What Is This New TV Show I’m Watching?

Posted: June 14, 2010 in Braak

I think it’s called, “Some People Are in a Motel Being Spied On.”  I imagine that they have significant relationships to each other, or something.  Also, they’re all connected in unexpected and surprising ways.  Maybe they all wronged some guy when he was a kid, but now he’s a millionaire, and has lured them all to his nuclear-proof underground bunker so that they’ll have to be nice to him because a nuclear war is coming, only it’s all fake, but they don’t like him anyway?

Someone put a bug in her room, oh no!  Significance!

I’m not sure this is a really good premise for a TV show.  The premise isn’t generative, you know?  The nature of the story isn’t self-sustaining, it’s self-fulfilling.  That is, every action that the characters take with regards to the premise in some way brings the premise closer to being finished.

UPDATE:  It is called “Persons Unknown,” and NEXT week is that episode of the Twilight Zone where there’s not enough room in the fallout shelter.

  1. braak says:

    “What is the mystery?” We’ll say. “What is really going on here?” And then we’ll find out, and the longer we’ve had to wait, the more disappointed we’ll be.

    OH. I wonder if the law of diminishing returns with regards to TV suspense is actually calculable?

    IN OTHER NEWS: someone should make a movie about Cthulhu, that should start with the Bloop.

  2. braak says:

    IN OTHER OTHER NEWS: Hahah. Jonah Hex has a crossbow that shoots dynamite.

  3. braak says:

    Now they have tried to escape the evil town in a van, then they went into a light, and ended up back where they started.

    How can these effects be achieved?

    1) Drugs. But why would they end up back in the van? Why wouldn’t they wake up in their beds?

    2) It’s all in someone’s imagination. But that’s stupid.

    3) Time-warping powers. Time is frozen, and they’re brought back. Except, obviously, it’s still raining. Except that guy’s bruises are all gone, so maybe they just waited until it started raining again?

    4) Space-warping powers. Except the bruises, see above.

    5) Mind-control. Some kind of super-hypnosis machine, along with a totally controlled environment, like in The Truman Show. That guy with the bruises will turn out to be twins.

    Interestingly, the function of the show is that it generates suspense, by creating arbitrary suspenseful scenarios. “They can’t get out; now they can get away, but only if they hurry!” Like if you were taking a writing class and the assignment was, “You’ve got four characters. Give them a clear objective that they have to accomplish, establish what is standing in their way.”

  4. wench says:

    Oooh. I had just downloaded this from itunes. I wish I’d waited for your review. Dang.

  5. Jeff Holland says:

    As I understand it, it’s structured as a 13-episode miniseries – which is what we all gripe about network TV not doing enough of when they try for the Big Mysterious shows. So, points for effort, at least.

    I have DVR’d the first two episodes, but dammit, the last episode of Doctor Who once again took precedence. And I think “The Good Guys” might beat it to the punch when I’m looking for recorded shows to watch tomorrow.

  6. Jeff Holland says:


    My absolute glee at Jonah Hex’s dynamite-gun is being tempered with the ads’ insistence on showing me Megan Fox, who is quickly becoming a deterrent.

    I’m going to need another commercial where Jonah makes a glib comment about how he got that scar before I decide for sure whether to catch it or not.

    …OK, I’m lying. I will absolutely go see a Jonah Hex movie. It’s just Megan Fox makes me less enthusiastic than I would otherwise be. GATLING GUNS ON A HORSE!

  7. braak says:

    @Holland: Well! Interesting. That actually DOES make me more inclined to watch it the whole way through.

    I won’t, because I do stuff on the evenings, and never pay attention to TV schedules, but if I were the kind of person that watched TV on the evenings, I might seriously consider watching this show.

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