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Has Saturday Night TV ever been this bad


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Old 13-01-2013, 21:43
Tassium
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There is one thing that is very different and might not be apparent from looking at schedules from 30 years ago.

Programming was more cross-demographical, in other words one particular programme would be intended to be watched by a large cross section of society.

Contrast that with today and the extreme narrowness of programming, it's rare to have a programme that is intended to be watched by a wide social group and both men/women.


I think it's this narrowness that is killing TV. Spreading out the available audience so fewer and fewer people are watching the same thing of an evening.
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Old 13-01-2013, 22:00
paulmbe
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I'm struggling big time on Saturday evenings now that the US college football has finished. I may, just may, be in a small minority on here being in that particular quandary mind lol
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Old 13-01-2013, 22:12
mistabee
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It's growth and dealing with change over time. You're right about the point of laziness. For me personally, I enjoyed the 80s and the 90s as it was the time of me being a kid and growing up - used to enjoy back then on a Saturday Night, shows like Big Break and Gladiators as well as a dose of Blind Date and Cilla. The National Lottery programme back then was a lot more exciting too.

Hard to explain why it's not quite the same - maybe I'm getting a little bit older in my 30s and suffering from Nostalgitis!
I feel ANCIENT - Comedy Playhouse , Play for Today , Steptoe and Son, The Good Life, Horizon (when it was challenging) , The Ascent of Man ... You should have seen TV when we had THREE channels , in some cases these were around when we had TWO channels. Maybe I have forgotten some dross but can't really recall any programmes today that match these earlier offerings.
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Old 13-01-2013, 22:13
daveycrocket222
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With all the following shows starting tonight:-

Richard Hammonds Secret Service
Britains Brightest
Splash
Take Me Out

...has Saturday night TV ever been so dumbed down?
I dunno. Ive hugely relied on my PS2 for the past 10 years so im unsure what stuff is on tv these days.
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Old 13-01-2013, 22:49
Airborae
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My opinion is that Saturday night telly has always been awful. Apart from Doctor Who and The Generation Game. Remember the bad old days of the 1980s when ITV used to show Metal Mickey or Small Wonder? Or god help us Duncan Norvelle with his 'jokey' "Chase me, chase me!"
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Old 14-01-2013, 02:09
Rich Tea.
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My opinion is that Saturday night telly has always been awful. Apart from Doctor Who and The Generation Game. Remember the bad old days of the 1980s when ITV used to show Metal Mickey or Small Wonder? Or god help us Duncan Norvelle with his 'jokey' "Chase me, chase me!"
Must admit I loved 3-2-1 back in the 80's as a young teen, and about a year ago I would have said that it was what Saturday night TV should be about, but having watched a few in the past year on the Challenge channel my illusions were totally shattered to pieces at how dated, poor and bad the entertainment acts were, and the very middle class, all white couples, married of course! It was yuck. Not to mention that stupid mechanical bin, and Ted's little finger gesture. I'd not give it 3 fingers nowadays, definitely a 2 finger gesture!

But Ted Rogers was meant to have been a decent and lovely chap, so I'll bow to that, but that's all.

My personal hope was for the bin to get won, which it did not do so nearly enough for my liking.
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Old 14-01-2013, 06:45
mrsdaisychain
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I can't ever remember saturday tv being this bad either. I have not turned in to ITV since the late summer, mainly because I couldn't stand X Factor. I use to love settling down to watch in but in recent years it's turned into something un watchable for me.
Now the current saturday nights are quite abysmal. Nothing decent at all to watch.
Saturday just gone, i watched two back to back episodes of doc martin on another channel then caught up with something on recall.
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Old 14-01-2013, 07:24
Straker
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The problem really is that increasingly TV is at two extremes.


One extreme:

A History of Art in Three Colours
Borgen


the other:

Richard Hammonds latest trash vehicle
Lottery Game Show
Splash
Take Me Out

--------------

TV for either dimwits or professors, where's the middle ground?
Appreciating art and reading subtitles for a couple of hours is hardly the exclusive enclave of Mensa boffins is it? There’s nothing intimidating to anybody about BBC4’s output if only they manage to drop their prejudices long enough to actually try the programming.
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Old 14-01-2013, 08:03
Mindbear
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Must admit I loved 3-2-1 back in the 80's as a young teen, and about a year ago I would have said that it was what Saturday night TV should be about, but having watched a few in the past year on the Challenge channel my illusions were totally shattered to pieces at how dated, poor and bad the entertainment acts were, and the very middle class, all white couples, married of course! It was yuck. Not to mention that stupid mechanical bin, and Ted's little finger gesture. I'd not give it 3 fingers nowadays, definitely a 2 finger gesture!

But Ted Rogers was meant to have been a decent and lovely chap, so I'll bow to that, but that's all.

My personal hope was for the bin to get won, which it did not do so nearly enough for my liking.
Oh you've broken me, I want it to survive the test of time! I'm in my early(ish) thirties and my memory of saturday night tv from childhood is all rather enjoyable but of course, thats mostly the point of this thread isn't it, how you suddenly grow up enough to realise that most light entertainment is rotten.
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Old 14-01-2013, 09:31
Hugh Letdown
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The problem really is that increasingly TV is at two extremes.

