Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Shark-Jumping and Other Autumnal Activities

I'm old enough to still think of Fall as when the TV "season" starts, and young enough to be interested in... well, in settling on some new binge-worthy must-sees. (Although Jim Gaffigan's summer series was BRILLIANT.)

But what I'm noticing so far is that while there may be the odd good and even slightly original premises floating around, there seems to be a dearth of, what, producers? head writers?
Well, whoever it is whose job it is to take an idea and run with it, make it interesting over time, rather than creating one intriguing pilot and then following it up with a bouillabaisse of filth and gore featuring vaguely the same characters as the previous episode, but not even a single well crafted joke or moving scene.



If "formulaic" sounds too pejorative, let's call it "theme and variations."

Sometimes, "like nothing you've ever seen before!"  is only true because the work so described, "makes no human sense!" and no one ws stupid enough to make it.

(Would you rather have another iteration of your favorite German's Chocolate cake, or a nice slice of one of Letitia Cropley's desserts?)

British TV had set the bar very high, over the years, for long-form but finite serials, and in the US we seemed to have the knack for a while as well.
But alas, eager to milk every last drop from our cash cows, we seem not to have realized that sci-fi or supernatural mysteries at last need to be revealed or solved, rather than prolonged into multiple seasons with illogical and contradictory plot twists, and the Brits are sometimes falling into the same trap.
There should be a limit to how many different series regulars any other regular will become romantically or sexually involved with, and we've had enough of couples who meet, break up, part, rekindle, fight, move in, run away, marry, divorce, get back together - and all for no better reason than, "the scrip says so."

And one last thing - severed heads?

Not an appropriate trope.

Stop.  It.  Now.

No comments: