Television (TV) is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images and sound. Television can transmit images that are monochrome (black-and-white), in color, or in three dimensions. Television is an iconic mass medium, serving as a conduit for entertainment, advertising and news.
- The role of television is the illusion of company, noise. I call it the fifth wall and the second window: the window of illusion.
- The viewer of television, the listener to radio, the reader of magazines, is presented with a whole complex of elements—all the way from ingenious rhetoric to carefully selected data and statistics—to make it easy for him to “make up his own mind” with the minimum of difficulty and effort. But the packaging is often done so effectively that the viewer, listener, or reader does not make up his own mind at all. Instead, he inserts a packaged opinion into his mind, somewhat like inserting a cassette into a cassette player. He then pushes a button and “plays back” the opinion whenever it seems appropriate to do so. He has performed acceptably without having had to think.
- Mortimer Adler, How to Read a Book (1940), p. 4
- Television dreams of tomorrow, we're not the ones who're meant to follow. For that's enough to argue.
- The rockets that have made spaceflight possible are an advance that, more than any other technological victory of the twentieth century, was grounded in science fiction… . One thing that no science fiction writer visualized, however, as far as I know, was that the landings on the Moon would be watched by people on Earth by way of television.
- Isaac Asimov, in Asimov on Physics (1976), 35. Also in Isaac Asimov’s Book of Science and Nature Quotations (1988), 307.
- What the mass media offers is not popular art, but entertainment which is intended to be consumed like food, forgotten, and replaced by a new dish. This is bad for everyone; the majority lose all genuine taste of their own, and the minority become cultural snobs.
- W. H. Auden, "The Poet & The City", p. 83. The Dyer's Hand, and Other Essays (1962)
- The luminous screen in the home carries fantastic authority. Viewers everywhere tend to accept it as a window on the world... It has tended to displace or overwhelm other influences such as newspapers, school, church, grandpa, grandma. It has become the definer and transmitter of society's values.
- Bread and circuses—to some observers, welfare and television seemed modern equivalents, pacifiers of empire, protectors of power and privilege.
If television has assumed this role, it is not the result of a struggle between good guys and bad guys. If it were, it would be easy to solve, like problems in televisionland. ... The sponsor who thinks in terms of maximizing sales and profits is doing his duty. ... The advertising agency executive who recommends programs and time-slots in terms of audience size and demographic targets is likewise doing his job... The network sales executive who favors programs that advertising agencies will recommend to sponsors is performing his task. ... The problem—the folly—is not in any of these, but in a system that has made the center of national attention a market item, for sale at auction prices. The system has put the leadership of our society on the auction block.
- For intellectual authority, the appropriate version of Descartes's cogito would be today: I am talked about, therefore I am.
- Zygmunt Bauman, The Individualised Society (2001)
- I like to watch.
- Repeated lines by "Chance, the gardner" in Being There (1979), initially referring simply to his lifelong habit of watching television.
- My God, how can you stand such things, children? They say, "Mom, don't you know it is only television, it is not real."
- First radio, then television, have assaulted and overturned the privacy of the home, the real American privacy, which permitted the development of a higher and more independent life within democratic society.
- It is not so much the low quality of the fare provided that is troubling. It is much more the difficulty of imagining any order of taste, any way of life with pleasures and learning that naturally fit the lives of the family’s members, keeping itself distinct from the popular culture and resisting the visions of what is admirable and interesting with which they are bombarded.
- Do you realize if it weren't for Edison we'd be watching TV by candlelight?
- Al Boliska, as cited in: Stuart Kantor (2004) Beer, Boxers, Batteries, And Bodily Noises. p. 39
- Television enjoys a de facto monopoly on what goes into the heads of a significant part of the population and what they think.
- Pierre Bourdieu (1998: 18); as cited in: Helen Kelly-Holmes (2001) Minority Language Broadcasting: Breton and Irish. p. 8
- Television gives you the dates of Napoleon, but not who he was.
- They become lullabies. They’re ‘tell-me-again-Daddy’ stories. That’s all television is: ‘Tell me again, Daddy, about the good guy and the bad guy and the strong guy and Kung Fu and Flash Gordon'.
- We're aware of the scale of the planet, so we don't accept that our own circumscribed horizons constitute reality. Much more real is what's relayed to us by the TV.
