Fall TV Preview covers from Entertainment Weekly

๐ŸŒฑ Missing That Fresh Fall TV Feel? Exploring Hollywood's Past, Present, & Future Ghosts

Part I: Modern Hollywood โ€“ Streaming, China, AI, & Workers Rights

Sam Chavez
Sam Chavez

Table of Contents

Part I: Modern Hollywood โ€“ Streaming, China, AI, & Workers Rights

๐Ÿค“ Bite-Sized Knurd: Get ready for a dive into the world of TV and movies as we explore the current state of the entertainment industry, from streaming services to the impact of shareholder capitalism and Chinese communism, and how it all relates to our broader society.

In Case You Missed It: Transforming Communications to Imagining New Soil

105 Hollywood Part I

What is your favorite season? Fall is mine. The air gets crisper, the landscape bursts with oranges, reds, and yellow leaves, and the critters spend a little bit more time tucked away indoors.

For me, that means building pillow forts to watch the latest episode of โ€˜Asohka,โ€™ โ€˜Sex Education,โ€™ or โ€˜Only Murderers In the Building.โ€™ (I am a Taurus after all!) While I love curling up with these shows, I find myself missing something when I watch TV now. It just doesnโ€™t seem as fun as it used to.

Itโ€™s missing the thrill of Fall TV! That moment when summer officially ends and your friends Lorelai Gilmore, Meredith Grey, and Seth Cohen come back into your life. I remember the thrill of watching the Upfronts broadcast from my desk at a Texas ad agency. The event was lore in both the entertainment and ad industries. It was the magical week when all the top ad executives descended on New York with millions of dollars in their pockets to dangle in front of the TV networks in exchange for shiny new fall shows and everyoneโ€™s returning favorites. โ€˜The Morning Showโ€™ recently covered the behind-the-scenes look. (yes, Iโ€™ve heard it is that bad). In its heyday, there was a real effort by the TV networks to spotlight talent and shows and to build the U.S. publicโ€™s anticipation for their weekly TV stories. These shows were so popular that office workers literally used to sit around a balloon of water to talk about them. Now it all gets dumped onto a streaming platform for us to dig through. Long story short, I love TV and movies, but Iโ€™ve recently become disillusioned by what I see out there.

It might be nostalgia for the days of old (says the certified elder Millennial), but I think itโ€™s more a reaction to the reality of todayโ€™s Hollywood.

Nostalgia for a Sustainable TV Model

Now donโ€™t get me wrong, I was an early streaming enthusiast and dedicated Netflix DVD-by-mail customer (RIP ๐Ÿ˜ข). The idea of what streaming could be was exciting to me! I thought it would give people better, more diverse content to watch, thereโ€™d be more of a focus on quality over quantity, and most importantly it would be affordable for the average person. Well, that didnโ€™t happen.

Sadly, a high-quality, character-driven show like โ€˜The Morningโ€™ Show seems more of an outlier in todayโ€™s junk-filled streaming โ€œservices.โ€ Every year, it seems like the studios squeeze a little more money out of us to keep access to โ€˜Frozenโ€™ or โ€˜The Big Lebowski.โ€™ Meanwhile, the original shows they put out either get canceled too early or are incoherent and sloppy.

What is truly wild to me is that there are officially more streaming TV viewers than โ€œregularโ€ TV viewers. What used to be considered a looming goalpost, came and went with a whimper back in July.

Itโ€™s even worse for movie theaters. Blockbuster movies rarely cause a splash like Greta Gerwigโ€™s โ€˜Barbieโ€™ and most releases seem heavy on the explosions and light on the dialogue. Itโ€™s no wonder the writerโ€™s and actorโ€™s guilds chose to go on strike this year! Times have changed and pay needs to catch up.

Many decisions led us to this point that are both external (globalization, TikTok, shareholder capitalism) and internal (streaming TV, #OscarsSoWhite, China expansion).

This month weโ€™re going to take a closer look into the City of Lights and how the entertainment industry has evolved. We explore how both shareholder capitalism and Chinese communism hurt the industry, what to look out for as a TV and movie watcher, and the positive forces at play in pushing for social justice. Itโ€™s a wild ride and paints an important picture of our broader society. See you next week!

  • Keeping with the theme of this month, I want to recommend Dave Chenโ€™s newsletter. Heโ€™s seamlessly able to tie whatโ€™s happening in pop culture, tech, and media to our broader context
  • Have you upgraded to get our Storytelling for Change posts on Tuesdays? This week, we discuss simple techniques to clarify and strengthen your comms strategy during uncertain times.
  • Are you preparing for winter fundraising campaigns? Schedule an audit with me. Our audits provide detailed advice on strategic, messaging, and organizational changes to enhance your strategies.
  • Join me on October 16th for Your Brain on Algorithm! Iโ€™ll be leading a workshop with #CultureFix to talk about how social media influences us and what we can do individually and systemically to change that. Link coming soon!
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Sam Chavez

Sam is a writer, strategist, and curious human. She founded the roots of change agency in 2020. Sam is a queer, white, LatinX activist whoโ€™s passionate about a livable planet & equitable societies.


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