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:: "fuzzy romance and brutal terror" : apparently, I can get behind that ::
Hmmm 
7th-Nov-2008 01:04 pm
Jericho Like Heroes Only Better
Heroes news that is probably bad:   Ubisoft Drops Plans For ‘Heroes’ Game

This doesn't really affect me, as I pretty much make it a rule never to play games "based on" TV series (the couple I've been exposed to, I felt were not very exciting and were thrown together to try to take advantage of fan enthusiasm).  However, it's a worrisome sign of the falling fan enthusiasm and ratings.  The game was originally slated to come out in time for this Christmas season, so possibly there were other non-ratings-related issues that led to the delay and the current creative turmoil on the show was just a good excuse for the publisher to abandon a bogged-down project.  No matter what, though, it's not a good sign.  On the other hand, we have...

Heroes news that is probably good: 'Pushing Daisies' creator Bryan Fuller says he might return to 'Heroes'

Sad news for Pushing Daisies fans, but at the same time, it would certainly perk up my interest in the show.  I don't know just how much of S1 Fuller was responsible for, but the fact remains, when he was with it, the show was something that hit me in the gut and made me care about the characters.  As far along as they likely are in the season shooting schedule, even if Fuller did come back, he likely wouldn't have much of an effect on the remaning plot for S3.  But if the show gets renewed for S4, his hand on the tiller would probably make a lot of people have more faith that the show is going to get better.  And, let's face it, the show needs something like that desperately.  I know there are people on my flist who like this season, but of the 8 real life friends who I seduced into liking the show with my S1 DVDs, only 1 is still watching it.  Bringing back a good writer from S1 might be the only thing that would pique their interest again.

(And yes, I know the show gets higher ratings after DVR viewing figures are added in...but this fact has to be faced: advertisers do not give a fuck about DVR viewers because DVR viewers fast-forward through their commercials.  And selling commercial time to advertisers is a giant portion of TV networks' revenue model.)

Comments 
7th-Nov-2008 07:49 pm (UTC)
Frankly, Fuller needs to concentrate on fighting for Pushing Daisies, which isn't doing *that* bad in the ratings, as opposed to talking about returning to Heroes. PD runs circles around Heroes.
7th-Nov-2008 07:55 pm (UTC)
I also really agree with all of this, PD runs circles around Heroes and he shoudl fight for his show more.
7th-Nov-2008 08:03 pm (UTC)
The sense I got from that article was that they're seeing PD as all-but-cancelled. You know just how "reliable" comments on online articles are, but there was at least one commenter who claimed that the network has already told the PD showrunners that production will cease after the current 13-episode order. So I'm not sure if he's WANTING to go back, or just anticipating that his current job is going to end.
7th-Nov-2008 08:09 pm (UTC)
I tend to pay no attention to commenters. One of those so-called commenters claimed after Dan's show that he was leaving MSNBC. Hasn't happened and doesn't appear to be happening. I think some people are confused because it's on break right now.
7th-Nov-2008 07:52 pm (UTC)
I think someone also mentioned that a lot of people DVR programs but don't end up watching them anyway and like you said, without advertising it doesn't matter.
I was sad that there will be no Heroes game because I like Ubisoft, almost as much as I love Bethesda(sp?) for making Elder Scrolls. Anyway, Fuller coming back could help the show, provided they undo what pretty much all of what they did in season three. Especially the Sylar,Claire and Mohinder stuff.
7th-Nov-2008 09:14 pm (UTC)
I keep waiting to hear that someone's started an online community where everyone pretends S3 never happened. Like primeval_denial...
7th-Nov-2008 08:26 pm (UTC)
If I watched Pushing Daisies, I'd be really upset that my guy was talking about leaving to go to another show... especially if the other show wasn't doing that well either. I don't even watch PD (I did during the first season, but like many people, the strike pretty much killed my interest in most of last season's new shows. Even worse is that the one I do watch is probably going to get the axe soon anyway.) but I feel bad for the show's fans/cast/staff every time I see Heroes fans clamoring for his return. It seems like, as aelora said above me, he should be focusing on fighting for the show he is already working on, not talking about how he'd be interested in working somewhere else. Even if he would be interested, that does not speak well of his dedication to his show. And if he's not that into it, why should anyone else (either fans of the network) be? I also tend to think if he can't save his own show, what are the chances he can save a show that he should, given the circumstances, have less invested in?

