Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lost and M*A*S*H

Ordered Liberty links to Megan McArdle's pondering of the significance of the facts that while the former's finale drew 13.5 million viewers, the latter's "was watched by almost 106 million viewers (including me, up late by very special dispensation)" — There is No Such Thing as Mass Culture Any More.

I, too, received "special dispensation" that night. I've never seen the other show, but I understand that on it, too, the Korean language can sometimes be heard.

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Blogger Tracy Fennell said...

Yes, there have even been some episodes probably half in Korean. Probably a first for American TV.

1:49 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Wow! That's beyond just a phrase or two for color, as heard on M*A*S*H.

3:03 PM  
Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

Thanks for the link!

12:42 AM  
Anonymous Kevin J Jones said...

Saturday reruns of the Beverly Hillbillies used to get 60 million viewers. Now even a hit like American Idol peaks at 25 million or so.

What does this mean for those Catholics who see "cultural change" via Hollywood as the way to go?

The decline of mass culture also helps explain why fringe lifestyles are now so glamorized on television. There is no incentive to appeal to a broad audience.

The blogger at "Whiskey's Place" has done some interesting work in this regard, putting together demographic figures, TV profits, and cultural analysis.

3:40 AM  
Blogger love the girls said...

Increase in choices within a limit doesn't constitute movement beyond that limit.

'Fringe' still means within an acceptable limit. It's that limit which matters.

Television viewing may have changed, but the culture which underlies that viewing past and present is a constant within its limit.

The Peoples Republic of Boulder is within the same limit as the Trailer Park Tavern next to the paper mill in Texarkana.

Whether it's Sierra in the CU dorms, or Betty Lou in the tavern, both have been inculcated to respond similarly to their concupiscible and irascible appetites.

It's that similar inculcation which is what matters, all else is within acceptable norms giving the impression of freedom.

4:24 AM  

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