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Old May 7 2012, 09:40 AM   #879
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Christopher wrote: View Post
Outland uses the semantics of space opera to tell a story with the syntax of High Noon. So is it a Western? Semantically, no, but syntactically, hell yes, blatantly so. It's not a simple yes/no question, because one story can fit in more than one genre.
So if a Western uses the syntax of Space Opera, then it's a Space Opera?

Harvey wrote: View Post
In that case, your definition is too limiting to be useful.
Even if there were examples that fell into a gray area, I'd hardly call the definition of a Western too limiting to be useful.

In reviews, those films were referred to as "Westerns." In advertising, the iconography of the Western was emphasized (with each film belonging to a separate cycle of Westerns). In the video store the movies would be found next to other Westerns. On IMDB, the genre listing is "Western."
So what? As noted, all sorts of non-SF material is lumped under "Sci Fi" by reviewers and Blockbuster clerks who don't know any better. That's sort of what kicked off the discussion.

If a Western has to take place in the American West, then The Magnificent Seven doesn't really qualify, either. The Mexican villagers briefly cross the border to recruit some American gunslingers, but 90% of the proceedings take place in Mexico. Or do Westerns set mostly or entirely in Mexico get a pass because of the country's proximity to the West?
It's still the North American West. Borders have nothing to do with it. The classification of a movie as a Western doesn't depend on whether or not it's set before or after California became a state.
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