eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
[personal profile] eruthros
Okay, so, there are a lot of things that are done badly on Babylon 5, and I'd never hold up jms as the greatest writer ever. But there's this thing he said once that I keep coming back to when I watch tv: basically, he said, you have to answer questions you raise on your show within a season's worth of episodes. The answer can spark new questions, sure, but you have to actually answer the question, you can't handwave or suggest something and later retract it or answer the question in a completely unhelpful way or otherwise try to keep your options open.

And I think about this when I watch tv in part because I was burned by The X-Files back in the day: I wanted it to make sense so badly, I believed Chris Carter when he said he had a plan, and then... there's another kind of alien we never told you about! Black oil is alien! No wait it's not! What is even going on.

And as a result I'm suspicious about that kind of storytelling; I don't believe show creators when they say they have a plan unless I can actually see it on the screen, I eyeroll when the big revelation is retracted ten episodes later, I get seriously cranky when a show tries to draw out the mystery forever because I will now always suspect that the reason they're doing that is that they don't know the answer either. Or because they can't think of anything else interesting to do. And I wouldn't care so much, except these are always shows that keep pointing to those same damn questions over and over, making it a huge point of their plots.

And that's how I feel about Stephen Moffat right now: he's drawn it out a long fucking time, and it's always the same questions. Who is River Song, no, really? (because saying "she's Amy and Rory's daughter" or "she's the doctor's wife" does not actually answer that question) Who does she kill and how and why does she feel bad about it, no, really? (the best man she's ever known! oh thanks that's so helpful. The doctor, maybe, in the future! Except who believes that they will actually kill the doctor and burn off his regenerations, no one.) Who is the Silence? (And this one really irks me, because they answered it at the beginning of the season! hurrah! ... but then they retracted that answer and now there's a silence army or whatever, argh.) And now we're adding the ultimate question of life the universe and everything on top of all the already-unanswered questions? ARGH.

So every episode of Doctor Who I watch just irks me more and more, just makes me feel more and more like Stephen Moffat is Chris Carter is J.J. Abrams is every other producer/writer/etc who said they had a plan but actually doesn't know how to get from A to B, or is like every other show creator who only has one great concept or one great idea so they have to keep putting off B forever and ever because they have nothing else to do. Never answer the question, just pose more questions; never deal with the consequences, just put everyone in a new situation; never wrap anything up, because omg then viewers might stop watching.

And, I mean, I find the show frustrating for other reasons, I find the misogyny offputting, I keep wanting to reach in and rewrite episodes to shake out the isms, but on top of all that I hit a point several episodes ago where I just can't care about any of the characters or any of the questions anymore. I'm so over waiting for it to make sense.

And it's frustrating, because I did like all the characters, and I would like to keep liking them, but there's all this ARGH in the way now.

Date: 2011-09-06 03:11 pm (UTC)
stewardess: (Default)
From: [personal profile] stewardess
"losing interest in the answers"

That's the problem I'm having.


eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)

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