Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Writing is the Thing - But Where has it Gone? TV Commentary

I've been wanting to rant, err, write about this for a while but held back due to that old adage "If you can't say something nice..." Yet I realized that sometimes, the only way to fix something or have others become aware of it is to say something, even if it is not nice.

First off though, I'd like to say this - writing for TV is HARD! Not something to be taken on on a whim. I've no experience doing it myself, but have heard from enough from those who do to understand it can be a thankless and often frustrating job. Mandates are handed down by suits who care nothing for plot, integrity, or the vision. So it could be that this issue I'm about to present might not even be their doing but the influence of things they can't control. I don't know. But whichever it is, I feel the need to point it out in the hopes that someone can perhaps shine a light on those responsible and maybe fix it...

Hope springs eternal!

I watch a lot of TV. I didn't use to as about 5 to 10 years ago there wasn't all that much to watch. But there's been a lot of stuff to interest me lately. Yet there have been some shows that I loved at first that going into second or later seasons, things change, almost abruptly sometimes, and it's no longer the show I liked.

It is TV, so there's always a level of suspension of disbelief. And that's fine, I can handle it. What I can't handle is when suddenly characters behave in ways they never have before for mere plot convenience, when stated facts for the universe are suddenly ignored, but worse, when the audience suddenly is treated like they are too stupid to understand things (especially if its a SF or Fantasy show) and believe they can get away with whatever...

"Avatar the Last Airbender" was a gorgeous, beautifully written, intelligent show about a boy suddenly having to carry the burden of needing to save the world. He had helpers and tragic enemies and I was enjoying the heck out of it. Episodes 2.10 and 2.11 ruined the show for me. Built as Big Production Can't Be Missed episodes, they were actually slaps in the face. Here are these kids trying to save the world, but suddenly it's okay to steal from a non-human who took them in an cared for them and destroy the objects he's been set to guard for hundreds of years. And there wasn't one qualm of guilt on any of them. Worse, Apa gets stolen, and though there's no proof the bison has been hurt, and this not being the first time his friend has been taken or has disappeared, Ang goes into a maddened murderous RAGE! Excuse me? Bison disappears every three episodes people! Maddened Rage? When Zuko doesn't learn his lesson for the umpteenth time and realizes how he is being used, that was it for me. See ya!

"Battlestar Galactica" I was desperate to like. Had loved the show back in the 70's even saw the movie at the theater with the giant sursurround speakers making the whole place vibrate! Richard Hatch had been trying to bring the sucker back forever. Two hour movie had to hold back the horror as the imagination of those involved obviously didn't go far (20th Century Earth with some plastic to the ties - please!) probably budgetary. Nuclear weapons, no really? And sorry, the battlestar would have been destroyed in that major battle. Look up info on nukes and radiation people! The science was abysmal! And aside from pretending to sort of keep some of the names and traditions from the original, it wasn't. But it had some social plots of interest and a funky take on Cylons, so I have it a whirl. They lost me when suddenly Apollo started being the changing character of plot convenience. BLEAH. See ya! Wouldn't want to be ya!

More recently my trouble has been with "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" cartoons. First season was a lot of fun! Second season has taken a turn that has been pissing me off pretty much every episode. And there was no need for it! It's as if the writers/suits took a drug to make them forget what the Force is capable of aside from holding a lightsaber and moving things with their minds. Worse, is things like episode 2.7 stating FACTS about zombie activating worms used by the queen, then in 2.8 using said worms in ways totally contradictory to FACTS given in 2.7!!! What the???? They've been doing this type of thing all through season 2! I have no idea what's happened over there. Come on guys!!!!

Ah, but here's the one that really hurts. Here's the one that makes me ache and despair. (Yes, I am a drama queen. Get over it. :P) I've been obsessed with "Supernatural" since not long into season 2. "Supernatural" is actually my first obsession EVER. For four years they've been giving me yummy goodness, every department of this show so on board it screams from the screen. Yes, not all the episodes have been perfect. They've had a misfire or two a season, but even those had things to make me not care and 90% plus were awesome more than making up for it. I don't expect perfection, no matter what I sound like. I know things happen. Then we hit season 5...

8 out of 10 episodes so far this season have been abysmal in the writing department. I've no idea what's happened, but I hope they get a clue soon, despite 30% of people in a survey saying it is the BEST season ever. (Are we watching the same show????) It's like every cheesy TV trick ever used is now making it into all the season 5 episodes. Monsters not being taken care of and conveniently forgotten about as if things were resolved (Poker Witch 5.7, 3rd Killer Ghost Boy 5.9). Ridiculous amounts of time being glossed over by how the events are shown (ghost boys attack Sam and Dean minutes (like 5 if they're lucky ep 5.9) after fanboys go off to dig graves - digging graves (which they needed to do 3 and only did 2) take more than five minutes to unearth!!!!

Episode 5.2 Sam kills a couple of teenagers having been led to believe they are demon possessed yet the demon knife did not do its usual loud and bright light show and Sam never noticed! Please people, he's been killing demons with this things for 2 plus years! I think he'd notice that it didn't do the usual! Even if he did not understand why not, and was being tempted by what he thought was demon blood, he should have noticed!

Episode 5.5 This one REALLY made me angry. Suits - we're NOT stupid!!!! First victim we see die and they show all the a typical signs of a ghost having done the murder. Boys never even use the EMF reader on the car. And though they themselves did not see the cold temps and other ghost signs, kept assuming it was ghosts. These guys are experts, they don't assume! Worse, it turns out it is not a ghost but a god. Uhm sorry ya'll but the gods don't have the same signs as ghosts! And if one did, it should remain consistent, which it didn't!!!! Then lets have people be unconscious and remain standing up for filming convenience, why don't we. Hello????

Would point out more but it's just too depressing...

What's truly sad is that all the other aspects of the show have been spot on. Direction, props, sets, the awesome acting. Yet it's like the writers are burned out, being sabotaged, or who knows what. And there are plenty of other shows out there that have remained consistently good overall throughout their runs! So it can be done!

Please guys, this is probably the last season, the one where all the things you've been building up for four years are finally culminating. Don't blow this! *cry* Don't let my first obsession ever be in vein! (And you know it's bad cause I do not want them renewed for a season 6.)

Okay, I'm done. Sending good karma SPN's way hoping second half is back on track. Don't make me beg ya'll!


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