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PostSubject: TV Shows   Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:58 pm

So, I've currently become addicted to Once Upon A Time, as I'm sure some of you know. What I want to know is what some of you love- and, of course, why. What pulls us into TV shows? What makes us see them as more than fake drama or dumb fairy tales? How do we connect with the characters? And what do you do when your fav character's actor/acrtress does on Ellen? Very Happy Had to throw that in there. Post people! I wanna know!
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PostSubject: Re: TV Shows   Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:54 am

Luv, you are the queen of asking questions that are really difficult to answer. I've been sitting on this one for weeks, trying to puzzle out an answer, and now I've finally decided to make it up as I go along! I'll answer the easiest one first: if one if my favorite actors or actresses pulled an Ellen, I'd do the same thing I did when Ellen came out. Which is nothing other than offer my support. They'd still be my favorite actors and actresses - as with all other things actors spring on us, we oughtn't let their personal lives interfere with our appreciation of their careers and all of the roles they've acted brilliantly for us. We know that the actors and actresses who play spies, snipers, and ninjas aren't really any of those, so, for example, why should we mind of they act a straight person whether or not they actually are straight? Plenty of straight actors play non-straight characters, and that doesn't particularly bother us.

But as for your difficult question! I'm going to try to break into that here; hopefully other people will post and elaborate. First, what draws me into a show is the idea - is it new? Is it a new take on something old? Is it something old that's been re-done? Even though the initial reviews for Once Upon A Time were borderline-scathing, I've always been a lover of fairy tales, so the idea behind it forced me to watch - and love - the first episode. But then, if a show doesn't have a plot that draws me in, I'll get into it by one of two other reasons: either I want to see a specific actor in it, or I get really attached to the characters. Take Terra Nova, for example; the idea is hardly a new one, though I'm fond of it. The characters don't really start off that great, even - but they develop. And they develop beautifully. By the end of the first season, I was hooked, because I cared about what happened with the characters.

I don't think we really have an issue with thinking of shows as "fake drama" nowadays because the acting is so good and the shows are so well made. But I think that when a show is too aimed at a particular audience, it does become these things - like those shows of young teenage girls that all end in happy, successful lives and romance. Not only are those entirely fake, they're also wholly annoying. That's why I don't watch Disney Channel any more. But good shows, my favorite shows, generally involve a more experienced cast, or really just a better cast. If the actors and the script writers do their jobs, what we see is very real and personal to us. That's a really big thing with shows, too - even if the show is set in a fantastical universe, there are subtleties in the characters and the universe that we can connect to. Shakespeare did the same thing; okay, so high-society young people fall in love in Romeo and Juliet, but there's also the lower class nurse and butler who get involved with the plot to draw that pit audience in.

In case I haven't covered everything, I'd like to add examples from another two of my favorite shows - one of which is vaguely based on the idea of the other, and both of which created new favorite actors for me to follow (including Emma of Once Upon a Time): House, M.D. and Sherlock. Okay, so if you've read the Sherlock books, you can guess at where most of the plot is based on - but you love the characters so much, seeing them in a modern light is incredible fun, and the plot is all mixed up and new and wonderful too. Even when I wasn't exactly enthralled by the plot of "The Blind Banker" (took a second viewing for me to get into it), the back and forth between John and Sherlock and most especially Sherlock's interference in John's dating life kept me watching. And okay, House has become a bit of a re-hashing of old ideas, but the things they pull with our well-loved characters and the new characters they bring in draw us right back.

...I hope there's more insight out there for this. I don't feel like I've explained very well. XD But I tried!


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PostSubject: Re: TV Shows   Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:10 am

Tobi-chan, your answer enthralled me, and now I'd like to post. Smile

I'm a big fan of the Masterpiece Classic: Emma and Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey.
Emma is based of the novels by Jane Austen, and they bring the books to lfie. Every week I like to tune in to see what happens next, which is what makes a show good- they pull you in, leave you wanting to know what happens next. I've fallen in love with Emma- she was such a rebel in her time period, and she's quirky, funny, pretty, and talented, but isn't perfect. It draws you in, with her misadventers, mistakes, and rebounds.
Donwton Abbey is just spectacualr. I've fallen in love with Cora, she's just amazing! She's a bit like Emma- a matchmaker who sometimes isn't succesfull. (And by matchmaker, I mean who girls who try to push other together or think they should get married, not the occupation) I was hooked the first episode, because they had a bit about the Titanic taking two people's lives from the Abbey. It sen them in a dramatic talespin and hooked me. The good thing about it was that although it was dramatic, it wasn't overly done, it was just enough to make you suck in a breathe and watch with wide eyes.
So, hopefully I've given you some insight into what makes a good show!
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