...

TV for either dimwits or professors, where's the middle ground?
Oh, there is still loads of insidious, mediocre crap too.
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Old 14-01-2013, 11:10
Tassium
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It has to be said that by the 80s TV was already going bad. CH4 came along to rescue the situation a bit, for a decade at least.

The best example of what TV could do was the 60s/70s, many of those shows are still being aired today.


TV bosses just aren't trying anymore, it's the "that'll do" generation in charge now. Merely doing enough to keep their job.
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Old 14-01-2013, 12:02
LostFool
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Appreciating art and reading subtitles for a couple of hours is hardly the exclusive enclave of Mensa boffins is it? There’s nothing intimidating to anybody about BBC4’s output if only they manage to drop their prejudices long enough to actually try the programming.
I have no interest in the art documentary but Borgen is fantastic and doesn't take much of an intelligence to follow. BBC4 really does have some good stuff on at the moment.

For me, a double bill of Borgen and then Match of the Day is a perfect Saturday night's TV.
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Old 14-01-2013, 12:29
Rich Tea.
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Oh you've broken me, I want it to survive the test of time! I'm in my early(ish) thirties and my memory of saturday night tv from childhood is all rather enjoyable but of course, thats mostly the point of this thread isn't it, how you suddenly grow up enough to realise that most light entertainment is rotten.
Oh dear, clearly you have not had a chance to see it recently from an older perspective? It used to be the show I looked back on, regards ITV, with a certain fondness because it was safe and comfortable and un-threatening, like what youngsters used to like. But a lot of the newly introduced "up and coming" comics that appeared in the segments were never heard of again. I saw some Liverpudlian comic do a stint with every Scouse cliche trotted out in his jokes it was a cringe, and hard to believe this was the mid 1980's, when the new alternatives were already underway.

But for me, the greatest ever Saturday night entertainment on ITV was Game For A Laugh in 1981-85 period. I was the right age, it was at the right time, and I adored it. ITV needs a new Beadle!
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Old 14-01-2013, 13:36
DODS11
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I haven't watched Saturday Night TV since the last series of Doctor Who ended. But I did decide to give "Splash" a go last week and it was the most hilariously awful program I've ever had the horror to witness, so I'll just stick to going out or reading a book until Doctor Who comes back.
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Old 14-01-2013, 13:44
Rodney McKay
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With all the following shows starting tonight:-

Richard Hammonds Secret Service
Britains Brightest
Splash
Take Me Out

...has Saturday night TV ever been so dumbed down?
If I'm in I tend to buy a DVD. Problem solved.
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Old 14-01-2013, 16:22
keicar
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BBC2 Saturday July 25, 1981:BBC2:

16.10 Cricket from Lord's
19.35 News and sport
19.55 Cloch - Irish sculptors
20.20 Spirit of Asia with David Attenborough
21.20 Horror Double Bill: Isle of the Dead,Boris Karloff
22.30 The Telephone Box: Spanish film
23.05 News
23.10 Cricket highlights
23.40 The Crazies horror film
01.25 Close
Yay! Live cricket and FTA with no ads between the overs.- good times! The summer of 1981 would have been Ian Botham singlehandedly demolishing the Aussies!

Have to agree on the quality of Saturday night TV, even the old staples like Casualty, have lost the originality they once had, it used to be just a 13 episode run every autumn.

Surprised that no one has mentioned Noels Houseparty, OK Edmonds isn't to everybody's taste, but the show was live and it was an 'event' nothing has come close since.

I don't know why the BBC don't start SCD later and straddle Christmas with it, as someone has already mentioned January is still cold and dark, years ago most winter program seasons ran from October to late February.
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Old 14-01-2013, 16:26
Heavenly
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It doesn't effect me, I have always got something on my Sky Planner to watch, or a dvd, or occasionally I might even pop out! I don't understand, with all the channels now and Freeview etc...that I constantly see people moaning about how bad Saturday night tv is and they still watch it!
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Old 14-01-2013, 17:23
LostFool
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Yay! Live cricket and FTA with no ads between the overs.- good times! The summer of 1981 would have been Ian Botham singlehandedly demolishing the Aussies!
Of course those were the days when the cricket was constantly being interrupted by horse racing or snooker and there was no live coverage at all of overseas tours.
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Old 14-01-2013, 18:33
MayfairBlue
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I can't ever remember saturday tv being this bad either. I have not turned in to ITV since the late summer, mainly because I couldn't stand X Factor. I use to love settling down to watch in but in recent years it's turned into something un watchable for me.
Now the current saturday nights are quite abysmal. Nothing decent at all to watch.
Saturday just gone, i watched two back to back episodes of doc martin on another channel then caught up with something on recall.
I imagine a lot of people out there share your sentiments, with me being one of them. I do feel by and large throughout the calendar year, the mainstream terrestrial channels in particular saturated with x factor and SLD and what's even more painful if having to endure the same presenters as well as these so-called 'celebs' who persist in courting tv audiences it really is pathetic.

