Friday, July 31, 2015

Random Thoughts about HBO at TCA 2015 & Buffy's "Ted"

-HBO programming chief took questions from television critics during HBO’s day of the 2015 summer version of the TCAs, in which critics gather in the same space for panels and where they tweet, re-tweet, and joke about the same things all day, every day, and eat pancakes with actors. One critic asked about the fate of Jon Snow, the character left bleeding out in the season finale, because the show runners said he’s dead, and Kit Harrington said he’s dead. Fans don’t believe it because of Kit Harrington didn’t cut his long hair. The programming chief, Michael Lombardo, according to The Hollywood Reporter, gave a wide grin and answered, “Jon Snow is indeed dead.” Why critics bothered to ask the programming chief about the fate of a fictional character on a program he doesn’t write puzzles one. Who would ask the publisher of Nabokov’s Pale Fire to answer, “Did John Shade invent Kinbote or did Kinbote invent Shade?” Fans of TV shows don’t need to read about the possible fates of their favorite characters in the quote of a programming chief or any executive. Jon Snow’s not even dead. Michael Lombardo stating such a truth means the opposite. Thank the critics for a useless and unnecessary piece of clickbait.

-Lombardo suggested Game of Thrones will end after 8 seasons, an extension of one more season. Benioff and Weiss have thought about an eighth season after stating for years they wanted to end it after 7 seasons. Next year, expect Michael Lombardo to announce a ninth season, and the following year, expect a tenth…

-Critics asked about the 2nd season of True Detective. This season has pissed off critics, bloggers, and fans as much as the American dentist pissed off the world by killing Cecil the Lion. Alan Sepinwall criticized the complexity of the story, a troubling criticism in an age where executives probably prefer simplicity over complexity for the sake of keeping people with lower attention spans than 15-20 years ago. Asking the programming chief his thoughts about the 2nd season, as if expecting an answer that agreed with the critics’ criticisms of the season, again seems naive and misguided. Lombardo described the season as “satisfying” and cited the number of people watching. According to Jim lasted 8 seasons because of the numbers. Executives love numbers. Asking Lombardo’s opinion about the series opens it up for the corporate marketing spin. He doesn’t care about the quality. The man thought the Entourage movie a good idea.

-The Leftovers premieres Sunday, October 4. Damon Lindelof told reporters the season will bring together a family rather than pull a family apart.

-Enough HBO. ABC Family moved Buffy to 7AM from 5PM. Any young folk don’t need ABC Family to watch the series for the first time, of course. Buffy streams on Hulu and Netflix. I watched some of my favorite shows for the first time in syndication, in the ancient early aughts when cell phones merely allowed one to play snake. Buffy at 7AM is a fine way to begin the day.

Yesterday, “Ted” aired. John Ritter played a robot named Ted in an episode about a daughter’s resistance to accepting her Mom’s new boyfriend Joss Whedon ranked it in his Top 10. He wrote it with David Greenwalt. I hadn’t watched the episode in years. Beyond the metaphorical meat, which I like, a scene I totally forgot stuck in my head. After Buffy accidentally kills Ted (no one knows he’s a robot, and there’s a few clever lines that hint about the later reveal), she approaches her Mom trying not to cry but crying. Sarah Michelle Gellar was so good. On the page is: “Buffy enters, tentatively.” Both speak, then: “A beat. Neither of them knows how to scale this well.” Sarah lets the emotion free when Buffy tells her mother, “I didn’t mean to hurt him.” The economy of the scene, of the characterization of Buffy and Joyce, is admirable and beneficial to any newer, greener writer that tends to overwrite scenes (that’s me, friends and well-wishers): three lines of action: seven lines of dialogue. Joyce speaks four times; Buffy speaks three times. The emotion--the substance of the scene--happens between the spaces.


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About The Foot

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Originally, I titled the blog Jacob's Foot after the giant foot that Jacob inhabited in LOST. That ended. It became TV With The Foot in 2010. I wrote about a lot of TV.