Friday, May 10, 2013

MIXED BAG BLOG #5: SAVE THE SHOW CAMPAIGNS, WAY-TOO MUCH SUMMER MOVIE ANTICIPATION, and THE ANONYMOUS COMMENTER

Well, this week, I've had some inexplicable pains upper and down my upper body, especially me neck and shoulders area, that are still aching, to the point, where I probably should be lying down, as well as a car that's broken down, so now the pains have to go along with bus rides, that has been comforting. On top of that, there isn't a whole lot of stuff out there that I thought worthy of an entire blogpost to discuss, so we're gonna do a little MIXED BAG BLOG, today and just talk briefly on a couple subjects and goings on, that I have some minor thoughts on. Hope you enjoy it.

WHY ARE WE ALWAYS TRYING TO SAVE TV SHOWS THAT SUCKED?!



Once upon a time, the late Senator Robert Byrd, once petition on the floor of the Senate, to save his favorite TV show, "Gunsmoke". Before the age of the internet, that was probably the most well-known recorded incident, of a fan, saving a TV show from cancellation; now it's hard to believe that actually worked. (Well, not that hard actually, "Gunsmoke" had been on for too long to begin with, and was already saved many times by CBS, including famous incident, where it got it's twentieth season, and forced a sudden, late cancellation of "Gilligan's Island".) Anyway, the point being is that, the moment a TV show, with any kind of remote popularity, seems rumored to be on the chopping block, there's automatically a "Save the Show" campaign, starting on the internet, and apparently the more rabid the fanbase is to save a show, the more likely the show gets saved, or at least they hope so, or at least have the show continue in some manner.

The most recent example, was the proposed "Veronica Mars" movie, which used a new source for generating money for projects called "Kickstarter", and apparently it reached it's goal in, what seemed like seconds, and now suddenly, I have a "Veronica Mars" movie to review in the future. Don't know why, but, I have one. That's the thing, why are all "Save the Show" campaigns, for shows that aren't that good? Well, that's not completely true, as "Arrested Development" is proof of that, but "Roswell", "Jericho", "Veronica Mars", even if you're a fan, just based on perspective, I'd think objectively you'd look around the TV landscape, and realize that most of these shows aren't worth keeping. There's a reason most of these shows are on verge on cancellation to begin with and frankly it's never the shows that should be saved. Where was the Save "Studio 60..." campaign when we needed it? I joined the Save "Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23", campaign, after that show got cancelled earlier this year, and that one I'm disappointed about, but it's not like I don't understand ABC's logic in cancelling it. It wasn't the highest rated show, it pressed a few boundaries that a few people were probably not really comfortable pushing, especially for ABC, it doesn't fit well with the rest of their schedule.... I'm a little surprised, someone like TBS didn't pick it up, but you know, you move on. I spoke about TV's fluidity on my last post, and I think in some cases, these cult superfans' attempts at saving certain shows is just strange, 'cause I have a hard time imagining that, based on the majority of shows I see trying to get saved, that it's rarely about a show's quality that's saving them. This also goes back to my constant complaining that too many shows are being made for specific demographics alone, and it isn't the quality so much as the parts of the show themselves, or the age group that these shows attract, and they happen to be the same group, that when there shows might be going, force a temper tantrum, hoping to get their way. I understand the urge, but as an artist, where does that end? Cause that can lead to some dangerous demands, such as them forcing a show to end a certain way, and give them control of the show. For instance, every time a fan get pissed off, when a beloved character on a show, suddenly dies. As a writer, it's called, "Killing your babies," and you're taught to do things like that, because it builds the stakes, and besides that, it wouldn't be dramatic if a character who isn't that important dies or has something tragic happen to them; you need that emotional pull and hook. Or if there's something else they don't like, what are they gonna do, insist it all be a dream like that season of "Dallas"? It's not their show, it's the creators', and fan pressure is a lot to live up to. As a writer, I wouldn't want to do that. Good or bad, shows are about expressing oneself, and when one project dies, we tend to like to move on to something else, and not keep getting dragged down into our old work. That's why the two "Sex and the City" movies sucked. Hopefully, some of these other franchise renewals won't, and in the case "Veronica Mars", I hope the movie is better than the show ever was. (BTW, you ever notice, they're always the CW shows, that keep getting these Save the Show campaigns?) In the meantime, I think it's best that people watch as much TV as possible, as opposed to becoming addicted to just one thing. It takes some searching sometimes, but there's plenty of good stuff on TV if you look for it, and open your minds sometimes. I think if more people did, they wouldn't be so insistent on some shows coming back.

