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Author Topic: This Is Where We Talk About The Teevee  (Read 175531 times)
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dieblucasdie
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« Reply #100 on: Dec 09, 2005, 08:28:11 PM »

I've just seen too many of my favorite shows die slow, painful deaths and I don't have the stomach anymore.  

Please, people, let's not fight about Family Guy again.  We've spent way too much time on that already.
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crystalcakes
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« Reply #101 on: Dec 10, 2005, 01:18:10 AM »

Quote from: "jebreject"
Is it better to burn out or fade away?


In terms of tv I think it's better to quit while you're ahead.  I so wish that the x-files had done that.  Add it to the list of things to do once I get the time machine up and running...
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jebreject
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« Reply #102 on: Dec 10, 2005, 01:59:38 AM »

I guess I disgaree, but we don't need to get into it.
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crystalcakes
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« Reply #103 on: Dec 10, 2005, 04:35:15 AM »

I know that most people won't agree with this but I really wish that 24, in the first season, had just said "that was it" and then just packed it in and maybe came back a few years later and did another one.  I liked that it was supposed to be this completely self contained in one season show and was kind of letdown (especially when I saw season 2, pew, what a stinker!) when they kept going due to money/ratings.  I also think killing Kiefer would have ruled.
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jebreject
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« Reply #104 on: Dec 10, 2005, 04:46:55 AM »

that i DO agree with
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Andrew_TSKS
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« Reply #105 on: Dec 10, 2005, 10:44:56 AM »

two things:

1) is popular opinion that the new season of family guy sucks? the only episodes i've seen that i've laughed much at have been from the new season. i guess i'm just totally backwards.

2) i'm always in favor of quitting while ahead. always.
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dieblucasdie
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« Reply #106 on: Dec 10, 2005, 12:55:16 PM »

Quote from: "crystalcakes"
I know that most people won't agree with this but I really wish that 24, in the first season, had just said "that was it" and then just packed it in and maybe came back a few years later and did another one.  I liked that it was supposed to be this completely self contained in one season show and was kind of letdown (especially when I saw season 2, pew, what a stinker!) when they kept going due to money/ratings.  I also think killing Kiefer would have ruled.


I'd agree with you, if the second half of S1 hadn't been such shite.  I think S2 is its best, even though it amounted to:

First 11 Episodes:

(Jack grabbing this week's terrorist by the collar):  "WHERE is the bomb?!?!"

Last 11 Episodes:

(Jack grabbing this week's terrorist by the collar):  "WHERE is the Cyprus audio?!?!"

I think it would've been cool to have 24 every year, but every year have it be a completely new cast under completely different circumstances, the only common thread being the 24 format.  Plus, you could start each year with actors at the beginning of the payscale.  You could a lead actor who normally wouldn't do a TV series regular gig, because it's only a one-season committment on a popular show.
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jebreject
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« Reply #107 on: Dec 10, 2005, 01:03:02 PM »

Quote from: "Andrew_TSKS"
2) i'm always in favor of quitting while ahead. always.


My only problem with this is that, of course, in hindsight, it's easy to say, but with a show like Arrested Development, for example, it's pretty likely that they'll continue to be a fantastic and hilarious show, so I kinda feel like the whole "quit while you're ahead" approach is going to rob us of some serious funny.  I mean, I guess with AD it's a moot point anyway, as it's getting cancelled, but do you know what I mean?  It's all fine and dandy to say "they shoulda quit while they're ahead" after the fact (as I am wont to say about the Simpsons), but while we're in the midst of it, it's a little more difficult.
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Andrew_TSKS
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« Reply #108 on: Dec 10, 2005, 01:26:54 PM »

see, and i know plenty of people who would tell you that the simpsons is still hilarious, so i guess it's all a matter of perception anyway.

but "leave the audience wanting more" is, as far as i'm concerned, a cardinal rule.
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jebreject
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« Reply #109 on: Dec 10, 2005, 01:44:26 PM »

Duly noted.  I just still feel burned about losing all the good shows and being stuck with the shitty ones.
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crystalcakes
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« Reply #110 on: Dec 10, 2005, 03:22:37 PM »

Quote from: "dieblucasdie"



I think it would've been cool to have 24 every year, but every year have it be a completely new cast under completely different circumstances, the only common thread being the 24 format.  Plus, you could start each year with actors at the beginning of the payscale.  You could a lead actor who normally wouldn't do a TV series regular gig, because it's only a one-season committment on a popular show.


