Really, I just wanted to make sure the "vampires" tag keeps pace with the "religion" tag.
Tanya Huff (
The book contains a teleplay that Huff wrote for the series, "Stone Cold," as well as a really entertaining essay about the teleplay-writing-process. So I got interested in seeing it, and downloaded it from iTunes and watched it on the Greyhound back to Seattle.
The weird thing in the episode — and maybe if I’d been a regular watcher this wouldn’t have struck me as so weird — was the way the dialogue of the other characters sometimes implied that the character was "older" and not particularly beautiful (yeah, right.) It was also odd the way other people kept mentioning that she wears glasses. The glasses are a plot point, she’s an ex cop because of a degenerative eye problem, but I only know that from reading the book. Watching the show, it just seemed so weird that people would say, "Did a woman with glasses come in here?" as if the sight of a woman with glasses is so unusual that it’s a really distinguishing feature, like "Did a woman with a parrot on her head come in here?" And I guess, in TV-land, maybe it really is that unusual. But it still seemed odd.
Another thing I watched was the pilot for K-Ville, a short-lived 2007 series about cops in New Orleans. (iTunes offered it as one of their weekly freebies. I also have an episode of Bones, which I watched on the way up to Bellingham) I did not end up liking it at all. It struck an awkward tone where on the one hand, it was obviously trying to be so gritty and "real," yet its view of the city ended up feeling as fake and stereotypical as the deliberate parody in The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase.
It had all sorts of interesting-on-paper concepts that somehow didn’t add up to anything, mixed in with a few things that were outright ludicrous. (Example: there’s a scene where a blues singer gets shot right in the middle of a performance. In a small, crowded club. And the shooter is apparently invisible, because nobody sees him, and he gets away by literally vanishing, but that’s not actually a plot point, it’s just lazy writing and poorly thought-out scene staging.)
The worst aspect of it, to me, was world building. I recently had the idea that all fiction actually has world-building, not just SF. This occurred to me as I was reading the wonderful novel Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, which is a fantasy set in an alternate English history. And I think Susanna Clarke recognized that modern readers need just as much (if not more) world-building to understand the ordinary everyday aspects of early 19th century England as they do to understand the fantasy concepts.
So anyway, K-Ville has world-building problems of the overt and clunky kind: people are always saying things that people would never say, in order to establish the premise. It does not seem like the people there take their own world for granted, the way people do. So people talking to each other about rebuilding efforts in the ninth ward come across like people explaining the warp drive to each other for no readily apparent reason.
Last night I saw the first 20 or 30 minutes of a 1968 Peter Sellers film, I Love You Alice B. Toklas. (Alice B. Toklas is apparently an outdated slang term for pot brownies.) I fell asleep, but I wasn’t enjoying the early scenes enough to go back and rewatch the whole thing. It was a comedy, I suppose, but the dialogue was slow and low-energy and unfunny and kind of sloppy, as if the actors were making it up, or stoned, or something. Who knows, it was 1968.
Based on the reviews I checked out this morning, if I had kept watching, I would have seen Sellers’ character leave his stereotypically aging, clingy and slightly desperate fiancee for a young, gorgeous hippie chick. So I fell asleep before getting to the part that would have really made me want to punch the movie in the face.
Naturally, he’s the star, so he doesn’t deserve the ordinary woman his own age and attractiveness level, oh no. He deserves the woman who is much younger and hotter and more interesting than he is. Talk about pathetic male fantasies.
What is it with late 60s movies and disgusting sexual politics anyway? Even my beloved Star Trek was often tainted by this kind of stupidity. It sometimes feels like feminist ideas, which had been advancing since the start of the 60s, suddenly took a great leap backward before leaping forward dramatically in the 1970s.