Monday, October 30, 2006

Nothing to see here... move along

I have a brief window of opportunity to blog! We've been working like crazy on our pilot outline and we just heard from the network. We're pleased, because the notes make sense within the context of our show. What the network wants from the show is what we want from it. So we're glad that we're not doing your standard procedural. Although the genre is impossible to reinvent, at least we get to have some kind of fun with it AND we get to do Hollywood stuff, which is what we love. So hurray. Now we have to move scenes around and apply the notes, but soon (hopefully), we'll be writing the actual script. And for us, that's where the fun begins!

I've been sort of watching TeeVee this past week, although the only new show of note is Battlestar Galactica. Good episode on Friday, and I like that they're back on the damned title of the show. Enough with New Caprica. ENOUGH. As far as I know, Tim Kring hasn't said anything else stupid about how Heroes is the Most Inventive Show Ever. So that's the sign of a successful week. And the NBC thing is still freaking people out.

Stephen says:
Television isn't about story or entertainment or enriching a viewer. It's about advertising, and if they have to resort to mindless crap to pull in the lowest common denominators to fill their numbers they will.

Yup. After all, let's not forget that TeeVee exists to sell product. The networks have to please their shareholders, and the only way they can do that is by justifying their decisions in a business way and not in a creative way. Because creativity is never a justification for anything, but if you can say that the testing yielded X results, the shareholders have no choice but to accept that because it's considered concrete data. Forget the fact that you're asking people to watch TeeVee in a completely alien environment and then you put all of these people together in a room where the loudest, moost opinionated voice there can dictate everyone else's opinions.

I HATE TESTING. All it does is guarantee that an executive won't be fired for following it. "Hey, the testing said this should is a hit. Blame the people." Testing used to be an aid, but now it's the ONLY thing that matters. The outline syndrome grew out of that. You're no longer allowed to discover something in a story. Everything must be documented and approved by a battalion of executives. It gets very difficult to be spontaneous and creative, and it's also incredibly time-consuming when you have to write 15-page outlines for every episode, pass them by several studio executives, do those notes, then get network notes. Stephen wondered about cable, whether the same process is in place at HBO, for example. Sadly, it is. There are still a good number of executives to please. SciFi has a difficult path because although they love Galactica, for example, the show isn't getting the ratings it needs. Even though it's cable, they still need ratings. I feel that they're doing right by the show, but just try selling a SciFi show to the SciFi Channel. It's impossible. So they're trying to figure out who they are. They have a show premiering in January called The Dresden Files, which comes from Robert Hewitt Wolfe and Hans Beimler, two guys who knw genre like nobody else. We didn't get hired on the show (drat), but if it hits, that's good for everyone and especially good for SciFi.

Geez, I don't really have anything to say today! I'm still working on my music list which is really fun when you want to include Asia and Journey on a "Best songs ever" list. Because HONESTLY. Not even possible.

But I'm trying anyway.

Since 2006 is almost over and there's nothing to show for it, here are some albums I've really liked this year:

Dirty Pretty Things, "Waterloo To Anywhere"
Pure Reason Revolution, "The Dark Third"
Muse, "Blackholes and Revelations"
Boy Kill Boy, "Civilian"
The Veils, "Nux Vomica"
Keane, "Under the Iron Sea"
Roddy Woomble, "My Secret is My silence"
Mando Diao, "Ode to Ochrasy"
Hope of the States, "Left"
Keith, "the Red Thread"
Kasabian, "Empire"
The Rifles, "No Love Lost"

In no particular order.

np - Vega4, "You and Others." Hmm. Not bad!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Tangled Up In Blog

If only I'd thought of that sooner, it would be an excellent blog name. We finally turned our pilot outline in to the studio this week so I have time between the studio reading it and giving notes to catch up on the blog. The next step will be turning the outline in to the network and then, hopefully, being sent off to write. We'll probably have to turn in a draft before Thanksgiving. That seems like miles away but by the time we get to start writing, we'll have a week to write the script. I hate that. We can write it in a week, but it's nice to have time to write more than one draft before the producers give us notes.

