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Is TV Too Youth-Obsessed?

One of ousted Brothers & Sisters creator Jon Robin Baitz's recent complaints focused on his show focusing more and more on the younger characters and less and less on the middle-aged folks like Sally Field's Nora Walker and Ron Rifkin's Saul. He wrote that the storylines were being driven "younger and younger, whiter and whiter, and with less and less reflection of the real America."

I see his point with B&S, as this season has spent a lot of time with Justin, Rebecca, and Lena. But, on the other hand, the adults on Gossip Girl have gotten more interesting, and the middle-aged characters on shows such as Friday Night Lights and even Dirty Sexy Money are often the best parts of the show. So I'm wondering: Do you think TV is too youth-obsessed? And if so, how would you change it?

Photos copyright 2007 ABC, Inc.

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beingtazim beingtazim 8 years
reminds me of a line in the movie "mambo italiano" where the main guy is writing a tv show script and the producer tells him that the characters (civil-war heroines) are not relatable and that he should write a show with young girls and guys in an expensive apartment in new york wth their boobs hanging out and all that because that is what people want to see. don't know the exact quote, but you get the idea
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
yes and no. people have to remember that it's the 18-34 demo that most shows are directed to hit - and that means that they have to be somewhat youth focused. in shows like B&S - there are soo many kids in that family that they HAVE to focus on them more than the mom and uncle - it's just common sense.
Anenimenie Anenimenie 8 years
As long as the parts are played by age-realistic actors/actresses it's okay by me. It really bugs me when a 16-year-old highschool kid is played by the next hot twenty-something actress, but I guess that's what teenagers relate to ^___^
FashionParty FashionParty 8 years
I'm in my 30's so I've watched a lot of TV. Shows that showcase late teens and twenty somethings started to become really popular in the late 90's to early 00's. They took off along with reality TV. Before that, tween/teen shows were like "Saved by the Bell" and stuff on MTV. Dawson's Creek was one of the earliest of the twenty somethings shows. I think the trend is reaching it's peak and I don't think the "youth obsessed" programming will still be hot 10 years down the road. Tastes change with time.
Linda-McP Linda-McP 8 years
What makes a show like "Friday Night Lights" so appealing to me is the writers' attention to addressing complex problems from a variety of perspectives. The Dillon, TX community and the families who live there provide a real slice-of-life look at school, family, and community relationships, which I really appreciate. The writers know the people about whom they are writing and the audience for whom they write. Loyal fans were upset when the show ventured into the "teen murder" fiasco and it seems that the writers responded by getting out of it as gracefully as they could. Ironically, FNL in all of its goodness has failed to attract a huge following. Too often commercial television pitches what they think viewers need and want and too often, as viewers, sadly we accept that. Baitz's comment about shows being less and less reflective of "the real America" is accurate to an extent for commercial television. However, for viewers who have the ability to watch HBO and Showtime, shows like "The Wire" are simply top-notch and reflective of "real world" culture. The show that Baitz hoped "Brothers and Sisters" would be seems more suited for cable than for commercial tv; perhaps he will try again to write that show in the future.
Allytta Allytta 8 years
if someone doesn't get enought age variety they should start watching Tell me you love me.
KimBurnett KimBurnett 8 years
YES! And Popsugar needs to stop writing about all these silly wannabe teen/20's show starlets. And Bella...everyone here at sugar network. people that age have no life experience yet. How can they be interesting? They aren't. I don't watch any of that garbage.
Ms--Anonymous Ms--Anonymous 8 years
I think it's pretty even handed with the youth and the adults on TV but I do agree with the rest of that quote about "...whiter and whiter, and with less and less reflection of the real America."
tubetalker tubetalker 8 years
I think there is something for every age group on TV. Like always you can't please everyone. I think B&S has a nice mix of older characters and young. And it's not like the young characters are teenagers. They are young adults with some serious issues. Such as Justin going to war, and his drug addiction; and Rebecca trying to fit into a family she just found out she had. It's not like we are following them around as they go clubbing. I think they have real grown up issues.
binkyob binkyob 8 years
That is a really hard question for me to answer. I am young (on 24) so I feel like I relate better to younger storylines, but I am not opposed to seeing older folks' situations too. To be honest, I don't know if I have ever paid attention to the age gap, if there is one. I remember it did feel like there was nothing but married couples on TV for a while (King of Queens, Everybody Loves Ray) but now I think it is shifting younger. Oh well. Pop always goes in a cycle anyways.
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