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Unbidden, but not unwelcome

Seemingly out of nowhere, I remembered the first seconds of Jesus Walks — not the song per se, but the Gunn fanvid, which I just watched for the first time in years.

It's still a great vid, and, damn, I miss Angel now, the endlessly depressing and at times very funny story of how a motley crew of secondary characters got their own show and went off to save Los Angeles with admittedly very mixed results. I think that at its core it was simply an object lesson on the ubiquity of unintended consequences, a meditation on the nature and costs of heroism when stripped of the false possibility of a final victory, and, more than anything else, it was about this:

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Just saw the Lucifer trailer

Do TV producers just reflexively add ", fight(s) crime" to the end of every concept pitch, whether or not it makes sense?

I just can see it:

  • Everybody needs Friends... and when catching criminals, you're going to need these six!

  • The show is about nothing... The crimes aren't.

  • Where the Truth lies... it's up to a professional liar to find the truth.

  • Winter is Coming... and so is justice.

  • Happy trails. Dark secrets.

Anyway. The show seems formulaic, but who knows. I'm probably just snippy because I liked so much the comic book series, and this waters it down to the point of satire. (Hannibal as the story of a crime-fighting forensic psychologist who solves impossible crimes using his skills as a chef.)

Arguably, I'm just in an uncharitable mood, which in some senses nudges you to behave in worse ways than a bad mood; in a bad mood you don't like anything but you know it's because how you're feeling, while in an uncharitable mood you don't like anything but you think it's their fault, even if they weren't particularly trying to have you like them (which, to be honest, is almost always the case).


So, the Legend of Korra finale.

It was good, upbeat, and character arc-y. As the vernacular goes, they Did All The Things. Thumbs up.

I think the last finales I enjoyed as much or more were Hannibal's two season ends.


So... the Gotham preview

I'm still unimpressed. They are deliberately going to speed-cram the Batman mythos, or at least the villains' bits (apparently ignoring that, canonically, Bruce was the one that gave most of them the idea), and myth-cramming does *not* compelling TV makes (when they work, Smallville and Supernatural work because of the interpersonal relationships, not because of the mythology, which often becomes insurmountably baroque by the second season at the latest).

Part of the problem is that Jim Gordon is going to be the protagonist. I love Gordon, and he's a kick-ass cop, but I don't think WB is making this series to show his failure, yet what else can they show? A Game of Thrones approach would be better: an ensemble cast of very killeable people (nobody we know for sure is going to be alive when Bruce comes back) fighting tooth and nail for blood-soaked territory.

On the other hand, I guess maximizing familiarity will maximize viewership numbers, and that's pretty much the thing.

In a very Comic Book Guy attitude, and paraphrasing Chekov, I will watch it, but I don't think I'll enjoy it. (Here's to the possibility of being pleasantly surprised.)


I just remembered

Remember the Global Frequency pilot?

I mean, I love that they have renewed Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter is fantastic news, and Gotham is probably going to be a narrative trainwreck on par with Smalville but with any luck equally fascinating to watch, but... You know. In a parallel Earth.

That said: just renew Hannibal, TPTB. Pretty please.


My (very) short pitch for a Gotham series

True Detective, except that always inside the city, and it's always night. (Oh, and no bats ever, human or otherwise).

Of course, I realize that this misses the whole business point of a Gotham TV series, which is Batman, but, look: the main point of the Batman-Gotham relationship for me it has always been that they are *two* distinct entities (for lack of a better term --- embodied concepts? chaotic semi-stable systems?). There's Gotham, which is a city locked up in an almost supernatural cycle of crime, violence, and evil, and there's Batman, which is a *something* Bruce came up with that is locked up in an almost supernatural cycle trying to save Gotham. Bruce loves Gotham like nobody has ever loved anything (to steal a phrase I once wrote), and in a sense Bruce is a natural product of Gotham as much as anybody else, but Batman, icon that he is, isn't. Sure, he's dark and violent, but that's because he has to. He's not the kind of thing Gotham naturally produces --- it's the kind of thing Bruce created to *counter* Gotham's darkest tendencies. That's part of what makes him so important/inspirational to me as a concept. He might seem shaped by his environment, but he's actually the most radical counterpoint to it you could imagine. (This is also why I get so mad with any plot that hints at Bruce being pre-ordained to become Batman, and so on; that completely misses the point of Bruce's achievement. And it's part of why I liked Morrison's storyline of Bruce coming back in time --- it mostly explained away all historical bat-hints as *Bruce* himself leaving clues and setting up things, which is neat.)

Anwyay. For me, there's not Batman before Crime Alley, and there never was, not even remotely close. That's the achievement of what Bruce built. Before that, there was only Gotham. So forget the bats. Let Bruce be the regular kid he was. Forget those that will be his foes. Tell the story of a city so rich and dark that people thought it was insane before Batman and the Joker.

Tell the story of Gotham. It's more than interesting enough.


Of things and Kings

I have to give Elementary once again props for rather good technical realism, this time with respect to Anonymous Everyone. Also, my god, the ending. My god.

In other news, I'm rereading Richard III, and I swear King Richard just asked a random page if he knew a guy that'd be willing to murder someone for money. I just. I don't know.

I mean, this is Richard, someone who so far has pretty much kicked ass at procuring (and discarding) human resources as needed, and now the King to boot, suddenly behaving as a 40 years old trying to score weed for the first time. I don't know if it's symbolic or just expedient plot-wise, but it's kind of funny, sad, and raw at the same time, almost like one of the good gore-less bits of a Tarantino movie.
An equation under the cut, just to be safe.Collapse )

Also, Agents of Shield is, yeah, I don't know. It's not that I didn't mildly enjoy it, it's just that it's so predictable that I don't know how long that'll stay the case.

Random idea for a show

Okay, I wrote a fairly exclamation-point-ridden description of a plot about infiltrating a High Council of Crime and what not, but basically I just want a series based on The Man Who Was Thursday that doesn't give it away until the first season, when the protagonist and all the main bad guys are in a Mexican stand-off and then it turns out that they are *all* moles from different law enforcement agencies all over the world and then credits

And then the plucky nerdy low-level information-provider-and-briefer from the protagonist's agency, who had been gruesomely fridged in S01E17, is shown quickly checking her billion-dollar bank account balance on her cellphone and her new hair color on an elevator mirror before beginning her first day of work at as a plucky nerdy low-level information-provider-and-briefer somewhere else. End of Season One.

Season two: She has a sister, who's the lazy, mean, and smart one in the family, and now Thursday has to out-Moriarty her to prevent a rather large war, so she recruits the guys from Season One and blah blah.


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