Antenna (antennapedia) wrote,
Antenna
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England expects that every man will do his duty.

txvoodoo asks, "Does fandom expect too much" from its TV shows?

My short answer: No.

My longer answer: If you don't have expectations, or don't express them, nobody will rise to meet them.

The question is asked in the context of recent fandom flamewars discussions about sexism in shows like Supernatural. The implied question is, do we expect too much when we want our TV shows to reflect our core values? Is it too much to ask for from staffs that have their hands full meeting the demands of the production schedule?

No.

The sexism criticism, by the way, I have sympathy with. I watched the SPN season opener this year and was put off in the extreme by the sell-the-show opening montage of the stars killing women in sexy lingerie to an AC/DC soundtrack. (AC/DC would be annoyed: they'd want to be having sex with those women, not killing them.) And I started watching the finale to see for myself, and was also put off and shut it off.

That was my reaction. Tastes vary, as do core values. You might have liked it. I don't mind if you did. (I prefer to put my energy into convincing people to like things, not to dislike them. Positivity is more fun for me.)

I voted with my feet, which is what I suggest everybody else does. Support the shows that feature things you like. Avoid the ones that feature things you dislike. Have opinions. Express them. Demand what you want, and reward the writers and producers who move in the direction you want. Be prepared to wait to get it, but for pete's sake, keep on wanting it.

Don't make excuses for shoddy craftsmanship.

Sure, scriptwriting is a hard job to do well. How many balls can the juggler keep in the air? The rigidity of the 5-act TV script structure. Telling a good story in a single episode. Developing a story arc over a season. Building character. Exploring deeper themes. Weekly deadline pressure. Competing demands from networks and producers. Not a lot of production teams juggle them all. That makes it all the sweeter when somebody does.

Demand great storytelling. Reward it when you get it. That's the way to get more of what you want. Don't reward mediocrity, because it only encourages them.
Tags: analysis, craft
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