Monday, December 3, 2007

SF TV Characters

Having hoisted my stiff back out of bed after the latest virus, I'm back to blogging.

I got some reading done. The synapses weren't up to rewrites and writing just yet. I read some very good stories in Analog & Asimov and I'm nearly done with Paul Park's A Princess of Roumania. I'm finding it wonderfully entertaining, yet galling at times as he gets away with stuff that my work (and anyone else I know) would get red-lined for. He uses the same phrase three times on the same page. Twice within two sentences on another. I can't do that. I'm honestly not sure if it's his style or poor editing.

Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying the story very much. I wouldn't notice these things if I wasn't a born editor. I find all the typos. Probably because I'm, alas, a slow and literal reader. It's a double-edged sword.

On the plus side, Park can use a ton of different POVs without causing confusion or slowing the story down. He puts us in the shoes of each of the players. Even some of the minor ones. It all adds more depth to this intricate story that is a bit like an Alice in Wonderland or Wizard of Oz adventure. All of his characters learn, grow and adapt. None is wholly good or evil.

When I wasn't reading, I was watching Firefly, Torchwood, Heroes, Bionic Woman, Dr. Who and Flash Gordon. My husband and I both had to wonder if the episodes on Friday night were written by the second string writers due to the WGA strike already. It seemed to be "make the characters unbelievably stupid" night. My plausibility meter doesn't go crazy with the worldbuilding and the riftblaster (I just enjoy the ride) on Flash.
SPOILER WARNING - skip the next sentence if you haven't watched yet.

But when Joe decides to go to Mongo for some photos, Dale opens the jar and they bring Joe back BEFORE they ask him about the upgraded riftblaster he took that would bring Ming down on them - ugh! My favorite character is the alien woman, Baylin. She's straightforward.

Then, we watched Bionic woman. That was on the DVR from earlier in the week. The stupid thing there was hopping into the guy's car who already stated his own people would kill him. How could she NOT see that coming? I was dissappointed. My plausibility meter was going nuts.

Even Stargate Atlantis had stupidity. Wait for back up already!!! This is one I've seen many times on movies and cop shows. But perhaps I'm meant to believe that the genius is lacking in common sense? I had a friend that was extremely academically intelligent yet lacked common sense. But how does that explain the FBI (or NSA?) guy that was with him? Ugh! I can forgive unrealistic science in my TV entertainment but I'd like the characters to be a little more believable. A little less stupid.

And now for something fun (I'm done ranting - must still not be feeling well). I found this essay by Firefly's Nathan Fillion. I don't like westerns but space westerns...well Firefly is the best blending of the two I've seen. Well rounded, entertaining characters. I, Malcom by Nathan Fillion from
Serenity Found: More Unauthorized Essays on Joss Whedon's Firefly Universe by Jane Espenson. It's reproduced with permission on USA Today.

Oh, and yes, we watched Tin Man. I'm reserving my opinion until I've seen it all.

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