Wednesday, September 30, 2009

09 Fall TV Season & The Good Olde Days

As I wrote elsewhere, I'm either A) A fussy/ bitter old curmudgeon or B) A high-minded aesthete/ cognoscente/ other fancy-schmancy French words.

But I'm just not feeling the love for any new shows this fall 2009.

Some people are raving about “Modern Family.” I sampled a few minutes of it and went away "meh." I liked the Robert Sawyer book that "Flash Forward" is based on. But I wasn't super-enthused about the series pilot (which bears little resemblance to the novel anyway).

I saw Community's pilot during a special Facebook promotion weeks ago - also underwhelmed. (Although this week's preview did give me an LOL moment.)

Meanwhile, though, my affection for Amy Poehler, and now some of the other characters on Parks and Rec has made me stick with that show - despite the fact I'm not a fan of the Office-style of dry humor or of mockumentaries. (And I’m looking forward to 30R & Better Off Ted’s returns, natch.)

Speaking of P & R/ The Office, I can remember in a screenwriting class years ago being told flashbacks were a no-no. Then sitcoms did it for laughs and LOST did it for intensive backstory (or the occasional unintentional laugh?). And now mockumentaries AND flashbacks are the thing these days. But an old-fashioned part of my brain still says they’re both a lazy way of storytelling.

What I really have loved most in TV history were the hour-long hybrids like Moonlighting and Northern Exposure. (But thanks Sarah Palin for more recently ruining my vision of Alaska as a funky utopia.) What happened to those kind of shows? Oh yes, there’s still a lot of pretenders to that throne. But Castle? Desperate Housewives? Just lacking something for me.

I know - go write your own. And I certainly am working on my own projects. But it’s hard to come up with a sample script for a current series, hourlong, when you can’t quite jell with anything out there.

Waaah. Tiny violin. Shut up and write.

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