There are so many intelligent and articulate people covering the hard-hitting
issues in our country these days, that I felt it was my duty to cover the
rather inconsequential bullshit that tends to make up the vast majority of
our lives. Actually, I'll just be griping a lot which, if you weren't aware,
doubles as a synonym for complaining, and as a descriptor for
a sharp pain in the bowels.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Six Years, Six Days

The title is the period of time this blog has been live. It seems like a long time. Every now and then I wonder of the implications if I'd kept a journal (men's diary) for this same period of time. But alas Diaryhea never afflicted be.
Back to the standardly unstandard contents of things here, the other day I was wondering whether the TV show Will and Grace has double entendre implications, like not only are the stars of the show named Will and Grace, but there was a suggestion of a theme of the show being these qualities. Survey says, doesn't matter.
Back in the day I watched many an episode of W&G, or any other NBC sitcom. It certainly was skewed by not growing up with cable TV but, with the exception of Friends, I felt like a lot of solid comedy was coming out of primetime NBC. These days I wonder if there is anything or if there will be anything so zeitgeist-defining as a Seinfeld. We have so much choice at our disposal, that we simply aren't tuning into universal programs anymore. I'm pretty sure NBC trademarked the slogan "Must see TV," and I have to wonder if they could use that anymore.
These days my TV viewing is confined to Pretty Little Liars, my latest entry in the teen market. Things get a little sexy on there sometimes, which is a surprising for ABC Family (I say this not watching any other ABC Family programs). 

Perhaps halfway through the second season of the show I started to wonder if it weren't all just some elaborate coffee ad as the main characters are ALWAYS DRINKING COFFEE. Or rather they're not drinking it, but at least holding coffee cups and raising them to their lips in avatar/advanced/devanced improv fashion. The point is that the implication is that they are drinking this caffeine-imbued beverage. Again, ABC Family, teenager see, teenager do.

I can't tell you precisely what it is that ropes me into shows like this, but I can tell you precisely what begins to turn me off and it's the repetitive, formulaic structure and manufactured emotion meant to move the viewer. The nice, dizzying 360° camera rotation around a character in despair, accompanied by some pulse-raising swell of string music. It might work the first time, but when you have to do it over and over and club me over the head with it, I remember the decided lack of music whenever I might have a little bout of anxiety. Then again, I'm not dealing with a serial killer/stalker in my day-to-day life, so I've got it pretty easy and perhaps if I was dealing with this as a high-schooler things would spin 360° and the orchestral sounds of my own experience playing in an orchestra would swoop me up.

The real problem — aside from my perhaps overanalyzing is that TV, books, movies, and so on are concentrated slices of life. With the ability to pick what is shown, just as you and I pick what we tell in our stories to one another, you've got to pick well. If I tell you the same story over and over you might get a little tired of it (I have done this, people have pointed it out), and that's what happens here. Things aren't evolving, the same mistakes are made — and hey, sure, we do repeat ourselves life — but any artful crafting is removed in the name of keeping the machine going. Characters just do the thing to cover up the plot twist rather than acting consistent with character.

And I wouldn't be keeping with character if I weren't getting frustrated by a show lingering while continuing to watch JUST TO SEE AN END. But I can change, and I could always just write some fan fiction.

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