Another thing that bodes not-so-well for Heroes is that the FOX midseason schedule is out, and starting January 19, 24 will be airing Mondays at 9. That can't be good. (I don't watch that either.) Then again, I'm more upset about the 24 move because it cuts into Prison Break, which is usually what I watch on Mondays at 9 anyway.

7th-Nov-2008 09:19 pm (UTC)
Another thing that bodes not-so-well for Heroes is that the FOX midseason schedule is out, and starting January 19, 24 will be airing Mondays at 9. That can't be good.

I totally agree. I don't watch 24 either, but I know a number of people who said they'd never watched Heroes because they were 24 fans and watched that every week. I'm betting that FOX is hoping that the movie will pull audience away from Heroes, and...they may be right.

I never got into PB. I used to enjoy the recaps at TWoP but just never got into the show, for some reason. But I don't think I know of any fans of it who've gotten bored with it, which is always a good sign for a show.
7th-Nov-2008 08:41 pm (UTC)
I'd hate to lost PD since I really like that show. But just as there are people who seemed to have lost interest in "Heroes" I'm also running into people who have lost their interest in PD and other shows in general. It's a tough call. Personally I'd love to see PD see another season becuause I think it's a great show that deserves it. With that said I do think there was heart that Fuller put into "Heroes" that the show has been missing. Again, the issues with "Heroes" are things that can be fixed and even with the ratings down the show still pulls in a decent amount of viewers. PD on the other hand keeps struggling (and I could go on an entirely different rant about great shows that no one is watching) and Fuller fighting for it is one thing but if people aren't tuning in does it become a case of beating his head against he wall? The network is going to look at numbers.

I remember a time when a show that was struggling was given time to build an audience. But that rarely happens now. It's not fair, but it's the current reality. As long as PD is on the air I would prefer Fuller to stay with it. "Heroes" needs to sort out its issues...with that said, if PD is let go then I'd be most interested in seeing what Fuller could do on "Heroes" come the fourth season.
7th-Nov-2008 09:29 pm (UTC)
PD on the other hand keeps struggling (and I could go on an entirely different rant about great shows that no one is watching) and Fuller fighting for it is one thing but if people aren't tuning in does it become a case of beating his head against he wall?

The impression I got from the article was that, that was the case. Fans and showrunners can agitate all they want, and sometimes it will work (such as, Jericho's brief resurrection) but if you're getting signals in private that the show is going to go, how long do you keep fighting and pleading?

I don't understand why networks don't give shows more time, either. If you've already put time and money into the pilot and filming 10 episodes, why not at least air those and then gauge fan and critical reactions? I still think American TV needs to move to a schedule more like the BBC: order 10 episodes of a show, air them, if it gets decent ratings and internet fan sites spring up, order 10 more episodes.

I just am not into anything right at the moment. There have been a couple of new shows that I enjoyed well enough, but if I miss them, I don't really care. I'm not sure how much of that is reflective of a change in my mental outlook on life, and how much is the general quality of TV right now. But last weekend, I had far more fun watching Father Ted on DVD than with anything on the TiVo. Sigh.
7th-Nov-2008 09:51 pm (UTC)
If networks relied on initial ratings a show like "X-Files" would never have lasted. With that said it ended up staying on way beyond its expiration date, but the point is that it was given a chance.

I'm actually in strong agreement with you about shows following the British model with shorter seasons. Not everything has to be about hitting the magic #100. I'd prefer shorter seasons and a finite timeline sorted out somewhere early on. I don't a show to go on forever. I'd much rather have a strong show that knows where it's going and takes the time with plot and characters to get there instead of one that ends up all over the place and fizzles out at the end.

Sometimes I'm happy that some of my absolute favourite shows got cancelled in their first season because I can remember them as being brilliant. Most American shows I end up losing interest in as the seasons go on because it's rare that consistency stays.

The shows I'm in love with right now are not on the regular networks. Interesting enough they're the ones from HBO/Showtime/AMC that have shorter seasons and more concise storytelling.

