we have reached a point in television history in which “quality TV” is more of a genre than an accurate indicator of value…

…so how do you tell the difference between quality tv - tv that is actually good - and “quality TV” - tv that has learned the wrong lessons from shows commonly perceived as being “quality shows?”

follow these simple rules…

- are you experiencing droning storylines that do not reach satisfying natural climaxes within the episodic structure? “quality TV”

- are you watching characters who present as viciously unsympathetic without any real reason other than to service the fashion to present characters as viciously unsympathetic? “quality TV”

- are you confused by narrative obscurity without discernible dramatic purpose? “quality TV”

- is storytelling “decompressed” even though your needs as a viewer would be better served by swift narrative motion? “quality TV”

- is a visual gesture actively distracting you from the drama (it’s ALWAYS raining, the color palette is so monochromatic that you adjust your screen in bewilderment - or, conversely, the colors are so brightly tuned you feel the need to put on sunglasses - the camera shakes so much, you don’t know who’s talking at any given time, only certain parts of the frame are ever in focus)? “quality TV”

- are you being pounded over the head by a sustained, fetishistic ironic, contrapunctal juxtaposition of elements (like happy music played against “transgressive” ideas, like extreme violence)? “quality TV”

- has anyone involved with the production used the word “deconstruction” or any of its derivatives (as in “we are deconstructing the genre in a way that genre has never been deconstructed before”) while doing publicity for the series? “quality TV”

- are you watching a story so entertaining or thought/emotion provoking that you don’t care what anybody else thinks of the show, or what the producers were going for, or have to go on the internet to figure out what you thought of what you just watched? quality tv.

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  9. ranuel reblogged this from cleolinda and added:
    All of the above except for the visual and auditory stuff can also be applied to novels. Having a confusing plot...
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    …so how do you tell the difference between quality tv - tv that is actually good - and “quality TV” - tv that has...
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    I feel like this distinction has been a particularly helpful one to make this year/will only become increasingly helpful...
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