At least with "Veronica Mars," they wrote the movie first, and then started asking for funding, at least that means the creators already have the next chapter, and they came up with that on their own, and they're doing it their way. Hopefully that's a good thing, and especially since that show's material always seemed better for film than television.

ANTICIPATION, IS MAKING ME... ANGRY! (Well, mildly annoyed at least) 

Every time I turn on a podcast or read a blog about how great some trailer is, or how everyone's getting pumped and excited to see a film that's not even gonna released for months, or years on end, it makes me want to throw something at them. Preferably heavy, and hit them in the back of the head. I know I'm an entertainment blogger, but this is truly an emotion or behavior, that I have no understanding of, at all. That's not to say, that I'm not paying attention to the industry or keeping notes about what's coming up, I am, but why all the press and excitement over, whatever, the Superman movie or something? You haven't even heard if it's any good yet, why is everybody excited to watch something? And if they say, it's because the trailer looks amazing, I'm gonna hit them!  

I've discussed my emotions on trailers before, the link to that blogpost is below:

http://davidbaruffi.blogspot.com/2012/04/trailers-trailers-trailers-why-you.html

and I understand, if maybe the entertainment news shows, the bad fluffy ones like "Extra" cover something like that, but the serious cinephiles and bloggers? Why? We're the ones who should know better! Who should know how the industry works, and can look at it, from an insider's perspective, and go, "This is part of the Hollywood Media Machine, let's ignore all of this." I get it, I get sucked up in once in a while too. I mentioned that I never base a movie choice on a movie's trailer, but that's not to say that, when the "Before Midnight" trailer came out, that I wasn't the first one searching for it on Youtube, but I was probably the 14th or 15th, and yeah, to some extent, I'm looking forward to it, but I'm not gonna watch it right away as it hits theaters, and I'm certainly not gonna watch it, until I read a few trustworthy reviews. If it turns out, that if most of the critics think it's a bunch of crap, well, I'll probably still watch it, but maybe it's a little lower on my Netflix originally, and I don't get to it, right, right away. Before I started reviewing movies, I almost never watched a movie, unless I read about a dozen film reviews on it, at least. (Now, I don't read as many, if any at all) My time and money, was too valuable even then, for me to spend on something I wasn't at least reasonably sure, wasn't going to be worth it. Doesn't mean, I wouldn't watch something that wasn't any good, I would often, come in aware that I might have a negative emotional response. Apparently, this behavior, is in the minority, 'cause everybody else, seems to enjoy letting themselves getting caught up in Summer Movie Season, or whatever and camp out, at least metaphorically, sometimes literally, waiting for all these so-called big new releases to come, and they've been reading up on all the tabloids, and the imdb updates, and hearing about the behind-the-scenes or lack thereof,- well, I just couldn't care. I hate having this conversation:

"I can't wait to see (Insert movie here)" 

"Oh, is it any good?"

"It looks really good!"

Well no shit, it looks good. That's what trailers and the media machine are supposed to do, make things look good. Is it actually good; that's something you can't tell 'til you watch it. This excitement over such things, I find frustrating, especially when it's nothing more than anticipation. When I get excited for a movie, you'll know 'cause I've seen it, and I'll be telling you about it. But, this constant discussion I see and hear from people, about movies beforehand, especially on other film blogs, confuses me, and it never seems to end. From my experiences, it's never a great idea to look ahead and get excited for things. Rarely does the hype every live up to it, and besides that, when you come in, with fewer expectations, especially if it actually turns out to be good, it'll be more of a pleasure and maybe it can be enjoyed more. Anyway, a lot of people, look forward to movies these days, and frankly, it just seems like they're looking too far ahead. 


