technoir: (Default)
( Oct. 5th, 2006 12:20 am)
So I am as I have said before I like television. Perhaps one of the greatest examples of what tv did well was the Twilight Zone. It used solid writing and filmwork to carry fear, elation, wonder and lessons in short little bursts. The man behind it was Rod Serling. He had a decided love hate relationship with the medium. He certainly was one of the early luminaries of television despite his distaste for the advertisers growing grip on what was shown.

One of the episodes he did explore what humanity would do to itself with faced with the fear of an imminent nuclear attack. The episode was called The Shelter and Rod wrote it himself. I believe this quote is from that.

“"The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs, and explosions, and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, ideas, predjudices, to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, predjudices can kill and suspicion can destroy. A thoughtless, freightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all it's own for the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is, is that these things can not be confined to the Twighlight Zone.”

Jericho is built upon this simple premise. It is a taunt little show with a tremendous sense that the writers are deliberately keeping things from you and so you keep watching to see what those things are. The town of Jericho Kansas is a small rural farm and mine community in the middle of no where. Our hero, Jake(played by Skeet Ulrich) comes back home to get some money he had gotten as an inheritance. He and his father have the familiar dynamic of opposition, disappointment and lack of communication. All in all a fairly ordinary start really. Boy asks for money, does not get it and leaves in a huff. Things break when the mushroom cloud appears on the horizon. Everything from then on is built on fear. This show is a monument of human mob mentality and our own fear. They keep it tense and unknown but not telling you what has happened. Just little clues. A deciphered morse code message indicating cities, a brief glimpse of a chinese tv signal complete with places marked in red in north america, even cut off call with screams from Atlanta. There is no communication to the outside world other than brief burst of hidden clues. The mystery of it and the almost forgotten terror that was the thought of nuclear war make this a show not really like anything else on the air.

All in all there may be a bit of hollowness to some of the characters and situations. The cute blond on the show played by Ashley Scott is a bit whiny and forgettable. There are some political opportunist characters. A ham handed secret romance. all in all predictable and common stuff in the margins. But that is just it. All of that is in the margins. the heart of this show is as strong as that twilight zone episode. It is a harsh mirror of fear we kind of forgot about and mystery to make it more than just a single Vignette. I will keep watching to see what they are hiding which for a network television show is saying something.

oh well thats my thoughts on Jericho.
technoir: (Default)
( Sep. 18th, 2006 11:47 pm)
I like tv.

Sue me but I ike the medium it can be. Dont get me wrong I despise a great deal of tv today. I didslike reality shows, talent(less) shows, and game shows. I think they are a waste of space. I dont like most sitcoms. Television news has dropped to a new low not. Not since the days of william randolf hearst has news media been used so thuroughly as a tool for agendas and not for the reporting of the truth.

but there are gems. I love the new battlestar galactica for its excellent story telling. I have a about a dozen shows all told i will make the time to watch because they either take the time to actually write compelling and interesting stories combines with good acting and filmwork, or they appeal to something basic in me like say stargate which may not be the most original work out there but has solid adventure in spades.

I particularly loved West Wing. it was what I wished a president and a whitehouse would be all the time. I dont care if the white house republican or democrat in it if it is a passionate yet reasonable man surrounded by the smartest people around I think it is good.

Studio 60 spoilers below.
Read more... )
I also agree with Adam when he said"the irony is this show will get better ratings than Saturday Night Live."

So yeah, i am going to keep watching this one.

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edit:So yeah this is a clip of why i think this is a kick ass show.
technoir: (Default)
( Oct. 17th, 2005 12:45 pm)
So I tried out the iTunes6 tv Show download offering. It is a concept I had been waiting to hit for a while now. I think 1.99 price tag may be a little higher than I would care for but not to bad. The show I downloaded and watched last weeks episode of Lost. The show of course was excellent. I mean this is one of the best shows on tv after all. The performance of the program is solid in this respect. I have dsl and it took about 15 minutes to download the show. Buying it was somewhat seemless. Now playing was another story. I should point out I am using a 4 year old computer with a 900 megahertz processor and half a gig of memory. I have a video card with only 64 megs of memory on it. So playing it initially was jerky. I closed out things and tried again and it was still a little jerky. What ended up doing was closing iTunes entirely and playing it with quicktime. This went much better. Simply put if you have an old out of date machine this will not run easily for you. Once they get the show selection higher though this will be an excellent service actually.
First off let me preface this with the fact I have know Cheri Priest for a few years now. I have always liked her and expected much of her in her writing endeavors. Therefore it is hard not be biased about the whole thing. There is a desire in all of us to se past the flaws in our friends when they persue an art of any kind. I hope however I can look beyond that and give an honest opinion.

If I had to pick a word to descibe this story i would use murky. It is murky like the muddy water that pervaids the story. It is filled with indistinct images, clarifying towards the end, as if trying to swim from the bottom to the top.

Our heroine, Eden, is an amusing and convincing charicter. She is the sharp wit of the author made manifest. As the protaganist and our eyes to this murky world and the people who inhabit it, Eden is strong and weak in the proper proportions. And the locals, ah the locals. Coffee bars with no names, but I know their names. Cheri describes in loving detail the world our heroine lives in. Indeed Having been to many of the same places I can say I was brought back there with clear pictures.

The climax to the whole supernatural tale of family secrets and ghosts is strong and delivers the expected weight and power. You break through the end like your breaking the surface of the water and finally breath again and finally see again.

If I had a complaint is i wanted to have more time with the charicters. I wanted it not to end. All in all an excellent book. The best horror I have read in years actually and I look forward to Cheri's next book.



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