- John Brunner, Stand on Zanzibar (1968), continuity (17) "Timescales"
- Folks sit before television, watching the funny, goofy, unreal world where everybody plays at being sexy and naked, even when they’re not.
- You don't have to concentrate. You don't have to react. You don't have to remember. You don't miss your brain because you don't need it. Your heart and liver and lungs continue to function normally. Apart from that, all is peace and quiet. You are in the poor man's nirvana.
- Raymond Chandler on watching television, quoted in Tom Hiney, Raymond Chandler, Chatto & Windus, London, 1997, p. 191.
- You're beginning to believe the illusions we're spinning here. You're beginning to believe that the tube is reality and your own lives are unreal. You do whatever the tube tells you: you dress like the tube, you eat like the tube, you raise your children like the tube, you even think like the tube! This is mass madness, you maniacs! In God's name, you people are the real thing, WE are the illusion!
- Television is not the truth. Television is a goddamned amusement park. Television is a circus, a carnival, a traveling troupe of acrobats, storytellers, dancers, singers, jugglers, sideshow freaks, lion tamers, and football players. We're in the boredom-killing business. So if you want the Truth, go to God! Go to your gurus. Go to yourselves! Because that's the only place you're ever gonna find any real truth. But, man, you're never gonna get any truth from us. We'll tell you anything you wanna hear. We lie like hell. We'll tell you that, uh, Kojak always gets the killer and that nobody ever gets cancer at Archie Bunker's house. And no matter how much trouble the hero is in, don't worry. Just look at your watch. At the end of the hour, he's gonna win. We'll tell you any shit you want to hear.
We deal in illusions, man. None of it is true! But you people sit there day after day, night after night, all ages, colors, creeds. We're all you know. You're beginning to believe the illusions we're spinning here. You're beginning to think that the tube is reality and that your own lives are unreal. You do whatever the tube tells you. You dress like the tube, you eat like the tube, you raise your children like the tube. You even think like the tube. This is mass madness. You maniacs. In God's name, you people are the real thing. We are the illusion. So turn off your television sets. Turn them off now. Turn them off right now. Turn them off and leave them off. Turn them off right in the middle of this sentence I am speaking to you now. Turn them off!
- I’d park myself a few inches from the RCA color television set we had. I was so close, I could feel the static electricity of the screen tugging at the peach fuzz on my face and smell the wonderful aroma of electrically heated dust coming from the vents of that lustrous wooden console. No matter how many times my mother yelled, “Kevin! Move back before you go blind!” I’d still feel myself powerfully drawn into that world, and the worn-out seats of my Lee jeans bore witness to the pull I was powerless to resist.
- My father ... watched very little TV, because once Conscious, every commercial, every program must be strip-mined for its deeper meaning, until it lays bare its role in this sinister American plot.
- Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Beautiful Struggle: A Memoir (2008), p. 54
- Although excessive screen time is often frowned upon, language experts say that watching shows in a foreign language -- if done with near obsession -- can help someone learn that language.
"These stories are hugely common," said Melissa Baese-Berk, associate professor of linguistics and director of the Second Language Acquisition and Teaching program at the University of Oregon. She points to a New York Times story about professional baseball players from Latin America who learned English by watching "Friends" with Spanish subtitles.
But they didn't just watch "Friends"; they watched it over and over again. Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis told the Times that he had watched every episode of the 10-season show at least five times.
Stephen Snyder, dean of language schools at Middlebury College in Vermont, said this story sounds familiar to him.
"Our Japanese classes are full of Chinese students and American students who grew up watching Japanese anime, and without having any formal training in Japanese, their comprehension is quite reasonable," he said. "It's a transnational phenomenon, and it makes sense." Baese-Berk says science supports what these young people have experienced. Studies show that it's best to acquire a language through both active and passive learning, and watching shows in a foreign language involves both.
Trying to figure out a word that a character in a telenovela is saying would be an example of active learning, and admiring the character's outfit while hearing Spanish in the background would be an example of passive learning, she said.
- Elizabeth Cohen, “The television trick to learning a new language”, CNN, (last updated March 19, 2018).
- Television is for appearing on, not looking at.
- Noël Coward in Barry Day (2007), The Letters of Noël Coward (illustrated ed.), Alfred A. Knopf, p. 585
- IT ROTS THE SENSES IN THE HEAD!
IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD!
IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND!
IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND
HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND
A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND!
HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE!
HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE!
HE CANNOT THINK–HE ONLY SEES!
- Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964), p. 139
- An EEG of a person watching TV shows that after about half an hour the brain decides that nothing is happening, and it goes into a hypnoidal twilight state, emitting alpha waves. This is because there is such little eye motion.
- Philip K. Dick, in "How To Build A Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later" (1978)
- A democratic civilization will save itself only if it makes the language of the image into a stimulus for critical reflection — not an invitation for hypnosis.
- Umberto Eco, in "Can Television Teach?" in Screen Education 31 (1979), p. 12
- It is a medium of entertainment which permits millions of people to listen to the same joke at the same time, and yet remain lonesome.
- T.S. Eliot, New York Post (Sept 22, 1963)
- I used to think that television could be potentially the most powerful medium for the dissemination of knowledge that the world has ever known, it could be a very rich and rewarding thing if handled properly and that the problem was in the execution. I've now come, after ten years in the business, five years of which was as a television critic, to taking the very extreme view point. I think television itself is bad. The idea of television, the act of watching television kills the imagination. It's not like radio, with radio you had to listen, had to make things, you had to build things in your mind. Movies do that. Television is something else again. Television lays it all out there in a very prescribed way and the bare minimum of imagination on the part of the viewer is needed and I really fear for all of us.
- Harlan Ellison Interview in 1979, quoted in The Online Copywriter's Handbook (2002) by Robert W. Bly, p. 19
- We are in the process of seeing the fulfillment of Edgar Allen Poe's prophecy in which the painter, impassioned by his mistress-model and also by his art, "did not want to see that the colors he spread on his canvas were taken from the cheeks of the woman seated beside him. And when several weeks had passed, and very little remained to be done, nothing but a stroke on the mouth and a glaze over the eye, the mistress’s spirit still flickered like the flame at the base of a lamp. Then he put on the final touch, put the glaze in place, and for a moment the painter stood in ecstasy before the work he had finished. But a moment later, he was struck with panic, and shouting with a piercing voice: ‘It is truly Life itself,’ he suddenly turned around to look at his mistress. She was dead." Nothing ever constrains us to face what is dying when we see it so alive in our images.
- Jacques Ellul, The Humiliation of the Word (1981), J. Hanks, trans. (1985), p. 208
- The word, although prevalent in our day, has lost its reasoning value, and has value only as an accessory to images. In turn, the word actually evokes images. But it does not evoke the direct images related to my personal experience. Rather, it calls up images from the newspaper or television. The key words in our modern vocabulary ... are stripped of all rational content, so they evoke only visions that whisk us away to some enchanted universe. Saying "fascism," "progress," "science," or "justice" does not suggest any idea or produce any reflection. It only causes a fanfare of images to explode within us: a sort of fireworks of visual commonplaces, which link up very precisely with each other. These related images provide me with practical content: a common truth that is especially easy to swallow because the ready-made images that showed it to me had been digested in advance.
- Jacques Ellul, The Humiliation of the Word (1981), J. Hanks, trans. (1985), p. 210
- TV, the worst thing that had happened to the twentieth century. After the atom bomb and overpopulation, of course.
- The young watch television twenty-four hours a day, they don't read and they rarely listen. This incessant bombardment of images has developed a hypertrophied eye condition that's turning them into a race of mutants.
- Television is just another appliance- It's just a toaster with pictures.
- Television, the drug of the Nation, Breeding ignorance and feeding radiation.
Where imagination is sucked out of children by a cathode ray nipple. T.V. is the only wet nurse that would create a cripple
- Television is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your living room by people you wouldn't have in your home.
- David Frost, as quoted in A Companion to Television, Wasko, Janet (2005) Blackwell Publishing. Page 9.
- I know very well the sorts of pressures you're under in television. I don't work in television anymore myself, but I'm constantly hearing from colleagues who present scripts to networks and are told, "The script is too complex. You have to keep it simple because the audience is dumb. You can make more money for the advertisers that way."