THE ANONYMOUS COMMENTER

Well, as most of you probably know, my blog, where I revealed my Lammys Ballot, got quite a few responses, and many of them, were critical. (BTW, Congratulations to all the winners. I'm following the Awards, as they're being handed out, and I'm trying to congratulate everyone personally, and on their blog preferably, but I don't get a chance to do that, Congratulations!) Some were more critical than others, but I responded to each of the comments. One commentator, got particularly under my skin however. He actually posted on my Canon of Film blog for "The Visitor", and you can view the entire exchange there, and here's the link to that blog:

http://davidbaruffi.blogspot.com/2013/04/canon-of-film-visitor.html

You can see, I thought this started out, as an actual thoughtful and critical response to my blog, or at least he was trying to do that, I even took some of his advice, as some of you can see, from the new look of my blog, which I'm getting used to still, but I like it. Now, I have no idea who this guy is, other than that, he is probably a Lammy nominee, and that he uses wordpress, as oppose to Blogger, which I use. Nothing for or against either system, I just, ended up using Blogger, and I'm mostly happy with it. Anyway, since I try to answer all legitimate comments if I can, I engaged him, and basically, well, you can see what happened. He's a bully, and whoever he is, chose to pick on me, because I wrote a blog, that he didn't care for. He may claim he's not a bully (although he didn't), but believe me, I know what it feels like when a bully is harassing you, and this was a bully, and I'm not gonna tolerate it. I don't know what he thought he would prove, but whatever he wanted, it effected me, and the fact is, it shouldn't have. Oh, believe me, I am always looking for criticism, especially negative ones about my blog, and I'll take ideas under advisement, and even implement some if it'll get more readers, But I'm not gonna listen to this kind of behavior. Some of you may think I'm being a hypocrite, for saying this, but no, I'm not. I wasn't after anyone personal with my Lammys blog; I just turned my own anger into my work, and now, I let it go. Back to my usual self, and not playing some hyper-exaggerated character of mine. He went after me, for being me. That's where I draw the line, and get angry, and sure enough, looking back, that's probably what he wanted the whole time. That's the thing I love about criticism, it's not personal. At least not for me it isn't. Criticism's not a bad word, it means, you're looking at a piece of art, without the pretext of an emotional construct, and give an opinion, hopefully a well-informed one, and then you move on. Doesn't mean everyone feels that way, but I let it go, and I expect others will do the same. 

I still am confused by his anonymity. He mentioned something about, thinking my site wasn't trustworthy, but I think that's bogus. Normally, I don't even bother with completely anonymous posts; most of which are spam, and in many posts, especially for my "TEN GREATEST TV SHOWS OF ALL-TIME! POLL!," I completely reject anonymous posts, 'cause if you're not putting your name on your comments, why bother. Even a pseudonym, would be find and at least understandable. But, since that wasn't his goal, he just wanted to go after me, without the ability for me to go after him, as though that had crossed my mind. Well, it did, after he kept on badgering me of course. By the time this conversation, if you wish to call it that, had finished, I had already posted my next two blogs. Now, hopefully it's done. Whoever he is, got what he wanted, whatever-the-hell that was. 

As to his complaints, and criticisms, some are legitimate, others not-so-much. Overall, I like being me, and since the best thing I got to put out there into the blog-o-sphere is myself, I see no reason why I shouldn't put that out there, first. What good is to being popular or even, well-liked, if you're pretending your someone else? So if some of you do have some pointed thoughts on how I can improve my blog, I'm always willing to listen obviously, and occasionally, I'll do what I can, to even oblige, but I'm done with that kind of behavior. 









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