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Science Fiction & Fantasy Farscape, Babylon 5, Star Wars, Firefly, vampires, genre books and film.

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Old October 7 2012, 09:39 PM   #1651
RAMA
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Vampires are boring...*yaaawn*
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Old October 7 2012, 09:42 PM   #1652
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

RAMA wrote: View Post
Vampires are boring...*yaaawn*
As opposed to spaceships, robots, and aliens?
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Old October 7 2012, 10:10 PM   #1653
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

^^^Yes. But you do have to understand that some of us are awful, no class people who don't find much about sexuality to be transgressive. Or are possibly even bad enough to downright favor some of it. I haven't found vampires properly creepy for a long time, barring the ones in Let the Right One In. I must admit the pedophilic overturns were pretty unnerving. Robots, spaceships and aliens may be equally well-used in literature and drama but they don't rely on an unfamiliarity with the variety in human sexuality and the usual lack of destructive consequences on society.
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Old October 7 2012, 10:25 PM   #1654
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
RAMA wrote: View Post
Vampires are boring...*yaaawn*
As opposed to spaceships, robots, and aliens?
Obviously.

What, some people prefer different flavours of stuff. I'll never entirely get the American love of superheroes, personally, and I generally prefer vampires to zombies. So it goes.

Temis the Friendly Ghost wrote: View Post
Is a Trekkian utopia really all its cracked up to be? if forced to live in utopia, would humans go nuts and prefer the Hobbesian struggle for survival? [...]
The Future is a Utopia where every wish can be granted with a push of a button; the Past is a constant struggle for survival.
I don't know if I'd just assign the utopia as the Trek end of things. Captain Kirk seemed to spend every other episode rejecting paradises and extolling the virtues of human struggle.

...so Captain Kirk versus Captain Picard?
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Old October 7 2012, 10:54 PM   #1655
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

stj wrote: View Post
^^^Yes. But you do have to understand that some of us are awful, no class people who don't find much about sexuality to be transgressive. Or are possibly even bad enough to downright favor some of it. I haven't found vampires properly creepy for a long time, barring the ones in Let the Right One In. I must admit the pedophilic overturns were pretty unnerving. Robots, spaceships and aliens may be equally well-used in literature and drama but they don't rely on an unfamiliarity with the variety in human sexuality and the usual lack of destructive consequences on society.
Hmm. While there's no denying that there's often been an erotic element to vampire fiction, I wouldn't go so far as to say that it only appeals to conservative, anti-sex prudes. (I suspect there are plenty of Goth types who would argue strenuously with that proposition.) I think vampires are basically a potent combination of blood, sex, death, immortality, morbidity, and mythology that's proven remarkably versatile for nearly two centuries now.

Vampires (like space aliens) are all-purpose metaphors for anything you care to think of: capitalism, tyranny, predatory relationships, addiction, disease, etc. And, as a genre, it embraces everything from traditional Gothic horror (which can be fun if you're into that kind of thing) to pseudo-scientific stuff like I AM LEGEND, psychological character studies like Sturgeon's SOME OF YOUR BLOOD, action flicks like the UNDERWORLD series, and, yes, florid romance stories and kinky erotica. (Which some "awful, no-class people" actually enjoy.)

My point being that I'm not sure why the same fans who seem to think there can't be enough space operas on TV tend to roll their eyes at the prospect of another vampire show. Is it that the popularity of TWILIGHT has tainted the entire genre in some peoples' eyes? Is it that some fans prefer their fictions more Apollonian than Dionysian? Or is there some sort of sf vs. horror rivalry going on?

Vampires. Zombies. Aliens. Androids. Time-travel. They're all just well-established plot devices to be used as needed. And they can all be equally entertaining if executed well.
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Old October 7 2012, 11:29 PM   #1656
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

RJDemonicus wrote: View Post
Yeah, a Trekkian pseudo-Utopia cannot be simulated on a game show. Plus which, none of the contestants would have the mindset of someone who is born into such a culture. Still, it has the potential to be interesting and is a more worthy topic for such a show than most.
SyFy can simulate a sanitized sort of utopia (which is why it reminds me of Star Trek) just by installing contestants in a house and getting them pizza etc whenever they like. I can't see SyFy getting too crazy with what they'll deliver, but they could certainly set up an experiment where nobody has to lift a finger to get all their PG-13 desires fulfilled and then see how long it takes them to all get completely bored and beg to be sent to the brutish and short reality.

If the Utopia part of the show is just a reward and not part of the show per se, then it's only about the Hobbesian struggle, and Survivor already does that. The only way this idea is interesting and not redundant with other reality shows is if we see how people react to both "realities" and whether expectations of being happier in Utopia actually pan out.