Anyway, writing outlines SUCKS. You can't imagine. The outline has to have everything in it, but it shouldn't be more than twelve pages. And it's hard to construct the scenes for an outline because you usually find these scenes in dialogue. Outlines are awful and it's definitely the worst part of the process for us. Most writers like breaking the story and don't like writing the script. We're the opposite. Give me a script to write and I'm happy. That's when the characters really make their appearances. Of course, all of our coy, clever references will be removed by the time the thing goes into the network! But since this is OUR show, we'll hopefully have a little more latitude with the voice of the pilot. Because it SHOULD be our voice. On that subject, you may have been following the disaster that has become NBC. Chairman Jeff Zucker has clearly gone insane with his comments about the eight o'clock hour becoming all reality and NBC avoiding sitcoms. When a network is struggling, they'll employ virtually any way to right the sinking ship. This is from Defamer:

"I wrote some nasty emails to NBC about the quality of their TV dramas, and they signed me up for near-weekly TV Viewing surveys, yay! The last one I received seems to indicate that NBC/Universal is *really* sweating Studio 60, if their survey questions are any indication. They ask you to rate the show. Then they have you type a paragraph justifying your rating. Then they actually put promo-pics of the 12 main characters and have you rate what you think of each one of them...on the next page they ask you why you gave certain actors certain ratings. They *then* ask about interactions between certain characters and what you thought of those. I may be an unemployed English major, but even I can see the writing on the wall here."

So basically, NBC is asking people who think their dramas suck to give story notes to Aaron Sorkin. I don't care who you are -- if you aren't in the business, you ought not be asked to give Aaron Sorkin notes on his show. This is an appalling development. You can translate this to other industries -- hey, that lawyer doesn't seem to be doing a good job. Let me tell him what he's doing wrong, even though I don't know how the legal process works and I don't have the experience to be able to give him an informed opinion. But it's different for TeeVee, right? Because everybody watches TeeVee. People have likes and dislikes. So that makes their opinions informed, doesn't it?

No. It doesn't. You are still a TeeVee viewer, not a writer or even an executive. You do NOT know how the process of writing and producing TeeVee works. Ergo, you should not be solicited for your opinion. This mentality is evident in other aspects of society. People won't vote for a politician. They will vote for an actor, because actually being proficient at politics is considered a detriment. I'm sorry, but that seems weird to me. But that's exactly what's happening with this NBC thing. You may not like Studio 60, but given the chance, you will not do a better job than Aaron Sorkin. That's just the way it is. I'm not defending Studio 60, because although I am for some reason watching it, I won't call it good. Actually, last Monday's episode was the first one I genuinely liked. As a viewer, I can say the show sucks and I can stop watching it. That should the viewer's only power. Involving them in the creative process is not going to help fix the system. It's going to make things worse. You think there aren't already enough cooks involved? Hey, let's get the singular opinions of millions of people. THAT'LL help fix things.

If I were Aaron Sorkin, I would tell NBC where to stick it.

Here's the absolute simplest way I can describe the problem. There are too many damned people with input, and the people with final say are the wrong people. Audience testing used to be an aid, but now it's the only thing that matters. Shows that networks HATE get on because they inexplicably test well. Too much power is given to marketing departments. You want to blame someone for the sad, sorry state of network TeeVee? Blame the marketing people. They should be given shows to market, not pick out shows they think they can market. Hey, marketing people? Marketing and promoting the shows is your JOB. If you whine that you don't know how to promote a show, then you should be fired, not catered to. Seriously, you're just saying you're incompetent!! The networks seem to be actively avoiding the one thing that might help make the shows better -- trusting the people making the shows. They'll go out of their damned way to solicit advice and notes from ANYONE but the WRITERS. Does this seem weird to anyone else??

I have more TeeVee to rant about but if I continue in this post, this thing'll turn into Wonder Boys. I'll try to post the next rant a lot sooner. NBC, you make me tired.

