Home Arts Television’s underrated value

Television’s underrated value

by Archives January 22, 2008

TORONTO (CUP) — The Writer’s Guild of America strike has put one of the most valuable art forms out there to a screeching halt.
Television is the first real victim of the strike, not because of the missed opportunities in revenue but because of the loss of audiences and consequently the potential cancellation of some truly superb television programs.
Shows like Friday Night Lights, Lost, 24, The Office and many others consistently push the boundaries of television as a medium, and constantly draw from the conventions that have been laid out by their big-screen brothers over the course of the last century. Television is an art form that, in order to achieve progress as a medium, must be nurtured to turn into something brilliant. The strike has put this process on hold as writers fight for their rights.
There is no circling around the artistic and aesthetic values that the box in your living room has. It has the power to entertain you, an act that is truly indispensable in the broad scale of things. The impact television has is astronomical and is as important as anything else within the art community.
Television often gets written off as a vehicle for entertainment and, more often than not, that entertainment is described as “trash” or something bad for you. If you know where to look, TV can be the complete opposite. It can be compelling, engaging, informative and more than entertainment.
There are many stories being told via television dramas that are beyond any possible realm of the imagination. This is the art form that television has developed as its mandate over time: that of being a supreme storyteller. Twin Peaks is a drama that is still being discussed today and still heralded as a mainstay in dramatic storytelling. Some of the finest comedies are born out of the small screen – for example, The Office will go down in television history for its undeniable ability to make you laugh out loud. These are the paintings, and television is the gallery.
We live in a glorious age of bright lights, touch-screen iPods and Kanye West. Television is not a means to information anymore; it has become its own artistic medium. And as viewers, we are meant to soak up as much culture as possible – so go ahead and lie on that couch. You owe it to your brain to engage in televisual culture and be enlightened by the wealth of good TV that there is out there. Once the strike is over, of course.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment