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Old April 29 2012, 03:38 PM   #794
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
I like how they're assuming anything but the straight-up soaps are "male." They've got some fantasy/soaps on the genre side that also skew female. Do they really think Beauty & the Beast is for guys?
Yeah, that's ridiculous and outmoded thinking from whoever wrote that article.

the Emmerich show (which is about the antichrist running for President...)
Ah, so it's a documentary about the Santorum campaign?

...Off-cycle pilot BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE is cold.
Rats, Beautiful People is one of the more interesting premises this year. (However, in the past I've seen shows do a 180 from cold to hot right before upfronts.)
I hope you're right -- that's potentially one of the more interesting premises.

CBS and FOX have no genre pilots in contention.
Not surprising for CBS, very surprising for FOX. Historically, of all the broadcast networks, FOX has had the highest percentage of shows in its schedule that were genre-oriented (roughly tied with the now-defunct UPN), while CBS has had the lowest percentage by a wide margin.

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
You've just explained why people like Stanley Schmidt are right and people like Damon Knight are wrong-- there's a difference between the evolution of terms and mere low standards. It's one thing for something that used to be considered wrong to become accepted because it fills a linguistic need (e.g. "they" as the third person singular of undetermined gender) or because there is no good reason for it to be considered wrong (e.g. splitting infinitives), and it's another thing to just give in to ignorance.
Actually singular "they" is not a recent development. It's been a part of English usage at least as far back as Chaucer, and is also found in Shakespeare and the King James Bible, among plenty of others. Like the so-called "split infinitive," the rule declaring it "wrong" came along only a couple of centuries ago, even though it had been standard usage for many times longer.

And it doesn't matter how many people don't understand the definition of irony, Alanis Morrisette is still wrong.
True, but it's occurred to me that maybe the reason so many people use "irony" in that way is because we need a word that actually does mean that (i.e. something that is unexpectedly and poetically appropriate) and don't have one. It's a concept in need of a word, and people use "irony" for lack of a better alternative. And it's probably a losing battle. Once enough people use "irony" that way, the dictionaries will have to adapt.

And, as insecurity has grown in genre fandom, the trend has been to go along with those low standards in desperate hope of acceptance. It's like the nerdy kid in junior high school who laughs too loud at the jock's stupid jokes-- it's awkward and embarrassing.
If you're talking about mass-media science fiction, you should consider that the earliest entries in the genre were things like the cheesy adventure serials of the '30s and '40s, and Z-grade monster movies and kids' shows like Captain Video in the '50s. The standards started out low and have actually increased over time -- first with writers like Rod Serling and Gene Roddenberry bringing more adult storytelling sensibilities, more recently with writers like J. Michael Straczynski and Michael Piller and Joss Whedon raising the literacy and complexity of the material. If you're talking about the lines between strict SF and fantasy, those have always been vague in the mass media (which one does Flash Gordon or The Twilight Zone fall into?), but it's a distinction that has nothing to do with standards of quality. Ray Bradbury's prose fiction is as much fantasy as SF, but few would dispute its very high quality.
Written Worlds -- Christopher L. Bennett's blog and webpage
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