I also want to post about music. I think I mentioned Rolling Stones 500 best songs ever list. Because it seemed insane that they would ignore entire decades and whole movements (Britpop? What's that?), I decided to try and make my own list, just to see how hard it is. When I have the list beaten into some kind of shape, I'll post it. And then y'all can argue about how insane I am for not including your favorite song. Which will actually be fun, because if I've missed anything, I want to know.

Have a smashing Wednesday, gentle readers.

np -- Mando Diao, "Ode to Ochrasy." I freakin' LOVE Mando Diao.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Busy like a little bee!

Things got CRAAAZY last week, as we all realized that the outline for our pilot is due into the network this Thursday. Oops! So we've been breaking the story like crazy people. We're working with these most excellent producers on this pilot and we've already learned a lot. Breaking a story for a pilot isn't the same as breaking a story for an episode. When you write a pilot script, you have to create EVERYTHING -- the world, the characters, the rules, and the signature for the show. Every scene has to be considered from all of these angles. We have a two-lead show and like the X-Files, our characters come at the crimes from different points of view. These points of view have to be clearly defined and balanced -- one character cannot look like an idiot while the other looks like a genius. To a certain degree, we have it easier than they did on X-Files. Because on that show, there WERE aliens -- Mulder was always right. No aliens or ghosts exist on our show, so it really is more about style and point of view. While that's kind of a relief, it DOES make one thing harder -- clearly defining the characters' strengths.

We've been on primarily new shows since we started writing TeeVee. Even Millennium season two was a new show, with a new world to define. On every show, there has always been about a two week period where the writing staff figured out what the show was. I think getting the staff together and talking through the show is a terrific idea. What isn't so terrific is when the show was ill-defined from the start and the staff has to figure out what the thing even IS, with the clock of production ticking. A lot of times, the show WAS well defined but the network has buyer's remorse (they don't like what they've bought) and they want you to redefine the show.

We've sold five pilots and with each one, we've known exactly what the show is. We've known where we were going for two seasons, and if the show was serialized, we knew what the big secret was. And whenever we've pitched pilots, the studio and network executives have always asked those questions. So I'm a little confused as to why a lot of these shows need to be figured out after they've been picked up. How does that even happen? Are they all created by big-name feature writers who don't have to do that extra work? Having never talked to a big-name feature writer who's sold a show, I don't know. With our show, I want to be over-prepared. It's a crime show, so that world is a little easier to define, but I want to create a bible for this show so that we have something to hand the writers if we're lucky enough to get our pilot made and our show ordered.

Anyway, we can't wait to finish this damned outline. Outlines are no fun. Writing the script is where the real fun starts!

Still on the TeeVee subject, I was listening to the Ed Schultz show last week and he did that old chestnut, "Let's blame television for the violence in our country." First of all, Ed, you're a liberal. Don't talk that way. Secondly, learn a thing or two about TeeVee, 'kay? Ed was moaning about how the only stuff that's on TeeVee are procedurals. He hates the things. Why does TeeVee put procedurals on it? There are so many! Isn't there room for, like, GOOD TeeVee??

Well, Ed, of course there's room for good TeeVee. The problem is, TeeVee isn't about being good. It's about selling soap. Good TeeVee exists in spite of the medium. TeeVee is a BUSINESS, not an Equity-waiver theater. I think a lot of people forget that. Why do shit movies get made? BECAUSE LOTS OF PEOPLE GO SEE THEM. Same with TeeVee. If America didn't watch Criminal Minds or NCIS, the network wouldn't produce them. Geddit??? Moron.

Speaking of good TeeVee, Battlestar Galactica has started again. It's getting quite the media push this season, even though the media is embarrassed like hell to be talking about it. This is a really great show, but it's great in spite of its flaws. I'm a little worried that those flaws are starting to show. They have a very interesting production method on Galactica. The episodes really aren't ever finished until they air. They'll have cuts of episodes and pick-up banners, which means that they'll be inserting scenes that aren't shot yet. Once they shoot and insert these scenes, an episode becomes two episodes. For me, this is a big problem. There's absolutely no way to figure out the pacing of these episodes, or to figure out if you're being redundant. And man, so far, the pacing is slow and they're being redundant. It's still a really good show, but I've got concerns. And I haven't even talked about the Starbuck thing yet because I don't think y'all have seen the resolution to that. Now, this thing can go one of several ways. I sure hope we don't end up with Womb Scully here. Because I'll be pissed, and I'll be forced to rant about male showrunners and their idea of female character development. Don't make me do that, Ron Moore. I have too much respect for you.

