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Is it jsut me or is everyone just jaded?

trappedslider

Explorer
When it comes to tv shows, it feels like everyone wants something new and fresh but when it manages to happen no watched it and so we end up complaining about how things are predictable and or over used.

So is it just me or have we reached the point where there really isn't a new way to put a spin on anything anymore?
 

was

Villager
It seems that most shows advertised as 'new' end up being old shows/movies repackaged. The only thing I have seen that is 'new' are a few of the 'reality' shows which save the execs money by not employing writers. IMO, being a jaded viewer is a result of being continually disappointed.
 
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Ryujin

Adventurer
I agree with was. By and large Hollywood, especially, is averse to trying anything new. After all, new isn't proven. What's not proven isn't guaranteed to make money. For that reason they like to give us the same ol' same ol', just wrapped up in a different package. Or, quite frequently, wrapped in the paper they saved from the last time that they unwrapped it.

There are people who are doing new, innovative stories. They just don't get funding, so they come directly to us for it. Sometimes those more innovative stories are a new spin on something that already exists. For example look at "Star Trek: Renegades" and "Star Trek: Axanar"; two very different takes on the Star Trek universe, done by professionals who love ST.
 

Crothian

Villager
It's the internet of course people complain. But even so new ideas don't always work well on the big networks. We are seeing TV innovation with Netflix original shows though so it is out there.

Some stuff that is new and fresh is good but I do like the standard stuff as well. TV is entertaining and I enjoy the familiar plots and characters that we get with many shows.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
So is it just me or have we reached the point where there really isn't a new way to put a spin on anything anymore?
We need to define "new".

The Walking Dead was a graphic novel that only some people had read. Was it "new" enough?

How about Arrow, the Flash, and Daredevil, Agent Carter, and Agents of Shield? All based on previous properties, but done in ways on TV not done before, telling new stories with an interpretation of those characters. Are they "new"?

Syfy is going to do a version of Fredrick Pohl's "Gateway" on TV. It is a book from the 1970s that I doubt many here have read, and has never had a visual media adaptation. Is it "new"?

Star Wars: Rebels is supposedly pretty good. Old setting, new story - is it "new"?
 

tomBitonti

Explorer
Syfy is going to do a version of Fredrick Pohl's "Gateway" on TV. It is a book from the 1970s that I doubt many here have read, and has never had a visual media adaptation. Is it "new"?
Wait, what?

But I bet there are plenty of folks here who have read who have read Gateway :p

Thx!
TomB
 

Jhaelen

Villager
Dunno. I guess part of being jaded simply comes with age: The more you've watched, the more refined your tastes get. E.g. a few years ago I realized I simply cannot bring myself to watch another typical 'popcorn' action movie. It simply bores me to death. I want a good story to accompany the action, otherwise it's just a waste of my (increasingly!) precious time.

However, tv shows don't have to be 'new' to excite me. If they're well done, retreading well-known themes is just fine, especially if they feature intriguing characters. E.g. the original 'The Killing' or 'The Bridge' were simply awesome without telling anything remotely 'new'.

And despite it becoming more and more difficult to tell a 'new' story, there are exceptions, e.g. I really thought that 'Pushing Daisies' or 'Real Humans' were rather unique (and well done).
 

Mallus

Hero
And despite it becoming more and more difficult to tell a 'new' story, there are exceptions, e.g. I really thought that 'Pushing Daisies' or 'Real Humans' were rather unique (and well done).
Bryan Fuller's Pushing Daisies was wonderful. His Hannibal is also remarkably good -- I got into it about two weeks before the cancellation announcement!

I've heard great things about Mr. Robot, BTW. Oh, and Sense8 on Netflix is wildly ambitious, unlike anything else (well, except for Cloud Atlas), effing great, and just got renewed for at least one more season.
 

Crothian

Villager
I've heard great things about Mr. Robot, BTW. Oh, and Sense8 on Netflix is wildly ambitious, unlike anything else (well, except for Cloud Atlas), effing great, and just got renewed for at least one more season.
Both of those might suffer from when they get to the answers. Shows like Lost and Heroes also came out with neat ideas but when they had to bring answers they failed either in trying to or ignoring them. Right now they are just potential and with luck they will live up to that potential.
 

Janx

Adventurer
Both of those might suffer from when they get to the answers. Shows like Lost and Heroes also came out with neat ideas but when they had to bring answers they failed either in trying to or ignoring them. Right now they are just potential and with luck they will live up to that potential.
A big problem with Lost and BSG is that the writers basically said "it's all about the characters"

Which was good for writing great characters.

