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Published by Karen Woodward

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Published by: Karen Woodward on Apr 22, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The War on TV
By Karen Woodward 
Television shows mimic pop culture and current events, but stories on primetime televisionveer away from telling the horrific details of the current war in Iraq. Whereas the Vietnamera presented war as comedy - MASH, Hogan's Heroes, McHale's Navy - current showsinfluenced by the Iraq war are dramas that focus on the emotional impact. But while thelaughs are fewer among today's Iraq-themed shows than in their Vietnam-era counterparts,they still follow television's golden rule: entertain."This is a heart-first show," says Katherine Fugate, creator and executive producer of theLifetime drama Army Wives, the cable network's most successful series. "We can't forgetthat we're entertainment." Not much chance of that: the quickly-cancelled Over Therenotwithstanding, primetime has largely eschewed direct portrayals of the war's violence andhorror, opting instead to use Iraq as a catalyst for more conventional, domestic dramasabout love, friendship, and making it through hard times. Shows such as Army Wives usethe idea of Iraq instead of showing actual violence. "The audience brings the images whenthey're watching it," says Fugate. "[The show] is an extension of what you're not seeing onthe news."That perspective is one echoed in shows across the dial: on CBS's The Unit, war-relatedviolence and torture are shown, but at heart it's a show about the men and theirrelationships, while ABC's Brothers & Sisters features a storyline about a sibling's recentreturn from Iraq, albeit one safely ensconced in the show's glossy soap framework. Comewhat may on the battlefield, in TV land, escapism remains the name of the game.Pop culture invariably reflects the national subconscious, and just as Vietnam saw theemergence of groundbreaking shows like That Girl, All in the Family, and The Mary TylerMoor Show, the Iraq war will doubtless influence an increasingly diverse and sophisticatedarray of television tales for years to come. Meanwhile, if we want realism, we'll watch thenews.www.Cynopsis.com
The Millennial Generation
By Karen Woodward 
Move over Boomers and X-ers, there's a new generation taking over. The Millennial Generation are thosepeople born between 1977 and 1996 (aged roughly 10-29), and at around 70 million, they number morethan any other generation except the Baby Boomers. Who are these people and what do they want?This generation grew up during events such as the Columbine shootings, the Clinton impeachment trial,Princess Diana's death, and the OJ trial. Despite these occurrences, Millennials are hopeful for the future;they have strong friendship and family ties, and are becoming involved in politics."They are the most watched-over generation in history…very scheduled and optimistic, and thus are moreopen to trying new things," says Rob Yarin, VP/Programming at media research company Frank N. Magid& Associates. They spend most of their money on technology and entertainment, making them tech-savvy entertainment multitaskers, because they will frequently use more than one device at a time."They have a shared attention span and that can mean three hours of entertainment in one hour of time,"says Yarin. "It all starts with the cell phone." 90% have cell phones, which they use not just for calling, butalso for text messaging and camera capabilities. According to Magid research, the majority of Millennialsare not yet using their phones to download games and videos, or to connect to the internet.But Millennials still watch movies and television. The difference is that instead of going to the movietheater, they wait until the film comes out on DVD and watch it then. As for television, "they are startingwith cable, and rarely go to what they call 'down there' [to broadcast nets]" says Yarin. Plus, whilewatching TV they will also be surfing the internet, using their cell phone, or listening to music.What is most important to Millennials is a sense of connection, which is why their communication devicesare so important to them, along with social networking sites such as MySpace.com. They are a very opengroup of people - unafraid to share information about themselves, and they get a bulk of their informationthrough word-of-mouth. Unsurprisingly, their biggest fear is loneliness. That, and not succeeding - either at work or at school - which is perhaps one thing they have in common with previous generations.
Cyn opsis: Weekender 
By Karen Woodward 
Can I see some
with my commercials? The big business of TV is cutting into the creative side moreand more. If you feel like every time you get settled in after a commercial break that it's time for yetanother commercial break, it's not your imagination. Television dramas are beginning to be structured

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