essays

Dimension or Dementia

woman with 3-D glassesI was amused to read Neil Genzlinger’s article in the Television section of the New York Times last week

He was licking his chops over the discomfort that some 20-somethings are soon going to feel as their progeny insists that their world must be 3-D or nothing. Genzlinger was going to take pleasure seeing them inducted into the Dinosaur Club.

There is a big change coming to television and the generational faultlines are already starting to groan. We all remember when TV went from black and white to color what a seismic shift that was. More recently, we moved to high-definition and that has helped us realize that everyone has bad skin. We just couldn’t see it until high-def came along.

Now, it would appear that everyone over 18 or 19 years old will be scratching their heads trying to figure out why we can’t get along with out 3-D TV. Never mind that constant viewing in 3-D gives most people a headache, it’s new,Retirement for Dummies book cover it’s here, it’s now, so we gotta have it.

If we needed something to drive the final nails into to the coffin of smart, dialog driven drama or comedies, 3-D is the perfect vehicle (or should I say villain). It’s made for action sequences where things fly off the wall or better yet, coming flying toward you so that the bowl of popcorn resting in your lap is tossed all over the sofa. Will it enhance the storyline? Doubtful. Is it the next big thing? Doubtless. Will you end up having to buy a 3-D TV in the next 5 years? Likely. Because there won’t be any 2-D TVs on the market anymore.

The only consolation in all this, is the same glee expressed by Genzlinger. The curtain is going to drop on generations that thought they were the cutting edge, only to wake up one day to realize that the edge has passed them by. You want to tell to cheer up. There will probably be a big catalog of 2-D programs that they can watch late at night when their 3-D kids have finally turned off all their high-tech toys and gone to bed.

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

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