Competing Paradigms in TV

[ Confused Mood: Confused ]
[ Watching The Tudors Currently: Watching The Tudors ]
Just watched episode 9 of "The Tudors" and was once again impressed and confused.

I was impressed by the writing, acting, production values, etc. I was confused by the lack of same on the "Majors". Then I remembered "it’s the model".

Showtime, a subscription channel, has once again, produced a top notch program. Following the success of numerous shows including Revsf fave "Dexter", they have created a show that is well written, with characters that are well drawn, even the minor ones. You actually can sympathize with each and every character on the show, understand his or her motives, and be held entranced by what will happen next. One moment, your hoping Wolsey(Sam Neill in an Emmy worthy proformance)can get Henry(JONATHAN RHYS MEYERS is superb as the star/hero/villian) his divorce, and in the next scene, you feel Katherine of Aragon’s(MARIA DOYLE KENNEDY) pain. If your looking for a lot of action/sword play you’ll be disappointed, but if you like political intrigue/cloak and dagger this is for you.

So, the question is; how do the "models" compare? My answer is; poorly.

By "models" I mean the two different business models in TV. One consistently produces top quality, award winning, fan favorites. The other consistently provides disappointment, heartbreak,frustration, monotony, and an overall "bad taste" in many a viewer. The purpose of these different models is the very reason why such a difference exists.

ABC,NBC,CBS,FOX, and that thing that was once WB/UPN, make up broadcasting’s Big 4+1/2. Their primary(sole) purpose is to make advertisers happy by promising lots of people viewing their ads, while ignoring or downplaying the effects of technology(DVRs).

Subscription channels,HBO, Showtime,and other, primary purpose is to keep subscibers(viewers and fans)happy and create watercooler talk amongst them creating more subscribers.

The Big 4.5 concentrate on "winning" certain time slots and days. If a quality show is struggling against a more popular show, the Network will either move it to a new slot or cancel it and try something new. So if CBS has the #1 show on Thurs.8pm and another network has a good show in the same slot, the 2nd place network, in order to please advertisers, will either move the good #2 show to a different day(irrating fans but who cares they don’t pay the bills) or just cancel it. Of course, if fans are watching show #1 and recording show #2, that is irrelevant, because, if they are recording it, then they will FF thru the ads.

The subscription channels don’t care about time slots or winning days. They air their programs several times a week because they understand that not all viewers have the same schedule. They also embrace new technology, offering Video on Demand through the cable companies so the viewer with odd viewing hours can watch their favorite show whenever they want even if they don’t have DVRs.

The Big 4.5 are dedicated to the sponser. If a show falls off in the ratings, advertisers gripe. So to show their loyalty to the sponsers the networks cancels the show, despite the protest of fans, in order to bring in "new blood" to the sponsers audience.

The Subsciption channels are dedicated to the viewers/subscribers. If the ratings fall off for a show, they put it on hiatus, and based on subscriber/fan response, they keep it/kill it. If Rosewell/Invasion/Jericho had been on a subscription channel, subscriber calls, letters,and nuts, would have caused the network to renew, and keep its subscribers.

So my question is, why doesn’t every one (who can afford it)have Showtime/HBO?

I would really like to see every Nielsenn Family get HBO/Showtime and put their Nielsen Tv on HBO/Show, and then put a DVR on their other TV(come on I know everyone has more than 1 TV, even if the BIG4.5 doesn’t)and record your broadcst shows, watch them later and FF thru the commercials.

The Big 4.5 can’t change their business model, but maybe with a little nudge, they can once again, take the viewer and fan into account.

P.S. Anne Boleyn(Natalie Dormer) is Hot! I mean Jessica Alba Hot!

Top nth lists part deux

[ Confused Mood: Confused ]
[ Watching Triumph of the Nerds Currently: Watching Triumph of the Nerds ]
This one is a little more reflective, but not in a silver coated glass kinda way.

Top 13 3/2 most influential genre novels/novellas/short stories/if it’s published on paper it counts, things ever.

This is not a list of favorite, most popular, or any ones opinion of best. The main criteria for inclusion on this list is a works influence and effect on other writers, movies, etc.

1. 20,000 Leagues under the Sea. It was the first Science Fiction blockbuster. Combining interesting characters, political commentary, an exciting story and "future science" it is the Adam of all that is genre.

2.War of the Worlds Another first, while intended as a social commentary on British Imperialism, it was the first of the alien invasions and like 20,000 it is as readable and relevant now as it was a century ago.

3.Frankenstien, Mary Shelly Not the first "monster story" by any means, but one of the most influential "man shouldn’t play at being god" or "somethings are better left alone" stories.

4. The Revelation of Jesus the Christ to the Apostle John, aka: Revelations:New Testament This little epistle told BILLIONS of people that the world as we know it will end, and the end will be violent and nasty and unavoidable, but it did hint at a happy note after a whole lot of famine,plague,war,gnashing of teeth.

5a. Various works of Robert E. Howard OK, so I’m to lazy to pick out a particular opus, and a lot of his stuff was in serialized form. But I give him credit for the modern(from a publication point of view)action adventure hero and the "sword and sorcery" genre.

5b. Various works of H.P. Lovecraft Howard and Lovecraft were closely linked in real life so I had to closely link them in my list. As to why he is influential, if you don’t know, you are on the wrong site.

5c.Weird Tales,Ed:Edwin Baird,Farnsworth Wright,Dorothy McIlwraith, Besides introducing the world to the works of 5a. and 5b.
they were also responsible for the introduction of Clark Ashton Smith, Robert Bloch, Ray Bradbury, Fritz Leiber, and several hundred others who, without that first check would have taken up a career in garbage collection or politics.

6.John W. Campbell and Astounding Science Fiction Primarily, he/it gets credit similar to Weird Tales. Astounding gave us Asimov, A. E. van Vogt, Heinlein, Theodore Sturgeon, et al. but he also wrote himself "Who goes There?" which would become "The Thing" Kurt Russell’s peak as an actor.

7.Dracula by Bram Stoker Thee mother of all vampire stories. Enough said.

8.1984, George Orwell Not the first dystopian novel, nor the best, but the most read and referenced of all dystopian/government out of control stories.

9.The Lord of the Rings:A novelization by Joe Crowe OK, so I really mean the books by that JJR guy. Fantasy has been around in one form or another since quill was put to papyrus. JJR gave us the epic form in a modern tone. It was readable and fun. But most importantly, he gave depth to the secondary characters and minor figures that is still missing from more contemporary works. You empathized with Eowyn, laughed at/with Merry/Pippin, pitied Golum etc. It wasn’t all black hats and white hats.

10. The Time Machine Time travel introduced to the popular masses.

11.The works of Phillip K. Dick Besides having the most R rated names in sci-fi, he wrote cyberpunk before there was cyber or punk.

12.Dune, Frank Herbert Howard and Lovecraft created universes but Herbert took it to an entirely new level. Combining religious, political, social,evolutionary, and sexual equality commintary into a single massive opus that somehow still manages to be fast paced, well written and character driven. He set the standard for the massive universe creating political-intrigue sci-fi novel. Check that, he created something that no one has come even close to.

13.The Prince, Niccolò Machiavelli OK, not a genre work, but it sure as hell influenced a lot of sci-fi and fantasy, particularly Tolkien, Asimov(by his own admission), PK Dick, Heinlein,King (Dark Tower) and numerous others.

This is my list. I decided to list 15 because, well I didn’t decide so much as get tired. So feel free to add/insert/extend anyone I missed just don’t give me a bunch of guy at #4 should have been at #x because the actual ranking are tenuous at best.

And why does tenuous have 2 U’s, that just too many obscure vowels for one word.

Top nth lists

[ Distorted Mood: Distorted ]
[ Listening to Inane ramblings by that late late night scottish guy (and Ca Currently: Listening to Inane ramblings by that late late night scottish guy (and Ca ]
Since there was a recent revival in listology on the site, I’d figured why not add to the mess?

So, my unique best of:

Best TV Series Episode Titles: Friends, Every ep. was "the one with/where…" which is how we actually think of everything.

