ConStar Clicks: anatomy of shows via Wrong Hands

It’s been awhile hasn’t it? Peeking out of a sort of hiatus (life stuff and new jobs and exhaustion and no new TV…)  to share this image I saw today. Made me chuckle but it’s also true. As a TV structure junkie who is trying to write specs, this is both funny and useful because you can see how broad structure is across different genres.

Click through to see more of John Atkinson’s comics: anatomy of shows | Wrong Hands.

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The Emmys Need New Categories

The Emmys were over a week ago, but as the fall season approaches, I can’t help but continue to think about the shows that weren’t and won’t ever (it seems) be nominated for the most prestigious TV award out there.

There are so many more shows on the air than when the Emmys first began. There have been new categories added in the years since, with an entire separate ceremony for the “Creative Arts” Emmy’s, but with the evolution of television has come the evolution of genres. Shows are not simply drama or comedy anymore. Single camera comedies (which moved comedies from being mutli-cam only to a two method shooting process) and programs like Orange is the New Black (which views like a drama (and is an hour long) but submitted an Emmy nom in the comedy category) show that maybe the Emmys need an update regarding genre.

I believe there are so many shows out there where the actors, writers, producers, and crew work just as hard on their show as the staff of the Breaking Bads and Modern Familys out there, but they’re not recognized because their genre is properly represented. There are three genres that I think could use an Emmy boost, if just so that the people working on them can get the recognition they deserve. Dramedy, Procedural, and Science Fiction Fantasy.

Dramedy

Emmys Outstanding Dramedy

Dramedies are a relatively new designation we’ve been giving comedies that have serious moments and dramas that aren’t dark and heavy. A lot of the shows airing this fall 2014 seem to fit either drama, comedy (or the other two categories I’ll talk about later), but aren’t really straight up dramedies. I think shows like Castle and Bones are both drama and comedy, but would go in my proposed Procedural category. Pushing Daisies was also a hearty mixture of both comedy and drama, but again, could also fit either Procedural or even Science Fiction. That’s the hybrid nature of these kinds of shows and I think that they should be rewarded for touching both sides of the spectrum–it’s not easy to make your audience both laugh and cry without creating jarring moments of mood whiplash.

Shows that I think would (have) benefit(ed) from a separate Dramedy category include:

  • Pushing Daisies
  • Chuck
  • Ugly Betty (an hour long drama that submitted in the Comedy category, and won at least one that I know of [Best Actress in a Comedy to America Fererra])
  • The Carrie Diaries (a Drama based on Best Comedy winner Sex and the City )
  • Psych
  • Glee – (Dare I include this) I believe they’ve submitted under Comedy before, despite tackling serious issues and being properly considered an hour long Drama.
  • Up All Night – the short-lived Christina Applegate/Will Armett show reminds me of a network comedy that probably could have done better if it had not been trying so hard to be funny. I think the show had an understated humor to it that works for dramedies more than straight up comedies and if Dramedy were an accepted genre of television, then people would have understood it more.
  • Orange is the New Black – might have won the awards it submitted for (though I do recognize Uzo Aduba for winning, though I wouldn’t call her a “guest” actress on her show).

Procedural

Emmys Outstanding Procedural

There are dozens of procedurals on TV these days. From the umpteen CSIs and the prevailing Law and Orders, there’s no lack of cop/investigative shows out there. And due to the overwhelming number of shows in the Procedural genre, rarely do they get recognized for the work they do. I watch the quirky procedurals; Castle, (I’m an ex-Bones fan), Psych, could we consider Veronica Mars a procedural? Those shows often could fit under Dramedy as well, but I think a Procedural category would give shows like this more attention. These shows last long–the production staff, crew, and actors work long hours for many years trying to make fresh stories in a sea of other shows just like them. That’s not an easy feat. Several of these shows do the “ripped from the headlines” stories and some do them better than others. The guest casts can make us laugh or cry or feel fear as the murderer stalks someone down a dark alley. These shows may be “easy” or formulaic, but the shows that upend or subvert the formula should be recognized, but because there’s not that much room in the drama category, they often go unnoticed.

Shows that I think would (have) benefit(ed) from a separate Procedural category include:

  • Castle
  • Bones – not sure I’m confident it would win any, I’ve got problems with the way the writers progress then unravel character development constantly, but I think some of it’s early seasons warranted recognition for twisting procedural tropes.
  • Psych – though I think it’s stronger in the Dramedy category
  • Pushing Daisies – never forget this was a procedural. They solved crimes every episode.
  • Veronica Mars – strong, witty writing; strong female lead; great fun stories with sometimes great, sometimes faulty twists. Worthy of recognition for season 1 at the least.
  • Person of Interest – I don’t watch this show, but many people who do love it and think it’s amazing.
  • Elementary – Again, a show I don’t watch, but people who do love. It also inverts many Sherlock Holmes/Buddy cop tropes that deserves more praise, even from a non-viewer.
  • Lie to Me – I miss Lie to Me every season it’s not on the air. I think the idea was brilliant and it was a really smart show. Tim Roth’s a great actor and the characters were lovely. I would have given it all the awards.

Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Emmys Outstanding SFF

Lastly is the Sci-Fi Fantasy (SFF) Category that I’d fight the strongest for, not only because most of the shows I watch are in this category (and therefore never win any major Emmys), but because the extra level of suspension of disbelief that the show must give their audience–transporting them to another world or time–is extra work that a show must put in. If a show like Buffy puts in seven years of making audiences believe these fantastical things could happen and that these characters could react in the way they do–often with the actors acting against green screen or with ridiculous set decoration–then that deserves recognition. It would also help shows like Game of Thrones–which has quite a few Emmy nominations (DINKLAGE!), actually win the awards. (If there was a SFF category, Game of Thrones would be the Breaking Bad or Modern Family of it’s category; it would win every year I am sure.)

Shows I think would (have) benefit(ted) from this category:

  • Angel – mostly just because it’s my favorite show ever, but also because the writing was often very strong and engaging.
  • Game of Thrones – obviously. It’s *this* close to winning all the awards now, much less if it had a separate category.
  • Pushing Daisies
  • Smallville – I never watched the show and I’ve heard mixed things about it, but you want to tell me that it went 10 seasons and there weren’t any award worthy moments? I think if there was a category for it’s genre, it could have warranted some nominations.
  • The X-Files – Another show I’ve never seen, but it’s such a cult classic that I think it must have some award worthy episodes or acting moments in it’s episode catalogue
  • Orphan Black – This category would be the saving grace to finally get Tatiana Maslany the Emmy she so well deserves.
  • Fringe – a cult classic show I haven’t watched yet, but from the word of it’s fans, it seems like there could be some Emmy moments in writing in it’s repertoire of episodes.

