Posts Tagged ‘television’

I don’t know, now I got started, I figure I may as well get it all out of my system.  The idea, as I mentioned earlier, was to try to do one of these supernatural-adventure-mystery shows like Constantine or Detective Grimm, but with a feel that was more like CSI or Law and Order (or Bones, I guess), where you’re using these sort of forensic systems and legal procedures to deal with supernatural concepts, rather than every week having to have to hunt a new monster that you Look Up in the Book.

I guess, imagine it like the Deep Space Nine to Star Trek: The Next Generation.  A key difference between the shows, and one that a lot of people liked better, is that in DS9 there was no getting away from the problems that they ran into.  They were here in a place, dealing with communities over and over again, facing certain problems and then the consequences of those problems, and such like.  And imagine it even a little more concrete, where we start the show knowing what different tools we have at our disposal to create and solve mysteries, and if we’re going to create a new tool, we have to 1) know how it works, 2) know why it works, and 3) not introduce anything that we’re going to wish we could forget about three or four episodes down the line.  But THEN, imagine that it’s not just a question of formalizing our investigative processes, but a question of formalizing what the communities are like and how they relate to each other, so that if we are going to introduce a new monster we have to 1) know what it is, 2) know why it’s here, and 3) not introduce it unless we plan to use it again.



I was talking to Holland via THE INTERNET the other day, and complaining (I pretty much only ever complain when I talk to Holland about things) about things that bother me in these sorts of supernatural adventure mystery shows like Constantine and Detective Grimm.

This thing is, when they have to figure out what the monster is and what they have to do about it, the either 1) look it up in a book (some variations include Grimm: first ask that guy about it, THEN look it up in a book, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer: look it up in one of several books), or 2) use some kind of spell or charm that has the exact specific purpose of finding this particular demon/monster/orc and then is never mentioned again.

Both of these bother me, and as a sort of mental or creative exercise, what I would like to do now is brainstorm some ideas based on the following premise: what if you were a forensic scientist (i.e., a person whose job is to extract secrets from the dead, so: necromancer) in a world where the mundane and the supernatural mixed regularly? Like, there were just demons and faeries and trolls and such around, what systems would you use to figure out who committed the crime? What procedures would you put in place?

If you had this stuff in place, could you just basically make a CSI or Law and Order episode, but with monsters? (I am definitely aware that these shows ALSO resort to “one resource that solves all the problems” and “one resource that solves exactly this problem, exactly this one time”, they’re not immune to it, but they also have these multi-purpose but not omni-purpose procedures in place.)

Anyway, I think it’s interesting.


The recent events relating to Stephen Colbert and his jokes about Dan Snyder’s attempts to obviate the fact that his football team’s name is a racial slur with a kind of pathetic attempt at cultural bribery — lots of recent events, responses, and counter responses — have got me thinking about this.  I follow a lot of people who have a lot to say about, “guys, it’s just satire, calm down,” but also a lot of people who are really clearly visibly upset by this.

It makes me wonder; personally, I’ve got no horse in this fight.  I don’t even watch the Colbert Report.  But I’m interested when I see a lot of people whose opinions I respect taking contrary positions on the same issue, because it makes me wonder how whatever the true thing is, it can be so vastly different for different people.

Anyway, I’ve been meaning to write some things about satire, so I guess I will.



This fucking show.  Okay, so, let me be clear about one thing right at the front here:  I like all of the actors on this show.  Nicole Beharie, Clancy Brown, that Handsome Guy, John Cho.  Even Orlando Jones!  I didn’t think I’d like to see Orlando Jones, because I think of him as being kind of a silly guy, but no, Orlando Jones is great!  Everyone on this show is great, the diversity of the cast is great, I hope they have long and happy careers.  I even don’t have a problem with them having a long career on THIS show.  I don’t want Sleepy Hollow to get kicked off the air or anything, I am not petitioning for the DESTRUCTION of Sleepy Hollow.

I want Sleepy Hollow to be a better show, that’s all.  All those actors that I like, all that chemistry that’s so great, it deserves a better show behind it.


This is a very long essay, and it probably constitutes the end of my interest in NBC’s SMASH. I know that most of you will be happy to hear that.

The second season of Smash begins with Karen Cartwright (Katherine McPhee), dressed as Marilyn Monroe, onstage and singing a song called “Cut, Print… Moving On.” Like all the songs on Smash, it is utterly devoid of context; like all the songs on Smash, it seems impossible that there’s any way to combine it with any of the other songs to form something even resembling a comprehensible musical. All pretense that the in-story show, Bombshell, is really a play that people might actually want to watch is abandoned. The song could have easily been called “Here Is the Beginning of the Second Season, We Have a New Creative Team, We Noticed It Too; Aren’t We All Very Clever?”


So, recently you probably heard about this episode of Hawaii Five-0 (I watch Hawaii Five-0 sometimes, for a number of terrible reasons.  Among them: my regular TV only gets three network TV channels; I never remember when Hawaii Five-0 is on so it keeps taking me by surprise; Grace Park is hot to death.  I guess that last reason is an okay reason), where they had the audience text in who they thought the murderer was.  The writers wrote THREE DIFFERENT ENDINGS, and the ending you voted on would be the one that happened!  It’s like a choose your own adventure novel, except with Scott Caan infringing on the civil rights of murder suspects.

Here is the thing.  I think this is not a bad idea.


People always say that I think too hard about things, and I always take offense to that.  In the first place, because I am not thinking hard about things, I am just regular-noticing regularly-noticeable things.  In the second place, thinking about the world is the natural state of being, we do that automatically.  It’s not WORK to think about something, it’s work to NOT think about it, so I don’t see why I should suffer the accusations of responsibility.  I’m not even doing anything.  But also, sometimes things don’t make sense.  Like, imagine if you were watching a movie about the Frost/Nixon interviews, and at one point Richard Nixon ducked into a cafe because the sky had started raining Oobleck.

That would bother you guys, right?  That is regular old noticing.

So.  Revolution, coming September to NBC:  I have some questions about your trailer.