Best Star Trek episode involving Quark, Odo, Kirk, Voyager’s Holo’doc, Neelix, and Seven of Nine: Boston Legal: any ep.

Best mood music: Supernatural, BOC, Pink Floyd, AC/DC, etc if the writing wasn’t so good, I’d watch just for the sound track.

Best Theme Song (TV):TIE That 70’s Show: Cheap Trick, just cause I remember rock’in to that song, it reminds me of my high school days (changed very slightly for the show)

Tour of Duty: Paint it Black, Rolling Stones, this very short run (i.e good)show about "the ‘nam" was very well written and acted, and therefore doomed. Interesting note, in any syndicated version of the show a different theme song is used??? The original song really set the "dark" theme of the show.

Seriously, the first 2 seasons of this show (there were only 2.5 the second only being 16 eps with a complete retooling of season 3 i.e. filk it up totally, were canceling it anyway) was almost "Band of Brothers" good.

Best/Baddest Villain on a Superhero type show:
Syler. Heros: just a bad ass mofo, he could kick Lex Luther’s and Spike’s ass simultaneously while drinking a cup of coffee and not spill a drop!
Sure he has some mommy issues, but that’s what makes him a true villian.

Best Movie-ization of a Superhero given all movies: Spidey What did you expect, Electra? Sorry, Batman but Joel XXXxxxXXXX(he who’s name shall not be spoken) filked up a good Burton-ish start with the Govenor-ator, unneccesary Bat-girl, Jim Carey, and gender neutral Robin, and Bat-nipples.

Best use of formulaic "A-Team Style" scripting: Stargate:SG1Some how SG-1 managed to survive for over 56 seasons using the same "A-Team" style storyline i.e.

1. some pathetic guy/hot chick needs help because they don’t have the oysters to help themselves.
2. a humerous moment involving Mr. T./Teal’c
3. team meets bad guys,quips and ultimatums tossed about.
4. build wacky machine/figure out how to use wacky machine.
5. Use wacky machine and fire lots of shots hitting no-one scaring bad guys away.
6. Funny humerous quips where stars show they are regular dudes/gals.

There it is. I expect the most controversy over the musically related subjects.

Either way, speak your mind!

Signs of the Apocalypse

[ Confused Mood: Confused ]
OK, so I plagiarized Superdave’s heading. To quote Stephen King "a little plagiarism keeps the fridge full"

So, I smell smoke, and go outside, lo and behold(I love that phrase ’cause how often do you get to use the word lo) it’s all smokey. as in you can’t see 2 blocks down the road.

So fearing a Jericho type event I check the interweb. All the smoke is from fires in Ocala and So. Ga. 200 and 500 miles away. Weird weather.

Later that night, temps dip to 64F. I’m in SW Fl(see my avatar) which means 64 is cold for Feb. May in the 60’s is outright strange(but welcome) it should be 78-80F at night 90+F during the day. Possibly the coldest May on record.

In the words of Ricky Ricardo "Al Gore, you got some splainin to do!"

I blog therefore I am.

[ Cool Mood: Cool ]
[ Watching NFL Draft just for masochistic effects. Currently: Watching NFL Draft just for masochistic effects. ]
Why blog?
Because I can. And while I quite enjoy snarky musings of the board, a blog enables me to ramble on pointlessly about meaningless nonsense that even I don’t understand, but in the far future when archeologists unearth the long buried internet they will see my writings and assume they have some sort of vast cultural signifigance. Mwahahahah!

Can anyone blog?
No. in fact I had to blackmail Shane with nekkid photos of him rolling on piles of Zealot tokens to get approved.

I don’t actually have nekkid photos of him, but I do have SEC Rule 144a filings that reveal a complex scheme of international Token fraud. Shane and Joe, while extolling the virues of Zealot, were secretly selling millions of Rupees worth of tokens in India and then, using favorable currency markets, converting the Rupees to Sheckels. They then invested these Sheckels into a kibbutz outside of the town of Meggedo, over looking the actual valley of Armegeddon. From there a web cam will show the last battle of earth, for a fee.

There, it’s out, the truth is told. I feel better.