There are plenty of shows in each category that I am missing (or adding simply because I like the show and maybe it doesn’t have Emmy worthy writing or performances; I admit this is possible), but that’s where you come in. If these Emmy categories existed, what shows would you submit? Any particular episodes? I know some of the shows I listed above are very adaptable to more than one category, but if OITNB can submit for Best Comedy, and Uzo Aduba can submit for Best Guest Actress (rather than supporting), then submission guidelines can be pretty subjective.

How do we get the Emmy committee to considering adding even just one new category that expands the list of shows able to be seen and nominated? With the advent of reality television, there began an entire reality genre section to the award ceremony itself (was there a year where five reality hosts “hosted” the Emmys? Am I making that up or did that nightmare of an idea actually happen?), so we know the committee is capable of adapting to the times. I most strongly desire SFF, but Dramedy is much needed category as well.

Current Emmy (and Creative Arts Emmy’s) Categories

(P.S.

As much as I want a Dramedy category, it’d be really hard to take anyone serious when saying the word on television. I am trying to imagine the President of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences saying the word, and it’s just fuzzy. But we’d find a way to work around it.)

Related Emmy Posts:

Is TV getting more diverse? Not by the look of this year’s Emmys via Lee and Low

Who Are the Emmy Voters?

Who Are the Emmy Voters?

Another Tatiana Maslany Emmy Nomination Snub — Vulture

Emmy nominations came out today and they’re extremely frustrating. I’ve never claimed to watch the most popular or hit shows on television, if I do, it’s usually after they’ve ended or the hype has gone down. I watch oddball stuff, the low-rated critical darling comedies (on NBC lol) and sci-fi/fantasy/action stuff (I’m binging Arrow, and I’m really enjoying it so far!). The shows I watch are hardly ever nominated. It’s not like I’m expecting Sleepy Hollow to win all the awards, I’m not. But Emmy noms make me wonder who is voting for the shows that get picked. Is it a representative sample of television watchers? Or just a bunch of old white men (and probably some women, which is good but not great) like every other prestigious committee?

We don’t really know who they are for some obvious reasons, but are there demographics available? I am thinking women are decently represented, especially with Orange is the New Black‘s nominations, and there are plenty of action loving men if HBO’s record breaking nominations are any indication. I’ve lost count of how many Game of Thrones received–this I am pleased with–but a lot of the people I know who watch Game of Thrones, also watch Orphan Black. There is a reason Sci-fi/Fantasy are so often lumped together when people list categories–fans one of often like stuff from the other. (Obviously not always, you usually pick one over the other–I’m more Fantasy than sci-fi myself.)

So who is voting for Game of Thrones but has no interest in Orphan Black? Who is voting for fantastic women on Netflix but isn’t interested in one fantastic woman playing many fantastic women on BBC America?I get that there are many other considerations to voting, people’s personal interests and whatever the For Your Consideration choice was, but for a second year in a row, an amazing actress was overlooked. And that doesn’t count the mainstream snubs: I don’t even watch The Good Wife and I think it was snubbed for a best drama nomination.

I wish we knew more about these voters. Where are they coming from? What makes them decide the way they do? Do we need an upgrade of the entire system? Like many things, I kind of imagine they haven’t changed the way they do things, or include people, in ages. Have they widened their net of voters in this ever expanding age of television? They need more sci-fi watchers, more fantasy watchers, more young people, more people who will vote for Amy Poehler to finally win that comedy award she so achingly deserves (they’ve got this year and next to recognize. She might get another show immediately, but she deserves it for Parks so, so much). There’s more television happening than ever before and it’s not being looked at by the Emmy committee. There are more networks, more internet voices coming to play in the big leagues; have we included voters to represent those new voices that these new networks and new shows are trying to bring to the forefront? The Emmy pool just tells me that the efforts being made to bring diversity to the screen isn’t being made in the voting pool.

Maybe we need a category for science fiction, since it’s the most snubbed TV genre that I can think of. Maybe I am wrong or misinformed,  but the selections aren’t showing the true pool of talent on television and isn’t that what the Emmy’s are for*?

*The answer is probably actually all about money. So everything I said means nothing. Except, the Good Wife is a hit show on the “number one network,” you know some hefty money is involved there. Ok, I’m done rambling about Emmy snubs now.

Check out the full nomination list here: http://www.thewrap.com/emmy-awards-nominees-nominations-emmys/ 

Goodbye ‘Hieroglyph’ – via Hollywood Reporter

Fox Pulls Plug on ‘Hieroglyph’ – Hollywood Reporter

Oh no! FOX cancels Hieroglyph before it’s fall debut! I was looking forward to checking this out, due to the diverse casting (though had qualms about it after learning the true lead was another white male), but looks like I won’t be checking it out after all.

The article mentions Kevin Reilly, entertainment chairman of FOX, and his initial decision to “end pilot season” before stepping down only a few weeks ago. I suppose only he was ready to revamp the way we greenlight shows, since this show is being cut. THR states some creative differences, but it makes me wonder if other shows from the Reilly era are safe before fall…

Fox Pulls Plug on 'Hieroglyph' - Hollywood Reporter

I could just stare at that promo poster featuring Condola Rashad all day; perhaps I’ll make a poster in memoriam of this series that was truly nipped in the bud.

Why it matters that FX’s ‘Tyrant’ didnt cast a Middle Eastern actor in its lead role

Why it matters that FX’s ‘Tyrant’ didnt cast a Middle Eastern actor in its lead role

Check out this Hit Fix article on new FX show Tyrant and the writer’s concerns about the lead actor, playing a Middle Eastern character, being cast as white.

That, friends, is why it is important that FX is premiering a new drama on Tuesday night in which the main character is an assimilated Middle Eastern man who leaves behind his life in the West and returns to the fictional nation ruled by his family.At least as a log-line, the part of Bassam “Barry” Al-Fayeed in FX’s “Tyrant” may not be unprecedented, but it represents a big enough deviation from the Hollywood norm and from the mainstream TV norm that it’s notable and worth discussion. And that’s why it’s not an insignificant problem that this role, this trailblazing step in Middle Eastern representation is being played by Adam Rayner, an English-born actor who is half-British, half-American and not Middle Eastern in the slightest.

[…]

In “Tyrant,” Al-Fayeed’s mother is, indeed, played by Alice Krige. That the potentate of a fictional Middle Eastern country was married to a white woman and had multiple children with her seems like something at least semi-worthy of discussion to me, but it’s never addressed in the first four episodes of “Tyrant.” Her mere presence is mostly an excuse for allowing Adam Rayner to play Bassam Al-Fayeed, as if casting an actor with no Middle Eastern heritage in TV’s only top-of-the-call-sheet Middle Eastern role would be bad, but casting an actor with no Middle Eastern heritage in TV’s only top-of-the-call-sheet *half* Middle Eastern role is totally halal. 

