Which shows could have the potential to take a storyline in a new and fascinating direction, rather than letting it slide into Tropeville?
Every now and then, I like to indulge myself with fantasies of storylines that could be, if only I could trust television to do them right. Those dreams loom especially large in the wake of finale season, when I think ahead to what we’ll be seeing on network television in the fall, and wonder if this is perhaps the year when television breaks out of itself to do something amazing. Which shows could have the potential to take a storyline in a new and fascinating direction, rather than letting it slide into Tropeville? And what could they do with said storyline?
What is it about Veronica Mars that compels so many to adore this show so fiercely that they become rabid evangelists? Here’s your chance to catch up
Like Veronica Mars fans the world over, I waited with bated breath when creator Rob Thomas launched a Kickstarter campaign challenging fans to pay for the movie he’d been promising since the show went off the air in 2007. His fund raising goals seemed ambitious, but we couldn’t help but nurse high hopes—especially since the numbers on the Kickstarter started turning over faster than our eyes could follow once it went live.
If you are expecting something conclusive with definitive answers, prepare to be disappointed, because that’s not what this drama is about.
Sundance is furthering its exploration into scripted dramas with Rectify, premiering 22 April. The drama revolves around Daniel Holden (Aden Young), a prisoner released from death row after spending almost 20 years in solitary confinement. He’s exonerated after irregularities in his case force the judge to vacate his sentence, suddenly dropping him into the chaotic reality of the outside world.
The fact that nothing has occurred has turned the series fundamentally uninteresting.
The sixth season of Mad Men aired on Sunday to rather a mixed response from critics; Alyssa Rosenberg at Think Progress probably put it most succinctly when she noted that: ‘The risk for Mad Men is that nothing can be new for Don anymore, while still needing to find ways to make him new for us.’ The lustre of the media and critical darling, which had racked up a stack of awards and accolades, appears to be fading, and some people are disappointed now that the bloom has come off the rose.
Surely we’re in Guy Ritchie country, style over substance? Think again.
London 1999. In the shadow of the Millennium Dome, men with faces as rough as Bethnal Green tube station laugh and leer at the camera. These monsters in bow ties are grotesque; their mirth rains like rancid nails, their stories are tired and worn like old 78s. Smoke rises, expelled from their black lungs filling the boxing hall with violent nostalgia, sinister nonsense.
Why are television creators in the United States so terrified of the reaper?
One of the most critically acclaimed episodes of Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer was season five’s ‘The Body,’ about the death of Buffy and Dawn’s mother Joyce. In a television show where death, mysterious happenings, and horror were weekly events, the characters were incapacitated by the very prosaic, natural, and commonplace death of Joyce; it was jarring, startling, and unlike seemingly everything else in the series, totally natural and utterly irreversible.
On Elementary, the real case study is in human beings, not in criminology.
CBS’ Elementary has been saddled with the difficulty of distinguishing itself from the beloved BBC Sherlock, and, in a sense, justifying its existence. Sherlock fans were incensed when the rival show started running, and even before episodes aired, many people put in their two cents about the casting of Lucy Liu as Joan Watson, suggesting that her character was an abomination against all that was canon. You can’t have a woman, let alone an Asian-American woman, in the sacred role of Watson! That would ruin everything!
If you adore Dan Brown, like bad history, and find yourself sorely missing highly sensationalised versions of Christian orders in your life, you’ll probably like Zero Hour.
Conspiracy theories have always been part of society. When an explanation for something can be made as convoluted as feasibly possible—and when people convince themselves that some sort of coverup must be involved—conspiracy theories fill the gap between what is seen and what is imagined, what is believed and what has actual evidentiary support. With organisation into societies with layers of bureaucracy, secrecy, and political power came the inevitable (and sometimes correct) conclusion among ordinary citizens that great conspiracies were at work below the fabric of their society.
The raw sentimentality in all of these spots speaks to a country of people living in fearful, restless times who want some kind of reassurance that the American Empire is not yet dead
Last night marked one of the biggest annual sporting events in the US, a collection of glitz and glamour on the gridiron. This year’s event had some additional fireworks in the form of a halftime show by Beyoncé that brought down the house and a 35 minute power outage in New Orleans’ Superdome that attracted more attention than the prolonged infrastructure problems New Orleans is still experiencing in a post-Katrina world, let alone the post-Sandy damage the East Coast is still recovering from. Let us ponder, for a moment, the absurd grossness involved in the expenditure of vast sums of money by organisers and attendees for the Super Bowl when many communities in the region still lack basic needs.
Suffering: The new escapism?
BBC America’s ‘Dramaville’ brings warmed-over helpings of British television to US shores for those who haven’t caught it on the Internet already, and Ripper Street is reheated Ripper, so it seems like a reasonable combination. The crime drama opens in Whitechapel six months after the infamous Ripper murders, when everyone was still on edge after the brutality of 1888, and many wondered if the Ripper had truly gone, or simply taken a break…
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