Browsing articles in "Television"

Happy New Year!

Jan 1, 2010   //   by Alida   //   Creative Discontent, Real Life, Television  //  No Comments

Happy New Year!

I’ll be back to posting regularly very soon; in the meantime, I hope you had a great Christmas and a chance to take some time to relax and reflect.

It’s 8 a.m. on New Year’s Day, and I’m finally heading to bed — Colin and I have our own little New Year’s Eve tradition of choosing a season of TV to marathon, and then parking ourselves on the couch all day to get through it all. Today (yesterday?) we started at 4 p.m. with the last four episodes of Chuck, season 1, and then moved on to season 1 of Dexter.

(We have a thing for death on New Year’s Eve, apparently — the last two years have been seasons one and two, respectively, of Dead Like Me, and we also have Pushing Daisies, which we didn’t get to tonight, but which we’ll be watching in the next couple of days.)

But today, it was 16 episodes in 16 hours, almost to the minute — including food and bathroom breaks.

Sounds like a pretty perfect New Year’s Eve to me.

A story with dubious source material

Nov 4, 2009   //   by Alida   //   Career, Creative Discontent, Faith, Television  //  2 Comments

I work with a lot of really talented people.

I have classmates, colleagues, and peers (and organizations, for that matter) with impressive lists of accomplishments and accolades. I could make a very long list of people who have received awards and honors; been the first whatever-it-is in their school, field, or industry; participated in world premieres; been accepted to prestigious programs — and the list could go on.

Which has gotten me to thinking lately about humility, pride, false humility, and arrogance.

It can be a little unnerving to listen to someone spout off a list of accomplishments, or to hear someone say, point-blank, “I am the best in my field.” It can be uncomfortable to listen to someone speak of their own achievements, especially without a self-deprecating tone or a “humble,” aw-shucks overtone to the information.

And yet…

Weekly Round-up: June 21

Jun 22, 2009   //   by Alida   //   Books, Creative Discontent, Movies, Reviews, Television, Theatre, Weekly Round-up  //  No Comments

This was supposed to post last week, but with one thing and another (first some internet downtime and then some “me” downtime), I’m just getting to it today. The plan is for this to be a weekly post, but like everything else, it seems that it’s taking a little longer to get started than I’d like it to.

Once I get into the habit and routine, this will be a weekly roundup of what I’m reading, listening to, watching, attending, and doing. This one, however, is not quite a weekly roundup; more like a “last 3 or 4 weeks” listing.

Die young, leave a beautiful corpse

May 25, 2009   //   by Alida   //   Creative Discontent, Television  //  No Comments

I love Bryan Fuller’s shows; I think he’s brilliant as a show-runner.

However, I have a theory.

Part of the reason that he’s so brilliant is that his shows always get canceled too early. Wonderfalls was 13 episodes, 4 aired. Dead Like Me was two short seasons and a movie. Pushing Daisies is two short seasons.

And as tragic as that is, and as much as I’d love to see his shows last longer, they never have the chance to jump the shark. The plot devices don’t have time to get old; the premises don’t get worn out; the original, fresh storylines that are the impetus for the beginning of the show aren’t played out; the characters don’t have the chance to become something different than what they were in the beginning.

In that short a time — 30 episodes or less, basically — the shows can remain these encapsulated moments of brilliance, and the showrunner is never faced with the challenge of sustaining the world created in the show for a long period of time. I mean, any show that runs for more than a season faces a weak season; a show, no matter how brilliant, can’t sustain the same level forever. Gilmore Girls, Veronica Mars, Heroes, Ugly Betty, Everwood, Joan of Arcadia — those are just a few off the top of my head that I’ve watched recently, but each of them has strong seasons and weak ones, and each of them has storylines that are generally considered to be weaker than the others. (And, incidentally, each of those shows had first seasons that were widely considered to be exceptionally strong.) Individual fans’ favorites may differ, of course, but the fact is, when a show runs past the initial premise, there are going to be developments that don’t work as well as others.

So, as much as I think it’s tragic that Pushing Daisies was canceled early, and as much as I would have loved to have seen any of these shows go on and live longer, maybe it’s not completely a bad thing. I’d love to see how Bryan Fuller would do as a long-term showrunner, and how he would carry a show through multiple seasons, but at the same time, the circumstances a) allow his reputation as an excellent showrunner to be preserved, and b) allow the various ideas floating around in his head to see the light of day, in one way or another.

(And yes, I realize that he’s working on Heroes now, which is great, and from what I hear, he’s been a big part of turning it around after the very weak season 2. I haven’t caught up on the third season yet — to be honest, it lost me after season 2 — but I’ve heard that it got exponentially better in the second half of season 3, so I need to catch up and see for myself. I’m talking a little more specifically about shows that are his own brainchild, though, as opposed to already-existing shows that he’s working on.)

What do you think?

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