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Old 03-19-2018, 12:42 AM   #1
eomer41
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Hues of Quality Television

What do you consider quality TV time? Does it depend on how you are feeling? How old you are? What you "like" in the moment?

I've watched TV all my life and have grown more confused by how critics praise certain TV shows. I want to show an example of two shows that have different opinionated critical success (whatever that means).

Arthur (TV series) 1996 - present
2 wins & 32 nominations (according to IMDB)

Story: "Based on the books by Marc Brown, these are the adventures of Arthur, an 8-year-old aardvark, and his family and friends as they grow up and learn how to be good neighbors to one another."

The Simpsons (TV series) 1989 - present
168 wins and 302 nominations (according to IMDB)

Story: "The satiric adventures of a working-class family in the misfit city of Springfield."

To just look at the critical awards gap between both shows makes me wonder. I've watched both TV shows and like certain aspects of both shows but wouldn't Arthur be more relevant to our culture and more award worthy? Simpsons is more of an escapist form of current events where Arthur is more of a confirmation of the positive aspects of social life.


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Old 03-19-2018, 05:51 AM   #2
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Is Simpson really just escapist?
I hardly watch it, but I see great satire and criticism on how we treat each other.

Never saw Arthur, so I cannot compare.

Maybe 'what is good for society' does not alays equal 'critical acclaim'?
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:39 AM   #3
directorik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eomer41 View Post

I've watched TV all my life and have grown more confused by how critics praise certain TV shows.

To just look at the critical awards gap between both shows makes me wonder. I've watched both TV shows and like certain aspects of both shows but wouldn't Arthur be more relevant to our culture and more award worthy? Simpsons is more of an escapist form of current events where Arthur is more of a confirmation of the positive aspects of social life.
This is a great example of why people (including critics) see and review
TV shows differently - what you call a gap. I do not see "The Simpsons"
as escapist so I would critic it differently that you would. I see it as very
relevant to our culture and believe that is why it has lasted for so long.
While it is not a positive aspect of social life on the surface (as "Arthur" is)
but it does show the positive aspect of family life. They always come
together in the face of adversity - no matter how bad things get in the
family and out in the world, they still love and support each other.

I would say "Arthur" is much more escapist because everything is always
so positive. The conflicts are minor and easily overcome. Wouldn't it be
nice to live that way? That (to me) is escapist.

So here we are; just two people on a message board with very different
takes on these two shows. Doesn't mean I'm right - it means you and I
have different life experiences and different outlooks on TV shows. So do
critics. You don't need to be confused by how critics praise certain TV
shows - people are different.
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Old 03-19-2018, 11:45 AM   #4
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Maybe "the gap" in acclaim between these two shows has more to do with Arthur being intended for audiences aged 4 to 8, while "The Simpsons" is essentially adult programming? Just a thought.
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Old 03-20-2018, 02:48 PM   #5
eomer41
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I guess I am relating the word escapist to the phrase "that would never happen", which falls into the comedy style of the Simpsons for the most part. At least to me it seems like the Simpsons exaggerates things to make a point where Arthur simplifies things to make a point.

Thanks for your feedback directorik, it seems as though most TV critics hold the same viewing experience that you do.

Age difference probably does have much to do with it also. The Simpsons is for an older audience so it's probably viewed as "smarter" when it comes to the writing. I don't think the awards show which show is more successful though.
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Old 03-20-2018, 03:30 PM   #6
Kaiborg
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You also have to consider that awards are given by adults... and you can't really expect adults to be stimulated by a show intended for kids. It is therefore not "relevant to the culture" of the adults who review TV shows and issue awards, because they are not children.

I mean, kid's shows just aren't intended for fully-developed human beings. As such, a kid's show, no matter how "morally correct", is just going to come off as predictable, simplistic, and non-entertaining to normal adults. If you're awarding entertainment value (as you should), none of this is surprising.

Just my opinion, but I've laughed at "the Simpsons" 1000's of times. In comparison, the few minutes I've spent watching "Arthur" had all the clinical joy of sitting in a doctor's office.

Also, if you want to talk "success"... well the best indicator of that (and maybe the only objective indicator) is $$$ earned. In that department, the Simpsons is also the clear winner.

Here's another example; Sesame Street. It actually manages to be entertaining to adults despite being a kid's show (more so than Arthur), and has not surprisingly won a lot more awards, received more critical accolades, and earned more money than "Arthur". And it's more than SS just being "more entertaining"... it's a juggernaut in every category you could measure.

Last edited by Kaiborg; 03-20-2018 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 03-20-2018, 04:27 PM   #7
directorik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eomer41 View Post
I don't think the awards show which show is more successful though.
I agree with you. The awards shows do not give awards to the
more successful. Most awards are given based on "quality" - which
is very subjective. And awards are a product of their time. A TV
show that gets a lot of awards in one era would not get awards
in another.
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Old 03-20-2018, 04:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by directorik View Post
A TV
show that gets a lot of awards in one era would not get awards
in another.
Part of why I included Sesame Street in my response. It's been racking up awards for what, 30-40 years? That's got to be quality!
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