- Our perception of the truth is determined by what appears on the screen. If an event is never broadcast, it somehow never happened. The electronic image is the word of God. The corporate state controls most of what is seen and heard on television, what ideas and events can be discussed in the mainstream media and what orthodoxies, including neoliberalism and the war industry, must never be questioned. We suffer an intellectual tyranny as pervasive as that imposed by fascism and communism.
- Television has done much for psychiatry by spreading information about it, as well as contributing to the need for it.
- Like the invention of indoor plumbing. It didn’t change people’s habits. It just kept them inside the house.
- Alfred Hitchcock, NY Journal-American 25 Aug. 1965
- One of television’s great contributions is that it brought murder back into the home, where it belongs.
- Alfred Hitchcock, National Observer 15 Aug. 1966
- Seeing a murder on television can … help work off one’s antagonisms. And if you haven’t any antagonisms, the commercials will give you some.
- Alfred Hitchcock, National Observer 15 Aug. 1966
- Watching t.v. doesn't have much of a payoff.
- Maxine Hong Kingston To Be the Poet (2002) p 57
- In the days before machinery men and women who wanted to amuse themselves were compelled, in their humble way, to be artists. Now they sit still and permit professionals to entertain them by the aid of machinery. It is difficult to believe that general artistic culture can flourish in this atmosphere of passivity.
- Aldous Huxley, The Doors of Perception (1954)
- News is not at all an easy thing to do on television. A good many of the main news items are not easily made visual — therefore we have the problem of giving news with the same standards that the corporation has built up in sound.
- Television is simultaneously blamed, often by the same people, for worsening the world and for being powerless to change it.
- Clive James, introduction to Glued to the Box
- When you're young, you look at television and think, There's a conspiracy. The networks have conspired to dumb us down. But when you get a little older, you realize that's not true. The networks are in business to give people exactly what they want. That's a far more depressing thought. Conspiracy is optimistic! You can shoot the bastards! We can have a revolution! But the networks are really in business to give people what they want. It's the truth.
- Steve Jobs, Interview in WIRED magazine (February 1996)
- On the big screen they showed us a sun
But not as bright in life as the real one
It's never quite the same as the real one.
- Elton John "Grey Seal" from the album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
- As I sat in my office last evening, waiting to speak, I thought of the many times each week when television brings the war into the American home. No one can say exactly what effect those vivid scenes have on American opinion. Historians must only guess at the effect that television would have had during earlier conflicts on the future of this Nation during the Korean war, for example, at that time when our forces were pushed back there to Pusan or World War II, the Battle of the Bulge, or when our men were slugging it our in Europe or when most of our Air Force was shot down that day in June 1942 off Australia.
- When the war finally started, we were ready. On January 16, 1991, CNN anchor Bernard Shaw reported to the world, “The skies over Baghdad have been illuminated . . .”
As predicted, Iraqi power and communications systems were destroyed by stealth fighter jets and cruise missiles. Every media company based in Baghdad—except CNN—lost power and transmission capabilities. Only CNN broadcast live to hundreds of millions of people worldwide. All channels turned to us for exclusive coverage; there was no place else.
Back then CNN was the only global 24/7 news channel. That live coverage of war—the first time it had been televised worldwide—transformed the media landscape. CNN became required viewing for informed citizens and heads of state, the one truly global news source. That has changed now, with multiple cable networks and news breaking on social media. But without the investment in journalism from visionary owners such as Turner, today’s networks focus more on commentary than newsgathering.
- Tom Johnson, “Desert Storm: The first war televised live around the world (and around the clock)”, Atlanta Magazine, (March 18, 2015).
- We have found that television is such a huge part of baby boomers' DNA that it makes sense that so much of America's pop culture jargon comes from TV.
- Larry W. Jones, TV Land president
- "You can say that again...and again...and again..". Reuters. December 7, 2006. p. p. 1. Retrieved on 2006-12-07.
- “Come on,” I said, feeling tired and angry. “You don’t really think that. Nobody thinks that any more, do they? How can the public image be so far off from the reality? Does everybody pay more attention to damn television than to real life?”
