TWENTY years ago, if you were a star on the silver screen it would represent a dramatic fall from grace to wind up on the small screen in a TV series. This was especially true when comic actor Michael J Fox went from box office gold in ‘Back to the Future’ and wound with the dross in the otherwise hit TV series Family Ties.

Nowadays, though, the small screen has enlarged to swallow the best and brightest on any screen. With plots turning toward thrilling, pulsating action and snappy dialogue; the third act in movies has been transfigured in favor of one-liners, shoot-outs and car chases on TV.

Again, each subplot manages to weave a tapestry of complexified simplicity and supply the TV show with a real depth involving dialogue and other elements that hitherto were mostly available only on the silver screen.

Ugandans have noticed this trend and contributed to this shift as evidenced by their viewing patterns.

Noah Muzira of NOAZ video library situated in the beating heart of the Kampala suburb of Naalya is a sharp-eyed observer of these patterns and trends with respect to viewer tastes and preferences.

According to him, Ugandan viewership jibes with specific psychographics and demographics.

He says that married men between 28 and 35 years old prefer high-voltage action pictures in which comic dialogue or some sort of self-deprecating humor teams up with CSI-level investigation as gumshoes walk a 1000 miles with a single step.

Married men also enjoy heist pictures in which the protagonists have to break into a secure location and steal the cash from a wall safe in a penthouse or some other place where the security is beefed up in ways that makes catching our protagonists easy meat.

Married women of the same age bracket and older prefer dramatic pictures in which the story is written in a breathtaking way which makes them feel like they are a part of the characters and feel the same emotions. And they also like pictures of corporate ladies in power suits, wearing the proverbial trousers and calling the shots as the men are left breathless in their wake.

The cheaters, oh yes the cheaters: those persons who can’t seem to say no to any person who walks their way, even when they are having quality time with their better halves. Those ones.

They love the high school drama shows, fashion pictures, high-end budget series and movies which are rated X! Usually the pictures they favor of these genres display beautiful black people. And might have a subplot which involves the sharp deconstruction of the male or female ego disguised as a funny character-driven comedy.

Noah notes that Hollywood seems to have run out of creative ideas as it recycles old story lines to suit a new era which seems to be hungry for the past. For example, The New Edition Story, a three-night, six-hour miniseries about the 1980s boy band New Edition was intensely loved by millennial fans who weren’t around to see this group come up in the 80s and 90s.

This is a positive, Noah notes, however he wonders about new stories originating from the current generation. Where are the fertile imaginations which conjured classics such as the original Lethal Weapon?



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