#sigh Even when roles are written for diverse characters, they find a way to make it acceptable to cast white instead of searching for someone with a more ethnic background.

 

You should definitely click through for more, because if I copy and pasted all of the really good points, I would just be copying the whole article. Check it out.

via Why it matters that FX’s ‘Tyrant’ didnt cast a Middle Eastern actor in its lead role.

Comedy Central Stepped Up to the Diversity Challenge – Welcoming Larry Wilmore to Late Night

A Successor to ‘Colbert’ Is Named – NYTimes.com.

I like watching both the Daily Show and the Colbert Report. I know I’m not supposed to admit it, but it’s where I get my news (them and Twitter). But in the course of the Late Night Wars, with our calls for women and minorities to be able to get in on the action, I hadn’t thought about Comedy Central being the first to fill the gap.

When David Letterman announced his retirement (unable to compete with Jimmy Fallon for the younger demographic he attracts but also just getting up there in age), people were hopeful that someone would allow a PoC or a woman (both would be too much wouldn’t it, Whoopi?) take the reigns. I’m not mad at them picking Stephen Colbert (who I love) and I think he’ll do a great job (well, I’m a little sad we won’t get to see his satirical brilliance anymore), but of course it was a missed opportunity for diversity. But with his spot open, that left the diversity challenge in Comedy Central’s hands and they actually delivered!

Welcome Larry Wilmore to the Late Night bunch! I’ll definitely be watching his show, The Minority Report–a cliched but perfect title for both what it is and before what’s it’s replacing.With Larry Wilmore’s role as “Senior Black Correspondent” on the Daily Show, we already have an idea of what the show will entail, but it also means (hopefully) more black late night writers and more discussions of black issues that the Daily Show doesn’t cover.

The idea for “The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore,” as the show will be known, came from Mr. Stewart himself, who proposed that the 11:30 p.m. time period behind his nightly “Daily Show” was the ideal place for a new format, one that would “provide an opportunity for the underrepresented voices out there,” as Michele Ganeless, the president of Comedy Central said in an interview.

Late night isn’t quite as fickle as prime time and definitely cable isn’t as quick to axe as network, so I think it’ll be around for a while, but I still hope it does well and shatters expectations so that more shows that focus on the black voice will be present in all formats and time-slots of television.

Next up, who will take Craig Ferguson’s Late Late Show spot? Will CBS match or exceed Comedy Central’s ante? Or fall back to business as usual?

The Minority Report will premiere in January on Comedy Central (presumably at 11:30 Mon-Thurs).

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Maya Mondays! – Maya Rudolph Gets Her Own Variety Show

Maya Rudolph Talks Being Able To Do Whatever She Wants On Her New Show (Video Interview)|Shadow and Act

Revisiting the classic variety show format, The Maya Rudolph Show will feature guest stars Craig Robinson, Andy Samberg, Kristen Bell, Fred Armisen, Chris Parnell, Sean Hayes, Diallo Riddle, Bashir Salahuddin, and others.

Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter Janelle Monae will serve as the musical guest. R&b singer-producer Raphael Saadiq will be the bandleader.

via Maya Rudolph Talks Being Able To Do Whatever She Wants On Her New Show (Video Interview)|Shadow and Act.

This, I am excited for. I didn’t watch Maya too much on SNL (most of my favorite former SNL stars, I never actually watched them while they were on it… weird), but I did watch her on short-lived sitcom Up All Night. On Monday she gets her own variety shows, which might be a primetime mix of SNL type sketches, musical numbers (Maya has sung on SNL and is daughter of singer Minnie Riperton), and musical performances. Having Janelle Monae on her first episode proves to be an awesome move right out the gate, as well as getting Raphael Saadiq to be bandleader. I think this will bring a fun R&B flavor to the show–much like Jimmy Fallon’s decision to have the Roots as his houseband.

Hopefully the show does well, so that we can 1. have more Maya Rudolph 2. Have more lady comedians on TV 3. Have more black female comedians on TV. Tune in Monday at 10pm on NBC. Hopefully the hashtag will be #MayaMondays because it’s pretty perfect.

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Upfronts 2014: FOX, NBC what are you doing?

Let’s start network-wide. Fox and NBC swapped for me in the past year, NBC going from a favorite, most watched network, to me having one show next season (the mid-season, finale season Parks debacle…). While FOX went from me abandoning several of it’s shows due to reordering episodes and demanding stasis in characters that achieved character development to the network I have the most shows I am interested in this fall. And FOX pulled me in with the commitment and success in diversity. So let’s talk about what they’re doing this fall.

NBC– honey, what are you doing? They’ve cancelled most of their comedies, leaving Parks and Recreation, their current longest running sitcom as a mid-season replacement in it’s finale season. According to the schedule listed in the link on Vulture, there are only 4 comedies on the schedule, split between Tuesday and Thursday 9-10 comedy hours. What? Has NBC given up on reclaiming it’s must-see-tv fame? I suppose it wasn’t working, but it kills me that not one of the four comedies is Parks. What a way to alienate your little comedy fanbase. Why not use Parks and the final season momentum to pull your existing fans over to new shows? You now have to do the work to get non-NBC comedy watchers (those who didn’t watch 30 Rock and Community and Parks in the hey-day of low-rated but cult favorite comedies). I suppose they no longer want those fans. They want new ones entirely. Or they’re trying to sustain the network on the Voice, Dick Wolf, and the Blacklist until they figure out something that works. But, to me, it doesn’t seem like they’ve found the formula yet. I’ll see you mid-season, NBC, when you put Parks and Recreation back on the schedule. (Let’s face it, it’s a cancelled-new-show replacement. As soon as one of the new comedies fail, they’ll stick Parks in the 9pm comedy spot until the rest of the season is done. More on Parks later.

 

 

FOX, homie, you’re doing a lot of things right, but one thing feels very wrong. I will be watching seven FOX shows this fall. That’s more than any other network and more than I’ve ever watched FOX. They’ve been getting some good, diversely cast comedies in these past couple of seasons. New Girl confirmed Damon Wayans Jr as the 6th member of the cast, rounding them out to Friends proportions, The Mindy Project had a strong finale with lots of possibility, and Brooklyn 99 came out of the gate with comedy, diversity, and heart. So why are they sending Brooklyn 99 to the Sunday animation slot?! It seems ridiculous to me. Vulture says,

There’s logic behind this year’s changes: Family Guy is pretty much a multi-camera sitcom that happens to be animatedand Mulaney is multi-cam; Brooklyn is sophisticated single-cam that could mesh with the sensibility of The Simpsons. And once Fox picked up both Brooklyn and The Mindy Project, it was obvious one would either move or wait until midseason: Fox simply doesn’t have the comedy strength to support a two-hour sitcom block on Tuesdays.

