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Vox Audita Perrit, Literra Scripta Manet....
The heard word is lost, the written letter remains...
Still kind of sick. Got better over the weekend, but then the painters began doing the kitchen. The scratchy throat has returned with a vengeance, though I'm hoping Strepsils and Butter Menthols will be sufficient for my recovery this time around.

So, Brisbane has had some pretty epic storms pass over this week. Like 'once-every-twenty-years' epic. Our house lost power for roughly a day on Monday (but hey, the bar fridge defrosted itself, which was a bonus!), but otherwise we escaped the carnage that hit the Gap. I walked down the road this morning to the busstop, and discovered that last night's storm was so bad that the wooden bridge railings over the creek near our place had disappeared down the creek, which is now looking more like a river and actually has ducks in it(! Seriously, you know the rain's good if there are ducks hanging around our area). There were also some rather large streams of mud criss-crossing the road, since we live in the bush.

Anyway, since there's nothing happening IRL, here's some thoughts on series two of Dirt, which wrapped up this week on cable here.

Sigh. Series two just didn't deliver, and I'm kind of relieved it got cancelled. I think a big part of the problem with series two was that it was cut short by the WGA strike- a lot of shows seem to have been screwed by that disruption. However, the show's change in direction was the big problem. The fun of series one is that it was a serial- there were other little plots going on, but the big one was always the Holt/Julia story, it continued in one long thread through the series and everything else kind of tied into it.

Having that big plot worked, but in series two they took that idea away and went back to the formulaic episodic thing, with more of the plots being ripped straight from the headlines. And that's where the major fail happened, because the show needs that soap opera-ish big running plotline to define the season.

The problem with taking the new direction on it is that it left some stuff from last season unresolved too. What happened to Leo after he ran Julia over? He disappears for most of the series and then when he randomly turns up in the final ep for the mother's funeral we're not supposed to wonder where he was this whole time? What happened to Don's British artist girlfriend who did the naughty stuff with the cake? I really felt for Ian, because Don's storyline being the pop singer's BFF/possible boyfriend was kind of painful to watch sometimes, if just for the fact that it was so blatantly based on Britney Spears and that sleazy paparazzo she hooked up with.

But yeah. If this was what the rest of the season was going to be like, no wonder the ratings dropped off. It's a bit disappointing, just because there was some great talent on the cast and they really didn't have great scripts to work with. Oh, well. Already waiting to see what Ian will do next, which will probably be much better than this, regardless of what it is.

Current Mood: sick sick

4 comments or Leave a comment
dives From: dives Date: November 20th, 2008 01:47 am (UTC) (Link)
The kid deserves so much better, really. He was carrying that show on his back at times, yet I bet he got paid the equivalent of Courteney Cox's wardrobe budget for it. Shame. I did find it strange that it ended up being a reversal of the first season, where bizarre, yet oddly interesting things happened but nobody was able to write.

Anyway, the next thing Teh Ian's doing is this 4-part miniseries with Dougray Scott. It's written by Frank Deasy, and Prime Suspect 7 was alright*, so this should probably be okay. (By the way, I will fall out of my chair if he is not evil and/or crazy in it.)

*By Prime Suspect standards. By normal standards, it was really really good. I freaking love Prime Suspect.
normandie_m From: normandie_m Date: November 20th, 2008 02:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah, that'll be good. We'll probably get it here in the new year on the ABC, they love those kind of thriller crime-drama things.

I get the impresssion that a lot of Brit actors kind of get short shrift when they go to Hollywood, particularly the ones who end up in tv productions. :/
dives From: dives Date: November 20th, 2008 03:02 am (UTC) (Link)
I think so. British actors are usually cheaper than American ones, and you usually don't get nearly as much drama surrounding them as you do, say...I dunno, Ben Affleck or something. (Or...Courteney Cox!) I think the issue is that most American networks are convinced, as a result of the whole reality TV thing, that audiences just want to watch stupid TV and are "uninterested" in well-written shows. While it is true that we will watch anything with celebrities, people also like good writing and acting-- which is the bit that studios seem to have difficulty understanding. For instance people might've tuned into House because Bryan Singer directed the first episode, which is how they were pushing it initially, but they stayed because the writing and acting was good.
In addition, the British scene is much smaller than the American one in terms of the scale of productions, so I think all nonsuperfamous actors, both British and American, tend to get lost in the shuffle. I think Ian actually bitched about this regarding Enemy of the State at some point.

I just wish that networks would be willing to do proper promotions for really good shows, rather than only pushing shows with "star power" like...I don't know, My Own Worst Enemy. Few people will put up with a really awful show simply because a famous person is in it. Arrested Development, for instance, was a brilliant show, but Fox never advertised it and kept dicking around with the broadcast times so nobody could ever find it, and then they cancelled it because of low ratings. I mean, what did they expect?!
People want to see interesting and well-acted television-- look at how successful Lost is, or Heroes, or the aforementioned House, and conversely, look how Heroes is struggling as the scripts are getting weaker. Studio execs just need to grow a pair and not be afraid of heavily promoting a good TV show, regardless of how many famous people are in it.

Whoa, that was way longer and rantier than I meant it to be! Sorry :O
normandie_m From: normandie_m Date: November 20th, 2008 03:44 am (UTC) (Link)
This is exactly what happens on Aussie tv with good quality shows. For the first two episodes, Rome was screened at 9:30pm with little promotion, but when it didn't rate, they shunted it to midnight and then yanked it completely and later ran the show in the same timeslot during the non-ratings period. The same thing happened to Hotel Babylon, which is why I just decided not to bother with watching it on tv and just download it instead.

This is also why I like having cable. Because ratings don't matter as much, good quality shows last longer, eg. Brotherhood and even if the show is crap they don't shunt it to another timeslot or take it off completely. I think it's very telling that cable network shows like Mad Men or The Sopranos do well at the awards shows- more care is put into the productions of those shows.

I can't begrudge Ian for complaining about the way Hollywood operates. Most British actors seem to have a horror story about working on a Hollywood production- I remember reading about REG's experience making Hudson Hawk in With Nails and cringing.
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