Veronica Mars, on the other hand, is off to a good start for the six people who watch it. Come on, people, those of you who wants good TeeVee and aren't watching this show should be ashamed! I can say this now that I started watching it. Ahem. Veronica's in college this year and the writers have taken this opportunity to refresh the show. Last week's episode was superb, and the show's just a delight to watch. So watch it.

I've given up on Ugly Betty and Grey's Anatomy. I just can't take it anymore. I did like the second episode of The Nine. Sure, they did the old "montage to Britpop" but it was VERY effective. This is a gorgeously shot show with the best cast on TeeVee, and nobody's watching it. A real shame.

I only have one more thing to rant about today, and it's more a question than an actual rant. Rolling Stone released their 500 "best" songs of all time. Maybe they released this decades ago; I just discovered it. My question is this -- is R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly" really a BETTER song than the entire Oasis catalogue? Is R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly" better than ANY song? Because it's pretty securely at the bottom of my list.

Until (hopefully not too much) later!

np: Big Country, "I'm On Fire". Yes, the Springsteen song. I nearly lost my shit when U2 and Green Day covered "The Saints Are Coming" in the Superdome. The freakin' SKIDS! I ADORE the Skids and I'll always miss Stuart Adamson.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Post-Season

Eh, I needed a title. And I'm sad about the Dodgers. Very, very sad.

Well, this week has been VERY exciting for Tim Kring and the show that apparently sprang, full-formed, from his gigantic brain, Heroes. Beyond ripping off every iconic superhero story because he isn't a fan of the genre, he has gone further and has invaded Salman Rushdie's space. Yes, gentle readers, there are frightening similarities between Heroes and Rushdie's "Midnight's Children." This book is about 1,001 children born on the stroke of midnight on Independence Day, all of whom are born with some kind of mutation, powers of flight, transmutation, prophecy and wizardry. One of the characters can travel through time, and another can enter reflective surfaces. There's an Indian doctor in the book with the same name as the Indian guy on the show. Tim Kring, of course, laughed it off and said that he hasn't read the book because he doesn't have time to read. Gosh, really? You seem to have time to give one interview after another about your genius!

I haven't read "Midnight's Children" but having read "The Ground Beneath Her Feet" I can certainly see style similarities. Or at least attempts at style similarities. Kring is trying to get as global and important and poetic as Rushdie, and kids, that ain't happening. There are always similarities in TeeVee. It's the nature of the medium. The structure of a TeeVee show, the familiarity that shows need to have on a certain level, mean that there will be similarities with other things. There are always people saying, "Hey, they stole my Buffy idea!"

They did not steal your Buffy idea.

A staff of writers working on a show five days a week is, more than likely, going to come up with your exact same idea. Now, if you'd pitched three ideas to David Greenwalt and then they ended up on the show later, well.... you may have a case. But when you're working in TeeVee and this happens a lot, you have to just let it go. They probably didn't steal your idea. We had actually come up with a thing for a pilot that we thought was SO cool. That night, after working it into the script, they did virtually the SAME thing on Lost. THAT, gentle readers, is a coincidence.

We used to get this on Millennium, where an episode would air and then some guy would complain that he was JUST posting about that idea last week. Well, since these episodes are produced months before they air, that's highly unlikely, Angry Guy.