But that seems absurd. I definitely think they could sustain it. But even if it can’t, splitting the comedies into the animation block disturbs something that’s been working on FOX for years now. Animation fans won’t necessarily hold up these fresh comedies and when was the last time comedies aired on a Sunday night?! This makes me nervous for both BK99 and Mulaney (which I may watch), because they’re basically hiding it in the schedule. No one looks for comedies on Sunday nights. That’s typically a Feature film, Sports, Drama night. FOX made success with animation as alternative programming to this trend, but this upcoming change might break both the animation block and the comedies they want to succeed. Sigh. There are few shows I want to succeed more than Brooklyn 99. I hope they just suck it up and block the comedies together.

Schedules change, often by November sweeps when networks figure out what’s working and what’s getting cancelled. So we’ll see if this remains the schedule for the fall. But both networks are boggling my mind.

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Pilot Season/Upfronts 2014

It’s that time of the year, Upfronts (also here for another way to look at what Upfronts actually are), when networks present their pilot season shows and lineups to advertisers and the general public. I’ve been a bit busy or lethargic the last month or so, so I haven’t been posting (though I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the views I’ve still managed to get) but get ready for a deluge as I look at shows coming this summer, fall, and beyond, and discuss current shows’ trajectories (I’m a bit mad about NBC’s treatment of Parks and Recreation. We’ll get there).

I’ll write a bunch and try to spread them out over the week as to not spam. Also, I’ll post my current fall tv chart–it’s looking as busy as usual as I find out about all these new shows!

Let the Upfront madness begin!

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Lena Dunham Hilariously, Candidly Interviews Mindy Kaling

Lena Dunham Hilariously, Candidly Interviews Mindy Kaling

“Sometimes I get jealous of white male showrunners when 90 percent of their questions are about characters, story structure, creative inspiration, or, hell, even the business of getting a show on the air. “

 

ConStar Watches Scandal “Icarus”

“You get to ask me one question”

We’re gonna need more than one question to make it through this week’s episode of Scandal, but I’ll start with one from each major plot point and go from there. No guarantees about the amount of questions I ask. Please don’t kill my friends or try to recruit them for your evil, secret government agency, thanks.

This week’s episode went through these major storylines:

Liv and Operation Remington: Why does Fitz refuse to acknowledge Operation Remington to even Olivia—even after finding out it was her mother?

I had a feeling that Fitz didn’t know about Olivia’s mother being on the plane, but it concerns me to no end that he refuses to acknowledge his part even after he knows about her mother. Liv already knows the worst of it. She knows more than HE did, seeing as how he didn’t know about Mama Pope (Maya Lewis is her name). And yet, despite his claims of how much he loves her and they know each other, and it could be how it was before, yadda yadda, he doesn’t admit to the operation and he doesn’t even say sorry or console her. There must be more to his side of the story.

This Remington storyline is a clear mirror of the Defiance storyline with Liv at the center: everyone is plotting around her to keep her from knowing some awful truth about how she got where she is today. But Fitz needs to learn that he can’t throw that in her face anytime he wants; not anymore. This is about her mother. Who he shot down in the sky. He may not want to talk about it or the circumstances, but if he wants Liv to ever speak to him again, he’s going to need to come clean about Operation Remington once and for all.

But turning to Papa Pope for a moment: I truly believe those were real tears he shed when he was watching the news of the plane crash. What I want to know is: was he in charge of B6-13 then? He says he didn’t order the plane down. I believe him (not just because I believe in his love of Olivia, and I hope to extend that to Maya, but because of Joe Morton’s acting choice of shaking his head no before he verbally responded to Olivia’s question over the phone (homegirl needs to just chug that wine from the bottle—saves time on washing wine glasses)). The “no” was a visceral response to the question, probably not even conscious. But he can’t talk about the rest: What did he know when it was being planned? Could he have stopped it? Did he try? Knowing they killed his wife—and subsequently destroyed his relationship with his daughter—why did he accept command of the organization (or continue as leader if he was already in charge). Side note: I was DONE after seeing Joe Morton in that hairpiece and moustache! Especially knowing that he didn’t look that way back on A Different World. lol

12-year-old Olivia’s love of Fruit Loops makes me wonder if she can ever eat them again, all things considered. It might be a nice moment, to see Olivia have a box of Fruit Loops in her cabinet (but no milk in the fridge…).

Baby Huck/Charlie: What is Rowan’s plan for Quinn?

Quinn is spiraling out of control! Huck gave her the taste for darkness and she’s grasping at it. It’s interesting to me that Rowan/Charlie think they’ve “planted a seed” in Quinn that they must watch bloom, when this has been growing in her this whole time with no one tending to it but Quinn herself. They didn’t introduce the gun to her, she bought it on her own. Rowan told Olivia he wouldn’t kill her friends, but he didn’t say nothing about turning another one into B6-13! (I think fans, and possibly Olivia, won’t mind as much about this one. Baby Huck has been getting on everyone’s nerves since she arrived… I’m surprised the whole office doesn’t groan whenever she speaks.

I wonder if she will be trained to replace Jake’s would be assassin. Maybe B6-13 operates with a Token Female…

Actually, I would LOVE for Quinn to join B6-13, because then she’d be able to destroy it from the inside (not because she’s awesome, but because it would just implode due to her presence, annoyance, and incompetence).

Harrison/Cy: Will Cyrus’ threat spur Harrison into action against Olivia?

Finally some Harrison backstory! It’s been a long time coming that we find anything about Harrison Wright. What I understand so far is: Harrison was a used car salesman. Then he was involved in insider trading. This man, Saliff, is out of the country and if he is allowed (?) to return, he will kill Harrison. I suppose Harrison sold this man out to save himself. We know that Olivia “fixed” it for him. If he allows Cyrus’ threat to move him against Liv, Liv won’t fix him twice. But I think there must be more to it—they waited so long to give us a Harrison storyline, and Olivia trusts him with her company but then snubs him every time he asks her a question. I wonder what the whole story could be. I do know that Cyrus wildly underestimated Harrison’s loyalty to Olivia, but I don’t know how much more of Olivia’s dismissals Harrison will take.

The Election: How does Mellie plan to use the wandering First Vice Husband against Sally’s betrayal?