Personally, I think it would take me longer than one TV season to get bored of Utopia, but if I was stuck in it for years on end, yeah, I'd be climbing the walls.
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Old October 7 2012, 11:33 PM   #1657
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
My point being that I'm not sure why the same fans who seem to think there can't be enough space operas on TV tend to roll their eyes at the prospect of another vampire show.
In my case, it's partly that for the past couple of decades there have been so many of the latter and so few of the former. I suppose if I actually counted them, there wouldn't be that much difference, but it seems to be far, far easier to get a vampire show on the air than a starship show. Just in general, my tastes run more toward SF than fantasy or horror, yet the tastes of TV audiences and programmers in general tend to run the other way.

Besides, I don't think it's really a fair comparison. Vampires are just one thing, one category of character or trope. Undead, bloodsucking, evil and/or tortured, just a few variations on a pretty repetitive pattern. Shows that are initially about vampires tend to need to broaden their focus in order to generate enough stories; Buffy the Vampire Slayer got to the point where the vampire slaying was a sidebar to battling demons and cyborgs and elder gods and so forth. But space opera is a far broader and more versatile genre. It can encompass just about anything -- including the occasional vampire story. So it's not as easy to get bored with.
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Old October 7 2012, 11:37 PM   #1658
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Temis the Friendly Ghost wrote: View Post
...and how did the discussion veer into vampires allasudden?
Somebody posted a comment about vampires being boring. I'm not sure in reference to what. Then somebody else implied that people who like vampire fiction are sexually conservative . . . .
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Old October 7 2012, 11:41 PM   #1659
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

It's more the lack of space opera that's annoying than the vampire glut. There are, what, two or three vampire shows on now? That's not outrageous. Post-apocalyptic scenarios are the flavor du jour that's sucking up too much bandwidth right now.

Personally, I've never found a vampire show I can really get into, because the whole schitck seems very limited. But there's always the possibility of a show that upends the rules in a way that makes the topic fresh and interesting.
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Old October 7 2012, 11:42 PM   #1660
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Temis the Friendly Ghost wrote: View Post
...and how did the discussion veer into vampires allasudden?
Somebody posted a comment about vampires being boring. I'm not sure in reference to what. Then somebody else implied that people who like vampire fiction are sexually conservative . . . .
That was more of a rhetorical comment - "good grief, people - FOCUS!" - about the endearingly random nature of this thread but I realized that focus is the last thing I want to see here so I edited it out.
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Old October 7 2012, 11:46 PM   #1661
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Christopher wrote: View Post
Besides, I don't think it's really a fair comparison. Vampires are just one thing, one category of character or trope. Undead, bloodsucking, evil and/or tortured, just a few variations on a pretty repetitive pattern. Shows that are initially about vampires tend to need to broaden their focus in order to generate enough stories; Buffy the Vampire Slayer got to the point where the vampire slaying was a sidebar to battling demons and cyborgs and elder gods and so forth. But space opera is a far broader and more versatile genre. It can encompass just about anything -- including the occasional vampire story. So it's not as easy to get bored with.
But most "vampire shows" also feature ghosts, witches, werewolves, mummies, etcetera . . . like most space operas tend to include aliens, androids, cyborgs, mutants, and so on.

So maybe the more valid comparison is not vampires vs. space operas, but supernatural fiction vs. science fiction.

Not that there's any need to choose sides. That's my whole point.

I was raised on Star Trek and Dark Shadows, Forbidden Planet and The Wolf Man, Isaac Asimov and H. P. Lovecraft.

Genre fiction is large; it contains multitudes.
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Old October 8 2012, 12:43 AM   #1662
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

^
But those multitudes don't see eye to eye. Not all fans of Gene Roddenberry are fans of Joss Whedon (who as far as vampire TV goes seems to have more Trek fans than any other vampire TV show guy).

Christopher wrote: View Post
Greg Cox wrote: View Post
My point being that I'm not sure why the same fans who seem to think there can't be enough space operas on TV tend to roll their eyes at the prospect of another vampire show.
In my case, it's partly that for the past couple of decades there have been so many of the latter and so few of the former. I suppose if I actually counted them, there wouldn't be that much difference,
I don't know about actual numbers of programs, but say, back in the 1990s TV was definitely a much more friendly place for space opera. But back then I could expect two new episodes of Star Trek a week most weeks (Voyager on Monday and DS9 on Wednesday, as I recall, both on Sky One, which also was privy to lots of TNG reruns).

