High Brow/Low Brow

Here’s something that bothers me about how people think of television.  And I would go so far as to say that most people think this, but their actions are at odds with their thinking.  People think television isn’t an art form.  They think that because it’s on all the time and it’s available to everyone, it can’t possibly be art.

I realize that in stating this as a rule I immediately bring up all the exceptions to it.  Man Men, Aaron Sorkin’s shows, and really anything on HBO.  And yes.  Clearly those are art and are treated as such.  But what about all the shows that aren’t considered high brow television?  Why can’t they be art too?  The New Girl‘s, the Big Bang Theory‘s and the Once Upon A Time‘s?

In some ways the general public treats these shows as an art of sorts anyway.  “Did you see Psych last night? It was hysterical.” or “Wouldn’t it be great if Karen Gillian from Doctor Who really did appear on Community?” (answer: YES!)  But the media generally doesn’t.

When TV is covered in the newspaper it’s sort of shoved under the carpet.  Tucked back behind the Film section and barely a full page spread (unless you’re talking about Mad Men, Sorkin or HBO).  On Entertainment news the movie stars are given full bios, but television is reduced to spoilers for new episodes and maybe a short interview with [insert name here].

The problem for me with writing this post is that I don’t have the answer to fix it.  I think we need to change our thinking before we can change the media that surrounds it.  Newspaper and other forms of news are only reporting what there is a demand for, and we need to demand more television coverage.

Do you think there is a hierarchy in media?  What’s at the top?  The bottom?


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