This part of the storyline was mostly set up for future chess pieces moving around. Josie Marcus’ bits were great, I know her interview with James will go viral on tumblr, due to the strength and truth of her comments. But the Sally/Mellie/Cyrus parts of the game were just pawns being moved into place. Mr Vice First Husband (Heroes’ own Horned Rimmed Glasses!) is making eyes at Mellie; but if he doesn’t know already, he is going to learn that Mellie will do whatever it takes to keep Fitz in office (including “rolling up your whore and unrolling her at your feet” !!). Whatever Mellie’s plan is, it is going to be devious.

Other thoughts:

Icarus is an interesting title choice. Obviously it involves flying and something crashing down to the ground, but it is also about parent/child relationships, escaping imprisonment (feelings of being trapped), and a tragic downfall. These themes apply to many characters. Fitz is trapped with Mellie (and kind of trapped in the White House by Mellie and Cyrus and the ghost of his father’s influence on him. Liv is trapped in the situation with her father, she doesn’t want anything to do with him, but he keeps appearing in her life and if she doesn’t stick with him, he may kill her friends. Obviously the plane crash is the prime example of the myth in action; did Maya get too excited about something for her own good and it led to the plane “needing” to be shot down by B6-13? Did someone ignore the warnings they were given to not fly too close to the sun? Is the sun B6-13 or something else?

I suppose they’ll start covering Kerry Washington’s baby bump with large coats, because I highly doubt Olivia will get pregnant and they’ve already established her wardrobe as a symbolic device.

They took all episode to get to Fitz learning that he killed Olivia’s mother. His eyebrows tell me he clearly didn’t know, but he schooled his expression real quick and continued to not acknowledge Olivia’s question. What does this mean for the coming weeks? Let the torturous wait til next Thursday begin!

Please , please, please check out my (condensed) version of this post on UnderScoopFire.com: Scandal ‘Icarus’ Discussion: “You Get One Question”

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Watch: Ava DuVernay’s Filmmaker Keynote Address At 2013 Film Independent Forum | Shadow and Act

via Watch: Ava DuVernay’s Filmmaker Keynote Address At 2013 Film Independent Forum | Shadow and Act.

I haven’t seen any of Ava DuVernay’s work yet, but I loved this keynote address and think it’s useful for anyone who is a media creator/artist. (She’s also directing an upcoming episode of Scandal, episode 308, so I’ll get to see a bit of her style then.)

All of the things that we try to do while trying to move forward in the industry is time not working on your screenplay [insert what your art is & what you’re supposed to be doing to work on it]. All the time you’re focusing– trying to grab– ‘I need this, I need this, I don’t have this–‘, you’re being desperate, you’re not doing. All that stuff is not active, it’s not moving you forward. All of the so called ‘action’ is hinging on someone doing something for you. Does that make sense? […]

The only thing that moves you forward is your work. […]

If you channel your desperation towards things you have, it’s passion. If you channel it towards things you don’t have, it’s desperation. It’s stagnation. […]

My whole thing, what I want is to be making films as a senior citizen. When I look at senior citizens making films, they’re only white guys. There’s no black, female Woody Allen. Or Mike Nichols. Like Clint Eastwood? Just imagine a bad ass black woman, walking like Clint, ‘I don’t care! I’m gonna say whatever I wanna say!” You’re old as hell, you’ve made a gang of films, say what you wanna say! I wanna be her. Old and making films. American women making films, black women making films into old age, actively and consistently. I wanna be Werner Herzog, I have so many films, I don’t know their names. I wanna be that. […] I just want consistency and longevity.

Watch the whole thing, you may get a nugget of something.

 

ConStar Watches S.H.I.E.L.D. “The Asset”

I still can’t tell how I feel about this show. I believe it will pick up, but waiting for it to pick up in the way that I want is rough. But I can tell they’re laying some foundations and working out relationships so I’m giving it more time. And it has both the money and the audience to actually give us time to watch it grow. Unlike every other Whedon show. I remember not being sure how I felt about Dollhouse and then episode 6 came along and I was in for the ride.

Why can’t Skye have a tech S.O.? lol I suppose Ward does tech stuff as he showed when he cut off her offer to do some techy bits.

i enjoyed Fitz/Simmons’ outfits. 

I think I’m not alone when I say I’m not a fan of Skye’s double agent act (though most people, from what I gather, are not fans of Skye herself. I don’t quite like her too much either).  I think her cockiness is what i dislike about her. And she’s selfish? Though, perhaps, maybe that’s just in the context of SHIELD. She doesn’t really know or care about these people yet and the show hasn’t given her an opportunity to yet. Maybe she cares about other people on a larger scale? but her cockiness is annoying. I did enjoy her “Nope!” though. Skye’s cockiness drops quick when there are like 5 dudes after her!

Whats wrong with Coulson’s muscle memory? There’s definitely more to this than we know (what happened in Tahiti? Did he actually ever go to Tahiti? What did SHIELD do to him to bring him back?). What are they foreshadowing to be wrong with him? I really want more Coulson. And more Melinda May! She’s definitely my second favorite character and I want to know more about her and her backstory (and why she didn’t want to join in–what happened in her last mission– and does that have to do with not liking being called The Cavalry). More Melinda and Coulson being Agent Bros, please!

Hmm, I don’t know why I wasn’t feeling Skye’s emotional turn around at the end. Her life was threatened in the two episodes before, why was this one so much more traumatic for her? Half of the time she was threatened in the episode, she was being her normal, cocky self. I get that it’s a defense mechanism, given when we could assume about her even before she revealed her backstory, but I don’t feel like we earned that story based on what she went through in the episode. I could get some introspection, but not a full out reveal to Ward about her past. I don’t get if she’s suddenly on their side or if she’s playing the “hide deception in honesty” card as she did with Quinn in the episode. I just don’t think we earned her confession.

I liked the tag more than the episode as a whole. As a non-comic book reader, I didn’t quite understand what was happening, but tweets sort of made me pull it together at the end. I think my problem with this episode is that it’s exposition for Graviton the Villain and exposition can be the most boring part (even in a great story). It’s why I’m giving SHIELD so much of a chance (that’s a lie. It’s because it’s Joss. and because it’s not bad, it just hasn’t really found it’s footing yet, but I know it’s coming), all of these beginning episodes are exposition for something greater to come. I don’t think Disney/Marvel would have greenlit it yet if they weren’t shown a larger, fuller story trajectory that we’re not seeing yet.

I’m interested in seeing how the Graviton arc plays out (as I think that’s what this show really needs, to start showing us it’s arcs. A comic book story, a Whedon story doesn’t work story of the week; those stories are best told in arcs. We’re just getting the seeds right now.