- Kenn Kaufman, Kingbird Highway (1997), Chapter 10, To the Promised Landfill
- This new request is for additional radio and television to Latin America and Southeast Asia. These tools are particularly effective and essential in the cities and villages of those great continents as a means of reaching millions of uncertain peoples to tell them of our interest in their fight for freedom. In Latin America, we are proposing to increase our Spanish and Portuguese broadcasts to a total of 154 hours a week, compared to 42 hours today, none of which is in Portuguese, the language of about one-third of the people of South America. The Soviets, Red Chinese and satellites already broadcast into Latin America more than 134 hours a week in Spanish and Portuguese. Communist China alone does more public information broadcasting in our own hemisphere than we do. Moreover, powerful propaganda broadcasts from Havana now are heard throughout Latin America, encouraging new revolutions in several countries. Similarly, in Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand, we must communicate our determination and support to those upon whom our hopes for resisting the communist tide in that continent ultimately depend. Our interest is in the truth.
- “Tee Vee is a disease.”
“No,” said Alice, laughing. “That’s ‘T.B.’ T.V. isn't a disease. It’s the most wonderful thing. It’s a great box which sits in the parlor at the center of attention; although it clashes with the rest of the furniture and decor. It shows beautiful colored pictures. People sit and look at it all day and night while it tells people what they should think. And what is beautiful. And what is ugly. It is such a wonderful thing that people watch it until they no longer remember how to communicate with each other, and they don’t know how to read anymore, and they lose all their ambition, and they grow fat and all of their muscles stop working.
“So you see, it’s not a disease at all. It’s just the most marvelous invention!”
- Tobin Larson, Alice’s Adventures in the Underground Railroad in Fantastic Alice (1995 trade paperback edition edited by Margaret Weis), p. 155
- If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there'd be peace.
- John Lennon, as quoted in Guitar Player (1 August 2004), and in "Pax Patter" at ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
- The new values transmitters are the television producers, the movie moguls, the fashion advertisers, the gangsta rappers, and a host of other players within the electronic media-cultural complex. ... These trend-setters exert an extremely powerful hold on our culture and our children in particular, and they often have had little or no sense of responsibility for the harmful values they are purveying.
- The culture is unchallenged as the standard setter, and the child’s sense of right and wrong and his priorities in life are shaped primarily by what he learns from the television, the movie screen and the CD player.
- Television encourages separation: people from community, people from each other, people from themselves, creating more buying units and discouraging organized opposition to the system. It creates a surrogate community: Itself. It becomes everyone's intimate advisor, teacher and guide to appropriate behavior and awareness. Thereby, it becomes its own feedback system, furthering its own growth and accelerating the transformation of everything and everyone into artificial form. This enables a handful of people to obtain a unique degree of power.
- I find television very educational. Every time someone switches it on I go into another room and read a good book.
- Groucho Marx, as quoted in Halliwell's Filmgoer's Companion (1984) by Leslie Halliwell
- Television is by nature the dominator drug par excellence. Control of content, uniformity of content, repeatability of content make it inevitably a tool of coersion, brainwashing, and manipulation.
- Terence McKenna, Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge (1992)
- Thanks to television, for the first time the young are seeing history made before it is censored by their elders.
- Margaret Mead, as quoted by Robert P. Doyle (1993) Banned Books Week '93: celebrating the freedom to read. American Library Association. p. 62
- Television was the Cold War intellectuals' nightmare, a machine for bringing kitsch and commercialism directly into the home. But it was also the way out of Wertham's trap. By exposing people to an endless stream of advertising, television taught them to take nothing at face value, to read everything ironically.
- Louis Menand, "The Horror", The New Yorker, (March 24, 2008)
- I invite you to sit down in front of your television set when your station goes on the air and stay there without a book, magazine, newspaper, profit and-loss sheet or rating book to distract you—and keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off. I can assure you that you will observe a vast wasteland.
- Hollywood, television and film is not my prime area of interest. Because I would never have any control, working in those areas. It’s nice to get the money from a Hollywood project, but whatever they do with it, it would be their piece of work, and not mine.
- Alan Moore, De Abaitua interview (1998)
- Interviewer: Frank Hunt asks: What were the most important lessons you took away (as a writer and producer) from your time working on Star Trek?
- Moore: That it's all about the characters and that you really have to be willing to dig into the characters and make it about the people and understand them. That means sitting in rooms for hours on end and arguing about who these people really are. It's about trying to challenge the characters and challenge yourself. It's really the lifeblood of television. It's what it’s all about. People tune into these shows again and again not for the plot of the week and not because they want to be wowed by visual effects. They tune into the show because they fall in love with the characters. They fall in love with Kirk and Spock and Sisko and Janeway and Picard and Data. They want to see those people again. So it's all about the characters, and that's the most important thing I learned at Trek.
