Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Should More Shows End After One Season?



After hearing about Fargo's one-season model and the success of True Detective's mini-series like episodes, I started thinking about shows that would have been better served following a similar approach. I know there is another season planned for True Detective, but like American Horror Story, it is being reported that each season will follow different characters with whole new story lines. So, which other shows do I think would have benefited from stopping sooner?

We miss you, Andy Whitfield.
Spartacus comes immediately to mind, a show that, if stopped after season 1, would have had a quality run. While not without issues, like requiring a healthy suspension of disbelief for the fanservice gore and nudity. (I did like Gods of the Arena however) The drama was smart, the action exhilarating, and the suspense built with every episode to a dynamic finish.

Scofield was magnetic in season 1,
a mastermind we delighted to see at work.
Another that comes to mind is Prison Break. Excellent first season, followed by quickly deteriorating success. These two shows share the same problem, the premise changes dramatically at the conclusion of the first season. And the magic leaves with it.

More shows should content themselves with having a shorter run, especially when it serves the story. It also allows for a better chance of drawing A-list actors, as proven by Mcconaughey and, to a lesser extent, Billy Bob, Harrelson, and Martin Freeman. I know it's a lot to ask for in a money- first world, but there is something to be said for leaving the audience wanting more.

What other shows would have been better served by stopping after their first season? Comment below:
Rust Cohle: Philosopher, Degenerate, Hero

Friday, June 3, 2011

I'm Still Here


My life is changing, getting more confusing, weightier. I made some big changes recently and I am still trying to figure it all out and adjust. I want to keep this blog more focused in its purpose, so I am not going to spill my guts on here. There have been some rough patches, but my friends have helped to keep me feeling positive and moving forward.

The Fringe has done its part in helping me along as well. I have been listening to a lot of music lately, spanning the angry and raucous to the kind of soul-crushing music that you would expect to make a sad man miserable, but somehow it has the opposite effect, reminding me that this kind of drama is universal, that I am not the only one feeling confused and alone out there, that there is beauty and truth to be found in every experience. 

Video games can help distract, my reread of Game of Thrones is doing the same, but overall, I am still moving around in a bit of a daze. You may have noticed that my blogging is less frequent; I hope it will only be for a little while, until I figure this all out. Here are some random photos from my Memorial Day weekend. I had a good time with a friend at their family’s lake house.


 




Thursday, May 26, 2011

Discourteous Rousing



It was a lazy Wednesday afternoon and I was napping, dreaming peacefully of a group of a cappella singing sea turtles or some such nonsense, when, suddenly, the universe decided to drop a monstrous tree branch onto the roof of my house.

It landed directly above my bed. For a moment I thought I was a real-life Donnie Darko, soon to have my world ended by a random misfortune. The thunderous crash and thud that woke me was short lived, though, and somehow the roof held strong. 


We went out to assess the damage and get the branch off the house, and I took the above picture. Not quite a jet engine, but those branches were quite hefty; I theorize that the larger branch took the smaller down with it. 


We discussed what it would’ve been like if it crashed through the roof, broke my window, etc. I think I would’ve assumed the Ents were going to war (A la The Two Towers), and that I was a marked man for not printing on both sides of the paper.

Maybe it was an assassination attempt by the cadre of squirrels that operate above my house. I'm going to keep my eye on them, just in case. Devious little acorn eaters.

Never Trust a Squirrel

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Game of Thrones: My Perspective


I decided to begin rereading my most beloved fantasy series of all time last night, "A Song of Ice and Fire" by George R.R. Martin. I’m not usually one who rereads books, even those I love, but in light of the new HBO series, Game of Thrones, I couldn’t resist.

Let me begin by saying that I am a monstrous fan of the show and have been tracking its production for some time. I tell everyone who will listen that they should be reading this series, or at least watching the show if they are not book lovers (readers). As I started my reread, I was immediately struck by how much closer you feel to each character from experiencing the story through their points of view. I understand that I am splitting hairs with the medium, and not the material, but there it is. 

My worn copy. And no, I don't abuse my books, it has been out on loan more than once.
The show is being handled beautifully. It has been overwhelmingly true to the books and even the added scenes have felt as if they actually occurred between the pages. The hardest thing to convey on screen, I think, is the character’s motivations for doing what they do. George R.R. Martin lets you in on the process that leads to their actions. If you add that to the minutia of detail, the myriad of intricate histories and customs, and the more thorough conversations between characters, then you will arrive at the same conclusion I have: If you enjoy this show, and are capable of making your way through a novel, then do yourself a favor and pick up the source material.

One of my best friends is new to the series and sent me a happy email just this morning, saying he had gone out last night and purchased all four books and that his favorite character is the dwarf. That’s the way to do it.