Back to Heroes. It wouldn't be unusual for any show to mimick or imitate or pay homage to X-Men. I mean, it's a perfect paradigm for a TeeVee show and it's a broad enough idea that if you're clever about it, you can use it as a springboard for your own unique TeeVee show. When we wrote our Heroes pilot, our characters developed powers but they didn't mutate. Of course, we weren't interested in developing a meta-story with HUGE AND IMPORTANT THEMES. We just wanted to write a cool script and develop a fun, Buffy-esque series. Silly us. If only we'd aimed for the stars, then maybe WE would be Tim Kring! I don't, by the way, think Kring read our Heroes pilot and thought he'd do a show like that. It was inevitable that someone was going to do that show and we were story editors; we didn't have the weight of having created a show behind our project. We've been ahead of the curve before -- we ripped off "Holy Blood Holy Grail" WAY before Dan Brown did -- so we're just resigned to this stuff at this point.

The problem with the Rushdie similarities is that they're plural. If all Kring had done is take the basic idea -- simultaneous mutations -- that would be a coincidence. The powers, on their own, are fairly universal. Suresh, the Indian, is a pretty common Indian name. But all of these things taken together? That's suspect. And apparently, Rushdie ain't too happy. Look, this guy pogo'ed with Van Morrison in Bono's living room. Don't piss him off. He's too cool for that.

That's the Heroes rant for the, erm, day.

Lost and The Nine premiered last night; no idea how they did because the numbers aren't out yet. I thought Lost was actually better than it's been, even though (and this is thematic!) they used Downtown ironically. We did it first!! Some junk actually happened, and we saw a flashback that illuminated the crazy obsessiveness that is Jack. Nice stuff.

Ken had a comment about cop shows missing out on the absurd. And that story about the empty car? WAY cool. I'm surprised CSI hasn't done that yet. Here's one of the problems -- networks won't let you do stuff. We were on this crap show last year, Killer Instinct, and when we started, it had a shot to go into that territory. But the network kept pulling back on the stories and we ended up with a flat, uninvolving show. There are so many cooks on TeeVee shows now that uniqueness gets beaten out of shows. And CSI and Law & Order haven't helped things. I suppose those shows do what they do well, but I don't like what they do. They are 100% procedurals. The structure is always the same --offbeat teaser, wisecrack, interview victims/suspects, find strange forensic crap, coroner scene, this guy did it; no he didn't, circle back to person you already talked to. Blech.

What I want is a cop show, a crime show, a detective show. Shows being driven only by plot are boring. And it looks like networks are starting to wake up to that. The problem is, the pendulum isn't going to swing far enough for next season. I think there's going to be a weird hybrid of shows on next year -- not quite procedurals, not quite genre, not quite serials. Everybody's trying to straddle a line here. They want to please everybody and they end up pleasing nobody.

Unfortunately, the audience will be the recipients of this.

Lastly, onto what I fear will become a regular blog topic: bashing Ken Tucker. You know Ken; he's the TeeVee reviewer for Entertainment Weekly. Ken hasn't annoyed me in years but he decided to start doing that again, in last week's issue. My initial beef with Ken was that he didn't catch on to shows quick enough. If you're a TeeVee reviewer, you should be, I dunno, watching TeeVee, not hopping on the bandwagon for Buffy or X-Files months after those shows premiered. Ken's biggest problem is that he doesn't understand his job. The review isn't about Ken and how marvelously he can turn a phrase (he can't), or how biting and incisive he is (he isn't); a review should be about the show, not the reviewer. But Ken always makes the review about him. And he doesn't really seem to even LIKE TeeVee -- he tolerates it, and clearly wants more from his crummy life than just talking about shows written by other people. There have been Entertainment Weekly reporters who've gone on to become TeeVee writers -- chief among them is Frank Spotnitz. Everytime I read one of Ken's articles, I get the very strong feeling that he thinks it's his time -- Why hasn't an executive producer hired my fabulous ass yet???

Well, Ken, because you're a tool. Your agenda is extremely clear.