‘Sleepy Hollow’ Gets First 2nd-Season Renewal of 2013-2014 – TheWrap

via ‘Sleepy Hollow’ Gets First 2nd-Season Renewal of 2013-2014 – TheWrap.

 

My favorite new show of the fall has already been renewed! This is one of the fastest network TV renewals I can remember hearing about (I’m sure I’m missing one). It’s only been three episodes! I know that cable networks, like HBO, pull this card all the time (I remember when HBO renewed Game of Thrones the night of it’s premiere), but it’s rare to see a network do it.

Also, I didn’t know that they were sticking with a 13 episode season. This should be great. As we see with cable and British television, shorter seasons lead to great acclaim and better storytelling, so I’m excited to see what a 13 episode season across two seasons could hold. This could be the beginning of a trend on network television.

Until the next episode (or article on the greatness that is Nicole Beharie)!

Why Are Black Sitcoms Less Available to Us?: Black Sitcom DVD/Streaming Distribution Disparity

Black Sitcoms Distribution Article Cover

In this digital age of streaming and DVD and Blu-ray, its seems we can watch anything we want, on any device we want, any time we want. Despite the number of networks and outlets available, there are what feels like the fewest black sitcoms on today. Compared to the heyday of the 80s and 90s, the lack of black sitcoms is especially obvious when you consider there is not one on network television. So you’d think we’d be able to go back to those great 80s and 90s TV shows to fill the void of black faces on our television screens. And yes, there are plenty of shows in syndication thanks to BET and TV One and other minority niche networks. But, as I said, in this digital age, you’d think we could watch whatever we want, whenever we want. This is not the case.

When I fell in love with A Different World this summer, I immediately went searching for it on the internet. I found it: terrible quality, 3-parts per episode YouTube videos. Ok. What about on DVD? Only season 1. Netflix? Nope. Hulu? Hasn’t even heard of the show. I currently have 30 episodes stored on my DVR thanks to TV One syndication. Then I thought of other popular black sitcoms and decided to do some research.

Shows like The Cosby Show, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Family Matters had major audiences. Diverse audiences even; these shows aired during some of the most popular ratings time slots on TV: The NBC Thursday Must-See-TV block and the ABC TGIF block. The first two shows have full series on DVD, but Family Matters remains at only 3 seasons of its total 9 on DVD and none on any of the major streaming sites. Martin and Girlfriends also have all their episodes on DVD, but again, no streaming. Other shows from these eras and time slots, some with lesser ratings or critical acclaim are available but not black shows.

Check out this chart I made, featuring about 48 black sitcoms spanning from the ’60s to the ’00s (only 1 currently running sitcom is on the list)(It’s a bit ridiculous that it only took me a couple of hours to compile this list. It should be a longer list).

Black Sitcom DVD Release/Streaming Chart

Black Sitcom Streaming Availability Chart

Preview of the chart. Click through for the full and most updated version.

Only a quarter of the series on this list have full DVD releases. Only 3 are available on Netflix. Only 5 are available on Hulu. Some can be seen on the WB website or other network/studio pages (not listed on the chart), but I’ve watched shows on the WB website before, it’s not a pleasant experience (perhaps they’ve made some changes).

Why are our shows not available to us? Why must we hunt through DVD bins and “Save Until I Delete” on our DVRs or suffer through terrible quality YouTube versions (missing episodes or muted scenes because of song copyrights)? Why did so many Wikipedia pages say “Season 1 was released on DVD, but future seasons haven’t been made available due to poor season 1 sales”? Are people really not interested? Or were those cop-outs for those companies (more often than not, these shows were distributed by Warner Brothers)? I know that in the case of A Different World, season 1 differs greatly from the other 5 seasons, so of course DVD sales were low. The fans were waiting for season 2-6 to come out. What about The Jamie Foxx Show or Living Single or The Bernie Mac Show? Who is preventing these shows from being available to the (African-) American people?

I put African in parentheses above because here’s the thing: if shows featuring black people aren’t made available to everyone–not just black people–then how will a wider audience of people come into contact with black shows? If they were available as easily as [insert random show that people rarely watch or talk about but is streaming], we could get more than just black people watching these shows. We could expand the typical audience of these shows to include other races and the next generation. And in doing that, we could inspire writers and producers and networks to give more black written/black-led TV shows a shot (especially on network television). Then, more people would have exposure to great television programs and then realize, oh right, the cast was all black.

I don’t know what the solution is. Petition letters for shows like A Different World and Living Single have gone around, but they don’t seem to do much good. Hopefully, Netflix and Hulu will reach out to the black audience. For goodness sake, in their “Categories” section, Hulu has a Spanish Sitcom section while Netflix has a Korean TV Shows section. Why is there no “Black Sitcom” section, why are those shows not available? Maybe we need to create a streaming site that can get the rights to black TV shows; but there are already so many ways in which black television is being propelled backward (maybe you feel this way about Tyler Perry shows, maybe you don’t, but you definitely can’t ignore the complete lack of any black sitcoms on network television–and only three black led dramas, two which premiere this season)–we don’t need to add segregation to the list.

Let your favorite streaming service know that Black Sitcoms are worthy of being viewed. Make them talk to distributors to give them the rights. And support syndication reruns. Somewhere, I’m hoping something will change.

Are there any black sitcoms I left off the list? Any that have DVD/streaming availability that I neglected to mention? How do you think we can get better access to black television sitcoms?

*CORRECTION* I miscalculated on the chart: there are 12 shows with full DVD releases. Not much better. It has been corrected.

Related post: https://constarstudiestv.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/constar-studies-90s-black-sit-coms/

What I Watched Today – The Mindy Project “Music Festival”

I think I’m getting really ambivalent about The Mindy Project. It’s kind of on in the background. There might be a couple of funny moments, but I dunno, it doesn’t excite me as much as my other shows do.

But in this episode, I wasn’t fan of:

  • the Bro doctor. I get that he’s supposed to be annoying, but what purpose is it going to serve?
  • Pastor Casey becoming a DJ and then randomly (finally?) breaking up with Mindy. I get that it’s slightly a part of his character as the “cool” pastor, it’s still a random about face which was an obvious forcible set up for Mindy and Casey to break up. Why is he suddenly extra hip-hop pastor THEN an event planner after a trip to Haiti?? Suddenly he has no direction and wants to explore himself? It was too much of an obvious set up for tearing up their relationship. especially since it happened all in one episode. This is something they totally could have set up over 2 episode at least.
  • Why is Dr. British (I don’t remember his name) still randomly fat?

Also funny how her hair is growing so fast, time changes. She clearly wants her normal hair back lol.

