Once upon a time… there was the invention of TV, in the late 19th century. But it’s “only” in the 1950s that TVs were introduced at home. I know, that may sound like prehistorical to some of us. Even I was not even born, that’s saying something. However, from the beginning, series were produced.
Before unfolding the chronology, let’s talk about some billiant UFOs, exceptional in many ways. DOCTOR WHO (beginning in 1963!), STAR TREK and the SIMPSONS have crossed several decades with flying colors ! Each one of them deserves more than a post. I will add pages one day pointing out to fan websites.
Trailblazers who lay the first stones become legends. The TV series of the 60s are part of our collective imagination, even though very few of us have ever seen them. Science-Fiction, paranormal, spies (influenced by the cold war), adventures… This decade appears to have been in need of mind openness and evasion.
Main series are familial ones. These are years of carefree, colorful designs. Apart from a few forays into SF or fantasy, the series are sitcoms, thrillers or action films. Many of them they have helped to get viewers hooked on TV. For the older among us, they are powerful childhood memories. For others, they’re milestones in TV culture.
The 80s are years of show-off ! J.R. Ewing, Magnum, Mc Gyver, nothing can stop them. At the time, Japan was a powerful economics, and many “mangas” (now called “anim”) are making their appearance, appealing to an audience of children and young adults.
Finally, series are taking off as the star programs of TV channels. Actors became international stars (Jennifer Anniston, George Clooney, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson…) often moving on to cinema movies. At the time, film productions were more prestigious and noble than TV series, but not for long…
No doubt influenced by world events, the series are tackling darker themes. Terrorism (24h chrono), murders seen from the point of view of a murderer (Dexter), drug cartels (Breaking bad)… There’s less room for dreams and escapism, and even fantasy series are taking on a new tone (Vampire diaries). However, sitcoms are always here, comedies such as the big bang theory or How I met your mother, false documentary and genuine good series about a modern family… And a series that manages the feat of combining drama, mystery, comedy, family and buddy stories, with delicious dialogue : desperate housewives, a must.
After the depression of the 2000s, series show a desire to regain power. Heroes in all their forms are in the spotlight! Whether it may be historical heroes (Ragnar) or fictional ones: Marvel is back with a vengeance, and GoT is breaking all records. It may be already famous heros (Sherlock, Once upon a time) or new ones. They may be good heros, complex/bad ones (peaky blinders), or both (Boys). Whether locked in a prison (Orange is the new black) or on the run in space (the expanse), these new heroes push the limits and take us with them on exciting journeys.
To be continued…