sf/f TV development news - 2013

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Temis the Vorta, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    I really hope that comes to the US sometime soon. I really like most of the actors involved Nichols, Knudson, Doig, Cross, Tony Amendola and Brian Markinson have all been in shows that I've really liked at one point or another. The trailer looked pretty good too.
     
  2. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Continuum looks interesting. I hope someone in the UK picks it up - besides Charlie Jade, haven't really seen any Canadian sci-fi series (assuming we're not counting all the American shows that just happen to be shot in Canada).

    I'm still watching that (three eps in). It's really an alright show, but I can't say I've wasted any tears over it's cancellation.
     
  3. Out Of My Vulcan Mind

    Out Of My Vulcan Mind Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Syfy UK will probably pick up Continuum. Syfy US may do so, too. Syfy US and UK both picked up Lost Girl, which is produced by Canada's Showcase, as Continuum is.
     
  4. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. Although LG apparently hasn't gotten that great of numbers, so they might not be real eager to get another Showcase (Show Case?) series.
     
  5. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Keep watching all the way through. Like Grimm, it evolves beyond its ho-hum, yet another sci fi cop show roots. Unlike Grimm, it'll never get a chance to show us what it really could have been. :( (The final episode hasn't aired here either - it's next week - but I can already tell it will be a mindfrak.)

    Anyway, I'm not torn up about any cancellations this year. Which just goes to show how little broadcast TV appeals to me anymore. I've gotten so I root for all the networks to clean house every year in the hopes they'll stumble across a new show that's good.

    I'll check out Continuum if Syfy shows it. I just realized the kid in the blue hoodie is the teenage warlord from Jericho.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    I wouldn't say those are its roots. The pilot episode was far more brilliant and innovative than anything since; it was a compelling drama focused primarily on Michael's family and his coping process, and the cases were a secondary focus. After the pilot, the network dumbed it down and imposed a more formulaic procedural structure, and for a while it seemed to put the kibosh on any ambiguity about which world was real, consistently treating Green World as the dream or metaphor reflecting what Michael was dealing with in Red World. (He learned things in Red that he couldn't have known in Green, but not vice-versa, and his cases in Green were a lot more melodramatic than his more mundane experiences in Red, like they were dramatizing the emotions and questions he was dealing with in Red.) It's only in the past few weeks that it's started to get more surreal, and we've had Michael discover things in Green that he couldn't have known in Red, restoring that original ambiguity.

    So rather than evolving beyond its formulaic procedural roots, it's returning to its roots as a surreal Phildickian mindbender and shaking off the more formulaic procedural approach imposed on it post-pilot by a network that lacked faith in the original premise. (Although it's still mired in the Eeevil Conspiracy tropes that I could've done without.)
     
  7. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    32% now, but still way more than twice the second runner-up, and everything else barely registers. It was really a well-done show, it can't be that expensive to make with a cast of mostly unknowns and it has a serious babe factor. Without a network, they could really ramp up the sexiness. Sounds like a perfect candidate for someone like NetFlix to grab.
     
  8. lennier1

    lennier1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Actually, most of Abrams' shows seem to be at their best when his involvement doesn't go much beyond a mention in the credits.
    He's a bit like George Lucas in that regard. The guy has a nose for good ideas, but for the love of god don't leave him too much control over the actual execution of the project.
     
  9. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Ignoring the quasi-spoilers here (as indicated, Awake is three episodes into its UK run) the show started to unspool the two realities as soon as we begin to see scenes where Jason Isaacs character is not present, which we do in both dream worlds. That's a dramatic necessity, obviously, but the longer we stay away from the dreamer the more the idea that either reality is a dream is undermined.

    And while the procedural aspect of the show is ho-hum, the family drama is similarly pedestrian. The basic premise remains the show's strong card (and consequently, probably the most fun scenes on a 'character-interaction' level are those of Isaacs and his two psychiatrists).
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    I've made that argument myself on another board, but it was countered that that could just be dramatic license, a deliberate cheat by the writers to get around the limitations of the premise. Remember, this is evidently a show that's had some network-imposed retooling, and for most of its run I haven't been convinced that there was a consistent creative vision guiding it. My preference all along has been to believe that there was something more interesting going on than "one world is real and the other is just a dream," but for quite a while, the show seemed to have settled into that assumption, and it became hard to question it the more that the cases in Green World became blatant, heavy-handed metaphors for the issues Michael was wrestling with in Red World. Fortunately, in recent episodes the ambiguity has returned with a vengeance.


    The pilot was awesome, but I wondered from the beginning whether the premise was really sustainable as a long-form story. I've often felt that American TV has become too restrictive in its formats; there are a lot of stories that get developed as weekly series that would really work better as miniseries or movies-of-the-week, but network TV no longer uses those formats.
     
  11. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    That's entirely true. Even ignoring the issues of 'network retooling', there's the practical problems of having Jason Isaacs in every single scene of the series - that's putting a lot on him even as the lead.

    But it does also, as a viewer, puncture the idea that either reality is a dream world. It encourages us to see the problems of his wife and his son as independent from him. The reasons for the scenes may undermine the intent of the story (just as if Total Recall is a dream, the scenes away from Schwarzenegger are at cross-purposes to the film), but they lead one to those assumptions.

