TV Question

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41 Responses

  1. Avatar James Hanley says:

    You do realize that TLC theoretically stands for the learning channel right?

    Say goodnight, Gracie, the ship had sailed.Report

  2. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    The issue is money. When the History Channel started and made a good faith attempt at being about history, it did not make any money. When it became it is now than it made a great deal of money. Public broadcasters can afford to be a bit more high-minded because profit is not or is at leafs less of an issue. No owner or shareholders to please. Other channels not so much.Report

  3. Avatar Brandon Berg says:

    And don’t get me started on the so-called “Nickelodeon.”Report

  4. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Did you watch the World Wars miniseries, where, among other things, Hitler’s mustache gets an origin story?Report

    • Avatar Glyph says:

      More ridiculous was when they mapped out the Battle of Stalingrad using computer-animated Hitler and Stalin mustaches to represent the opposing forces’ positions.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        I actually didn’t see part 2, please tell me this is real. (mine was)Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        Nah, I was just bein’ stupid as usual. I had a bit about Mussolini being represented by a thumb with a face drawn on it, but it didn’t fit with the rest.

        So what was the origin story? Accident with a radioactive bootblack brush that melded with his upper lip?Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        Almost. A close call with mustard gas (that should have really killed him, if he really wasn’t able to get a face seal ion his gas mask) prompted him to go immediately into the trench bunker and hack off his bushy mustache with his knife, leaving the Charlie Chaplin one.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

      Nope. To be fair, I used to complain about the History Channel being the Hitler Channel.

      Good grief at that anecdote though.Report

  5. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    Bikers? On the History Channel? That’s absurd.

    The History Channel needs to stick with real history, like their shows about ancient alien landings, the secret codes hidden in the Bible, and that show about people who drive trucks in the snow.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      @tod-kelly wins the thread.Report

    • Avatar Chris says:

      There was a time when The History Channel was basically the Hitler Channel:

      Hitler’s Secret Weapons
      Hitler’s Secret Tunnels
      The Last Days of Hitler
      Hitlers Last Days in Secret Tunnels with Secret Weapons

      I can’t tell whether biker shows means it’s getting better or worse.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        And dollars will get you doughnuts, not a single word spoken about the Night Witches.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        Yes, Kim. If you go a store that sells doughnuts and give them money than you usually get doughnuts in exchange. Its how our capitalist, free-enterprise doughnut system is supposed to work. You ususally don’t have to wait on a line for centrally planned doughnuts and learn that they are out of doughnuts for the day but can give up a danish instead.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        It’s a figure of speech and probably a correct analysis (cause American understanding and portrayals of the Eastern front have been lacking for nearly the entire history of the history of WW2. It’s getting a bit better recently though, now that we’re sufficiently post-communism)Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        That is seriously awesome. How did I never hear about this?Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

        Plus One, LeeReport

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        “That is seriously awesome. How did I never hear about this?”

        See above. American high schools, even good ones, teach WW2 as all about the D-Day and the Pacific theater. Which is fair enough, as that is indeed the American perspective and was living history for most of the 20th century.

        Among the things that make the Americans an elite TV program, it’s that it’s imo capturing kinda nicely is the legacy of WW2 on the Soviet generation that fought it and grew up during it, and the quite forward thinking feminism* that characterized much of the Soviet system

        * (by modern terms, and of course not without some gaping holes, that in turn foment conflict and plot in the show)Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        War has done a lot to improve women’s lives. Notably in the Middle East, where women have served as soldiers in many countries (Iran has women soldiers! So do basically everyone else, because Mohammed Said So — except Saudi Arabia, which is excessively strict).Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        Try reading more feminists.
        I got this from Leigh Butler, who’s doing a first time read of Game of Thrones.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        True, but nth wave feminism was a specific feature of the Soviet system, a good 3 to 4 decades before the same nth wave in the West. That, plus being ahead of the curve on anti-racism, gave the Soviets a not insubstantial advantage on the world stage in the mid-20th century and made it more attractive than it should have been.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        Hmmm. You are much more up on Soviet history than I, but I would suspect that the Night Witches were less an example of Soviet “feminism” and more an example of “throw everything we’ve got at the Nazis, and all the boys are already at the frontlines”. Rosie the Riveter wasn’t necessarily the US’ first choice either, but the job needed doing (which is not to say that it wasn’t done exceptionally well; just saying that it wasn’t offered to women in the name of egalitarianism, but in the name of necessity).