- Ronald D. Moore "You Ask The Q's, Ronald D. Moore Answers, Part 2", StarTrek.com, (Apr 3, 2013).
- Dr. King ... felt it was important that children of all races see an African American female appearing on television as an equal.
- Television may represent a threat to our culture analogous to the threat of atomic weapons to our civilization.
- I haven't had a TV in 10 years, and I really don't miss it. 'Cause it's always so much more fun to be with people than it ever was to be with a television.
- Chuck Palahniuk, San Francisco Bay Guardian, October 30, 2002
- People's imagination has been changed a lot by television.
- Grace Paley 1980 interview in Conversations with Grace Paley (1997)
- There were a grand total of fifty-five licensed television sets when Nehru died in 1964, about a hundred thousand when Indira Gandhi declared emergency in 1975, a little over two million when the Asian Games came to Delhi in 1982, thirty-four million families owned a TV set when Manmohan Singh opened up the economy in 1991 and when Narendra Modi was sworn in as Prime Minister in 2014, over 60 per cent of the 250 million homes in India had a television set.
- Ambi Parameswaran (16 May 2016). Nawabs, Nudes, Noodles: India through 50 Years of Advertising. Pan Macmillan. p. 8. ISBN 978-1-5098-4063-2.
- Television has changed the American child from an irresistible force into an immovable object.
- Unless and until there is unmistakable proof to the contrary, the presumption must be that television is and will be a main factor in influencing the values and moral standards of our society.
- Pilkington Report, Great Britain, Committee on Broadcasting (1960), Report (Command paper 1753) (1962), chapter 3, p. 15, 19.
- Television does not, and cannot, merely reflect the moral standards of society. It must affect them, either by changing or by reinforcing them.
- Pilkington Report, Great Britain, Committee on Broadcasting (1960), Report (Command paper 1753) (1962), chapter 3, p. 15, 19.
- Those who say they give the public what it wants begin by underestimating public taste, and end by debauching it.
- Pilkington Report, quoting an unknown source. Great Britain, Committee on Broadcasting, 1960, Report (Command paper 1753) (1962), chapter 3, p. 17.
- To get a prime time show - network show - on the air and to keep it there, you must attract and hold a minimum of 18 million people every week. You have to do that in order to move people away from Gomer Pyle, Bonanza, Beverly Hill Billies and so on. And we tried to do this with entertainment, action, adventure, conflict and so on. But once we got on the air, and within the limits of those accident ratio limits, we did not accept the myth, that the television audience has an infantile mind. We had an idea, and we had a premise, and we still believe that. As a matter of fact we decided to risk the whole show on that premise. We believed that the often ridiculed mass audience is sick of this world's petty nationalism and all its old ways and old hatreds, and that people are not only willing but anxious to think beyond most petty beliefs that have for so long kept mankind divided. So you see that the formula, the magic ingredient that many people keep seeking and many of them keep missing is really not in Star Trek. It is in the audience. There is an intelligent life form out on the other side of that television too.
- Television. An advanced technical method of stopping people from making their own entertainment.
- Leonard Rossiter, English comic actor. ‘...To Rossiter’, The Devil’s Bedside Book, Hamlyn paperbacks (1980) p. 46
- The revolution will not be televised. The Revolution will be no rerun, brothers. The Revolution — will be live.
- We’ve left the age of Difficult Men — to borrow the title of Brett Martin’s 2013 book about Sopranos–Mad Men–Breaking Bad–style drama — and entered an age of Difficult Shows. You're the Worst, Orange Is the New Black, Lady Dynamite, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Master of None, The Carmichael Show, Jane the Virgin, Crazy Ex Girlfriend, Baskets, Veep, Silicon Valley|, Archer, Catastrophe, Mom, Black-ish, Fresh Off the Boat — there’s infinitely more tonal and aesthetic variety in these mostly-funny-but-not-always comedies than in any comparable list of dramas you could put together.
