends”, “Seinfeld”, the “Simpsons”, “M.A.S.H.” and “Frasier”. It makes me physically ill to even mention “Cheers” – the star of that show is now in his 70s! Now, I’m not saying they were completely inane – I loved some of them – but how relevant to us here in Australia? Zilch! Nada! Zero! And even more so now, Australia has become more defined and developed in our identity and culture. And they differ vastly to that of the Americans!

It’s not as if we don’t have quality Australian series that we could recycle as effectively!

Television commenced in the United States and in the United Kingdom before World War II. The two countries developed radically different industry models, which were based on the models each used for radio broadcasting. British broadcasting was entirely controlled by the government-created broadcasting corporation, the BBC, which derived its revenue from compulsory viewer licence fees. The United States adopted a commercial model, based on privately owned stations and networks that earned revenue by charging for advertising time, with public broadcasting forming only a minor component of the larger system.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Television_in_Australia

Yes, Australia did also receive much TV from the UK – primarily the BBC. Shows such as:

The world has been “dumbed down” over the past 50 years and it has taken its toll! Thankfully there is still the ABC (only just!!) and offerings from the BBC and other UK outlets. Otherwise Australian TV consists of commercial drivel and imported effluent from the US! Oh, we do have SBS – thankfully – and SBS Movies which does provide a selection of European and Asian offerings such as:

Now with cuts to the ABC, television is indeed in dire straits! Particularly local content.

Dire Straits

But then I’m just a Barmy Boomer reflecting on what seemed to be “better times”.

Thank God we have Tim Tams and Penguins!

Post-Brexit Exchange

Cover photo “Operation Buffalo” ABC TV.

5 Comments

  1. Absolutely and totally agree! Americanising and dumbing down in areas of Australian film, television and literature. Do you watch ABC iView? At the moment most offerings are Australian, both old and new TV series, movies, arts and theatre. Free to air and possibly the only thing which has kept me sane πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment Gretchen. Yes the streaming services including iView have been a life saver for me, and iView does have a lot of Australian content at the moment. I’ve also found a gem of a program called “Boomers” on 7Plus – wonderful dialogue and comedic situations. So important to find lightness and laughter in these times! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. How sad the ABC is constantly underfunded! I have grown up and grown old on good quality ABC and BBC drama and comedy most of the US stuff does nothing for me. Great post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes Sharon, it is sad. Yet amazingly they still keep bringing us quality programs including from the UK. Unlike you, I was mainly exposed to commercial TV when I was younger, and developed my love of the ABC later. I hold it in high regard and it feels personal when different governments undermine its value.

      Like

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