But bad for writing a mystery that gets solved because they admit they were making it up all along (especially the BSG writers).
 

Mallus

Hero
Both of those might suffer from when they get to the answers. Shows like Lost and Heroes also came out with neat ideas but when they had to bring answers they failed either in trying to or ignoring them. Right now they are just potential and with luck they will live up to that potential.
I think the risk for Sense8 is different. It certainly looks like a mystery show a la Lost in the beginning of the first episode, but it almost immediately pulls back from that and puts the focus on the "mundane" lives of its (large) cast of characters. Note that I put scare quotes around mundane because the 8 main characters don't actually lead normal lives, they're the stars of 8 different genre pieces: Sun lives in a South Korean TV drama that could be called "Fight Club Business Lady" -- I think it runs after "Vampire Prosecutor" -- Capheus lives in a Nollywood Van Damme homage, Lito in a 21st telenovella sex farce version of "Threes Company", Kala in a Bollywood romcom with dark political overtones, and so on.

These individual dramas drive the show, not the science fiction thriller-mystery angle. And the show was most successful in the character moments found in their "normal" lives (despite some incredible set-pieces where they do use their "powers").

My concern is the longer the show runs, the more the "mystery" will take center stage and possible occlude all the great character stuff. The creators have, so far, done a great job at communicating what the show's about, and the way it works through its themes is masterful. I hope that doesn't change as it get more plot-y, as the thriller & mystery take up more screen time.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
My concern is the longer the show runs, the more the "mystery" will take center stage and possible occlude all the great character stuff. The creators have, so far, done a great job at communicating what the show's about, and the way it works through its themes is masterful. I hope that doesn't change as it get more plot-y, as the thriller & mystery take up more screen time.
If Babylon 5 is a measure, at least one of the creators has some facility at maintaining character focus in the midst of major plot arc - Londo and G'Kar are good examples, I think, of where this can go.

Oh, and JMS is *also* known for having his end-game planned before he begins. I would not expect Sense8 to suffer from "we were just making it up as it went along", when one of the creators had the first 5-season plotted arc in genre TV.
 
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Janx

Adventurer
If Babylon 5 is a measure, at least one of the creators has some facility at maintaining character focus in the midst of major plot arc - Londo and G'Kar are good examples, I think, of where this can go.

Oh, and JMS is *also* known for having his end-game planned before he begins. I would not expect Sense8 to suffer from "we were just making it up as it went along", when one of the creators had the first 5-season plotted arc in genre TV.
I concur. I've only see a few episodes of Sense8, but if JMS is behind it, I am reasonably confident that he has a plan to take it somewhere.

It won't be a case of killing off a character because their story arc is through (typical of Lost and Walking Dead).

I would imagine, as a professional, he recognizes what was great about Lost and BSG and why the meandering willy nilly over a mystery that was made up as they went along was bad. Heck, in his mind, he likely thinks "that's why I made B5 have a 5 year planned arc to avoid that problem"


I suspect this was the problem with Twin Peaks as well. Another great character show, that in the end, made it up as they went along with regards to the mystery
 

Mallus

Hero
If Babylon 5 is a measure, at least one of the creators has some facility at maintaining character focus in the midst of major plot arc - Londo and G'Kar are good examples, I think, of where this can go.
Good point. Londo and G'Kar are some of SF's best characters and they both changed enormously during the run of the show in a believable way.

Oh, and JMS is *also* known for having his end-game planned before he begins. I would not expect Sense8 to suffer from "we were just making it up as it went along", when one of the creators had the first 5-season plotted arc in genre TV.
JMS has said in interviews he's got a 5-year plan mapped out for Sense8. Here's hoping they get the chance to see it through.
 

Janx

Adventurer
Good point. Londo and G'Kar are some of SF's best characters and they both changed enormously during the run of the show in a believable way.


JMS has said in interviews he's got a 5-year plan mapped out for Sense8. Here's hoping they get the chance to see it through.
And to bring this back to topic....

Shows like Lost or BSG were great, except for their making it up part that ended up going in stupid directions. Other shows did this in even worse fashion.

As a result, I know that has made me wary of shows that hint of this lack of planning problem. Thus adding to that jaded feeling.
 

Ryujin

Adventurer
And to bring this back to topic....

Shows like Lost or BSG were great, except for their making it up part that ended up going in stupid directions. Other shows did this in even worse fashion.

