The Wrong Young Men

The Wrong Young Men

“I have often been asked why television shows from ‘back in the day’ were so much better (or at least seemed so) than most of today’s offerings. Now, don’t get me wrong, at the highest level there are some fabulous new shows…but it’s getting thinner at the top. In the 50’s the people who crafted television shows were operating under the keen eye of the Hayes Office. Good guys had to win, married couples slept in separate beds, and one foot had to be on the floor when people kissed. The funny part was that the writers and producers and craftsmen and women of the Industry had learned their craft in the era of governmental oversight, and were still able to be creative and deliver a strong message. The big difference, it seems to me, was that people understood the tremendous power of the media. They understood propaganda for they’d participated in the war effort. No one ducked their personal responsibility. Today there are just too many lightweights making decisions, and the industry is that much poorer. I once complained to Donna Reed about all the young men running the Industry and she said, “It’s not that they’re young men, Paul. They’re the wrong young men.”

Paul Petersen