01/16/12 — Good old days: Boy, has entertainment changed

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Good old days: Boy, has entertainment changed

Watching the Golden Globes, you can't help but harken back to a time when sex, bad language and graphic violence were not the mainstays of a blockbuster TV series or movie.

In those days, dialogue and writing were the key -- you did not have the freedom to curse or show nudity, etc., even after 10 p.m.

But the even the most modern of modern viewers has to admit that it seems perhaps movies and television might have really gone off the deep end when it comes to standards and decency.

There do not seem to be boundaries anymore -- and one has to wonder -- is it the audiences demanding the new style or is it the performers and directors themselves?

We suspect it is a little of both.

In this day of video games, themselves pretty graphic, perhaps the new generation of moviegoers does not have the attention span to keep up with a plot that doesn't have flashpoints of nudity, sex, bad language and violence to maintain their interest.

Perhaps figuring out a complicated plot is too much like reading -- and directors know that.

And perhaps the entertainment industry does not like to think too much about decency and ways to tell a story without the shock factor. Maybe that feels a little too old-fashioned and like a slippery slope to censorship.

And now the TV networks want more freedom to curse, show nudity and to otherwise step out of the box, because the cable networks are not held to the same standard. Fair enough of a criticism, of course, but can you imagine if there were no rules?

The truth is, modern society is much more uncouth. The definitions of "manners" and "standards" are moving targets these days. So, it is really no surprise that attitude has moved into the entertainment industry as well.

But perhaps we should expect a bit more -- and maybe it is time for a few more standards -- even if that makes a few films less "edgy" and more television shows a little less "real."

Maybe it is time to expect a bit more from the entertainment industry -- and from audiences.

And judging from the winner of the best comedy for 2012 at the Golden Globes -- a silent film called "The Artist," a happy-go-lucky picture with dancing, music, and no words that beat out the often-vulgar and potty humor-filled "Bridesmaids" -- there might be hope for us yet.

Published in Editorials on January 16, 2012 10:46 AM