As a result, I know that has made me wary of shows that hint of this lack of planning problem. Thus adding to that jaded feeling.
I think that the problems come in when production takes a turn, perhaps due to a cancellation or forced early ending, and they have to scramble to try and wrap things up. "Lost", in particular, suffered from a bit of a yo-yo in that department.

With "Babylon 5" JMS had his problems fairly early on, with what seemed to be an actor who saw that he was integral to the storyline, and perhaps desided that he wanted far more money than his talent warranted. The recovery from that was pretty good. Perhaps Harlan Ellison had something to do with that. He freely admits that he's got a massive ego, but it's almost warranted.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
With "Babylon 5" JMS had his problems fairly early on, with what seemed to be an actor who saw that he was integral to the storyline, and perhaps desided that he wanted far more money than his talent warranted.
You speaking of Michael O'Hare, who played Commander Jeffrey Sinclair? No, that's not what happened. He suffered from mental illness, and had to leave the show.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_O'Hare#Illness
"As Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski describes it, during the filming of the first season of Babylon 5, O'Hare began having paranoid delusions. Halfway through filming, his hallucinations worsened. It became increasingly difficult for O'Hare to continue work, his behavior was becoming increasingly erratic and he was often at odds with his colleagues. O'Hare sought treatment for his mental illness, but feared that, as the main character of Babylon 5, taking an extended medical leave of absence would destroy the show just as it was getting off the ground.

Straczynski offered to suspend the show for several months to accommodate O'Hare's treatment for his mental health; however O'Hare refused to put so many other people's jobs at risk. Straczynski agreed to keep his condition secret to protect O'Hare's career. O'Hare agreed to complete the first season but would be written out of the second season so that he could seek treatment. He reappeared in a cameo appearance early in season two and returned in season three for the double episode "War Without End", which closed his character's story arc. He made no further appearances on Babylon 5.

Although his treatments were somewhat successful, he was never fully cured. Upon O'Hare's return to Babylon 5, Straczynski promised again that he would keep his condition secret to his grave. O'Hare told him to "keep the secret to my grave", pointing out that fans deserved to eventually learn the real reason for his departure and that his experience could raise awareness and understanding for people suffering from mental illness. On May 25, 2013, eight months after O'Hare's death, Straczynski fulfilled his promise and finally revealed the reasons behind O'Hare's departure from Babylon 5 at the Phoenix Comicon"


If you want to hear it from JMS himself:
http://www.blastr.com/2013-5-28/straczynski-reveals-moving-story-why-michael-ohare-left-babylon-5
 

Ryujin

Adventurer
You speaking of Michael O'Hare, who played Commander Jeffrey Sinclair? No, that's not what happened. He suffered from mental illness, and had to leave the show.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_O'Hare#Illness
"As Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski describes it, during the filming of the first season of Babylon 5, O'Hare began having paranoid delusions. Halfway through filming, his hallucinations worsened. It became increasingly difficult for O'Hare to continue work, his behavior was becoming increasingly erratic and he was often at odds with his colleagues. O'Hare sought treatment for his mental illness, but feared that, as the main character of Babylon 5, taking an extended medical leave of absence would destroy the show just as it was getting off the ground.

Straczynski offered to suspend the show for several months to accommodate O'Hare's treatment for his mental health; however O'Hare refused to put so many other people's jobs at risk. Straczynski agreed to keep his condition secret to protect O'Hare's career. O'Hare agreed to complete the first season but would be written out of the second season so that he could seek treatment. He reappeared in a cameo appearance early in season two and returned in season three for the double episode "War Without End", which closed his character's story arc. He made no further appearances on Babylon 5.

Although his treatments were somewhat successful, he was never fully cured. Upon O'Hare's return to Babylon 5, Straczynski promised again that he would keep his condition secret to his grave. O'Hare told him to "keep the secret to my grave", pointing out that fans deserved to eventually learn the real reason for his departure and that his experience could raise awareness and understanding for people suffering from mental illness. On May 25, 2013, eight months after O'Hare's death, Straczynski fulfilled his promise and finally revealed the reasons behind O'Hare's departure from Babylon 5 at the Phoenix Comicon"


If you want to hear it from JMS himself:
http://www.blastr.com/2013-5-28/straczynski-reveals-moving-story-why-michael-ohare-left-babylon-5
Very interesting. It also explains why I hadn't heard about it. The lack of information certainly gave a different impression of the situation.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Very interesting. It also explains why I hadn't heard about it. The lack of information certainly gave a different impression of the situation.
Yah. It was still better for O'Hare to have the ambiguity and allow people to question his reasons, than to make it public. Mental health stigma was (and still is) pretty strong.
 

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