Thursday, October 19, 2006

Stardate 60799.59 - Friday Off

Friday I am taking the day off and going sailing all day. I'm on a boat in the morning with a skipper I've sailed with in the past who is in dental school, and in the afternoon I'm sailing with my instructor from the class - Julian. The boats are hauled out for the winter on Sunday, so this is my last opportunity to sail this year. Over the winter I am going to take a Coastal Navigation course (schedule permitting) and next year I'll try and take the Coastal Cruising course. My plan is to take the club's skipper test by the end of next season. I have 31.5 hours of sailing time in (not including the intro class), so I should have no problem getting 100 additional hours in next season.

In other news, there has been an interesting conversation going on in the comments section of one of Jessica Stover's posts on the state of TV and movies. All my readers who are fans of the TV show Heroes should check out the on-going dialog.


JamesF said...

Gz, I can't believe I'm going to respond to this with something longer than I would normally post on my own blog, but here goes nothing. And Curt, I know you like Jessica, so let me just say none of this is directed at you (the only reason it's here is because you linked it and I foolishly followed it at your suggestion) nor am I trying to invalidate your like of her work.

However, when I actually clicked through the link to JSDC (since I do actually like and watch Heroes), what do I get?

Oh! And, incidentally, if you think that NBC show Heroes is good, you are wrong, fooled and have been ripped-off. (Suckax2.)

Gee, insightful! And she even backed it up with valid reasoning. Oh wait, no she really didn't. Unless I'm misreading that and the "Suckax2" is actually bizarro speak and implies she meant the opposite of what she said (although it sure looks like it's "sucker times 2" in 'leet' speak).

I'm sorry, but her whole post read like "Sour Grapes" to me. Actually, that's not entirely true since she clearly is interested in being a participant the movie biz, but hasn't managed to make that happen yet. I guess I would just have to categorize it as whining then.

The comments were mildly interesting, but only because a couple of people disagreed with her on her verdict of Heroes, and there wasn't that much of a discussion about the show itself (just whether people liked it or not).

Whether Jessica realizes it or not, the movie industry she so clearly idolizes is fast on the way of the dodo. While there still may be a good movie once in a while, they'll be the exception rather than the rule. Television is where the best entertainment and production quality is going to be in the future. One simply has to look at how the quality of TV shows has been improving in the past decade to see this. Buffy, Angel, Firefly, 24, Veronica Mars, Battlestar Galactica, CSI, Lost, Grey's Anatomy and Heroes just to name a few. The production and writing quality behind these shows is excellent. Serial / episodic television shows are clearly where things are headed. Look at the current crop of new shows this season. That's not to say every episodic show is going to find a base of viewers significant enough to keep them afloat. Farscape and Firefly both had trouble gaining audience share (although FOX is largely to blame for the demise of Firefly, but that's a topic for another discussion). Take Veronica Mars, the first season of that show could easily be ranked one of the best serialized television shows ever produced, but it's still having a tough time gaining and keeping an audience. That's not to say everything on TV is going to be good (for all the good stuff, you'll have some crappy FOX soap opear show too).

The fact of the matter is that a largescale character driven story simply cannot be told in the ninety minute to two hour limit a movie imposes. That's not to say there's no place for movies, since comedies need not worry about such things (and one shot action films have a niche there as well I suspect). I think the last movie in the theaters that I really liked that stood on it's own was Matrix. I'm ignoring the LOTR movies simply because they did not conform to the existing movie formula of time limits and they were intended to be three movies from the beginning. I'm also going to ignore that Reloaded and Revolution exist and treat Matrix as a stand alone movie, because that's what it was originally intended to be and works on that level more so than the forced on sequels.

Clearly though episodic television allows for more character development and buildup to be done. And you can already tell it's heading that way as bigger names lend themselves to long term television projects (just look at Martin Sheen, Keifer Sutherland, Gina Davis, Charlie Sheen and a host of others).

Crap, I have more I want to ad, but it's late and I'm tired, and I think I've veered far enough off on a tangent anyway.

