Big Win for Cable: AFI Picks Their Top TV Shows of the Year
The American Film Institute has just released their list of top TV shows for 2012. It’s quite an honor to make the list and I’m sure all of the creatives behind these shows are proud – but I gotta ask – what’s wrong with network TV?
AFI’s list is made up almost completely of cable TV shows which is a trend we’ve been seeing at the Emmy’s as well. What’s up with that? Are cable show really better than non-cable shows and why?
Is it budget? Is it that they can cross boundaries you can’t cross on network TV or could it be that they only have to produce 12 shows versus 22?
Here’s AFI’s list of honorees:
American Horror Story
The Walking Dead
Game of Thrones
It’s actually pretty crazy that two horror shows made the list. Shows of that type are usually shunned by big award shows. And when you add up all the shows on this list, they represent a large portion of the death, foul language and sex on TV today.
I’m not saying that these aren’t well made shows, but where’s the love for simply entertaining shows such as Castle, The Big Bang Theory, or NCIS? Do we have to make a stark statement about man’s inhumanity to man before it’s deemed worthy of an award?
TV’s come a long way since the golden age. Writers routinely write about issues you couldn’t even mention on the air in the 60′s. We’ve gone from a schedule full of happy family comedies to epic dramas that look like they were filmed for the big screen. So, you still can’t curse on network TV or show a couple naked in bed, but is that necessary? What happened to good, old-fashioned story telling with real heroes not anti-heroes?
I think, that going forward, the TV industry needs to recognize not just the box stretching efforts of cable where there are no boundaries, but the average network show who has to figure out how to get ratings without nudity and graphic violence.
What do you think? Are shows on cable better than those on network TV? And what TV shows would you put in your top ten for 2012?