On the Differences Between TNT and USA

TNT and USA have a distinct way of marketing their television shows. When I watch these television spots, I feel a very distinct way about each and I wonder if anyone else feels the same way. For the TNT ads, I feel dismissive and jaded when the ads cross the screen. This “meh” reaction turns to scorn and then I end up making some kind of insulting quip to the television show. Case in point, HawthoRNe. We see sweeps and zooms of Jada Pinkett-Smith standing all dramatically with voiceover about how she’s the nurse who’s got EVERYTHING and stands up for the little guys. The commercials just bleed stupid and I hate them.

And then there are the USA ads, which feature similar sweeps and zooms, but have the opposite effect on me. I think “aw damn. I gotta see that!” or “Ooooh, this is kind of cool. I gotta see that!” or even “OH SNAP I GOTTA SEE THAT!” It might be that the production value on these commercials are much better and feature the characters doing interesting things. It could also help that they really work at teasing you as opposed to hitting you over the head with how awesome the show is.

Anyone else notice this?

On Crossovers (Hint: They’re Bad)

The short answer: Crossovers in television are bad news.

The lengthier answer: Crossovers in television are generally bad news.

I was directed to an article about the future season of Fox’s flagship series BONES and how they were considering a crossover from LIE TO ME, another procedural detective show. After reading the article, I thought about it for all of a minute and came to the conclusion you see above. Seriously, there’s a reason why we don’t get many crossovers in this day and age of television: they DON’T WORK. First, the writers from one show would need to co-ordinate with the writers from the other show and they would need to come up with a logical explanation for why the two heroes would meet. And then you would have to deal with the problem that arises that the two shows share the same universe. What this does, from a logical standpoint, is require that future crossovers happen and that Brennan and Lightman eventually become a team.

Really, who wouldn’t want to see Lightman and Brennan solve cases? Brennan could accuse the bad guys and Lightman could call their bluffs. You could probably cut the show down to a half an hour, since their team-up would be quite epic. And hey, Booth could shack up with Lightman’s spunky protege and calamity could ensue!

Oh, what am I talking about. This shit is retarded. Fox, don’t do it. The end.

Filed Under Moronic

Jonathan Wright writes via The Guardian:

There was time when episodic science fiction television was exactly that, episodic. Though there might be a few recurring plotlines in your favourite shows, you could dip in and out of a series without being seriously inconvenienced.

Not today. In the era of the story arc, it increasingly takes serious commitment to watch sci-fi telly. The new series of Torchwood is a case in point. Torchwood: Children of Earth, to give the latest series of the Doctor Who spin-off its newly expanded moniker, is “one epic story told over five nights”.

I’m sorry, but what’s so bad about five not-so-epic-but-nevertheless-carefully-crafted-individual stories shown over five weeks –or possibly even six if you need to re-jig the schedules because of a major sporting event? How did telly get so complicated?

Excuse me? Complicated? As someone who absolutely loves serialized television, this blog post has me scratching my head. What’s got me scratching my head even more is that this guy goes on to blame Babylon 5 for the downfall of the episodic Sci-Fi. What’s even worse is that he states that these ongoing arcs are “inconvenient,” and that one cannot simply jump into a show from the 3rd season and enjoy it like all the other shows out there.

Uh-huh. Whatever. The guy doesn’t seem to understand story arcs all that well, or that story is perhaps one of the most important aspects to television and film. Would you have really stuck with BSG had there not been a mission to find Earth? Would you have enjoyed Buffy quite the same way if there hadn’t been a “Big Bad” every season? And what’s that crap about story arcs excluding episodic content? Hello? Pushing Daisies? Dead Like Me? Must I list every other television show in existence?

This ranty-pants post is brought to you via J Michael Straczynski, who rocks. :)

A Lengthy Rambling About Television

Television for me has always been one of those love / hate things. There are shows I really really adore, and then there are shows that I really really hate. Everything in the middle stays there and eventually becomes forgotten as I move on to newer shows. Lately, I’ve been trying to deconstruct the way in which I “grade” these programs in the hopes that I might learn a little bit more about what makes me tick and to perhaps get an idea how we go about dismissing certain programming and then worshipping others in the same breath.

Continue reading…