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Why don't programmes look as dated as they used to

(21 Posts)
Beswitched Tue 06-Apr-21 21:40:58

A teenage relative recommended a series on Netflix that I would enjoy. Watched the first episode this evening and was surprised when I realised it was 20 years old. The clothes and hairstyles looked pretty current.

When I was a teenager in the 70s a programme made in the 50s would have looked really old fashioned and almost from a different world.

I've noticed this with lots of TV programmes made in the late 90s early noughties - things just don't seem to date the way they used to.

Chestnut Tue 06-Apr-21 23:44:34

I watched a few series of 'Dangerfield' from 1995 to 1997 and it definitely looked dated. The hairstyles and clothes were clearly from a different era, not that I minded at all. I'd say the whole way of filming was different from today too.
Maybe that was a little earlier than your programme. What was it?

Chestnut Tue 06-Apr-21 23:46:41

You have to remember there was a whole cultural revolution in the 1960s, clothes, music, everything, and things changed hugely, so anything from the 1950s would look very old fashioned by the 1970s.

geekesse Wed 07-Apr-21 00:01:32

It’s the phones that make things look dated for me. Either people are using land-line phones or their mobiles show the era.

Doodledog Wed 07-Apr-21 01:56:44

Phones, cigarettes everywhere, and the awful attitudes towards women, plus the casual racism and homophobia- it is clear how much things have changed over the years when you watch old tv. Even dramas such as Auf Weidersehn Pet have warnings before they are broadcast, and Sunday’s episode of Between the Lines was pretty dated too.

I enjoyed both of those programmes in the 90s, when by many standards I was what would now be called ‘woke’, and I can watch them now knowing that they are ‘of their time’; but I would not be happy to see those attitudes in modern dramas.

FannyCornforth Wed 07-Apr-21 07:11:19

I've been thinking this for a few years; you're completely right, it's absolutely true.
It works with most pop music too.
Many current songs wouldn't have sounded out of place in the 80s (40 years ago! Eek!)
Now imagine listening to a hit from 1942 in 1982. It would be from like hearing something from another world.

FannyCornforth Wed 07-Apr-21 07:13:30

I didn't read your full post (the horror!) Sorry - but I realise I've used almost the same words! Great minds eh? smile

Katie59 Wed 07-Apr-21 07:27:46

You can date many programmes by the cars featured, even the registration numbers, mobile phones too. I’ve noticed actors that are in leading roles now, in minor roles when much younger. As others have mentioned it was during the 60s that fashion changed to “anything goes” (almost).

vegansrock Wed 07-Apr-21 07:31:01

I think this is an age thing as well - I’d be hard put to name what songs / artists were in the top 20, if there even is such a thing, but when I was a teenager I knew and could sing along to most of them. A couple of years ago I worked in a college where on the last day of the year the leaving students dressed up, they had a different theme every year. When I asked what this years’ theme was I was told “the 90s”- I couldn’t for the life of me imagine what they’d wear.

Calendargirl Wed 07-Apr-21 07:32:06

The cars, the phones, the cigarettes.

Morse episodes, now over 30 years old, have shoulder pads and big hair for many of the women. Also quite long dresses and skirts, and flat pumps on feet.

Gives me a pang when I see them, takes me back to ‘when you and I were young Maggie’.

M0nica Wed 07-Apr-21 07:39:11

We watched the first episode of A Touch of Frost (1991) for the first time this weekend. Most of the cast were male or uniformed, but clothes and background were unmemorable, suggesting they were not significantly different to today. Actually Frost's clothes were old fashioned but as we have seen so many pictures and stills from Frost, they were familiar and their datedness wasn't noticed.

What really dated it was the technology, big clunky phones attached to the wall, no mobile phones, paperwork everywhere and no computers.

Oopsadaisy1 Wed 07-Apr-21 08:48:15

20 years isn’t that old though is it? Modern filming methods etc.

We are watching ‘Yes Minister’ ( for the umpteenth time as DD2 has never seen it) the quality of the picture isnt so good, but the Political problems are still pretty much the same!

M0nica Wed 07-Apr-21 10:08:52

Oopsadaisy1 We have been rewatching Yes Minister (and about to start on Yes Prime Minister.

We too noted how familiar the political problems were and expect the same with its follow-on

timetogo2016 Wed 07-Apr-21 10:21:18

I assume technology is the reason.
I loved the 70s programme called Budgie,starring Adam Faith,had to switch off, it was far too dated.

TerriBull Wed 07-Apr-21 10:59:49

If I think of my childhood years, much of which was in the 1960s, 50 years before that was a post Edwardian era, a time which would have conjured up scratchy gramophone records, women in long dresses and still to get the vote, cinema in it's infancy, flickering non talking fast moving black and white films, pretty incomprehensible! By contrast, I'm wondering if the early 1970s would seem such a world way to a young person today, fashions gone only to return from time to time, music still listened to, a golden age of cinema that gave us masterpieces such as The Godfather. From a technological point of view certainly different days, but the motor car whilst dated at least resembled something we might all be driving today, unlike the very beautiful, exclusive only to the wealthy, cars that would have be driven prior to the Great War, not to mention the very empty roads.

Although having said all that, yes tv from that era does seem dated, probably the most watched series from that time would be "Fawlty Towers" still very funny though. My overall impression watching bygone era tv, is the men wore a lot of dreary looking brown and green clothes and the women a lot of make up, although their eyebrows at least didn't resemble slugs!

Calendargirl Wed 07-Apr-21 11:07:04

Another dated feature is hospital scenes, when nurses looked like nurses, with caps, capes, uniform striped dresses, black stockings/tights, and very neat hair under said caps.

Before anyone leaps in, I’m sure the scrubs they wear nowadays are so much more practical, but from a nostalgic viewpoint....

vegansrock Wed 07-Apr-21 11:19:57

Anyone watched “Abigail's Party” I think it will be on iplayer It’s 70s or 80s, still hilarious- but the clothes, hair, smoking...

Beswitched Wed 07-Apr-21 11:56:47

Yes programmes from the 70s are certainly showing their age. But programmes made in the early 2000s don't look hugely dated even though they're 20 years old.

Chestnut Wed 07-Apr-21 23:17:58

In time all these programmes will fascinate people. I have been watching some of the old Scotland Yard and Edgar Wallace series on Talking Pictures. They are fascinating! The streets, the cars, the clothes, the rooms, everything is genuine 1950s. The women are all mostly glamorous ladies in heavy make up and sprayed hairstyles, wearing high heels and fitted skirts. There may be the occasional Ena Sharples type in a pinny, and lots of Policemen in raincoats and wearing hats.
They are worth watching just to catch a glimpse of a lost world, but the stories are good too.

Calendargirl Thu 08-Apr-21 07:15:10

In the Talking Pictures programmes, the glam women speak in BBC tones, and the pinny wearing women squawk and shriek in Cockney accents, hair in curlers and turban.

TerriBull Thu 08-Apr-21 07:40:45

Last night I watched Fatal Attraction on BBC I Player, mid eighties I believe, I didn't think it looked that dated given it's now 35 or so years old, Of course what was really apparent, was the lack of mobile phones!

Harry Enfield did some excellent parodies of the flickering black and white films of old where the "posh" people have the frightfully clipped accents and the squawkers always in pinnies. Anyone who has seen Brief Encounter will recognise the latter in the woman who serves tea in the railway cafe where the lovers meet. That film always exemplifies those stereotypes and imo is quite unintentionally hilarious.