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TV Movies

Years ago I was talking with an industry friend who explained why TV movies are no good. The reason? They don’t have to be.

Sure, in the 1970s and ’80s (the Roots and Day After era) there were some high-minded attempts and many truly excellent telefilms. But by the time of our conversation in the 1990s, it was a lot of dreck.

The producers would cast reliable old TV stars in salacious subject matter, the networks would run a lot of ads, and people would tune in. By the time anybody realized, “Jeez, this sucks”—it didn’t matter. They had already gotten the ratings.

I mention this because like a lot of people I check out the streaming menus and it seems like an alternate universe of fake movies. You know like when characters go to a multiplex, and the movie posters are all fake? I can’t believe this stuff exists. And yet the algorithms must be telling the streamers that these things get eyeballs.

It’s a shame because in this post-peak TV era, it looks like we’re back to where we were in television in the 1990s: bad TV movies that are just business decisions.

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Robert Knaus
Robert Knaus
07 de jun.

The only difference between the mid-90s TV movies and today's streaming landscape is that a streaming service will spend about $200 million on an outrageous piece of shit like Red Notice or Atlas, which is often indistinguishable from something like this:

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