All this has inspired me to try my own hand at fantasy again, after having spent most of the last few years focusing on writing literary fiction alone. My roots are in fantasy, so I suppose it is a return to form of sorts. Wish me luck!


Monday, May 23, 2011

Small Talk and Heartburn

I’m back from an eventful weekend at home with my family celebrating my little sister’s High School Graduation.Here is a list of things I learned:

Outdoor, summer graduations should be illegal in Florida

1. High School Graduations make me feel old.

2. If my interactions with my extended family were graded, I would get an F+.
      
3. When you mix three generations at a party, everyone feels out of place. 

4. If someone overhears a conversation about Call of Duty: Black Ops between you and one of your friends, they may assume he is an Iraqi war veteran. 

5. Plunging a stopped-up toilet for an embarrassed child means you are a real adult.

6. Some frosting-covered brownie cakes aren’t as delicious as they should be.

7. Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides is a terrible movie that should have never been made. Shame on you, Johnny Depp.
         
8. Banks hire security guards to make sure their 95% empty, massive parking lots are safe from desperate parents looking for a place to park to see their child graduate high school.

9. "Here’s to the Night" by Eve 6 should be retired as a viable class song. Also, it should never be attempted by a high-school chorus.

10. I can no longer fill up on hors d'oeuvres and still eat a gigantic slab of pork without feeling sick.



See you guys tomorrow!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Ahhh! My Leg!

My sister and I created him on Doodlebuddy, so I hope I'm safe . . .
Copyrights have been on my mind a lot lately, and I worry that I've been too cavalier with my image selections so far. I fear a ravaging by the copyright-infringement sunflowerosaur. I'm not exactly sure what is and isn't fair game. I'll be sticking to mostly original images until I learn the intricacies of the law. 

I'm back home this weekend for my younger sister’s high school graduation, so I will be posting less frequently for a few days. I hope to take some interesting photos, though—ammunition for the blog.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Artistic Fringe

I am changing this blogs purpose, if only slightly. I am widening the lens. I have focused so far on gaming alone, but in truth, it is only one of my interests. Basically, I want to include all of the art forms I am interested in, not just video games. Television, cinema, literature, music and what they all have in common. So I am renaming my blog: Don't Fear the Fringe. This will also give me a wider variety of topics to select from when writing my posts, so there’s that.

Dictionary.com defines fringe as: an outer edge; margin; periphery. Most of my favorite things exist on the fringe of the mainstream. Each of the following are under appreciated and misunderstood in our society; I want to give them equal footing. It is my hope that changing of my mission statement will help my blog hold greater interest for more of you, because everyone dabbles with the edge, but I love it here. I want to encourage people to branch out. My topics will span the following:


Contemporary Literature

There is this unfortunate misconception out there that the last meaningful literary writer died somewhere towards the beginning of the 20th century. It just isn’t true, there are a lot of amazing writers out there, and a hundred years from now it is my expectation that many of them will have elevated themselves to household names. It is unfortunate that it can take so long, but some people never consider literature truly great until it has passed the test of time. I’m not one of those people and you shouldn’t be either. You miss out on the voices of our generation by only reading authors dead a hundred years or more, you miss the power of literature that is current and speaks to your everyday life.

Fringe Music
These people got the memo

It is the sound of the fringe. It deals with the material and emotions that people would rather overlook, much like good literature. It is music that makes you feel alive and reminds you that you are not alone, that there are others who feel your pain. Music, like life, doesn’t always have to be bright and shiny, doesn’t have to exist for the dance floor as something you should want to shake your ass to. Music can help you with times of pain, of strife, of stress, of anger, of loss. Music can be intricate, unexpected, and every bit the genius that someone like Beethoven would admire. Some pop music tries, but the sad truth is that for something to make the mainstream, it has to worry much more about being catchy and radio-friendly than anything else. 

Fantasy

It is my genre of choice. I say genre because a good work of literature cannot be categorized into genres. I believe there are redeeming qualities to all kinds of genre fiction, and there are often failings. Ultimately, there is a certain expectation that a person who reads any particular genre has when he picks up that book, and on some level, those expectations must be met. Fantasy, to me, is about imagination. Fantasy is my genre of choice, and I will let George R.R. Martin explain why. 
  
Television / Cinema
I hope he isn't watching Jersey Shore
I must say, I think our society is headed the right direction in this area. More often than not, if a smart, edgy, well-written, and well-executed piece of film comes out, the people of our society actually enjoy it. That isn’t to say that some fantastic shows and movies aren’t operating under the radar, but at least they are getting made, and people actually know about them.

Gaming 
Grandpa knows all of Scorpion's Fatalities


And yes, my original area of interest, games. I consider them to be an art form all their own, and I will continue to talk about their impact on my life. 

I look forward to our chats.