I like that idea too.  I just expected something different from that show I guess.

I agree with Andrew on the rest.  (shows that i wish had ended earlier than they did:  the xfiles, the simpsons, 24, dawson's creek, and 90210 (but i still love that show dearly so watch it!)) There are probably more that I just can't think of right now.  The office is a great example of a show that did what it aimed to do and then left people wanting more.  I love that.
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jebreject
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« Reply #111 on: Dec 10, 2005, 03:42:40 PM »

I do think elsewhere in the world they have the right idea, doing one or two seasons (excuse me, "series"), knowing full well that they're going to go in and get the job done in that amount of time.
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difficult
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« Reply #112 on: Dec 10, 2005, 05:00:16 PM »

Quote from: "dieblucasdie"

I think it would've been cool to have 24 every year, but every year have it be a completely new cast under completely different circumstances, the only common thread being the 24 format.  Plus, you could start each year with actors at the beginning of the payscale.  You could a lead actor who normally wouldn't do a TV series regular gig, because it's only a one-season committment on a popular show.



Yeah, it is a great idea, but the way TV and film works these days is with such reliance on the "stars" and building recognition, that I'd be surprised if anybody had the nerve to do it. And for a name movie actor, the conventional wisdom would be that a whole season's commitment is probably too long. You'd need a big movie person ot want to cross over for it to happen I think. The audience for TV is being so changed by DVD, it's a pity that the people who make TV are so tied up with the old broad cast nonsense rules of engagement...
I like the idea of making an interesting cheap TV series with film values and notions. UNlikely it'll ever happen of course...
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dieblucasdie
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« Reply #113 on: Dec 10, 2005, 06:16:52 PM »

Well, the idea being that after the first season of 24 revived Keifer's career, any similarly good-but-a-bit-washed-up actor would be eager to sign on.  If it stayed hot, you could get a bigger-and-bigger name each year.  It would make for fantastic hype/marketing, too.  You could have different situations instead of just "OMG, a new terrorist threat!" every year.  Seems like they keep working the same ground.

I do have a lot of hope for S5, though, now that they brought on David Fury.
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difficult
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« Reply #114 on: Dec 10, 2005, 07:53:14 PM »

Quote from: "dieblucasdie"
Well, the idea being that after the first season of 24 revived Keifer's career, any similarly good-but-a-bit-washed-up actor would be eager to sign on.  If it stayed hot, you could get a bigger-and-bigger name each year.  It would make for fantastic hype/marketing, too.  You could have different situations instead of just "OMG, a new terrorist threat!" every year.  Seems like they keep working the same ground.

I do have a lot of hope for S5, though, now that they brought on David Fury.


This is more about my cynicism with the people who make TV, though - I just don't think studio executives would take that approach - it'd more like "Oh, look, it's worked with Keifer, lets stick with what we know" - or start from scratch with a completely new show.
It's such a completely conservative medium, way more than film - which's really saying something, but there are so many possibilities with long form narratives and working with large groups of characters, through time, with room for interesting variation, that I easily get pissed off about TV, which's why you probably won't see me posting too often on this thread....
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Wally
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« Reply #115 on: Dec 11, 2005, 05:35:19 PM »

Erm, whilst I prefer geeking out over Logan Echolls and his beautiful hands, and what kind of dress Lorelai will be wearing when she finally marries Kirk. I do like talking about the possibilities of tv drama, I also like defending the current crop of american shows  a handful of which are amoungst the best there has ever been (if you disagree I don't care you are wrong and probably a snob, kidding).

Campbell is, as he tends to be right the sheer scope of tv has barely been used, it should have killed off film, it didn't because it was made by people who wanted to keep them both alive. It's usually made by men and women who limit there own imaginations and discredit the audiences. Visually and sonically it pales in comparison with film (yes I'm generalising so do as Rory should do, shut up) it shouldn't be the impaired sibling but it kinda is.

It's greatest writers Fontana. Abbott, Potter, Whedon, and Milch are either not given the freedom to experiment within a series, or are simply not capable of capturing and presenting their own text in the manner it deserves. Whether they ever will be is unlikely, one is dead, two are possibly reaching the end of their careers, each one working on what is likely to be their third and final great series. The two remaining Abbott and Whedon, may still pull something out of the bag and raise the bar once more, but Abbott seems to be overworking himself and Whedon has one eye on the movies. I don't know of any younger writers who can come close to these men, if I'm wrong stick your backup on me.

