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View Diary: A Tale of Two Borgia TV Shows: As Usual, Americans Get the Inferior (45 comments)

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  •  There's no such thing as "relative intelligence." (4+ / 0-)
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    dotsright, jayden, Terranova0, Chi

    Either one has an inquisitive mind, or not.  Either one appreciates windows into things one doesn't know a lot about, or one resents them and finds them irritating.  And for people who fit the latter bill, they can watch sports and real soap operas - their standards don't need to invade the alleged bastions of quality programming.  

    I personally haven't had anything like the kind of history education an informed European has had, and I love seeing quality history-based programs about eras I'm not well-informed about.  The less I know, the more interesting I find insights - because intelligence abhors a vacuum.  Any intelligence, anywhere.  Anyone who would find the least bit value in The Borgias would be astonished by Borgia.  There is no sane reason why the former would be deemed more suitable for American audiences, unless it is actually the goal to enforce stupidity.

    Everything in moderation, including moderation.

    by Troubadour on Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 09:25:47 AM PDT

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    •  Well I can't specifically speak to the differences (3+ / 0-)
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      Troubadour, sebastianguy99, zinger99

      Between the two because I haven't watched the canal+ version.

      But that doesn't matter. The fallacy of your argument is that all intelligence is equal and everyone should find the exact things valuable/intriguing/insightful that you do. That's where your reasoning falters. Inquisitiveness is not the same as intelligence and everyone is going to have varying standards of what is most important to them in what they consider "quality programming".

      True anecdote: one of the reasons I started ppptv is because I believe American public television is failing us. There should be great entertainment on it and there isn't. Now, Showtime is a commercial network. Period. And they create and produce shows they believe will appeal most broadly while, I believe, still trying to deliver something better than what's on 90% of American television. I think they do a fair job of it. That doesn't mean that something different or "better" couldn't be produced. But those are subjective terms and yes, like it or not troubadour, producers do have to take into account their audiences. Intelligence or not, there are a lot of social and cultural differences between our culture and European culture. Hell, an example you mentioned yourself: the office, is a perfect example. Even sense of humor is different. That's just the reality. Good or bad, it is what it is. (btw this is also reflected in the differences in the film industry, which may be more stark).

      As I said, I am not arguing for or against Borgia vs The Borgias. My only point is that yes, 1) audience matters and 2) you are not "everyone".

      •  Canal+ is a commercial entity too. (2+ / 0-)
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        Chi, zinger99

        And you're not going to convince me they make this stratospheric quality of programming because there's a gigantic market for it in Europe that doesn't exist here.  The fact is they just plain care about the quality of what they make, and the people who run US media companies are fucking zombie sociopaths.

        Everything in moderation, including moderation.

        by Troubadour on Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 10:24:40 AM PDT

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        •  Obviously I won't "convince" you but im (1+ / 0-)
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          Trying to explain to you that every society is different, especially as relates to what the consider to be entertaining.

          A good example of this is: why did they redo The office? It's because American and British sense of humor differ. One isn't better than the other, they're just different.

          Canal+, as a commercial entity, is, I assure you, as equally concerned with their show's popularity as ate American commercial entities. If no one was watching, they'd not make the shows. It's not rocket science. Canal's version is suited, I presume, to it's audience. I'm sure they're getting decent ratings. And show times version is also suited to its audience. Both are commercial endeavors. They create to audience. It's just that the audiences are different.

          •  Three words: Game of Thrones. (2+ / 0-)
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            Chi, zinger99

            I doubt its overwhelming popularity is due to the ten minutes out of ten hours that concerned the supernatural in its first season, nor even necessarily the popularity of the books given that visual media are a much larger market.

            And your arguments become obtuse when you put it as being a dilemma between making money and not making money.  The fact is European media could choose to make the absolute bottom-of-the-barrel dreck in order to squeeze absolutely every last penny out of the marketplace they possibly could, or they could make the best product they could and still make a good deal of money without going balls-to-the-wall sociopath.  American companies, however, do go to the absolute bottom in search of every last penny because they are ruled by stock market gamblers rather than people with any sort of involvement in their field.

            In Europe, capitalism is a means of making things.  In the US, making things is merely one means to capitalism, and not even the most important one.

            Everything in moderation, including moderation.

            by Troubadour on Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 07:12:22 PM PDT

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        •  Canal+ is commercial, but.... (1+ / 0-)
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          at least the German and Austrian networks (ZDF and ORF2) involved in the production are public broadcasters of their respective countries.

    •  Oh and by the way, if you want to be angry about (2+ / 0-)
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      Troubadour, DrTerwilliker

      the lack of great programming, it would be much better directed at our nation's "PUBLIC BROADCASTING SYSTEM", rather than Showtime, a commercial network.

      Presumably, PBS SHOULD be the ones airing shows like "Borgia" and other similar offerings. But they don't. Because they can't get big corporations to pay the millions of dollars necessary for the productions. And god forbid our government actual FUND public television. So you get a series of boring and poorly produced historical documentaries that only a handful of people will ever watch, tons of thinly-veiled infomercials, reruns of shows that aired 30 years ago, and BBC imports for dramatic programming.

      In fact, this is what inspired me to create There SHOULD be an outlet for high-quality entertainment programming with social, cultural, artistic or education value. And the production of it shouldn't rely on big corporations who (understandably) will only fund something if there's a commercial benefit to them in doing so.

      Showtime is a commercial network. Their show is popular.  That's the end of it for them. I can't get worked up so much about that. I still think the show is better than 90% of all television.

      If your want to see more quality programming, follow us at ppptv and pressure PBS to pick up the shows that our members/supporters will decide to create.

      •  Agree about PBS. (3+ / 0-)
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        mdmslle, xaxnar, Chi

        It's about time we reclaimed the word "public" for the public - fund public services adequately and stop depending on handouts from corporate overlords or fees on users.

        Everything in moderation, including moderation.

        by Troubadour on Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 10:21:07 AM PDT

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