Friday, October 10, 2008

it's not TV.

so after spending a few late nights on the couch watching far too much Entourage (it's like candy!), i felt inspired to talk about how excellent HBO is. but first view this really neat trailer that shows up at the opening of every HBO dvd set:

if you've seen ANY of the shows featured in the above trailer (Rome*, the Sopranos, Deadwood*, the Wire*, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Extras, Entourage), then you probably got a little chill watching. and you KNOW that the other programs you haven't seen are probably JUST as good (*
i have not watched the shows asterisked, but you'd better believe i have a copy of S1, D1 ready to go for when i have a "TV rainy day")

some other
HBO shows i've enjoyed over the years: Mr Show with Bob & David, Band of Brothers, Tenacious D, da Ali G show, Six Feet Under, Sex & the City, Flight of the Conchords. and i KNOW there are quite a few other HBO shows that i know i'll eventually watch/get into (Generation Kill, Real Time w/ Bill Maher, From Earth to the Moon)

what i find interesting is how HBO produces consistently GOOD programming. why is this something that most of the networks cannot seem to do? my theory: the networks are beholden to their advertisers, and thus what the masses want (overly simplistic sitcoms, reality TV, anyone? ), VS what they NEED (intelligent, thought-provoking programming like Seinfeld, Lost the West Wing, or Arrested Development, most of which barely make it out of the gate). so instead, the US networks take a rather buckshot approach when greenlighting and see what sticks.

subscription-driven networks like HBO + Showtime (who i've heard has quite good programming as well, in true fast follower model. Weeds, anyone?) are catering to a much smaller niche (and the rest of us just get the DVDs later). i guess one could make a similar argument for cable, since they are catering to a smaller audience, but the quality is somewhat diminished, as they too, must face the wrath of advertisers (i'm sure it's FAR more complicated than that, but it's a Friday afternoon, and i like to make myself smart, so humor me).

so what did we learn kids? it's not TV. it's HBO.

i am such a sucker for [good] marketing.

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