A show like "Heroes" could benefit from tweaking because the potential is there (IMO) and even though I'm enjoying this season, as I said in the post at my journal it's mostly because I'm starting to look at this season as separate from what came before. In a way I almost like thinking of S1 as its own thing. When I think about the long discussions/analysis we had at TWoP I think a lot of us put more thought into the characters than the writers for the show...which isn't a bad thing since I think we were all quite moved and involved and it was a very creative experience. But the downside is that the same type of thought didn't play out on screen and choices that were made for the show ended up disappointing.
7th-Nov-2008 10:32 pm (UTC)
A show like "Heroes" could benefit from tweaking because the potential is there (IMO)

I agree. I feel like there is so much potential for character development and growth, and that this could be a show all about characters. One of the things that's put me off on this season is that I feel like the writers are relying an awful lot on the "OMG!!!1!!" factor. Unpredictable plot twists that make sense based on prior characterization are good. But I wind up with the impression that the writers are more concerned with whether the plot twists will seem impressive, than with whether things make sense.

With some tweaks, I think I'd be enjoying this season more. But there have been too many moments where I've gone, "...No." For instance, Mohinder's shooting-up-at-the-docks-at-night scene. I mean, seriously. Why the heck would he go there to try out his serum? I read somewhere that originally the script called for Mohinder to just be out on a walk, struggling with this decision, and he was jumped by thugs, and shot up in desperation because he had no other weapon to defend himself. I don't know if that's true, but it makes more sense to me. And it does change the complexion of his storyline somewhat, but he still could have been all "ZOMG POWERS ARE AWESOMESAUCE I AM SO GLAD I GAVE THEM TO MYSELF", and still could have followed the course of action that he did, and wound up at a place where he realizes he's turned into a person as awful as the thugs who were after him. Plus there could have been more opportunity for growth, as he tried to hide behind "thugs jumped me" as an excuse for turning himself into a monster, but was forced to face the fact that that's no better an excuse than "I killed Brian Davis because I wanted to be special".

The shows I'm in love with right now are not on the regular networks. Interesting enough they're the ones from HBO/Showtime/AMC that have shorter seasons and more concise storytelling.

There are times when I think about subscribing to some of the pay channels, for the series. I hear such good things about them from people. From my own experiences writing, it often seems that cutting down a story and making it more concise really does improve the quality - it forces you to focus on what's important and trim fat. Heck, I think that's why S2 of Jericho was so much better than S2 of Heroes. And...you wind up with shows like Red Dwarf, where every single episode is hilarious, because they only had an order for 6 episodes, so they couldn't afford filler.
8th-Nov-2008 03:53 am (UTC)
I read somewhere that originally the script called for Mohinder to just be out on a walk, struggling with this decision, and he was jumped by thugs, and shot up in desperation because he had no other weapon to defend himself. I don't know if that's true, but it makes more sense to me. And it does change the complexion of his storyline somewhat, but he still could have been all "ZOMG POWERS ARE AWESOMESAUCE I AM SO GLAD I GAVE THEM TO MYSELF", and still could have followed the course of action that he did, and wound up at a place where he realizes he's turned into a person as awful as the thugs who were after him. Plus there could have been more opportunity for growth, as he tried to hide behind "thugs jumped me" as an excuse for turning himself into a monster, but was forced to face the fact that that's no better an excuse than "I killed Brian Davis because I wanted to be special".

I know I'm amongst the few who has fanwanked why Mohinder did what he did with the way it was presented to us. However, hearing what the original premise was for him shooting up actually makes sense with regards to his firsthand motivations (protection, fear, instinctive) and would have at least not confused the shit out of all the viewers. And, as you pointed out, the writers could still have gone done a similar road to what we've seen but with Mohinder's conflictions much clearer as he justified what he did while hinting all the while that deep down inside he really did want to see what it would be like to be "special". It would have made things much more on the ball for his character instead of jumping ahead for the OMG factor without proper build up.

This is a case in point where a simple tweak could have made a brilliant difference and wouldn't have required people such as myself to overanalyze in search of logic.

For the most part I find shorter seasons force (in a good way) focus. Each episode is important, everything connects to everything else. In general American TV could learn from the British model, something that HBO/Showtime/AMC have followed -- leading to some of the best, most enthralling shows I've ever watched.

Jericho first season was something I watched out of amusement. I wasn't all that serious about it. But season two was incredible. It told a story and one that was captivating. It was intelligent, it wasn't about the shock but about the journey. It's unfortunate it got cancelled again, but in a way I wonder if it's life on the bubble gave the writers the "freedom" to go for it instead of trying to go for a longterm show. I can't help but wonder if the show had been a huge hit what choices would have been made differently...in that regard I'm happy (as bitter as it is) with how things did play out because the second season showed what brilliance was there and they can all be very proud of that.
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