And were there really so many space opera TV shows before 'the past couple of decades'? Yeah, I know, before then there's the original Star Trek and Lost in Space, Space: 1999, Captain Video, and Battlestar Galactica, etc. but post then there's the other four Star Treks and Babylon 5, Farscape, Red Dwarf, Firefly, three Stargates, the new Battlestar Galactica and so on.

It just seems there was a wave of space opera TV in the wake of TNG, and arguably a lot of the very best examples of the genre came out during that period.

The issue for me really is:
Temis the Friendly Ghost wrote: View Post
It's more the lack of space opera that's annoying than the vampire glut.
Basically. That wave of TV programming in the wake of TNG has long since dried up. With Caprica and Stargate: Universe petered out what was once a ubiquituous and defining part of my TV diet simply doesn't exist anymore.
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Old October 8 2012, 01:07 AM   #1663
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Hmm. While there's no denying that there's often been an erotic element to vampire fiction, I wouldn't go so far as to say that it only appeals to conservative, anti-sex prudes. (I suspect there are plenty of Goth types who would argue strenuously with that proposition.) I think vampires are basically a potent combination of blood, sex, death, immortality, morbidity, and mythology that's proven remarkably versatile for nearly two centuries now.
The equation sex=death is remarkably popular but I'm sure it's not versatile. It is always profoundly conservative. While there may be people who fancy they themselves are being transgressive in identifying with vampires, they are not, because they are buying into that nonsense. There are indeed thieves who agree that stealing is wrong but enjoy the empowerment of doing wrong. Society can always deal with people who are hypocritical, so long as they give lip service to the ruling ideas.

Vampires (like space aliens) are all-purpose metaphors for anything you care to think of: capitalism, tyranny, predatory relationships, addiction, disease, etc. And, as a genre, it embraces everything from traditional Gothic horror (which can be fun if you're into that kind of thing) to pseudo-scientific stuff like I AM LEGEND, psychological character studies like Sturgeon's SOME OF YOUR BLOOD, action flicks like the UNDERWORLD series, and, yes, florid romance stories and kinky erotica. (Which some "awful, no-class people" actually enjoy.)
Vampires are an old superstition and a modern trope, not a genre, to get picky about it. I can't agree that they have been successfully used as metaphors for anything else. A movie with Lili Fini Taylor tried hard, but its obscurity shows how successfully that metaphorical use was.

And the kinky erotica people may enjoy it but one aspect is the displacement of sexual guilt into the trappings and rituals. If you really have no problem with semen you don't need blood=semen. At least that's my best judgment, keeping in mind I'm no expert on erotica, even if I have seen every episode of True Blood.
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Old October 8 2012, 02:44 AM   #1664
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Kegg wrote: View Post
^
But those multitudes don't see eye to eye. Not all fans of Gene Roddenberry are fans of Joss Whedon (who as far as vampire TV goes seems to have more Trek fans than any other vampire TV show guy).
I liked Buffy and Angel even though I don't generally like horror. I didn't really see them as horror shows, since the characters usually weren't helpless and overwhelmed, but had the power to stand up to the menaces, so they felt more like superhero shows. Still, I did get rather sick of all the vampire stuff toward the end. Generally, other vampire fiction does little for me. I watched the first couple of seasons of the UK Being Human, and the stuff with the werewolf and the ghost was okay, but all the vampire politics stuff was tiresome to me.


And were there really so many space opera TV shows before 'the past couple of decades'?
I didn't mean to imply there were. I've never felt there was enough space-oriented science fiction on TV. I simply meant that vampires seem to have been disproportionately popular for at least a couple of decades, going back at least as far as Anne Rice's books. (There were plenty of vampire stories before then, of course, but it seems to have been an unending glut since then.)
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Old October 8 2012, 03:12 AM   #1665
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Christopher wrote: View Post
I liked Buffy and Angel even though I don't generally like horror.
They might not be, but I was pegging Buffy as a vampire show rather than a horror show. If the rise of paranormal romance has taught us anything, it's that it's perfectly possible to have vampire fiction/media that isn't in the horror genre.

I'm actually not a Whedon fan, but I like the old school Irish Gothic vampire stories - Carmilla and Dracula, to be exact, and a couple of other assorted things - both Nosferatu films (throw in Shadow of a Vampire and you have a weird semi-demi-trilogy), so on. As with stj, really enjoyed Let the Right One In. Vampires are, to me, a more interesting kind of undead monster than zombies mostly because zombies are usually a monster without an agenda or really any characterisation at all.

I didn't mean to imply there were. I've never felt there was enough space-oriented science fiction on TV.
Fair enough. Whereas I'd put the 1990s as a decade where I'm more than satisfied with the quantity of space-themed TV shows.
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