        Though I understand that the official Soviet line named all men and women as equals, in practice it sure seemed like the men ran the show, pretty much always. Are there other examples?Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        yeah, men were still largely in charge, the way they were and are in the rest of the world, and Russians, of course, were in charge above all others. (the Georgian Mustache notwithstanding)

        Nonetheless, (urban) women in the USSR received a university education on par with men fairly early compared to the West, were not as pigeonholed into pink collar career tracks, and were not as overtly expected to go to college just to get their MRS degrees. Young Pioneers was more a co-ed organization than its Boy/Girl Scouting counterparts, with less emphasis on traditional gender roles. (but, needless to say, much more emphasis on State indoctrination)

        Kinda famously (and controversially, and not to get too far off on a tangent of a tangent) abortion rates in the USSR were among the world’s highest, a trend post-Soviet Russia has continued despite back-sliding on social equality towards women.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        Feminism in the Soviet Union and other Communist nations was an odd beast. There were many prominent women revolutionaries in the Bolshevik and other Communist parties. The official blank of nearly every Communist Party involved equality between the genders. The early Soviet Union made a great effort to educate and train women in a wide variety of jobs and careers including many of those involving science and engineering. Besides North Korea, no Commuist country allowed women to be housewives. At the same time, Communist states also managed to be a lot more patriarchal in signifcant ways than liberal Democracies. There were much fewer women involved in higher level politics or possessions of power than in the West for example.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        An interesting factoid is that the post-War Soviet Union officially encouraged single motherhood because of the millions of young men that died during the WWII. Soviet leadership thought that the gap between the number of fertile women and men was so big that only single motherhood could make up for the numbers who died during the war. This probably makes them the only state in human history that had a policy of supporting single motherhood to the point of making it a crime to say derogatory things about single mothers.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        Iran’s solution to the same problem was legalizing “temporary marriages”.
        This often amounts to clerically sanctioned prostitution, but can also mean
        a marriage where the woman actually has the right to divorce.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        Kim, temporary marriages have been an Iranian institution since the Safavid Dynasty.

        Its how Shia Islam dealt with pre-marital sex while still maintaining no sex before marriage as an official belief. I think certain Jewish communities came up with this solution as well.Report

  6. Avatar Jacob says:

    My brother in law is a producer at one of the aforementioned science-y channels, and I am perpetually astounded not just by the things they actually put on television, but by the near misses.

    There is a modicum of common sense there, and on the whole they know just what they’re doing. Some of them even regret it. But @leeesq hit the nail on the head.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      Can you give us some examples of horrendous near-misses? If what they show is bad and what they almost show is really bad than I don’t want to even think about what they reject outright.Report

  7. Avatar dhex says:

    the one clever thing about idiocracy is that near the end of the film you realize the film is laughing at the smart people who think they’re better than the dumb people laughing at the same film.

    other than that it’s pretty close to office space and the big lebowski in the canon of “insanely overrated cult films”Report

    • Avatar Glyph says:

      Idiocracy has a great concept and some good jokes at the start, but it peters out for me about halfway. And I’ve talked about how aside from a couple scenes Lebowski is actually the rare Coen brothers miss for me, comedy-wise.

      But Office Space remains genius. It nails a lot of little details, down the the color of the cubicle dividers and the phones on the desks.Report

  8. Avatar Kazzy says:

    The American Museum of Natural History once had a special exhibit on mythical creatures. Unicorns, dragons, etc. A friend remarked, “Wow… that is neither natural NOR historical.”

    The exhibit was actually pretty cool and did touch on a good amount of natural history, namely how real animals and their fossils helped contribute to the myths. But the way they sold the exhibit… “COME SEE DRAGONS AND UNICORNS!” certainly created some interesting optics for an otherwise reputable institution.Report