Once, Ken gave an X-Files episode an "F." When queried about why the hell he did, Ken said, "Well, I had to give ONE episode an F." Oooh, that's some good reviewing there, Ken! The guy's always been phony and pretentious but he took it to new heights last week when he reviewed the new season of Battlestar Galactica. First of all, I think Galactica's the best show on TeeVee and the prejudices about the genre are unfairly holding the show back from the mainstream acclaim it deserves. Like comic books, science fiction -- true science fiction -- has always gotten a bum rap. It's considered pulp fiction, gutter fiction, stories for children. With a show like Galactica, someone who truly loves TeeVee and has a forum with which to say so has a golden opportunity to unequivocally bless the show. Ken took HIS opportunity to elevate himself above the genre, to make fun of it and say that in SPITE of the goofy spaceshippery of it all, Galactica pretty much almost works.

He claims to have no use for Star Trek, and if he DOES have to involve himself in science fiction, he "ponders" it in "print form." He then goes on to namecheck Thomas Disch and diss Harlan Ellison. I don't know why he cheered Disch and dissed Harlan. I'm sure Harlan doesn't care. It's just weird, like the dude needed the names of two science fiction writers before his deadline. I don't get the sense that he's ever read EITHER. And really, if you want to delineate your SF tastes, cheer whomever you want and diss crap, y'know? He gives Galactica every backhanded compliment in the book. But really what he's doing is, he's showing that his TeeVee watching is all about how it makes him look to other people. He's goddam enbarrassed that he likes Galactica because it's such a low-brow genre.

Science fiction is not a low-brow genre, and if "professionals" can't make that distinction, how is the public going to? There won't BE any genre on TeeVee if this attitude continues. So once again, Ken Tucker has made himself look like a pretentious bore AND he's hurt the genre.

Bravo, you imbecile. You've paved the way for more hacks like Tim Kring to elevate the genre.

np - The Veils, "Nux Vomica"

Monday, October 02, 2006

Catching Up

There WILL be a rant soon -- Ken Tucker reviewed Battlestar Galactica in Entertainment Weekly and to nobody's surprise, he said something stupid. First, though, an update and responses to comments.

Last week was tres busy. We've been struggling to find the perfect story for our pilot. It's no problem finding episode ideas -- we have about a zillion of them, which is a good sign if the show goes to series -- but the pilot story has to work on several different levels. Luckily, we finally found one that everybody is very happy with. We're happy with it because it's a Hollywood story, and we love Hollywood stories. The process of writing a pilot -- breaking the story, writing an outline and writing the script -- has many more levels to it than just doing an episode of TeeVee. You have to introduce brand-new characters, the world they live and work in, and a sustainable template. We've been on a few procedural shows and we've learned quite a bit about what not to do. There are scenes that you always see in a procedural -- the coroner scene, the interrogation scenes, the cops lifting weights together -- oh wait, that was only on Killer Instinct. The last thing we want is for this show to look like all the other procedurals. Hopefully we'll get our way on this. We'll see.

We're doing a lot more prep work on this pilot than we've done on any other pilot because we do want to make it feel different, organic, and (at least a little bit) unique. The real jockeying with this show won't happen until we've turned the final draft in to the network. The development process exists in a bubble, where you're all on the same page (hopefully) and the objective is to just make the best pilot you can make. We've never gotten past this stage, although we've gotten close. But the decision to shoot a pilot or not becomes more about programming, and also more about which giant apes are attached to the project. How much will it cost the network to NOT make a show? There has to be incentive beyond how good the script is. Hopefully, we'll have a little bit of that this year. I obviously hope we get to shoot the pilot and the bonus for me is that I'll be able to blog about it.

Most of all, I want this to be a TeeVee show, and not a small-screen movie. I'm sick to death of handsome but remote TeeVee. I haven't seen any of the new shows that are absolutely spectacular. Friday Night Lights and The Nine are, I think, the last two pilots to premiere. I think The Nine will work; it was the best pilot I saw this year. But then people liked and watched Heroes, so what do I know? I enjoyed Ugly Betty. America Ferrera is just about the cutest thing ever. I didn't hate Brothers and Sisters, much to my surprise. I forgot to watch Jericho, but America didn't. Um. Well. Okay, America. Whatever.

