TRENDING: With people reading less, TV is starting to make up for our fading will to exercise our minds.
Children were always told that watching too much television would turn their brains to mush, but the TV we know is changing. Turn on the tube today and sure, you’ll see a lot of thoughtless “brain candy,” but you’ll also see an increasing range of intellectual shows that weave intricate, compelling storylines with round characters whose lives are more realistic than Snooki’s.
Intelligently written shows like Mad Men, The Wire and Curb Your Enthusiasm are battling against mindless reality shows like Jersey Shore, and are challenging our brains to do a little more work than we are used to when we turn on the boob tube.
If people have to work harder for their entertainment, then who is watching these shows? Actually, millions of people are. The March premiere for the fifth season of Mad Men held the attention of 3.5 million viewers and Curb Your Enthusiasm has lasted eight seasons with relative success, proving that not everyone has let their intellect fry in the toxic tanning bed that is modern entertainment.
These smart shows aren’t about instant gratification. You won’t always see fast-paced action scenes or catchy banter.
The shows are sometimes slow, with dialogue that can seem insignificant, but those who can look past the gradual scenes will catch integral storylines and hilarious exchanges.
It seems that the show creators are actually giving their viewers some credit, expecting that they’ll pick up on the subtleties.
They don’t lay everything out in black and white or make the characters and subplots simplistic.
Audiences don’t need to see a sloppy pie in the face to know that it’s time to laugh nor do they need to see tears to understand a melancholy moment.
While some people would prefer to wind down by watching gym rats get alcohol poisoning, not everyone has given up on quality entertainment.