Personally I think that it's Tom Fontana who can be credited with taking english language tv this far, everything got better once the networks screwed Homicide. Oz took on Brechtian styles and mixed them with Old testement charm, as far as presenation is concerned it's as interesting as it you will see on your box. The Wire I've said what I think before.

There is still so much area for improvement, but until all the other HBO shows begin to come close to the Wire, and a lot more network shows catch up to, well then there is no insentive for the producers to take risks, and if one does, they'll be doing it alone, and that's not how things get changed in this world. So obviously the whole thing could be viewed as uttlerly dispiriting.

Until geek boy arrives, and gets total pleasure, in watching Gilmore Girls, Veronica Mars, My So called life, Buffy, Angel. early NYPD Blue and Er, Freaks and Geeks, the wonderful Firefly, the L word and there are bound to be some others. Shows which in general stick to a formula,- just like lots of genre fiction, and comic books all of which have been rightfully praised in this forum-  me I have little interest in any of these forms, I like good tv. I like to see well crafted stories stretching out over 5 or 6 months. I like to slowly develop affection or watch an early lust dwindle for folks that don't exist. I love it when some of the shows mentioned above do more then you expect them to do, when their creators manage to express their thoughts on a subject in the middle of a song and dance number involving teenager girls and a bunch of freaky lookin demons.
I love watching a man with a moustache talking to an indian chiefs head swearing ten times a second, moving the plot on ten steps but also allowing me to hear the writers views on modern politics. THIS IS ALL GOOD. I don't care what anyone says even if they are smarter then me.


anyway, was anyone else really weirded out when Alyson Hannigan and Charisma Carpenter had their scene together in VM, it freaked me out in a horrible way. They were great but still I wanted to shout GET BACK TO SUNNYDALE.
Also Weevil and Logan fight, well I'm not a man of violence, nor a fan of the pugilitic arts but that fight was so hot. Jesus am I alone in this.

For of you who have to wait a month til the new episodes come, I tell you this, I'm spreading the ones I have to watch evenly over the period so I don't have to go a week without Gilmore girls or Veronica Mars.

Anyway, I've rambled on and barely covered the points I would have liked to make, I will however do what will hopefully be called doing a Rory.
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dieblucasdie
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« Reply #116 on: Dec 11, 2005, 05:52:49 PM »

I disagree with the idea that film is better than TV.  That may have been true in the past, but in recent years the big movie houses have become just as conservative, if not more, in what they greenlight.  You could claim indie film, but in the past two years indie companies have climbed into bed with the big studios, and an "arthouse" film is now just as predictable as, say, an "action" film, or a "romantic comedy."  Whereas something like VM slyly packages itself as a marketable teen/cop show, while subverting and questioning those generic expectations at every turn.  I think GG is doing the same thing with the family drama.  J.J. Abrams' shows try, but always end up getting bogged down by never having a clear singular vision.  There's no top-down artistic management the way there is on VM or on Whedon or Sorkin or Fontana shows.  

Plus, film these days, even indie film, focuses too much on having at LEAST one marketable, well-known star, whereas TV, by necessity, ends up taking chances on fresh, young actors, who are hungrier because they have more to prove.  Jason Dohring's done more on VM than any actor I saw in any film last year.
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Wally
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« Reply #117 on: Dec 11, 2005, 06:06:34 PM »

Well it depends on what you're comparing. You want to compare tv to what is in the multiplexes, then certainly tv kicks film all over the shop.
If you compare the strongest tv with the strongest films, well at the moment the films are vastly superior.
I imagine that's mainly because the films will come from all around the world, and the tv just the US and maybe England if you are Coldforge or British.
I think it's kinda of insulting to say that american tv is visually, emotionally as rich or as powerful as some of the films from around the world this year.

