You’re listening to the Gettysburg’s Address Podcast and I’m sitting in the Busy Little Beaver Studios in Maryland, as always I’d like to thank Invocation Array for our musical introduction. My guest today is author, screenwriter, director and producer Marc Cushman.
On my podcast with James Kerwin we discussed how many critics are calling this a new Golden Age of television, and in some ways I agree, while in others I disagree.Today we are living in an age of some very high quality scripted shows, Game of Thrones, Homeland, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, they all come to mind when discussing highlights of current quality.
But there is a difference between the shows of today and those of what was first known as television’s Golden Age, that time in the 1950s and 60s when Studio Playhouse 60, The Outer Limits, The Twilight Zone, The Andy Griffith Show and countless others aired. Those were all network shows, in a time when there were three channels and the entire family was able to gather together and enjoy the shows.
Now some of the best television being aired is completely unsuitable for those below the age of 13, and this is a shame.
Something has been lost, yes, an innocence, in the drive toward more realism and grittier storytelling. With rare exceptions gritty, meaning foul language, sex and violence, has replaced the drama that the shows of 50 years ago brought.
Marc Cushman has become a historian and chronicler of classic television, with books about truly groundbreaking shows, I Spy, Star Trek and now Irwin Allen’s Lost In Space.
What has happened in the television universe and to the audience that a show like Adam 12 or Emergency! Would not be made today? Is this a good or bad thing? Is this really a Golden Age for television?
We address that and much more this episode.