    That's true. Awake could easily have worked as a single season by design.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    I definitely agree. But I was surprised at how much trouble I had conveying that to people. I kept hearing, "Well, I've had dreams where I was watching other people and wasn't actually there in the scene." But the problem with that explanation is that you still know what happened in that scene you theoretically weren't part of. If Michael had just been dreaming the scenes he wasn't in, then he would've known about the things people were keeping secret from him, but he didn't. So either it was evidence that both worlds were real, or it was a sloppy use of narrative viewpoint.

    Hopefully the finale this week will give us some definitive answers about all this. Since the show's been cancelled, this is the last chance to provide some explanations and/or closure. Though since it was presumably made before the show's cancellation, it'll probably be at least somewhat open-ended.
     
  13. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    That's what I meant by the procedural being its roots. Early on, it looked like that was the whole direction for the show. Then it started evolving, just in time to keep me from bailing altogether, because I was getting really bored and impatient last fall.

    And if the first episode was "brilliant and innovative," I missed that part. I remember it being competent and reasonably interesting. Grimm has never been particularly brilliant, but it beats most of the crap on broadcast. It still has a ways to go in really capitalizing on its premise, but I'm anticipating 4-5 seasons for them to do that, so it's no problem if they go slow, as long as they go somewhere.

    As for Netflix grabbing The Secret Circle, there's no reason it needs to take on a failed CW show when it would be perfectly easy for them to create a supernatural show about teenage witches, and not have to adhere to FCC rules about violence and sexual content. They could create an R-rated series aimed at the same young adult demographic, and have a crucial advantage over their competitors on the CW and ABC Family.

    As for Awake, I've just been assuming all along that both Red and Green are equally valid, because if either is only a dream, the story would become untenable after one season or so. Either the secret gets dragged out beyond the patience of the audience, or one reality is rendered irrelevant. Since any American series has to be intended to go on for years, just for financial reasons, they have to plan it that way from the start.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    ^But I don't agree that something counts as the "roots" of the show if it was added on after the pilot. The roots are the foundation, the beginnings. Something added afterward isn't a root, it's a graft, to continue the metaphor.
     
  15. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Just from the descriptions of the series, I had Grimm pegged as a "cop show with sci fi window dressing" long before it premiered. (Around this time last year - when all the fall shows are being pitched and promoted in clips.) With a cop as the lead, that's the dead giveaway. So I was suspicious from the start whether it would ever become more than just that.

    The premiere established the mythology and after that, went too heavy on the cop show elements. The creators didn't suddenly change their mind about the type of show they were making after one episode, they just doled out the elements in different proportions over time. One good episode isn't enough to keep me watching a show, especially if it looks like its wandering off in a direction I don't like. But if it comes back to the proportion that suits me, then I'll stick with it.

    Contrast that with Alcatraz, which also promised a possibly interesting mythology but then depended too heavily on procedural elements. In that case, my patience was not rewarded. Hence my suspicion about any series that looks like the dreaded cop show with sci fi window dressing. I've been burned too often to trust that sort of show.

    Grimm is an unusual example of a show that gets the proportions right. I'm sure they'll bring back the cop show stuff next year, because the purpose of that stuff is to provide padding and get them to 22 episodes or whatever per year. That need will never go away.
     
  16. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Do you understand what you are doing to your soul young woman? You don't have to ever talk about Alcatraz ever again unless... No court in the world convict you.
     
  17. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Hulu development.

    Xander Berkeley's in a sci fi (ish) show and nobody told me? :p Anyone know about this and whether it's worth checking out?

    Here's the info on the S2 premiere in July.

    Hmm! Actually looks fairly interesting...

    S1 trailer
    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLyzvc8QHL0[/yt]

    S2 trailer
    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVWYRryLUiA[/yt]
     
  18. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    The Booth at the End is superb.

    Although you're not quite sure if it's magic, demons, numerology or psychology.

    I want to see a movie called Mars Attacks 1942.

    The Axis has to defend themselves from Martians.
     
  19. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    The Booth At The End looks good. Sort of a cross between Twilight Zone and Fantasy Island.
     
  20. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    WSJ analyzes fall season, full of creepy dark shows. This line made me happy, from the president of NBC Entertainment:

    FINALLY! They admit they are out of ideas for cop/doctor/lawyer shows! :rommie:

    I think the trend towards darkness is smart. With declining audiences overall, network TV needs to hang onto the female viewers, who watch more TV (especially when you factor out sports) than men, and horror is popular among women. But horror doesn't necessarily drive men away either, so some of these shows will be able to have it both ways.

    Well, maybe. Some kinds of darkness, a la nuBSG, are too thought-provoking and morally slippery to be properly escapist. The type of darkness that is good for escapism is the simple us-vs-them type. Jeckyll vs. Hyde. Innocent young couple vs. their landlords, who probably work for Satan. Cop/crusading journalist vs. serial killer. Paranormal investigator vs global conspiracy involving Nazis and probably Satan again. Sub commander vs. some sort of evil conspiracy in Washington DC. The broadcast networks have been careful to stick with escapist darkness.

    They didn't even mention American Horror Story and Dexter, which are the most obvious inspirations for this trend.
     

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