For the second Sunday in a row, I've been unable to take my cat to the vet. Last week, I couldn't even get him into the carrier. I got him in today, but he flipped and started destroying his claws, so I had to let him out.
Anyway. I was going to do a post about showrunners and all that, but it's gotten too involved so I have to wait and do it later. Instead, onto Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. The general consensus of the nay-sayers is that it's cute enough, but nothing special, and that it doesn't mean anything to the (most hated term ever) rank-and-file. Since said rank-and-file is essentially at the mercy of the giant apes, I heartily disagree. And I think Dr. Horrible will prove to be more significant than people think.
Joss Whedon made a splash with Dr. Horrible. And yeah, he did it because he's got the money to be able to, he can call on this terrific actors who will do anything for him, and he's JOSS WHEDON, so he has built-in publicity. But isn't that the kind of person you need to show that internet programming is viable? Don't you need someone like Whedon, who understands innovation, to go there first? QuarterLife was not the greatest success when it went to TeeVee, but that's because everyone was still thinking traditionally. Just as comic books should exist on their own whether they are optioned as movies, TeeVee shouldn't the goal if you're developing an internet series. Dr. Horrible was written and shot specifically for the internet, and that's the only way a show like that is going to work. Whedon didn't transform a TeeVee show to the internet. That's really significant.
The biggest issue is that he owns it. Like, OWNS ALL OF IT. So if there are others who want it to be a TeeVee show, a Broadway musical or a comic book, they're gonna have to deal directly with him. That is the ultimate goal of scripted drama on the internet, and I think we're trying too hard to fit the internet into the TeeVee paradigm. Anyone can buy a really nice DV camera. Given enough innovation, anyone can make their own version of Dr. Horrible, especially now that the first one exists. This is going to be the standard-bearer for the internet for now. And I think it's a pretty high bar to start with. Let's face it, most people in TeeVee aren't very happy. There are very few personal visions that are actually being realized here. Even though the internet isn't a money-maker yet, I think more people like Whedon will gravitate there during hiatuses. If you can't get creative satisfaction in TeeVee, you certainly can on the internet.
So what does this have to do with the rest of us?
Well, what if a well-known internet show leads to, say, someone like Whedon deciding to create an internet studio, where he produces shorts and shows by other writers? Wouldn't it be fantastic to have a creatively-driven studio like that? Forget about the money for a minute. How fabulous would it be to have creative control? And to be working with someone who isn't as concerned about the business side as he is about the creative side?
Pretty fucking great, if you ask me.
It's interesting to me that TeeVee budgets have skyrocketed just as the technology is getting affordable. It's almost as if there's been an unspoken pact among the studios, that they want us to keep thinking that we need them. I'd like to see people inspired by Dr. Horrible. Let's get more innovation onto the interwebs and see if the creative people can find a corner of the universe to play in. There's only one show on TeeVee with that kind of innovation anyway. Nothing can touch Mad Men. And no studio or network would let you get away with the type of storytelling there is on that show, which proves that a minimum of interference has its rewards. Mad Men is what happens when someone is allowed to express their pure point of view.
Speaking of point of view, did The Dark Knight have one, or what??? I'm stunned that a movie with that much internal character work has made a gazillion dollars. But then I suppose some people only care about the gadgets and the effects. Which I can kind of suss out because there were people who weren't happy that Two-Face wasn't just set up to be the villain in the next movie. But isn't that what's been sucking about superhero movies anyway? They all follow a formula. We get pissed about that but then when the formula changes, we miss the formula.
I loved that the whole movie was the fight between Batman and the Joker over the soul of Gotham, and that the soul took the form of Harvey Dent. Batman and the Joker literally split the guy in half. Since superhero movies are by their nature dualistic, and since Two-Face is the most obvious dualistic character, the movie is dualistic, too. The choices the Joker offers people are all devil's bargains: one bad choice weighed against another. Neither choice is going to fix the situation. And I think that's the Joker's ultimate goal -- to drive people insane when they realize that. He is an agent of chaos, but the chaos is internal, not external. He creates chaos in Dent and in Batman. As for Batman/Bruce Wayne, he changes places with Dent throughout the movie. And his ultimate sacrifice is to take on Two-Face's villainy. It's a pretty astonishing movie, and what's really fun is how different it is from Iron Man. Two great superhero movies, totally different.
I have not seen the X-Files movie, because people said it was worse than the first one. I don't think that's physically possible, but on the off-chance that I'm wrong, I just need to preserve my sanity and stay away.
I think I'll have a better chance of posting on a somewhat regular basis if I shorten my posts, so that's all for this one. Just one final sports note -- I don't care what anyone says, I still don't think Big Brown's Haskell was a good race. I know he got a high Beyer for it, but the drifting out REALLY bothers me, especially since Desormeaux just lets him to do. I know he's probably got only two more races before he retires (ludicrous), but all you have to do is watch Swain in the Breeder's Cup to know how much drifting can cost you. I'm sad we won't see Curlin in the Classic, but I think no matter what Big Brown does, Curlin's horse of the year. So suck it, Dutrow.
The last, but certainly not least, thing is a big congrats to John Scalzi for yet another Hugo win. Yee haw!!! And don't impale yourself on that thing.
np -- Cajun Dance Party, "The Next Untouchable"