Now comments:
Stephen Blackmore wants to know if they're really doing the stripper with a heart of gold on Heroes. Oh, you betcha. And they're doing it without the slightest bit of irony. Honestly, I didn't think people would buy such a heaping pile of earnestness. But they did.

Rob is, in my opinion, spot on with his comment about alternative media and TeeVee execs missing the point. We've already seen this happen with Blair Witch, where Fox greenlit a series called FreakyLinks and then utterly destroyed the show. I hated Blair Witch but I quite liked the first draft of FreakyLinks and really, they did some brave episodes of the show. But all the execs look at is success and they usually attribute the wrong thing to that success. With FreakyLinks, I don't know WHAT they thought, other than that they hated and feared it.

Jeff says that Heroes reminds him of Mutant X, only with a bigger budget. Word. This is always part of my rant -- why doesn't anyone in TeeVee pay attention to what's on? Why did it take Entertainment Weekly a season to jump on the X-Files and Buffy bandwagons? If you're a TeeVee exec or a TV reviewer, what else are you doing with your time that you can't keep up with what's on the TeeVee??? Jeff doesn't get to watch stuff when it airs which, really, is probably a blessing. I've been having a good time watching Veronica Mars on DVD. I wish the networks would pay MORE attention to DVD, but as usual, they're behind the curve. They're still thinking about syndication. If they made the effort, they could use this new way of watching TeeVee to their advantage, but they don't. They still hate serialized shows because they don't repeat well. But who, honestly, starts watching a show in reruns when it comes out on DVD sooner??

I wasn't quick enough to see Idiocracy, but I'm sure it'll be out on DVD in about three seconds so I'll catch it then. Anything that the studios dump, I support. Well. Unless Kevin Costner is in it.

Jeff Hentosz is upset that he didn't know about the First Poster prize. Don't worry, Jeff. All of this will be taken into consideration. He also urges me not to pull punches. I will pull some, but if I'm really annoyed about something or someone, I'll say so. As Heroes is presently annoying me the most, I will pull no punches there. Because SERIOUSLY. I think the one thing I won't rant about, unless something really extreme happens, is politics. This blog is about TeeVee and music and ponies, so I'll keep it that way. As for linking, I should have, erm, read the instructions on how to do that. I'm sure I'll link more and if I follow the instructions and it still doesn't work, I'll yell for help.

Onto music, because Gwenda had an interesting thought. Yes, music does seem important to Joss and Rob Thomas but we also have to remember that most shows hire music supervisors. So there's a difference between what music you use on the show and what the musical tastes of your characters are. In that arena, I'm not seeing much.

I would lay money on the probability that Shonda Rhimes isn't a Thirteen Senses fan, but there they were in the pilot for Grey's Anatomy. It's getting easier for me to tell when a show's being music supervisored to death -- the copious uses of last year's winner for overuse, Snow Patrol. One thing that made me want to tear my hair out with Brothers and Sisters was the overly sensitive girl singer at the beginning. ARGH! Stop! Please!!!

I would be willing to bet that Rob Thomas chose Ventura Highway for that fantastic sequence with Logan and Aaron. If he didn't, I don't want to know about it. When we were on Millennium, we chose our own music, so that's how I was brought up because Morgan & Wong did so, too. I would NOT like a music supervisor handing me music. I can do my own listening, and I know what music should be in the show. I think the music thing started getting out of control with Dawson's Creek and the early WB stuff. They would just cram songs in, fading them out nonsensically. The music has no effect when you do it that way. I like using music to sculpt scenes, which we did on Millennium and on Night Visions and Haunted, to a smaller degree. I do believe that this is a lost art and I don't know anyone who does this anymore.

I'd sure like to do it in our pilot, if it's warranted!

That's it for the moment but when I have the Entertainment Weekly in front of me, I'll rant about Ken Tucker. Oooh, I'm mad at him!

P.S. -- Go Dodgers! I wish you were playing the Cardinals, but kick some Met ass! At least win two, okay? That's all I ask.

np - Jet, "Shine On"