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in a web of glass, pinned to the edges of vision

Observations on Television, of which I've been watching far too much of late.

I'd forgotten how often we saw Magritte

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Observations on Television, of which I've been watching far too much of late.

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hate television. HATE. (made by Saunteri
So a few observations cross my mind.

1: Kindred: the Embraced is running on SyFy in a marathon right now. Full disclosure- I saw the premiere of this before it aired, as I was working as an executive assistant at White Wolf at the time. At the time I was staring at the TV just going '...everything I wanted to see is here: why is this a terrible show?'
Subjecting myself to about a half-episode today, I've pinned it down.
See, Twin Peaks was partly groundbreaking because it skewered (especially in the first season) the stereotypical TV shows of its era (the early 90s) so accurately. The 'Invitation to Love' recurring TV show that everyone in the TV show watches; the slightly overblown soundtrack which reacts in odd ways to the continuity of the show (which Lynch skewered so wonderfully by having the characters in the show put on these moody Angelo Badalamenti tracks, complain that their daughters are blasting the guests out of their hotel rooms). The way in which every moment of dialogue is delivered as if there's a MILLION LAYERS OF SIGNIFICANCE below the surface.
TV changed, dramatically, between the influences of Twin Peaks and Northern Exposure.
Kindred: the Embraced continued along nicely and neatly on the old Spelling/Buena Vista Entertainment playbook that fueled Dynasty. Note for note, letter for letter, without apology or irony. In 1995. And that is what smothered this baby in the crib. For an added ironic note: almost half the cast of K:tE wound up turning up on Buffy the Vampire Slayer doing bit parts (one of them at least 4 different episodes I can think of). Buffy, the showpiece of late-90s genre dramady (drama + comedy).
They who do not learn from history are, apparently, doomed to repeat it.

2: SyFy used to have something of this same unconscious self-spoof edge: they've lost it along with losing any spelling related to English (though apparently unaware their new name is a close relative of Polish slang for syphillis). No, now, they revel in the fact their movies are crappy, their original series are perhaps even worse, and in hurting people's brains with marathon showings of shows that are perhaps so bad they are bad for the viewer.

3: the modern preponderance of genre shows- Fringe, The Event, and others- reminds me that the last time we saw such a plethora of genre television, we were in the middle of the economic crunch of the 70s (and the last serious wave of jihadi terrorism, but that's another bit of byplay). Why's that, exactly? What about economic hardship makes genre TV look like a good bet?

4: Ancient Aliens Fought Space Jesus for Hitler's Brain: really, History Channel, there are over 6000 years of recorded human history. I would think you could have much more fun with reality than with von Daniken-esque twaddle.

5: HGTV is gay enough I'm not sure I'm supposed to watch it.
  • 3. It's the escapism.

    2. Woe, SyFy. :( It really isn't...building on its legacy here.
  • i was a part of a VERY dark V:TM larp when this show was on... wow. We ... were not very nice to Vampire; 90210.....
  • 2. I think it helped when SG-1 really came into its own; the extra bout of self-spoof was really good and well timed.

    And, once again, Stargate is the only thing worth watching on that channel. IMO of course, I know a plethora who don't like it. But I do.

    Which is why I watch it on Hulu.

    3. andstillitmoves said it. echoed here. When times are particularly tough, people need more of that which takes them away. too bad Calgon's not advertising more.

  • (no subject) -
    • To be fair, only the third season of forever Knight was actually good.
      • (no subject) -
        • Oh, I agree. he was the best thing in it, something i think the writers failed to grasp until second season. What better way for a bored and vindictive Elder to spend eternity doing than tormenting his progeny. He played that part with such mischeif and relish.

          I have to admit that Vashon was right in my attraction sweet spot though, and there was the delightful screed. I have a theory that Spike is what happens when you take Vashon and Screed and make them into the same vampire.
    • Same highschool as Fast Times at Ridgemont High, too! :)
  • i like fringe. i think of it as a more weirdo xfiles.
    • I love it too: I think of it as X-Files if X-Files had been constructed with an overarching plot from the get-go instead of Chris Carter trying to tack one in about 2-3 years in.
  • Enh, I like Eureka, and Warehouse 13 and Sanctuary have their moments. Don't really watch anything else there, though, and I absolutely refuse to spell their channel in any way but the old spelling.
    • I definitely have enjoyed what I've caught of Warehouse 13, and Haven I enjoy because Eric Balfour just makes me smile- he always comes across very affable. Sanctuary I cought an ep of and was... impressed by the production quality, and confused by the plot I had not seen any of.

      And on the other hand, there's Sharktopus.
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