- Most dramas are plot-driven, stringing audiences from revelation to revelation, whereas comedies are character-driven. Game of Thrones, Empire, The Americans, Mr. Robot, Homeland, House of Cards, and the Shondaland shows (How to Get Away With Murder, Scandal, Grey’s [Anatomy]) are all about their twists, and they’re strategic about giving characters pretty basic motivations, such as a thirst for power, money, or validation. But comedies like Girls, Transparent, BoJack Horseman, and Catastrophe focus on unpacking their characters’ demented psychology, and they often detour into narrative cul-de-sacs...
- Matt Zoller Seitz, “How Comedy Usurped Drama As the TV Genre of Our Time”, Vulture, (June 13, 2016).
- Television’s greatest weakness is its reluctance to take positions. Historically, during times of greatest stress, during periods of greatest controversy, the mass media are the first to be attacked, the first to be muzzled, and also unhappily-historically and traditionally-the first to fold up their tent and look the other way.
- Rod Serling, March 1965 speech to United States State Department, Washington D.C.; as quoted by Tony Albarella in "Rod Serling attempts to run the conventional Western out of town, but finds he must go it a “Loner.”", Rodserling.com, (Dec. 10th, 2003)
- How can you put out a meaningful drama when every fifteen minutes proceedings are interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits with toilet paper?
- Rod Serling, Rod Serling: Submitted for Your Approval (October 1997), American Masters (PBS: Thirteen/WNET)
- On the Twilight Zone I knew I could get away with having Martians say things Republicans and Democrats couldn't.
- Rod Serling, Rod Serling: Submitted for Your Approval (October 1997), American Masters
- For the first time in television a writer will have the opportunity to let his imagination take him where ever he wants to. The sky is no longer the limit.
- Rod Serling in Rod Serling: Submitted for Your Approval (October 1997), American Masters
- My favourite show is The Sopranos. Movies would never have let [David Chase] do that ending. There would have been repercussions. They would have stopped promoting it a certain way and would have said ‘hmm, we tested it and it’s not doing so well, half the audience hates it’, that kind of stuff. But on TV everybody watched it. They might have hated it, but they all watched it and it was up to Chase to decide the ending. He had that freedom.
- Watching violence in movies or in TV programs stimulates the spectators to imitate what they see much more than if seen live or on TV news. In movies, violence is filmed with perfect illumination, spectacular scenery, and in slow motion, making it even romantic. However, in the news, the public has a much better perception of how horrible violence can be, and it is used with objectives that do not exist in the movies.
- Steven Spielberg, in an interview by the Brazilian magazine Veja (1993).
- There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to The Outer Limits.
- The Outer Limits (1963 TV series) (Opening narration) created by Leslie Stevens
- I think TV is sometimes more creatively satisfying because, you know, every week, like say on Samurai Jack, we were able to do something new and different. We really challenged ourselves. Oh, this week, we're going to fight zombies, and so, we'll do a real scary one. The next week, we're going to do a rave, and so we'll do it not as scary and just do more focusing on the dancing and the music. So, that was really fun creatively, but then the speed makes you suffer, because we have to go so fast. We have limited budgets, and so, we just go as fast as we can. Everything that we do is really our first instinct.
- Genndy Tartakovsky, "Interview: Genndy Tartakovsky Talks 'Hotel Transylvania 2,' Evolving Animation Tech And The Possibility Of Returning To TV" Laura Rosenfeld, Tech Times, (23 September 2015)
- Watching television is the favorite leisure activity or rather nonactivity for millions of people around the world. The average American, by the time he is sixty years old, will have spent fifteen years staring at the TV screen. In many other countries the figures are similar. Many people find watching TV “relaxing.” Observe yourself closely and you will find that the longer the screen remains the focus of your attention, the more your thought activity becomes suspended, and for long periods you are watching the talk show, game show, sitcom, or even commercials with almost no thought being generated by your mind. Not only do you not remember your problems anymore, but you become temporarily free of yourself – and what could be more relaxing than that? So dos TV watching create inner space? Does it cause you to be present? Unfortunately, it does not. Although for long periods your mind may not be generating any thoughts, it has linked into the thought activity of the television show. It has linked up with the TV version of the collective mind, and is thinking its thoughts. Your mind is inactive only in the sense that it is not producing thoughts. It is, however, continuously absorbing thoughts and images that come through the TV screen. This induces a trancelike passive state of heightened susceptibility, not unlike hypnosis.
