Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Nate Corddry on the cancellation of Harry's Law.

For some reason I managed to find this video of Nate Corddry ranting about the state of television.

I thought it'd be best if I'd share this here too. He's really mad that Harry's Law got cancelled, even though the show got really solid ratings.

Honestly. it's pretty much impossible not to agree with Nate here. Harry's Law was a show that respected your intelligence.

It wasn't David Kelley's best tv series, but every week it had something important to say about us and our society.

Here's for example one closing argument from Tommy Jefferson.

I think Star Trek The Next Generation's showrunner Michael Piller said it best: "If we only think of ratings and money, we lose everything that we are".

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A great Modern Family episode.

So, two episodes of Modern Family aired last evening. The first one, 'Schooled', was very good. The second one, 'Snip', unfortunately wasn't good at all. I'll write about the first one.

There was one thing that didn't work in the first episode, and that was right away when Luke commented how U.S spends China's money. Maybe someone wanted to make a small statement here but nevertheless there's no way that his character would be smart enough to know that. So that was just wrong.. ..even though he was right.

Once we got through the main titles, the episode became funny. Or should I say that it got pretty damn clever. There were lots of great lines throughout the episode, like Cam talking about clowns wearing make-up and stuff. Cam & Mitchell doing those male & female signs was also hilarious. It was absurd, but that's okay, because life's what it is. (too difficult to understand)

The reason that this particular episode worked so well is that all three storylines were more or less about our three couples working together and not arguing with each other for a change. Cam & Mitchell were pitted against the lesbian couple, Claire & Phil pulled it together when it came to Haley going to college and Jay & Gloria were having good time at that baby class.

There have been way too many episodes in which the couples argue with each other with no good reason (manufactured conflicts and drama). That they managed to go against those, I think, learned expectations was so refreshing and made the episode so much better. It made me feel that good things might still happen to Modern Family.

Another reason that the episode was so impressive is that all those storylines were easy to follow. There weren't too many characters in each scene that would confuse everyone from actors to director like the show unfortunately too many times has done. In that sense this episode was simple and let's face it, simple is always good. Simple works.

I guess there was this other thing that was a bit implausible and that was Phil's philosophy book. I mean, does someone actually believe that he would have a book written about his Philisms? I don't think so, but thankfully most of those lines or Philisms were clever and funny. Like the one about william hurt.

Other than that, the other episode got it all wrong, but this first one kinda, almost, disturbed me. Because, I want to be honest here, 'Schooled' had so many good things going on for it, that for a minute, I had to consider the idea that maybe these writers are better than I am.

I mean, the truth is that the minute (okay, make that two) I find that somebody has more raw writing talent than I have, I'll probably quit trying.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Olympic Games, Emmy Awards and doping.

I know that we had the Olympic Games in London two months ago but I guess I could write about it since I haven't seen most of the new shows yet.

In my opinion I think it's suitable to compare Olympic Games to Emmy Awards because in both you're for example trying to be the best. 

In the olympics, you're trying to win a gold medal, or at least trying to get yourself in the top three. At the Emmys, you're trying to win an Emmy, or at least try to get nominated.

If you happen to win an olympic gold medal, by any account you have to be extremely good and talented. Winning any medal or even getting to the finals is very difficult and is a reason to admire or at least to recognize the person in question.

When it comes to the Emmy's, winning usually means that you're good. For example, when David Kelley wins an Emmy, you know it had something to do with quality. Modern Family won this year too, and I guess it won because it was the best comedy out there.

However, being nominated - as in getting to the finals - doesn't mean that much. Even though it should. For example 'Girls' got boatloads of nominations this year, yet the show is not good. You don't make the final eight in the 100 meter dash by being as bad as Girls was.

Of course in sports it's not easy to make it to the finals and the athletes - a lot of them - use performance enhancing drugs. They use them because they make you a better athlete.

However, even though in Hollywood people use drugs, I don't think there are drugs that will make you a better writer. You pretty much have to depend on your talent.  Practice helps, but not as much as people think. You're basically on your own.

It's pretty difficult to cheat in the long run. I don't think there are any frauds among those who have won multiple Emmy awards. Sorkin, Kelley, Brooks and Bochco, for example are all legit. I guess that's a good thing.

But, you know, all that being said, when I watched the olympics I was pretty impressed. I liked what I saw most of the time.

When I watched the Emmys two weeks ago, I didn't find anything that would have really impressed me. It seemed that there's no real competition in the business anymore. Most were happy just to be able to show up.

I don't like that attitude at all myself.

I personally would like to see some real competition at the Emmys next year. But that would mean that we'd have great shows on tv. Unfortunately, I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon.