Posts tagged Television
`Oh you bumbling Booby!'

The little boy I have locked inside me is really looking forward to this new reboot of Lost in Space. `Shut up kid, I'll feed you when I'm ready'. Wot? 
I loved the original and I didn't mind the movie either - But this looks like it's capturing something the movie didn't capture (well, I don't think so, it's been a while since I've seen it). But do you remember how anxious you felt for the family being in their predicament?  So far away from everyone. Lost and alone and each week was some new, weird predicament and adventure. And it got pretty trippy too. I remember one episode that seemed to be in an endless expanse with floating paths that intersected each other. LIke an old Bugs Bunny cartoon I saw eons ago. 
I think I need a good lie down.

Here's a great new trailer for the show coming to Netflix.

The Robinson family, part of a highly trained mission to establish a new colony in space, is unexpectedly pulled off course forcing them to crash land on a lost planet. Danger will find them. Lost in Space premieres April 13, 2018.
The very definition of a `Choke'
`OH MY GOD! That was the final episode of Breaking Bad?!  
I don't smoke anymore, but I feel a need to light one up.'

 Contrast that to...

 `What the....? That was it...?  Seriously?!  That was the final episode of Dexter?!  
Where's mah Gun?!'

I'm not into sport but I'm aware of what a `choke' is. Apparently it's when someone is winning and at that the penultimate moment they were to deliver the goods and come romping home with glory over the finish line, something within them pushes the red button they were to never go near and they self destruct and choke.  This didn't happen to Breaking Bad and thank you to those concerned for not succumbing. The same, unfortunately cannot be said of Dexter. 

I don't put Dexter in the same league as Breaking Bad. The latter for me is along with the Soprano's, one of the greatest shows ever produced for Television. But it was great fun. Throughout the eight seasons it built suspense and stretched the limits of credibility to breaking point  - but never went over. (well, for me it didn't.)  

The hero was a `good' serial killer who only ever killed `bad' serial killers.  It was aware of that absurdity and that knowing fun it enjoyed with it's audience was part of what made it such a great show.  There were so many plot lines that needed to be resolved. Dexter had a family - how would they react on finding out he was Miami's most notorious serial killer, `The Bay Harbour Butcher'?  How would his Police colleagues at Miami Metro, who trust him beyond doubt and have supported him emotionally over the years react when they find out the truth?  Would we who have accompanied Dexter as a co-conspirator along with his `Dark Passenger',  finally see him face the reality of what and who he is without the schizoid presence of his dead father?

Several times throughout the eight seasons, Dexter had come close to being discovered. It was pervasive and the longer he kept going, we felt, the bigger the fall was going to be. He had serial killer father figure mentors like John Lithgow, serial killer students and adversaries who came so close to killing and/or exposing him. He lost three women who in different ways were close to him.  His innocent wife representing the normal life he could never have. His passionate girl friend who was the representation of all he could have if he gave in to his lust for killing and his mother figure, a Psychologist who had helped his father Harry draft the code Dexter lived his life by.

The ending should have been hot and explosive but in the end all we got was a luke warm, moist towelette.   It's like for eight years the Studio Executives or Producers have been happy to leave the makers of Dexter alone to do as they please but on the very last show, couldn't help themselves and had to have a fiddle.

Here's what happened  - As his young son accompanied his Serial Killer fiancee Hannah to start a new life in Argentina, Dexters sister Deb, who had found out and come to terms with him being a serial killer, got into the wrong end of a gunfight where she ended up in the vegetable patch. Dexter euthanised her and in the shadow of an oncoming Cyclone bearing down on Miami, dumped her reverentially over the side of his pleasure craft  `The Slice of Life'.  As he watched her body sink to where he had sunk so many others, he gunned his boat and headed straight into the Cyclone toward certain death.

Yeah right.

Everyone at Miami Metro see's the news that debris from Dexter's boat has been found with no sign of life from him and there are lots of sad faces.  Hannah, drinking coffee at an outdoor cafe in Buenos Aires with Dexters young son Harrison, reads the news on her laptop, gets a sad face then asks the kid if he wants an ice cream.  One problem is that only we the audience know that Dexter was on the `Slice of Life' with dead Deb.  As far as the other characters are concerned. Dexter is alive and well in Buenos Aires. Oh well.

Buuuut...Dexter is of course, alive and well. Somehow he survived the Cyclone AT SEA. Swam to shore and made his way to British Columbia to become a FUCKING LUMBER JACK where he can sit at a table in a cabin and stare ominously at the camera.  I'm a Lumber Jack and I'm okay, I sleep all night and I work all day.

Hey - Makers of Dexter!

I'm very sad now and I'm going to re watch the last episode of Breaking Bad to see again how a highly anticipated final episode should be done. The makers of Dexter can join the makers of `Lost' and `Smallville' in the special hell designated to them for squibbed final episodes.  I'm still on the fence about the last episode of the Soprano's.

A Guide to lowering Television Piracy...from a Pirate.

In the shower this morning, where I do my best thinking...well, there and the toilet, I began to think about a series of books I'm having a great time of reading lately. They're science fiction, set in our solar system some time, though it's not specified, in the next couple of hundred years in the future. The first one is `Leviathan Wakes’, the second `Caliban’s War’ and the third is `Abaddons Gate’ by James S.A. Corey.  

It’s a rip roaring adventure on one level, a mystery involving a lost heiress, a burnt out detective with a growing obsession to find her and the very `Firefly’ like crew of a water hauler who inadvertently end up starting a conflict between Earth, Mars and `the Belt’.  And yet on another level it’s all about humanity’s place in the universe and other big ideas. 

The books describe a very real future for humanity with the asteroid belt around Mars and Jupiter being mined with cities built into the larger asteroids and set to spin so they create a low gravity environment. Mars is being terraformed and is no longer a colony of Earth but has it’s own Government and it’s own space Navy of some not inconsiderable size and threat. People born in the asteroid belt, called Belters have developed their own dialect and because many are born and live in low gravity, their bodies are elongated compared to those born into the gravity wells of Earth and Mars. There is no contact with alien life, so far. But to say anymore would spoil it.  Space travel is nothing like that in Star Wars of even Star Trek. It’s rooted in a reality built a long time ago by NASA. Space travel is hard and messy and can sometimes hurt. A lot. Trust me, these books will draw you in. They’re a great read.

Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse)
By James S.A. Corey

There are three books in the series so far with another three to come. I think if they were developed into a Television series there could be, with two seasons per book, up to twelve years of continual production. I'd been in touch recently with the authors on Twitter and asked if the movie/television rights to them had been sold. `No’ was the reply, so I began to wonder how they would, in my personal fantasy world, be produced and distributed and to maximum return.

Firstly, through in-App purchase. Through Apple or Android apps...and Windows too I guess, each episode of the season is available to buy, either all at once, as a season or one at a time for a several dollars an episode. Then the user can watch them on their personal device and have the option to mirror it onto their larger screen television or directly on their Telly on apps through iTunes, GooglePlay, Hulu, Netflix etc.

Secondly through YouTube with several options available there. They can buy the whole season at once or per episode or they can watch it for free but with ad breaks spaced at different intervals (that importantly do not alienate the viewer and this cannot be stressed enough).  The user though, has to click on the ad and watch the commercial or whatever the advertiser has paid to have happen, before the user continues.   The advantages will be that he shows can be locked to play only on the devices they're downloaded onto and cannot be copied without them being unplayable. Releasing the show at a low price with different levels of payment for exclusivity and features world-wide simultaneously will ensure maximum return for all concerned with the production. 

Thirdly (is that a word?) is six or so months later when the shows season is released physically on DVD and Blu Ray. Only after this happens will the show then be released for broadcast and pay television. At the moment it's the other way around and people are copying the shows and making them available through torrent sites to download for free. Its great for the consumer and I do it myself on many shows but you have to admit that its an unsustainable business model. I want to pay for the shows I enjoy so the makers of them will be encouraged to make more. Turning that model on its head will I think, lower piracy and return as I mentioned above, greater returns to the actual makers of the show. 

It's not so good for the networks but they've had their day and people are sick of them and their insidious ways. As an example, Game of Thrones. I've downloaded that brilliant show from the beginning. I bought the Blu Ray of the first season when it became available and was ready to buy the second when it came out. Then the third season was made available on iTunes in High Definition. I bought that season, watched each episode as it was released and I was going to buy the second season when I could afford to, through iTunes as well. Then Foxtel, who own the rights here in Australia, announced that they were going to exercise their broadcast rights for the next and ensuing seasons by restricting their availability to Foxtel in this territory. The stupidity of this decision is staggering. If you want to watch the fourth season next year of Game of Thrones in Australia legally, you will have to subscribe to Foxtel,and not just the standard package but the extra premium channel GOT's is shown on. I guess it's back to the Pirate ship for me then.

Its going to take a brave bunch of people to take on the monolith of Broadcast and PayTV but doing so will be huge for whoever is the first to do it successfully.