- That is why it lends itself to manipulation of “public opinion,” as politicians and special interest groups as well as advertisers know and will pay millions of dollars to catch you in that state of receptive unawareness. They want their thoughts to become your thoughts, and usually they succeed. So when watching television, the tendency is for you to fall below thought, not rise above it. Television has this in common with alcohol and certain other drugs. While it provides some relief from your mind, you again pay a high price: loss of consciousness. Like those drugs, it too has a strong addictive quality. You reach for the remote control to switch off and instead find yourself going through all the channels. Half an hour or an hour later, you are still watching, still going through the channels. The off button is the only one your finger seems unable to press. You are still watching, usually not because anything of interest has caught your attention, but precisely because there is nothing of interest to watch. Once you are hooked, the more trivial, the more meaningless, it is, the more addictive it becomes. p. 139
- Frequent and prolonged TV watching not only makes you unconscious, it also induces passivity and drains you of energy. Therefore, rather than watching at random, choose the programs you want to see. Whenever you remember to do so, feel the aliveness inside your body as you watch. Alternatively, be aware of your breathing from time to time. Look away from the screen at regular intervals so that it does not completely take possession of your visual sense. Don't turn up the volume any higher than necessary so that the TV doesn't overwhelm you on the auditory level. Use the mute button during commercials. Make sure you don't go to sleep immediately after switching off the set or, even worse, fall asleep with the set still on. p. 141
- The battle for the mind of North America will be fought in the video arena — the videodrome. The television screen is the retina of the mind's eye. Therefore the television screen is part of the physical structure of the brain. Therefore whatever appears on the television screen emerges as raw experience for those who watch it. Therefore television is reality, and reality is less than television.
- Professor Brian O'Blivion, Videodrome
- What television does is rent us friends and relatives who are quite satisfactory. The child watching TV loves these people, you know -- they're in color, and they're talking to the child. Why wouldn't a child relate to these people? And you know, if you can't sleep at 3 o'clock in the morning, you can turn on a switch, and there are your friends and relatives, and they obviously like you. And they're charming. Who wouldn't want Peter Jennings for a relative? This is quite something, to rent artificial friends and relatives right inside the house.
- One of the few good things about modern times: If you die horribly on television, you will not have died in vain. You will have entertained us.
- Kurt Vonnegut, Cold Turkey, In These Times, May 10, 2004
- Thanks to TV and for the convenience of TV, you can only be one of two kinds of human beings, either a liberal or a conservative.
- And I'm not saying that television is vulgar and dumb because the people who compose Audience are vulgar and dumb. Television is the way it is simply because people tend to be extremely similar in their vulgar and prurient and dumb interests and wildly different in their refined and aesthetic and noble interests.
- David Foster Wallace, E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction
- I hate television. I hate it as much as peanuts. But I can't stop eating peanuts.
- Orson Welles, New York Herald Tribune, (Oct.12, 1956)
- TV is a drug, and we as a nation have become hooked.
- Kenny Werner, Effortless Mastery (1996, pp. 16)
- What do you get from a glut of TV?
A pain in the neck and an IQ of three
Why don't you try simply reading a book?
Or can you just not bear to look?
- Oompa Loompas, Oompa Loompa (Mike Teavee) Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (film) (1971).
- I believe television is going to be the test of the modern world, and that in this new opportunity to see beyond the range of our vision we shall discover either a new and unbearable disturbance of the general peace or a saving radiance in the sky. We shall stand or fall by television — of that I am quite sure.
- Television will enormously enlarge the eye's range, and, like radio, will advertise the Elsewhere. Together with the tabs, the mags, and the movies, it will insist that we forget the primary and the near in favor of the secondary and the remote.
- I kind of treat moviemaking and TV like the Army, and I kind of always have. Whoever is in charge, is in charge, and if they're going to march you up a hill and get you all killed, that's what you do. You march up that hill. You have to respect that, you have to respect that chain of command. I've done it under directors I believed in, I've done it under directors I didn't believe in. I've done it with executives and on projects.
- I may be vile and pernicious
But you can't look away
I make you think I'm delicious
With the stuff that I say
I'm the best you can get
Have you guessed me yet?
I'm the slime oozin' out
From your TV set.