A “The Geeky Side” Special
TV Trends and the Apocalyptic turn was inspired by a “shout back” on Twitter by my favorite podcast Post Show Recaps. I had left a link to my story on “The Apocalypse is Back” on great new geeky shows and how I’ve seen the trends progress towards this great horrible subject matter. But it goes deeper than that as I believe the movie business would be no more had it not been for the geeks (not the jocks hee hee) saving the industry as a whole and here is that argument (more about the tweet at the end of this article).
When the internet, cable and On Demand arrived and integrated itself more into our lives, movie theaters began to shudder in worry and prices went up and theaters went bare. There was a time when it was thought movies would go the way of so many fads do. But thanks to the geeks of this world they got wise to us (I don’t think they knew that’s what they were doing exactly except for the ones I mention in this article) and started not only offering quality movies geared towards their biggest audience but the movie makers now spend the money in the right places and do the right homework. Oh, the thanks we owe Peter Jackson, and Steven Spielberg, and J.J. Abrams. Have you noticed how many more superhero movies there are today? Even Mr. fancy pants Brad Pitt starred in a Zombie movie, which, by the way, was NOTHING like the book (World War Z). I saw it in 3-D and it was kind of crap pardon the language. I also HATE to cite this one because I do it in disgust as I type but -errr- Ben Affleck being Batman – please. I cannot believe that beloved new Superman Henry Cavill agreed to it but he can’t refuse I suppose because he’s not Brad Pitt or anything :P. So then as authors like J.K. Rowling and her beloved Harry Potter rippled out of that as well and we got Twilight and so on, and so on.
Okay so putting it into the Television perspective which I believe movies directly influence and the huge mass market of channels, (thanks some say and others say no thanks to) cable channels got creative. They got so creative they started knocking network ratings out of the park. I’m sure I’m missing a reference here and there since as I freely type this I’m not feeling need to do any reference work. It’s all coming from the top of my head (scary that I know this, but maybe, I’m just really smart. I pick the latter). I think it started with HBO, and The Sopranos. That was such a well made show on a subject matter so out of this realm – I mean a mob boss seeing a shrink is fascinating. I think even now more could be done on that subject but that is no longer the trend as it was a long time ago and maybe around then movies were more mob based. I think they were and huh I’m not even gonna look that up. Challenge me readers but I think I’m right. Well as life went along more channels on cable took the plunge cued from movies but also from HBO’s daring-to-make-you-think shows and as time went on movies changed to the markets the audience came in masses too, and TV trends changed also.
Bouncing back again to the movie references from the past I don’t know 5-7 years and the one sticking out so broad is Twilight (which I’m not ashamed to admit was one of those crazy 40 something women who dug it) the progression went toward vampire shows. There was True Blood, The Vampire Diaries and more. Funny though Lost was an ABC show and also I claim a trend-setter, where a lot of these trends fizzle out is when network TV tries to catch on (oh those old suits, when will they learn?). I once commented on a blog post Rob Cesternino (of Rob has a Podcast/Website) made beckoning CBS to allow them to add tweets and hash tags to Survivor (yes you know I love it and want to be on it) as it would influence ratings. My comment involved all those old stiff suits who still like Sears Roebuck did for years with their clothing line stayed stubborn in their way and uneasy to change (I smile and think of Rob every time I see Jeff Probst hash tagging. Also, I wonder how things will change there as a result of the new rule that no player from Survivor can be involved in social media while their season airs. How will I keep up with my blog then, when I am on it? Well, I’ll figure it out).
So today the vampire trend start to fizzle, but rising from the ashes (Hmm, A.C., could that be what you meant?) the Apocalypse trend, starting with my ultra favorite show THE WALKING DEAD. That show, ABC, CBS, and NBC loathe if you ask me. As well
Stephen King, Stephen Spielberg and other great movie producers & directors seeing the downward spiral of movies dipped their feet in TV. I’d like to take Stephen King out of that only because I know as one of his biggest fans, he has been long frustrated with movies because so much of the story is lost with the time constraint, left the big picture in favor of mini-series and now thanks to Under the Dome a series. Sadly though my opinion as a reader of the book that like Lost when viewers reach the end will be sorely angry. Unless they change it up the audience viewing it is not the general geeks who can appreciate a far out ending, which is probably why Lost got so slammed at the end. Then again, it was even a let down to the geeks so I take it back.
But oh Walking Dead. If you were to lay this out in a progression stemming downward chart, this would be at the top of the TV charts. Above it World War Z, the remakes of The Day The Earth Stood Still and the Tom Cruise one War of the Worlds. Though there are more I haven’t discovered I believe, the three shows I highlighted in my article would be linked below to this one.
Also, I think, as I cited to someone somewhere recently, this, like a documentary about “How William Shatner Changed the World” could also have a companion piece “How Peter Jackson Changed Movies and TV” on how geeks changed movies and TV. Peter Jackson is a great example. He grew up loving those kinds of stories and now we have them and I suspect JJ Abrams was a geek too.
And there you have my argument, Mr. Mazzaro and anyone else who cares or would like to cash in on the industry today. I’d like to also add I think now Movies are actually being influenced by TV as the “Apocalypse” trend expands and we get into the “Rapture” and other world-ending stories. There’s a new one, on an old story coming out soon to further prove my argument Left Behind. Since the TV trend of world destruction hasn’t ended or even begun to fizzle the movies are now following suit. Huh, and they say the underdogs cannot change the world. Well I’ll see about that.
Thanks for the inspiration this little blogger needed to get back to business. You don’t know how grateful I am.
Live Long and Prosper,
ABOUT MY RISE TO GEEK GODDESSDOMA lot of what I learn about TV I’ve read, seen or heard, and a lot of it is instinct for me. I’ve said more than once I was a TV 70’s kid and thanks to my dad who watched Star Trek, and the most amazing movie I saw as a little girl called “Star Wars” (that was its only name back then), I got to widen my range of what I liked to see and avoided much of the nonsensical crap my blogger friend and mentor I’ll call “teacher” warns me about tv watching. Also, my sons, geeks and superhero lovers, whom I spread the love to and they in return educated me in things I didn’t know about. If you ask me anything about anything sci-fi, superhero or fantasy, I can most likely tell you all about it. Oh yeah, my youngest sons’ name is Jimmy Olson. If you aren’t a Superman fan, then look it up.
ABOUT THE TWEET
The tweet, from Antonio Mazzaro (@acmazzaro on Twitter), a podcaster on the show, was, if I read it correctly, asking my opinion on whether I thought the trend stemmed from 9/11 (see pic, hee hee, I’m so honored, lol). I pondered that, and am still, as I see no correlation, except disaster, and, unfortunate for him I had to reply six times to try to convey my thoughts, wanting to seek his argument somewhere that words can be conveyed in more than 140 characters. Though getting better skilled with Twitter, this long blogger finds myself tongued-tied and over tweeting.To my readers looking for inspiration, as my post topics tend to seemly go all over the place, take heart. I think I’ve found my categories, and now debate whether or not I should make separate blogs for the two, or just keep them all here. Those categories, in case you wondered will be, Inspiration and The Geeky Side. I think everything else stems from them. I’m making progress in that roadblock, hallelujah!