by Cory Barker
I know what you are thinking. “Oh great, another website dedicated to television. Because the world could really use that.”
Frankly, I do not blame you; I feel the same way. The current television criticism landscape online is oversaturated and bloated. There is a lot of great writing out there, but there is even more stuff that is boring, diluted, and simply exists because the market allows it to. I love television criticism, perhaps too much, but in 2012, I am mostly bored by it — and am especially bored with writing it in the expected format. The grind of weekly episodic recaps/reviews simply no longer appeals to me, nor does beating the same drum about the same 12-20 series every quarter.
For inspiration, I have turned to a television-related topic that compels me and fellow critics (Les Chappell, Andy Daglas, and Noel Kirkpatrick) who share my desire to do something at least slightly different. As the tense of this place’s name suggests, This Was Television aims to focus on television’s past. There is so much televisual content coming at us every day (hell, every second) that it is really easy to forget what came before The Sopranos or even Twin Peaks. With this new website, we hope to help you remember — or even better, to help you experience television history for the first time.
This Was Television will explore multiple facets of television history through multiple approaches and lenses. We think it will be fun (and hopefully informative) to approach older television content with knowledge of contemporary trends, themes, and realities. Television is constantly changing. Going backwards and thinking a little harder about the hows and the whys is exciting to us, and hopefully to you as well.
To tackle the wide-ranging topics that fall under the umbrella of “television history,” the TWTV team will bring you all sorts of content in different shapes and sizes. You will see some familiar reviews (though covering multiple episodes) written by individuals. And you will see group-style conversational reviews as well.
But you will also see longer features on specific programs, networks, actors, writers, directors, technologies, award shows, and dozens of other issues we might have in mind. And you’ll see shorter, more lighthearted looks at those topics. Ultimately, we want this to be an all-encompassing look back at where television was in hopes of learning more about where it is.
We will be slowly rolling out content starting on June 11, so bear with us as we figure out the typical kinks that come with launching a new site. But just know that we want this to be an interactive space. As my favorite broken spinal surgeon once drunkenly bellowed, we have to go back — and we want you to come with us. This Was Television.
Follow This Was Television on Twitter @ThisWasTV.
Post slider image: A Zenith Space Commander television remote. From Wikimedia Commons.