butterfly: (Reporter -- Lois Lane)
If I could magically un-cancel just one show, I think it would be Kings. Because at least with Firefly, we had movie closure. And Sarah Connor had enough warning to have a great finale, even though I would have watched that show for ten years if it had only stayed on that long.

But Kings... ah, it breaks my heart that the story ended where it did. Not right. Not right at all. And I miss Jack. Sharp-edged Jack with all his broken places.

What about y'all? What shows do you feel were cut short the most cruelly?
butterfly: (Reporter -- Lois Lane)

The schedules for the 2008-09 television season have come out and I'm really amused by the fact that half of the shows I'll be watching are airing on FOX, the station that I said I would never watch again after what happened with Firefly.

my projected fall schedule )

butterfly: (You Cannot See Me)
I'm missing Buffy really hard this week. I just realized the other day that none of the shows that I currently watch have gay characters (and only two that I can think of that have acknowledged the existence of us queers in a positive fashion -- Smallville and Dexter. Doctor Who has both positive gay images and complex, strong, good women, but isn't currently airing). For all that Willow tended to be my least favorite Scooby and I found her passive-aggressive and frustrating, I miss having an acknowledged gay regular who has gay relationships on-screen.

Buffy had its race issues (though, by the last season, they were getting a bit better), but I really miss its pro-feminist/pro-queer slant.

Specifically, the notion that women come in a variety of personalities (and shapes) and that this is good. That women can be friends with each other (that women can be friends with men). That women can be leaders.

I am... both hopeful and fearful of where Supernatural is currently going, female character-wise. spoilers through Supernatural 3x05 -- Sin City )

I'm seriously considering dropping Heroes because the gender issues are making me uncomfortable. I still haven't watched last week's Prison Break because spoilers for Prison Break 3x05 ).

Dexter spoilers for Dexter 2x04 -- See-Through ).

*sigh*

And, of course, spoilers for Stargate Atlantis 4x05 ).

Smallville is doing fairly well (when it objectifies, it does tend to objectify both genders). Bones, Numb3rs, and House have their issues but do not tend to ever actually offend me.
butterfly: (Belle du Jour -- Billie Piper)

One of my favorite television quotes is from "Burning Down the House", the first episode of the third season of due South.

"People are not interchangeable like snow mobile parts," says our hero, when his father tells him that one 'Yank' is as good as another.

But, so often in television and movies, women have been interchangeable -- the Bond movies providing a prime example of such a thing. In each movie, there's a 'Bond girl' and Bond's affection for her lasts only through that particular movie, to be switched out for the new girl at the start of the next movie. The Austin Powers movies parody this concept (while, of course, using it themselves).

Many 'action' television series take this same stance -- women flit in and out of the lead (male) characters' lives, only important for as long as they're onscreen, soon to be forgotten (unless the actress returns for a one-shot 'reunion'). Girl of the day, woman of the week, maybe even important enough to make the lead shed a manly tear or two, but rarely important enough to ever be mentioned again.

Action movies (and action/'buddy' shows) tend to assume that their audience is young men, the assumption, perhaps, being that men would prefer to see the hero with a succession of (beautiful, of course) women, as opposed to struggling through a more complex and permanent relationship.

spoilers for the last Bourne movie and the third series of Doctor Who )

butterfly: (Heart You -- Claire)

So, my job decided that the best way to celebrate my coming back from vacation was to give me an eleven-hour shift on my first day back (speaking of, my vacation was good -- met my brother's girlfriend for the first time and she's funny, smart, and totally cute. And they are cuddly and adorable together, which is such a departure from how my brother used to be -- he was always very emotionally reserved.). So, that was yesterday, completely gone. I'm going to do my best to respond to (shockingly out-of-date) comments now.

Monday -- Prison Break/Heroes )

Tuesday -- Bones/House/Boston Legal )

Thursday -- Smallville/Supernatural )

Friday -- Stargate: Atlantis/Numb3rs )

And there's no new Doctor Who for ages. So sad! Though the future casting news makes me happy. Still, I'm already all hyped up for S4 and the S4 companion! And now I must wait!

butterfly: (Exposed -- Emma (by thete1))
So, I'm an emotional-arc whore. Seriously, if you can pull off the emotion, then I'm there. I will gladly explain away any plot holes or discrepancies so that I can buy the story. All you have to do is give me genuinely believable emotion and I'm willing to be very flexible.

When it comes to books, you have to have incredible characters and/or an amazing story and/or a beautifully-drawn world and/or gorgeous writing style. The more of these you have, the better, but I'm willing to ignore the lack of one or two things if the others are good enough.

In television/movies, you need to have gorgeous visuals (and other environmentals) and/or well-done characters and/or an intriguing plot.

Books are, frankly, simpler -- they involve fewer hands (though, in the case of people not Anne Rice, still more than one set). Television and movies involve so many people. Enough brilliance in one area can overcome weakness in another. But, for me, if you do not provoke a strong enough emotion, then I will not be inclined to watch you more than once or to buy you.

The shows and movies that last in my heart are the ones that make me care. And that generally comes down to three things -- acting, writing, and directing (there are, of course, other incredibly important pieces of the puzzle, such as the music, but I'm staying simple, here) . But while a good enough actor can overcome bad writing and bad directing -- the film/show that the actor is in probably still won't be good, but everyone who watches it will remember that one actor who just 'rose above' their material -- it doesn't work so well (for me), the other ways around. A well-directed piece can sometimes showboat around bad acting but even great material becomes only so much garbage if a poor enough actor (or an actor who is that wrong for the part) says it.

Many times, lines are not memorable in and of themselves but are memorable because of how they are said (which is often a combination of acting and directing, depending). Lines that could be gold in the mouth of the 'right' actor come across as tired or foolish. Casting is an incredibly important part of creating strong and lasting characters.

Personally, I find that I'm drawn to the life of the characters, the life put into them by the actors. And sometimes, the acting can still be good and yet I'm left unmoved or negatively affected because it doesn't hit my switches.

Positive example -- The Lord of the Rings does practically nothing for me as a book series, but I completely and utterly adore the movies.

Negative example -- I read the Farscape transcripts and cried like a baby at the J/A stuff. Watched the show, and just hated John and Aeryn together so very much. Seriously... flames... on the sides of my face.

So, for me, the acting is possibly the most essential part of the entire emotion... thing.

For me.

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