CAPT_Sawyer said...

Long post. Couple of comments:

1. I don't always agree with Jess. We had a pretty long e-mail exchange once about athletes and their place in society and their compensation that was fairly heated considering Jess and I have never met face-to-face. So just because she says Heroes sucks doesn't mean I think it sucks.

2. If she makes a comment without backing it up, post a comment and ask her to explain herself. I know she'd be happy to do so.

3. Bad movies will continue to be made as long as people with bad taste continue to go to them. But as I learned from South Park, 25% of all Americans are retarded so we may indeed be doomed.

CAPT_Sawyer said...

Oh, and I sent an e-mail to Jess letting her know this comment was here (you really should have posted it to her site). She is pretty busy these days, but perhaps she will pop over here and read it.

CAPT_Sawyer said...

Oh, and one more thing. While Jessica frequently comments on the state of things, I've not known her to "whine" in the almost 2 years I've been reading her blog and corresponding with her. I know she values differences of opinion and she usually has data to back up her position on things, so the only thing in your post she might take issue with is when you categorize it as whining.

Damn! Now it sounds like I'm defending her. She can do that just fine on her own.

JamesF said...

The whining thing I admit is subjective. It really did come across more as sour grapes, but the only way sour grapes works is if you renounce your desire for the object in question (in this case, producing a movie), which she hasn't (to my knowledge). I'll agree whining may have been too much, but given my lack of eloquence I'm having a hard time coming up with the correct word that represents what's going on as I perceive it (it would be somewhere between lamenting and whining, so what word falls within in that spectrum, "bemoan" maybe?). And I think it's important to realize that this is only my subjective perception. I've had very limited exposure to her. I've read interviews with her a couple of times when you link them, but I don't regularly read her blog. That said, when I read that entry, to me, it sounded like something akin to whining (or maybe grousing? Hmm, nope, I still can't find the word I'm looking for).

And maybe I'm reading too much into this, but the comment about how if I like Heroes then I'm "wrong" and have been "fooled" and "ripped-off" just screams conceit. I can't remember, but I think I had basically the same comment when you showed her 'trailer' here and inside the trailer she said (and I'm going to somewhat paraphrase here, because honestly I don't remember it that well, but I know I wrote something about it in your comments way back when) people were stupid and wouldn't buy good literature and only bought from the big publishers. Call me crazy, but insulting your potential audience isn't usually the best way to get them to try your stuff. And as for Heroes, it may well be a show that is complete and utter crap. That however does not change my subjective opinion that I like it. Saying you don't like something is one thing, assigning wholesale judgment rendering other people's opinons invalid would, in my mind, require more subject matter expertise. I personally can say I didn't like the movie "Lord Of War", and I can even say it's a bad movie, but that doesn't make the movie bad because of my tastes, nor does it imply someone else is wrong if they happen to like it.

JamesF said...

Let's just beat on this a while longer.

you really should have posted it to her site

I just went back there and saw how her 'community' basically reemed your brother-in-law for posting shows he watches. Now I will freely admit that I hope he was joking about those particular shows all being top notch. I know he wasn't joking about watching those particular shows, but he may have been being flippant in calling them top notch. I know I have a couple of guilty pleasure shows that don't qualify as top notch or really have much in the way of redeeming value (Robot Chicken comes to mind). Anyway, if that's the kind response someone gets when they post a comment there that goes against the grain, that would be the reason why I didn't post my comment there.

CAPT_Sawyer said...

If you say that NFL Football Cheerleader Tryouts is a "top notch show," you need to be prepared to be made fun of.

-s said...

Don't mess with NFL Cheerleader Playoffs. NFL Network didn't show it this week and I'm already pissed off.

And that wasn't reaming -- actually it was kind of sad how flaccid the response was. Hardly worth even getting worked up about.

Oh yeah -- I didn't include 24 because it's not in-season. I basically recited the DVR list.

CAPT_Sawyer said...

Jessica responds in the comments section to the original post.