Films/TVs that haven’t aged well – Rebel without a cause, Sex and the City, Seinfeld

I recently finally got a chance to watch the famous Rebel without a cause. So tonight, a group of friends and I ended up chatting about films and TV shows that haven’t aged well.

When I finished watching Rebel without a cause, my immediate feeling was — “Wow, time has not been kind to the film.” It has aged very poorly and the acting and the dialogues were pretty unnatural and quite artificial. And then from a little bit of research, I found that the film critic Roger Ebert has some very blunt words too,

“You’re tearing me apart! You say one thing, he says another, and everybody changes back again.”

James Dean shouts these words in an anguished howl that seems to owe more to acting class than to his character, the rebellious and causeless Jim Stark …”

“The film has not aged well, and Dean’s performance seems more like marked-down Brando than the birth of an important talent.”

The TV show worth talking about is Sex and the City. It used to be a show that I watched every week and quite eagerly. Each episode seemed to strike the perfect tone and funny when I watched them from 1998 – 2004. But now, I can’t even stand watching 30 seconds of Sex and the City if I come across a re-run episode while flipping channel.

Seinfeld is the same to me. With it, I just can’t seem to stand the laugh track, etc. anymore.

Now, having said the above, I think Sex and the City and Seinfeld are like wonderful friends for the time but, for whatever reasons, they couldn’t stand the test of time and failed to become our life long friends.

To me, Prime Suspect (Helen Mirren) and Cracker (Robbie Coltrane) are two TV series that stand the test of time and have aged wonderfully and gracefully considering the first seasons were made in 1991 and 1993 respectively. And I only got to watch them for the first time on DVD in the last few years when the Calgary Public Library started carrying DVDs of TV shows and films. By the way, Rashomon is another great film that stands the test of time and I had the pleasure of watching it thanks to the Calgary Public Library. By the way, strangely the laugh track in the UK Coupling don’t seem to bother me much and I still love the show.

Bonus: Here is a BBC interview – Robbie Coltrane on Hagrid & Harry Potter

As my luck has it, I found something new during my research for this entry. Let me share with you Prime Cracker, a 1997 comic relief spoof of Prime Suspect (Helen Mirren) meets Cracker (Robbie Coltrane).

2 Responses to Films/TVs that haven’t aged well – Rebel without a cause, Sex and the City, Seinfeld

  1. optimus says:

    Seinfeld hasn’t aged well? Surely you jest. I’m watching the Marine Biologist episode and killing myself laughing.
    Hi Optimus,

    I might have been a bit harsh on Seinfeld but the music and laugh tracks just killed the fun for me. I am sure many people like yourself still love the show. But somehow the show just doesn’t work for me anymore.

    – K

  2. philosopherouge says:

    I’m still not completely convinced that Rebel without a Cause has aged badly. The acting, I’ll agree, is particularly stilted for the time period, and Dean’s talent is too unhinged to be called truly great (he’s much better in East of Eden, where under the film hand of Kazan his performance was a lot more controlled and consistent). I think the film has interesting themes, however naively they are presented, and I know more than a few youths who still find a lot of personal relevance to the story. It’s far from the strongest indictment on social norms at the time though, Sirk alone puts more meaning into a single shot than the entire length of Rebel, but I still think it’s unfairly maligned by today’s standards.

    I have to agree with you on Sex and the City and Seinfeld, I can’t stand to watch them anymore. Seinfeld may be overexposure, but Sex and the City is just bad.
    Hi philosopherouge,

    Thanks for your feedback.

    For me, Seinfeld’s laugh tracks did me in. I just can’t stand the laugh tracks pushing and guiding me when and where to laugh anymore. For me, it is less to do with its overexposure.

    Now, the strange thing for me is Sex and the City was a show that I loved so much just three years ago. How did the magic of it get drained out so quickly?

    There are themes and ideas in Rebel without a Cause that are timeless. But the movie as a whole is a disappointment to me. Now, I think great films that age well (e.g. Casablanca, Citizen Kane, etc.) can all be judged in today’s standards and they are still great films in my book. Techniques (especially effects) may change and get improved but acting, story telling and many of the other important stuffs can stand the test of time.

    Again, to me, the 1994 basketball documentary Hoop Dreams is a timeless classic. In fact, the less the viewers know about the two leads, the better they may enjoy the film.

    Of course, my views are just my 2 cents and based on my very personal tastes and views.

    – K

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