I don’t know how I will continue to feel about The Mindy Project. It seems a bit all over the place sometimes, so I don’t know if it will find direction or if this is the path it will continue to take. Hope this isn’t a sophomore slump for them, as it might not survive it. I really want it to survive as it is one of the few shows with a non-white lead, but good storytelling is an important part of allowing a show with that extra factor to succeed.

Link: Key & Peele explain how they created ‘Substitute Teacher’ – The Week

Interview: Key & Peele explain how they created ‘Substitute Teacher’ – The Week.

But when you bring someone back, you want to make sure it’s not just a cookie-cutter, by-the-numbers version of the original sketch, where you have the exact same gag with different names. It was very, very difficult for us to figure out how to do it. [The concept] really goes back to the difference between the cultures of an inner city school and a more privileged school in the suburbs.”

I really like reading people break down their craft, especially (tv) writers, and especially comedians because I always get so lost in the funny that I forget and then later remember that there is such an intricate science to comedy. Sometimes I’ll hear a joke and then think about how it was constructed (something is said, then the turn or element of surprise at the end) but I’ve never been good at setting up a joke or constructing one myself. I think that if I think about it enough, when the time comes to write one, I’ll have picked up the basics by osmosis and it will become innate.

So reading this is fun for me, to learn how this duo comes up with one of their more popular sketches. It also offers insight into how this particular group works and the way their writing dynamic seems to play out.

What I Watched Today – Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

I just need to say this title is way too long. Either just SHIELD or maybe the abbreviation could be AOS (I guess MOAS could work? but I dunno…what the fandom will decide on as a group? I was just glad for Twitter’s auto hashtag feature so I didn’t have to type it every time as I live-tweeted)

This show did really well (for me) to start off with J. August Richards (I watched him on my absolute favorite show Angel). Also points for diversity (which even minority nerds who love this stuff were wondering if this show would have much of that, or be like most other shows on TV right now). Though I see it only says “Guest Starring” for J. August so we’ll see what that means for his character appearing later. (Gunn on Angel started only as a guest role… so I have hope.)

Melinda May, an Asian American! Two points for diversity. Let’s hope it increases as the show continues. ABC seems to be the best at the diversity right now, but mostly that’s because the other most diverse shows on the network are run by Shonda Rhimes.)

(Ron Glass?! Hi Shepherd Book! What other Whedon alum will we see? It could be a fun game!)

COBIE SMULDERS!! Now that HIMYM is ending, I wonder if she’ll be back for season 2. Or if she’s somehow doing double duty. It must be nice for her knowing that should the show survive (and really, are we doubting at this point? Between the promotion it got and the sheer number of Avengers/Marvel Comics fans) , she’ll have a guaranteed gig after her other show is over.

I think I got a little lost in the plot towards the middle, but nothing a rewatch and a careful eye on clues (a Whedon thing) can’t either cure or peak my intrigue for later episodes. But the episode really had a lot to do, more than most pilots I think, so it’s understandable that a few things end up lost in the shuffle. It had to do the normal character/tone/dynamic introduction, but it also had to connect to both the Movie and Comic Book canons (there were many references to both) and there are just so many characters already. The premiere had so much to do, but I believe it will just get better, because it’s the Whedons.

“With great power comes… a ton of weird crap that you’re not prepared to deal with!” Great Joss style line as well as Marvel canon humor.

Even when I watch Angel, the pilot (as with most shows) is rough to watch and I just rewatch the early seasons to remember the character beginnings so when the great character development arcs hits, I can appreciate it again. I’m sure in a few weeks, there will be a great arc in play.

Really looking forward to this to watching this grow and unfold!

What I Watched Today – Sleepy Hollow

Hmm I hope that introduction narration/recap thing isn’t always like that. Maybe it’ll work with some retooling, but it was awkward and kind of jumpy…? Yeah, the tape may say he did that himself, but uhm is no one concerned that IT ISN’T POSSIBLE!?

In this episode, they “revealed” that Icabod has an eidetic memory. Ugh. I’m liking this show, but either the writers or the network forced that line in the excuse away things they want Icabod to automatically know or remember (but watch him “forget” something later that would have been useful. Watch them forget they gave him this character trait. OR overstate it). I would have preferred if they showed us his eidetic memory for several episodes before stating it as a fact; here it was forced exposition. Or just have him have an eidetic memory and not mention it. Viewers aren’t as dumb as writers/networks think they are. (Well, maybe they are. But I wish they weren’t. Raise the LCD, don’t dumb down towards it. Hopefully now that they see this show has a pretty big and wide, varied audience, they can realize that we are enjoying it without thinking we won’t get everything.

What I Watched Today – HIMYM

*One post was super long so I’ve split them up by show. Shorter posts but more of them is probably better than one long one.

How I Met Your Mother – Aww. The last season. This show often slows down across a season when watching it live, but as I’ve discovered before, it can hold up with a Netflix binge-watch. Here’s hoping the last season holds up better. That’s hard to imagine as most of the 24 episodes will be during a 55 hour weekend. Really having a hard time seeing how this will work, but I’m gonna keep it up until the end. I’ve lasted this long, with a few watching hiatuses before binge catching up; can’t quit now!

Really glad the Mother’s first line made me laugh. Looking good for her. Since I’ve hated all of Ted’s girlfriends. All of them. (Except Robin, but I definitely ship Barney/Robin so she doesn’t count.) She’s so much like Ted, it’s almost scary. I bet they won’t meet until like November sweeps at the rate this is going. But already, my fears of Mother casting have been assuaged (which they were even as of that summer photoshoot with Ted and The Mother kissing. Really great chemistry between them there.)

“You’re a 21st Century toilet!” “!!!!!”

Lady Tedwina Slowsby.

Of course Barney is on Joffrey’s side. #gameofthrones

Creepy telepathic murder thoughts.

You have certainly peaked my incest–interest.

“I’ve got you. I don’t have to wait for it anymore.” d’awwww. As well as the photo moment.

And one grizzly murder.

As usual, the second episode is slower and not as funny.

NO SHE’S LITERALLY AROUND THE CORNER THOUGH.

I enjoyed watching Ted and The Mother in that last scene! Good job!

What I Watched Today – Incl. “Sleepy Hollow” & “Key and Peele”

*NOTE: These posts will contain always #spoilers.

Sleepy Hollow: Maybe it wasn’t a good idea to watch this show before bedtime, especially after that last moment in the mirror. #shivers.

I love Abbie’s voice. It reminds me of someone else’s but I can’t place it. Time to IMDB her.

I think it’s interesting how they took the Sleepy Hollow story and added the Four Horseman in order to stretch the mythology to be TV show length. Despite spoilers, I didn’t know John Cho knew the Horseman, just that he dies, but how did he know what he knew!? Also: YO homegirl got a bite on her!! Yo!

