Why Television Shows Gradually Lose Their Appeal

The Crown photo by Ollie Upton/Ollie UptonNetflix – © Netflix 2020, Inc

Not too long ago all the rage was Game of Thrones (HBO) about nine families battling each other for power. You couldn’t get enough if it, with many people even binge-watching episodes. Now the current favourites are The Crown (Netflix), a series of fact mixed with fiction about the British royal family, which has gained even more popularity with the death of Queen Elizabeth II, and House of The Dragon (HBO) – a civil war prequel to Thrones.  No doubt, they too will pass, to be replaced by something regarded as even more exciting and suiting the moment.

Yet, no matter how good the programme, it is inevitable that the best television shows will lose their appeal soon enough for four main reasons:

First, it is difficult for producers and programme makers to sustain the originality and quality of a production due to a natural loss in creativity with prolonged demands. One can think up only so much material around a new theme. Soon, the programme becomes repetitive and lacking in new ideas. That is why so many good programmes do no survive more than two or three series because of the natural law of diminishing returns when too many storylines have to be found.

Paddy Considine and Nova Foueillis-Mosé in House of the Dragon (2022) -Credit IMDb

Second, every TV programme reflects the culture, nuances, ethics, beliefs and social protocol of the time. TV shows largely reflect how people think and behave, what they value and what they prioritise. For example, right now, music reality shows like the X-Factor are the rage. In a few years’ time, something else will take their place when the public gets tired of them. As our values change, and what we seek to entertain us also changes, those programmes will lose their appeal. So, as society changes, so will the programmes on TV, if they are not to appear old fashioned and outdated. They have to move with us and our development. They have to truly reflect our interests for us to want to watch them.

Third is due to natural human evolution. As we evolve, the programmes that were very appealing when we were younger cease to be appealing as we get older because maturity brings a desire for different experiences to match our new state. I used to watch the very popular Australian soap opera, Neighbours, for years when it first came to Britain. It resonated with me as a younger person and reflected life in an escapist way. Then suddenly I stopped watching it ten years ago, without knowing why and haven’t watched it since. Yet it has been updated to reflect current audiences, too, but I simply outgrew it, and it’s no longer there.

Finally, nothing lasts forever. For television to retain its appeal, it has to be innovative, fresh, creative and relevant. If any of those elements are missing, audiences won’t be impressed. No matter how great the programme, it will attract attention just for so long because, in time, it would cease to innovative, cease to be fresh and, above all, cease to be relevant to changing culture and public demands.


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What’s The Value Of An Apology? Will Smith Found Out!

Will Smith’s Apology Video

Will Smith recently made a fulsome YouTube apology to Chris Rock for the humiliating slap he meted out to the comedian on the night of the 2022 Academy Awards. That slap eclipsed so many people’s achievements, very few of us would realise what an amazing event it was for women and diverse talent. 

For a start, Jessica Chastain won Best Actress for The Eyes of Tammy Faye. Another woman (Jane Campion) bested the men as Best Director; a groundbreaking, film (CODA), remarkable for its cast of deaf actors, won Best Picture, earning its star, Troy Kotsur, the Best supporting actor gong, too, and a Latina (Ariana Debose) won Best Supporting Actress. However, all those worthy winners faded into the background when the Best Actor, Will Smith, the star of the Williams sisters’ biopic, King Richard,  decided to indulge himself in the most selfish and entitled way, with his assault on Rock. 

Start of Smith’s apology video

Oscar night 2022 should have been Smith’s crowning glory. He had never won the accolade, despite some notable acting in various films, and on the night he was to be honoured he clearly lost his head, deciding that displaying a kind of macho arrogance and selfishness was much better. A choice that took no account of the prestigious event, or anyone else in the room. Yet, for every nominee, it was their moment, too, and they had to watch helplessly as Smith made it all about himself. Puffed up with false pride and self-righteousness, with one foolish slap, Smith changed his victorious night into a shameful display of masculine toxicity and moral defeat.  

Graffiti of Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars 2022 by Eme Freethinker at Mauerpark in Berlin, Germany. by Singlespeedfahrer . Credit Wikimedia Commons

Fast forward to the present time, when he has been banned for 10 years from the Academy, and Rock has used the moment to his advantage in his shows. Smith has been apologising a lot since that night, the latest being a lengthy video in which he tried to show his sincerity and regret. But Rock will not be engaged, and refuses to even acknowledge it. 

In essence, the value of an apology can be highly overrated, because, unless it is spontaneous and heartfelt, it simply becomes an excuse for excusing, and perpetuating, bad behaviour. Making an apology after an act seems to take the place of restraining one’s self from such actions in the first place.  Yet, only Chris Rock knew how he felt being on the receiving end  of Smith’s humiliating action, which was done for maximum effect in front of a global audience. 

Quite clearly, an apology doesn’t cut it for Rock, or compensate for his hurt and pain. It has little value after the unexpectedly cruel fact.