But yeah compare what JD and KB are doing to what  Pitt or Jolie are doing then you're damn right. The former are doing amazing stuff, it could be better but with the confines it's not far as good as it gets.
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jebreject
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« Reply #118 on: Dec 11, 2005, 06:10:55 PM »

I think TV and film are in essentially the same boat, and that neither have much of a chance of getting any better as long as we keep buying their bullshit, except TV's chance is a little better than film, because even a show that isn't watched by very many people is still going to be watched by more people than will ever watch certain indie films.
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jebreject
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« Reply #119 on: Dec 11, 2005, 06:12:35 PM »

OK Dom very good point
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dieblucasdie
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« Reply #120 on: Dec 11, 2005, 06:25:24 PM »

I'm not really saying one is better than the other, just that TV is *starting* to experience a Renaissance, just as filmmakers are getting lazier.  And I wasn't just talking multiplexes when I was talking film.  There's indie film yes, but, no matter where it's from, it's getting predictable as well.  Every indie film not made by Claire Denis that I've seen over the last few years follows one of like, three different arcs.  I'm not saying there aren't a lot good movies, or that there aren't a lot of bad TV shows, because clearly that's not true.  It's always possible this is only temporary, too.  The film industry is in a transitional stage, and fear for the future is driving a lot of the conservatism, I think.
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jebreject
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« Reply #121 on: Dec 11, 2005, 06:41:30 PM »

I think that TV has a potential to be a bit more subversive simply because of the limitations of the medium, and, of course, the history of conservativism in television.  Remember that at one time men and women couldn't be shown sleeping in the same bed!  So even if something isn't particularly subversive, in the context of it being shown on television, particularly network television (omg! did you just see that!) it will seem even more like it's breaking down barriers.  And it is, for TV.  Film, however, doesn't really have many barriers left to break, and something that may seem subversive even in the context of other films still doesn't pack the same punch that TV might.  Of course, this isn't always true, and both TV and film (the mainstream variety, at least) seem to be quite a bit behind the curve in terms of discussing important issues (wait 'til it's safe to talk about, and then and only then can you talk about what a big issue it really is), so I mean I don't know what the answer is.  I think TV seems to have a little bit more of the "opiate of the masses" quality to it as well, but that's not really necessarily even true either, because the Hollywood Movie Machine (if such an institution really exists) is guilty of it as well ...

Sorry, rambling.

EDIT:  Not that there's no history of conservativism in film, just that it seems that filmmakers traditionally have been more likely to take risks and do things that go against the status quo.
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Good Intentions
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« Reply #122 on: Dec 11, 2005, 08:17:20 PM »

I know that two of my favourite pieces of entertainment out of all, that need not be ashamed in the company of anything, are TV series. Animated TV series from Japan, based on manga. The Trigun series and the starting OVA (like a pilot episode/introductory movie, for the unitiated) of Rurouni Kenshin.

There really are masterpieces flowing around. But film does hold the position of more prestige, with some underdogs fighting for their place in the limelight from the gutters of TV
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difficult
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« Reply #123 on: Dec 11, 2005, 11:34:43 PM »

Quote from: "dieblucasdie"
I'm not really saying one is better than the other, just that TV is *starting* to experience a Renaissance, just as filmmakers are getting lazier.  And I wasn't just talking multiplexes when I was talking film.  There's indie film yes, but, no matter where it's from, it's getting predictable as well.  Every indie film not made by Claire Denis that I've seen over the last few years follows one of like, three different arcs.  I'm not saying there aren't a lot good movies, or that there aren't a lot of bad TV shows, because clearly that's not true.  It's always possible this is only temporary, too.  The film industry is in a transitional stage, and fear for the future is driving a lot of the conservatism, I think.



Sorry, I just don't think I can let this go like that. If you're finding that's your response to film, it's more to do with the nature of distribution everywhere, and you need to be looking wider.
The key element here that no-one's talking about is that films can be made anyway by anyone, and screened to anyone, whereas TV by definition is a format where something is screened.
And film makers aren't getting lazier, for fuck's sake! That actually really pisses me off I'm afraid - there are so many great crazy film makers making unbelievably great work that you odn't even know about (Thanks primarily to DV  reducing the cost of film making) and many of them are doing things that no-one will ever do on TV, and no-one pays any attention. Really there's no comparison - film will always produce a greater and more interesting array of work, because it's possible to make films about anything in any way, whereas TV is still an industrial process that may interact with art.
At least I think you could clarify that you're talking about the state of film (espec theatrical) distribution in America, compared to the state of television being screened in America. And then your points will seem reasonable, he says, trying to calm down....
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dieblucasdie
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« Reply #124 on: Dec 12, 2005, 01:07:15 AM »

'Cause obviously you know how many and what kind of films I've seen.

This shit about TV being lesser art is the same shit lit snobs said about film back in the day.
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