Archive for September, 2010

This Shirvell Cat

Posted: September 30, 2010 in Braak

Really is an unfathomable idiot.

What I especially like are his repeated assertions that “gender-neutral” housing is part of the radical homosexual agenda.

As though a situation in which a man and a woman can live in a room together in college is somehow MORE GAY than the situation in which two guys can live together.


The flashback structure of Lost had its problems, chief among them that sometimes there wouldn’t seem to be much point (coughKATEcough). But at its core, it was a clever way of illustrating some personality defect or long-simmering anxiety within the character.

The flashback structure on The Event has a different problem – it seems to mirror the storytelling capability of That Guy Who Can’t Quite Remember How A Joke Goes.

While watching the second episode, I was constantly reminded of the Dr. McNinja story (that comes after one that laid down a lot of groundwork that didn’t make much impression on its own), and is appropriately titled, “I Told You That Story So I Could Tell You This One.”

Show: OK, so yeah, so the guy piloting the suicide plane, Jason Ritter’s trying to stop him –
Audience: Wait, why’s that?
Show: OH! Oh right, uhhh [FLASHBACK: A WEEK AGO] It’s his girlfriend’s dad.  (more…)

Thoughts About Genre Forms

Posted: September 27, 2010 in Braak, poetics
Tags: , , ,

So, I was updating my website the other day — The Chris Braak Website Experience — to include some new short story work, and to make the scripts of my plays available.  The depressing awareness that I’m going to turn 30 in five months and I haven’t made my fortune as a literary genius yet was offset, slightly, by the realization that, with the exception of two short stories, I’ve written everything — two novels, thirteen short stories, four full-length plays, six short plays — in the last three years.  The Translated Man was finished on January 27, 2007; practically everything else was subsequent to that.

So, that made me feel okay.  But!  Anyway.  Jefferson Robbins suggested that I write something about the difference between writing regular prose and writing for the stage.  I responded LIKE A JERK by pretending I didn’t realize that there was a difference.  But of course there is a difference, and I am aware of it.


I enjoy the fall pilot season as much as anyone, but I wish these shows would realize: we’ve got other shit we’re already watching. Meaning, the fight for my attention span and DVR space is already pretty high (particularly on the down and dirty streetfight nights of Monday and Thursday).

They can’t just bring their A-games. They need to bring their exclamation point, dollar sign, and asterix games (we’re going alphabetically, but numbers and symbols first, right? This is why “24” always did so well.).

Fortunately, I can save myself a lot of time this year, since the lines are broken into TV You’ve Already Seen (three lawyer shows and at least three cop shows this year), TV You Know Is Gonna Be Good (was anyone thinking Boardwalk Empire would be a stinker? Then you are a cynic!), and TV That’s Juuuust Different Enough to Warrant a Look (the surprisingly pleasant Nikita and Terriers, and this week’s The Event and Undercovers).

So: Three quick looks, starting with…

Hawaii 5-0:

I wanted to like this, mostly because I like Daniel Dae Kim and wanted him to have a role where he can just smile pleasantly and slap people on the back for a change. And hey, Hawaii. Watched a show that filmed there for six years, and it always looked really nice. Even the cork that kept the soul of the world in (or whatever was going on there).  (more…)

Numbers Crunching

Posted: September 21, 2010 in Braak
Tags: , ,

There was a blog post over at Kung Fu Monkey about self-publishing that’s gotten me thinking about some stuff, and so I’m going to consider it “out loud” as it were, here, in front of all of you, so that my mistakes can be subject to your scrutiny and you can feel better about yourselves for my failures.


I noticed this when I was in the bookstore.  “Gosh,” I thought to myself, “maybe if someone wrote a book about a zombie outbreak, maybe that would be cool!”

Probably it will never happen, though.  In the meantime, here are some thoughts about zombies.


I have been playing this computer game called Dragon Age.  Maybe you’ve heard of it?  It came out, like, two years ago, or something.  I don’t know if that’s true, it’s just been around for a while I think.

ANYWAY.  Firstly, this game is tit-tastic.  Just, boobs everywhere.  Which, hey great.  But, secondly, and this is interesting to me:  it has a pretty intricate plot that you can make significant changes to by make particular choices in the game.