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The next post will be about kittens!

July 9, 2008

Ken Levine (Cheers, Frasier and others) speaks the truth about on-screen graphics that pop up during a show. Listen to him, TV people!

“…pop ups are intrusive, they’re DESIGNED to divert your attention from
the show you’re watching, they’re completely disrespectful to the
creative team that mounted the show, and the audience resents them.

Writers kill themselves to create compelling and entertaining stories
that hold the audiences’ attention. If we wanted Kathy Griffin to
suddenly appear in the corner of the screen we’d put it in the script.
If we thought the viewer was so stupid he wouldn’t know he was watching
FRASIER just by seeing Frasier on the screen, we wouldn’t be writing
Cezanne jokes for the show.”

One thing that always confuses me is this desire to make television look more like the more annoying side of the internet (shock value, grim porn and pop-ups) when it seems obvious that it could do far better positioning itself as a (cultured*, non-intrusive, valuable) alternative to the internet. It’s like the cinema industry in the fifties decided the best way to compete with television was to make the screen smaller and break up the film with countless advertising breaks.

Here’s the Levine Link.

* By ‘cultured’, I really just mean ‘not stupid’.

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