Are Serious Dramas an Endangered Species?

I don’t get out enough. But when I do, I most always learn something.

Attending a party last week, I saw something new: Between the bar area and dance floor was a connecting room, and passing through it, I noticed many party-goers lining the walls, each in isolation checking emails on their Blackberries.

Checking emails- in the middle of a party?

Before wireless portable devices, when you went to a social event, you had to jump in and give yourself over to the experience. In this scenario of forced socialization, very often you actually met someone new and perhaps pursued some unplanned adventure.

Now, if people at a party look unfamiliar or uninteresting, you don’t really need to Dramacool  engage. You can simply step out, check your email, and see if you can’t find a more reassuring, recognizable face to hook up with across town.

You have to wonder, does this new behavior fulfill the promise of the digital world by opening up channels of communication, or is does it close them down?

And just what is the long-term price to be paid for technology that reduces our focus, patience, and attention spans?

Let’s consider this in relation to film. Regardless of technology’s impact, it seems the public will always pay to see anything that transports them away from reality. Regardless of quality, fantasies, comedies, action films, and comic book adaptations are here to stay, because for the most part, they hold our attention and go down easy.

But what about serious drama – by which I mean realistic, unflinching dramas about regular people facing authentic life challenges, both big and small? These pictures may be less entertaining in the moment, but often end up shedding valuable perspective on the human condition – insight you won’t find in your average spine-tingler or farce.



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