Posts Tagged ‘television’

When it comes to writing, I try to study the substance behind the story, the skeleton that supports the larger whole. Novels have time to throw curve balls, and short stories can just upend everything because they don’t always give you all the information up front, but television and movies? I find that they tend to be much more predictable.

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One thing I’ve noticed is that the more closely I study the structure of fiction, the easier it is to predict the course of any particular show. 

This is useful because it helps me better study and understand story structure. It’s also less helpful because it leads to me muttering things like “Yep, you’re definitely going to die,” and “Oh yeah, he did it,” or “Well, if you didn’t want to die a horrible death, you shouldn’t have had that heartfelt moment with the main character. Did your mother teach you nothing?!” 

This is also why I love shows like Resident Alien and Sherlock and Wynonna Earp and Killjoys. Great characters and humor, plus creative, often unpredictable storylines and dynamics. And they’re just fun.

Dear Industry of Entertainment, please do not underestimate the power of fun.

Especially after the year we’ve just had.

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This brings me to my apology: Dear Mr Man, I am sorry for the ongoing commentary (ok, heckling, let’s just call it what it is) during shows. Please understand that it is a natural extension of my ongoing writerly education. 

Also, we bought that high-capacity PVR for a reason. We can always rewind:)

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Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

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My new crush: Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

What: Australian TV series set in the 1920s, featuring a murder-solving “Lady Detective”… which doesn’t really capture it at all:)

Where: Seasons 1 and 2 are available on Netflix (and elsewhere, including my public library, but Netflix works for me). Season 3 recently aired on Australia’s ABC TV.

Why? Because Reasons!

  • The series is based on the books by Kerry Greenwood, and because each episode (at least those I’ve seen to date) is based on its own book, the plot and character arcs tend to be layered and complex.
  • It features a woman (played by the fabulous Essie Davis, interviewed about the series on NPR) who is not afraid of action, bucking authority, family planning, sex, crossing racial or class boundaries, believes whole-heartedly in nonjudgmental good works, tolerance, and enjoying the hell out of life.
  • Great mix of characters and story lines, plus incisive social commentary incorporated in an interesting way.
  • I’ve seen the series described as “competence porn” and while I think the lead character could benefit from a few lessons on how to hang on to one’s pistol and the downsides of scaling buildings in heels, I’d have to agree. She always solves the case, rescues herself and everyone else, and gets the gun back. Also, her skills with a grappling hook are impressive.
  • The clothing gets talked up a lot in reviews of the show and while I’m not a fashion devotee, it’s true, the outfits provide a beautiful and fascinating glimpse into Jazz-age apparel. In this article at The Australian, designer Marion Boyce discusses the process of outfitting the series. Fun fact: Instead of using vintage items, most of the costumes were made for the show, in part because modern humans are differently proportioned than they were even a hundred years ago.
  • Insanely catchy theme song🙂


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Because of course! Almost Human was a smart show, well-written and acted, had a great cast with complex relationships, an interesting and mysterious vision of the future, and healthy doses of both pathos and humor. Of course it’s been canceled!

I loved the dynamic between the show’s two main characters (played with subtlety by Eomer Karl Urban and Michael Ealy), and who doesn’t want to push an android out of a moving vehicle once in a while? I think we can all relate to that.

Thank goodness we still have 10^∞ reality shows to watch.

So, sad news for viewers of quality TV, speculative or otherwise. Thank goodness we still have books!

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I like practical shoes. They don’t have to be ungainly, or ugly, or orthopedic* but I do like it when shoes are sturdy yet still attractive, appropriate to the task, and preferably waterproof. A help rather than a hindrance.

Sadly, women in TV Land do not often get all of those things. Or even some of those things.

Let’s take a non-random sampling of TV shows as one small example. One of the very first things I noticed** about the private detective show King & Maxwell was that Maxwell, played by Rebecca Romijn, wears practical shoes. Finally! I said to myself (and Mr. Man and the cats, none of whom care much about shoes but should), a show that does not feel the need to undermine its own plausibility by putting its female star in impossibly impractical footwear. Who chases bad guys in stilettos? Who can possibly sneak up on a secret lair in clompy clompy shoes? No one, that’s who.***

Now, I love Castle. Love Nathan Fillion (of course, and may Serenity fly forever, but he’s carved out a nice new niche for himself… one in which he gets to wear practical shoes:p), love the writing, love the humor, but Beckett (played by Stana Katic) should get an Emmy just for being able to walk in the shoes those costumers put her in, much less run and chase and fight and snare baddies.

A frikking Emmy.

And that’s my “thing I like” for today.
*  Updated because I just received an objection to this bit because the commenter likes their orthopedic shoes, which is fine, I’m just saying that shoes can be practical without being medical. So enjoy your posturally and otherwise functional footwear, people, whatever type they may be!

** Well, after I noticed the kick-ass intro they used for the premiere, complete with great music and a car chase and a man in a furry suit. Sadly, it was followed by the snooze-inducing actual intro which, while stylish in a sedentary way, should be updated as soon as possible. Why put your audience to sleep before they have a chance to appreciate the show?

*** Well, maybe RuPaul, but she’s just that fabulous.

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