7 years of tribulation… oohlala (#shipping it already, along with everyone else lol) but interesting theoretical series timeline. Also, she is very short and is very tall. I’m sure that makes it hard for the camera crew.  I’m guessing that the season ender might be the Headless Horseman getting his skull (though right now it seems in precarious hands under the protection of an unbelieving and non-powerful police department) and then the other three arriving will be the next storylines.  Obviously it’s sooo far off to tell, but it’s like knowing that on Once Upon a Time, the season would end with them getting their memories back and that’s exactly what happened. I’m ready and would be pleased for a surprise though. I really enjoyed this, it’s right up my alley: mystery, supernatural, with some religion and literature thrown in. Also a black female lead. I am definitely going to continue watching this. (Just have to remember to put it on my DVR.)

Key and Peele: Key and Peele are BRILLIANT. It’s topical and funny and really smart (both clever and use of literature and theater despite maybe some not expecting their audience to care about those things.) Watch the intro Hoodie sketch, the Rap Battle Sketch (until the end), and the Les Mis sketch. Can’t wait until next week!

I also watched:

Continue reading

What I Watched Today

Today I finished Orange is the New Black, after starting the season yesterday midday during a sick day at home. Interesting show, great supporting characters, I’ve grown to dislike Piper more and more as the show progressed. Daya, Taystee, Poussey, and Black Cindy are some of my favorites characters. The pre-prison flashbacks were such a small taste of these characters and I really want more of how a lot of them got to prison and their normal lives.

I also watched:

Whose Line is it Anyway?

Brooklyn 99 – Hmm. Amusing new show. Enjoying the diversity (2 black people AND 2 hispanic characters). Mike Shur is a plus, as a big #Parks fan. I’ll keep this on my DVR.

New Girl – So glad it’s back! It was sooo good and I LOVE Nick and Jess! and Winston was FANTASTIC and oh Schmidt. But the show has not lost it’s greatness over the summer.

The Mindy Project – Well. There were some good moments, but as usual, you can’t air Mindy after New Girl, it’s not as funny and for me, constantly fails in comparison. Sorry Mindy. Also, I’m bored with James Franco. *rolls eyes* But welcome back, Mindy.

The Daily Show

The Colbert Report

The Queen Latifah Show – I might check this out regularly. I don’t watch a lot of talk shows, but today’s interview with Will was funny of course and the segment with Will and Alex Trebek was inventive and fun. I still need to watch the rest of the episode though…

A Different World – expect this to go on my daily list a lot, since I love it and it’s right there on my DVR.

[New segment I will do to help me write everyday/more often. As the Fall 2013 TV comes along, I will try to at the very least, post what I watched each day. If I’m feeling write-y, I will add opinions and such. Though it may only be: “I’m so excited for this episode!” (if written before) or “this episode was fantastic!” (when written after). Hope I can keep up and keep going with this blogging thing. =)]

Shows to look out for: “Almost Human” coming November to FOX

Shows to look out for: “Almost Human” coming November to FOX

JJ Abrams? Sci-Fi co-starring a black actor (Michael Ealy)? I shall have to check this out in Nov. (Uh oh, it’s on FOX. Uh oh, the last time JJ tried a show with a black lead it sadly failed [anyone remember Undercovers?? Hopefully it goes well this time])

 

Hopefully I’ll be more in a posting mood as the fall tv season approaches. 

Click through to check out a sort of preview. 

ConStar Studies the 12th Doctor

As an avid Doctor Who watcher, I was shocked when Matt Smith announced that Christmas would be his last episode. I wasn’t quite ready to get used to a new Doctor. I started watch in 2011 via Netflix (starting from “Rose”) and sorry Nine, but Ten might always be MY Doctor as they say but I have spent more time with Eleven than any other Doctor. So I am sad to see him go (especially since he and Karen Gillan haven’t announced their marriage yet. But I still have hope). 

Sunday they announced Peter Capaldi as Twelve. As with any new actor coming on to a show you love, you worry. And with the Doctor there will always be backlash and concern but I must say, just from his picture alone I can kind of tell Peter will be good. I haven’t seen him in anything (except that episode of Who he was already in–gotta go back and watch that one–and gifs on tumblr of things he was in before) and I kinda of want to keep it that way I think. If I can, I think I will approach him as Twelve with as clean a slate as I had with the others (as much as the internet will let me anyway).

I think this could be good. A new direction to go in (as I have personally felt a slump since season 5–which is my favorite season) and I think aging him back up will be interesting for the Doctor’s inner story: He’s aging and might be running out of regenerations if they hold up with the 13 regenerations rule. And Matt’s Doctor has been feeling the weight of his age recently. But also I can sort of see that Capaldi could have the vibrancy of the Doctor as well. So I’m actually looking forward to this. [Insert Twelve’s new catchphrase]

ConStar Studies Orphan Black (And Dollhouse)

If you haven’t already, you should watch BBC America’s Orphan Black. I should probably post something about the writing (this being a lot of the point of this blog and all) but like most Orphan Black watchers, you should watch for it’s lead (and supporting and secondary and guest) actress Tatiana Maslany. She is nothing short of amazing in the way she portrays up to maybe 8 (i honestly have lost track) different characters and makes them each their own person.

Yes, the point of acting is to be able to embody different characters with ease and believability but Tatiana does it for the same production often in the same scene as as the picture above details (this gifset on tumblr is better), she portrays a character pretending to be a different character, which basically creates a new character. 

I’m a big Joss Whedon fan (have you caught on to that yet? No? It’ll become more evident I’m sure) and while I loved his short-lived show Dollhouse, I wasn’t a big fan of Eliza Dushku playing the lead role. [For those who dont know: Dollhouse had the idea that a human body could be “rented” out to other people, companies, etcwith the original owner’s mental personality removed. The “doll” became a blank slate and the Dollhouse could “imprint” a new personality as requested by the client. So it required being able to embody many different personality types, sometimes with amazing quick changes.] And she didn’t really exceed my expectations during the show’s two seasons. There were maybe a couple of moments where I was impressed. People like Eliza because she’s “hot” and is a “tough action girl” type character, but her acting isn’t all that impressive. Not for the purpose of that show especially. And her mediocre skills stood out in stark comparison to her co-stars (especially Enver Gjokaj who really could switch from one character to another and really make me believe that they were completely different people. 

So watching Orphan Black with Tatiana Maslany makes me wish she’d been discovered years ago and was the lead of that other show about one actress playing multiple characters. If you haven’t checked it out yet, do so. It’s got a great beginning story-wise (should lead to some interesting philosophical places) and great acting (most of it done by Tatiana Maslany).

Let me know if you watch!