Gameshows 2 to 3 decades ago for example I imagine are probably more missed because the contestants were ordinary family orientated and down to earth people you could relate to.

There was no attitude or facade about them. And there was a lot more pleasantness and grace.

Now it's a silly soapbox!
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Old 15-01-2013, 23:04
Airborae
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I imagine a lot of people out there share your sentiments, with me being one of them. I do feel by and large throughout the calendar year, the mainstream terrestrial channels in particular saturated with x factor and SLD and what's even more painful if having to endure the same presenters as well as these so-called 'celebs' who persist in courting tv audiences it really is pathetic.

Gameshows 2 to 3 decades ago for example I imagine are probably more missed because the contestants were ordinary family orientated and down to earth people you could relate to.

There was no attitude or facade about them. And there was a lot more pleasantness and grace.

Now it's a silly soapbox!
It was The X Factor and Pop Idol that really changed Saturday night TV in the opening years of this century. But luckily they are going down the pan and losing viewers. Simon Cowell wants to know what's going wrong. I'll tell him.

"It's a crap show mate, it's not a contest anymore, just heated debates between judges who have no right to be judges, acts who you'll never hear of again (and that's the final 12 including the winner) and treating the audience as complete idiots."

There. Got that off my chest.
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Old 16-01-2013, 09:19
keicar
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Of course those were the days when the cricket was constantly being interrupted by horse racing or snooker and there was no live coverage at all of overseas tours.
Given the choice, I'd rather miss a couple of overs due to a horse race, rather than have my wallet fleeced by Murdoch, and still have to suffer endless adverts,

I digress


Gameshows 2 to 3 decades ago for example I imagine are probably more missed because the contestants were ordinary family orientated and down to earth people you could relate to.

There was no attitude or facade about them. And there was a lot more pleasantness and grace.
Agree, although I seem to recall the hyping up and Americanisation of game show audiences started with The Price Is Right in the 80's.
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Old 19-01-2013, 23:28
elfcurry
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Another great evening! Merlin and Dr Who (admittedly both repeats) then new Borgen on BBC4.

On tonight's Borgen:
I was in floods of tears the end of that episode.
This has to be the BEST show on TV. It was all done so subtly. What an amazing performance by Kasper, and at the end with Katrine, I felt like my heart was ripped out.
I think what I love the best about this show is that it credits the audience with some intelligence. Nothing is overly laboured or pushed home.
And the characters are just first class. Cannot wait for next week, I really look forward to this two hours of first class TV every week.
And I agree. How much better could Saturday night TV drama be?
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Old 20-01-2013, 00:42
PixieGray
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Oh, now let's see...

Take Me Out is a steaming example of turd television. I despair that this is given airtime. I despise it and if I HAD to watch it, I would have to be sectioned as I would begin to chew my own foot off.

Splash....a bunch of bloated, me me me zlebs. F@#% off my TV.

You've Been Framed can kiss my soft as a baby's arse. I left 'mindless noise' behind last week. It's pitiful, it's puerile and it's piss poor.

Casualty. Yes, it is one.

I now feel the need for a few episodes of Bleak House to quell the anger in my soul
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Old 20-01-2013, 00:58
hallc
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Cracking report that...
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Old 20-01-2013, 01:40
allafix
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It was The X Factor and Pop Idol that really changed Saturday night TV in the opening years of this century. But luckily they are going down the pan and losing viewers. Simon Cowell wants to know what's going wrong. I'll tell him.

"It's a crap show mate, it's not a contest anymore, just heated debates between judges who have no right to be judges, acts who you'll never hear of again (and that's the final 12 including the winner) and treating the audience as complete idiots."

There. Got that off my chest.
Shows like Blind Date and Stars in Their Eyes had long since taken the crap show to new depths. I don't watch X-Factor or anything like it, but I know a lot of people do, it has wide family appeal and it's the closest thing to cross-demographic TV that there is on ITV, apart from the news and weather. Simon Cowell is apparently trying to recreate the big spectacular variety shows that were on when he was young, like Sunday Night at the London Palladium. That's why shows like X Factor and BGT are so over-produced and pompous. What you say about X Factor is of course 100% correct, except that it's never been a contest, it just used to look like one. But for many people it's still a show everyone in the family sits and watches together, even if they are only sitting there and ripping it to shreds.

Modern day TV crap is better produced and pretends to have high values, in the old days shows like 3-2-1 could barely pay for the second-rate joke writers, let alone good sets, and Blind Date was pure cheese. But at least in those days the shows didn't go on for a couple of hours, so if you didn't like one show there would be a different one coming soon.

I think it's true to say that Saturday night TV has always been mostly crap. There seems to be a fairly high demand for it. That said, ITV was always more down market than BBC in the past, now BBC is really competing hard for that title with Richard Hammond's Secret Service and Claire Balding's soporific Britain's Brightest. ITV has two shows which are so bad they're good (Splash and Take Me Out). RHSS and BB have no such redeeming features.
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