Posts Tagged ‘media’

General Media Update

Today’s been rough, Squiders, so for the sake of my poor brain, I’m going to keep this simple and go through some of the speculative fiction stuff I’ve been consuming lately.

1) Forever
Forever is a crime procedural/supernatural show on ABC. I started watching it because a friend is obsessed, and I’m glad I did. I did binge the whole season (the finale is on next Tuesday) in about a week in a half, but I really like it. I like all the characters, I like the way they’ve twisted the crime procedural and supernatural plots together (especially since so many shows keep them separate, for some reason. Why mix genres if you’re not actually going to mix genres?), I like the writing. It’s one of the best scripted shows I’ve seen recently, and the cast is brilliant and I love them all. Unfortunately, the show is in a dead time slot and ABC has done a crap job advertising it, so it seems like a lot of people have missed it. But I highly recommend it, and I also recommend starting from the beginning so you can watch the story unfold.

2) The Queen of the Tearling
The Queen of the Tearling is a fantasy (???) novel that came out last year by Erika Johansen. My BIL recommended it to me at Christmas, and I finally got around to reading it (well, my library got a physical copy for me to check out). I enjoyed it quite a bit. It’s very much a set-up novel, but there’s enough hints of stuff happening in the background to keep you interested and reading. I’m very much intrigued about the world-building. The setting and the plot are very much fantasy, but there are hints that it might be science fiction, or possibly alternative history. And I admit that it annoys me that I can’t tell, but I did enjoy the book enough that I will pick up the next one when it comes out.

3) Welcome to Night Vale
I was all caught up on Night Vale as of last October or so, and then I stopped listening. Not sure why–easily distracted, partially, and I think it may have been because they had a really interesting story arc going for several episodes, leading up to the 50th episode, and then, afterwards, they went back to their normal format, and I found it kind of a letdown. But I’ve started listening again (picking up where I left off), and either because there’s some distance between me and that story arc, or because they’re dangling the occasional tie to past events, I’m enjoying it again. Give me a week or two and I should be caught up to present day.

How about you, Squiders? Anything interesting you’ve read/seen/listened to lately? Any comments of anything I’ve read/seen/listened to?

The Potential of Things

I was out with my writing group tonight, and after the official discussion was over we were chatting about things, and the conversation somehow turned to M. Night Shyamalan. And there were, of course, the haters, but I actually really like him, and I’ll tell you why.

Sometimes the potential of something appeals to me so much that I adore something, even if there are a lot of issues with it. If a world or a plot point or an idea is strong enough, it can carry an entire book/movie/media of your choice for me. Like with Maria V. Snyder’s Study trilogy. Or Labyrinth.

Yes, that Labyrinth. It’s my favorite movie, but around all the movie’s good points, it misses a major opportunity in the whole Sarah/Jareth department. It uses the whole “the goblin king had fallen in love with the girl” as a plot point at the beginning, barely touches on it at the end, and ignores it in between. And there’s such potential in that relationship. Even when I first saw it as a teenager, I couldn’t understand why it was a plot point if they didn’t do anything with it. I even sought out the novelization in the hopes that it did something with the whole thing, but alas. (The novelization is not very good in general.)

(Also, as an adult, I realize that the reason was probably because a grown man and a teenage girl are a creepy combination, but why go there in the first place, then? Couldn’t the goblin king have taken the baby for another reason?)

The same thing goes for most of M. Night Shyamalan’s movies. Poor guy certainly didn’t benefit from Sixth Sense being such a game-changer. It’s impossible to live up to that hype, and no matter what he does, he’s never going to be able to surprise everyone the way he did the first time. That doesn’t mean that the other movies are bad. Personally, I love Lady in the Water, which such a perfect example of a dark fairy tale, and uses fictional mythology and folklore. It’s worth it for the mythology alone. (But then, I do love my mythology.)

As a teenager, I read a ton of Star Trek books. If you’re familiar with the Trek books, especially the Original Series ones, you know that they’re all over the place. There was no regulations on them at all. One of my favorites is called Black Fire, which even back then I could tell had horrendous writing, but the storyline was so awesome that I eventually also read the book in Spanish. (I was in a bookstore in Spain. They had the book, of all books. How could I resist? I also bought El Hobbit and Donde esta Wally?)

Maybe it’s just because I’m a creative type myself, but the potential is more important. If I can think about things, if I can map out story extensions or alternate endings, then that appeals to me much more than something that’s so complete that there’s nothing more to be done.

What do you think, Squiders? Do you love anything that most people write off? Is it more important to you to have a polished, perfect product, or something that stimulates you in other ways?