Friday, January 22, 2010

Please can I have a T.V. show which can be enjoyed in 30 minutes

When I was young I used to have many objections against the so-called blockbuster films from Hollywood. I liked films by Yasujiro Ozu, Andrei Tarkovsky, Ingmar Bergman, Ermanno Olmi, Víctor Erice, and so on. The more popular ones almost never thrilled my soul, to be honest, cross my heart.

In Tokyo, the films that I love were shown in a few theaters, while the blockbuster films were shown everywhere. I used to walk around the Tokyo streets with my like-minded friends, and complain that I never understood the foundations and rationale for the popularity of these things.

That was then. It is now. I can now see the motives behind the blockbuster films, apart from the obvious one of making money. I admit that good things might come out of the popular trends, though my emotion still resonates with films of minority sensitivities, like the ones I mentioned above.

One thing I realized in the meantime is that I rather like American T.V. series. The discovery came on the airplanes, when I watched the installed video. These T.V. shows, shown typically in the concise duration of 30 minutes or so, were more to my liking than the extended two hours format of the typical Hollywood films. I could appreciate the effort that went into making a concise, slim script which can entertain people in a short time on the air.

I am thus unconsciously always on the look out for good American T.V. shows. There is one important condition, though. The episodes must be self-contained, to be viewed individually. I cannot take the kind of shows which keeps going and going, as a continuous single story. That would be eventually worse than the 2 hours format of the films.

Please can I have a T.V. show which can be enjoyed in 30 minutes more or less, please.

Seinfeld is a typical American T.V. show that I like. The episodes are self-contained.


nutty naughty said...

I love Seinfeld,too! My favorite is Kramer who lives Jerry's apartment and always mooches his juice in a refrigerator.

Anonymous said...

Fully concur that 30 min is just the right duration for laughs. 60 min variety shows would never work for me.
About 20 years ago, "Family Ties" used to be my one favorite 30 min sitcom, which cleverly highlighted and mocked the never-ending argument between conservatism(son, played by Michael J Fox) and liberalism(parents, Woodstock generation) to create specific laughable situations, but essentially focused on the underlying importance of family values, guiding viewers to end up with just the right sentiment. Personally, however, other 30 min sitcoms have become highly cliche and stereotypical for me and I tend to rather prefer the British shows (dating back to Monty Python), which have always been far more satirical and thus more stimulating and entertaining to the mind.

(ma)gog said...

I don't know about recent American TV shows, but there is unforgettable TV drama series I used to watch as a child. It was a heart warming family drama,about a father(John Forsythe)and his three daughters, who moved from Iowa to Rome after the family had lost the loving mother. I had no idea where Iowa or Rome was at that time, but I could tell this American family certainly had diferrent character from the Italians shown in this drama. The each episode was self-contained in half an hour, and I remeber it left me filled with warm feeling of love each time after watching it.

It is a shame I can not share the sweet memory about this "To Rome with love" with anybody, because nobody around me remembers it.

Yuzu said...

I agree with you, I also like some European director's movies. It is not easy to see everywhere in Japan.
I like American drama,too. The Scenario was written very dramatic detail by great playwrights. Oh,I miss them a lot.

Anonymous said...


My number one American T.V. show was "Lassie" at that time. I was a very small girl. And then, for me, every collie was Lassie.

The second was a comedy drama that a horse could talk with his guardian. It was funny but somewhat very sweet and bitter story for me. I am not sure but, Dr Mogi, do you know this song .. ?

馬がしゃべる そんなバカな
馬が歌う そんなバカな
ほんと だけど相手はひとり

I do not remember the title of the horse drama but I can sing the first part of its theme song .. :)

Anonymous said...

May I add one more favorite of mine in 60s?
It was "Lucy show".

I loved Ms Lucy so much. The neighbor might be Mr. Carmichael. They were very very funny always.

Anonymous said...

I read your essays every day, I really appreciate your work.
I recommend you an American sit-com "Full house," which was broadcast on NHK often=]

yuki said...

Oh, I don't know the TV show.
But I thought I want to watch it.
Well, Recentry,I'm crazy about "The Big Bang theory"!
It was very funny.
It was "FRIENDS" that I first came to like in American TV shows.
Then I began to learn English seriously.
It was important that there was someting signal to change.

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