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[personal profile] linzeestyle
Okay, I am terrible at multitasking I can't help it. As soon as classes kicked in for real I lost the capacity to do anything. On top of that, I've been sorting out my medication at the same time that I'm taking steroids trying to get my hearing back. FYI: steroids + mood stabilizers = nothing particularly stable at all. Good stuff.

BUT I RETURN, internet. Strangely, it was an older episode of 30 Rock that finally made me stop feeling consistently stressed about the quality of my classes. I've been rewatching the show before bed, and it occurred to me just how often TGS winds up pulling it together at the last minute: and this is considered standard. Obviously, TGS is fictional, but it's also a very, very thinly veiled Saturday Night Live (complete with an equally thinly-veiled version of the Palin thing). And frankly, I think perhaps that is what I need to aim for. There's just no way I will ever meet my own standards in a schedule that demands "performances," so to speak, five days a week. The best I can do is focus on what my students need to learn and stop worrying when Shit Happens. Sometimes, the tech *won't* work. Sometimes the powerpoint ends up being for the wrong class, and I have to talk off the top of my head for 45 minutes (this worked out surprisingly well in retrospect). Sometimes, your students will just stare at you in baffled, empty confusion.

But that's alright, because everyone else is going through it, too. Two "shows," five days a week. There are many similarities, I'm finding, between teaching and being the world's worst sketch artist.

ANYWAY DW I HAVE RETURNED. Because I have somehow been challenged/cajoled/not stopped from writing A/B/O in an effort to check every box on my "I am never writing that wait okay" bingo card. I am going...INTO THE CREVASSE. No, it's weird. I'm so far outside my comfort zone. At least it's SPN. I don't think I could write A/B/O in any other fandom.

And the thing is I know why, too. The original-flavor Philes on Tumblr were making me think about this a couple of weeks ago during that age-wank flare up, talking about how they'd gotten into The X Files as teenagers, how it was formative to them and became a part of who they are. Similarly, how the characters are a part of who they are: you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave. And here is my secret, Dreamwidth. I don't feel it. Don't get me wrong, mind: I will watch the revival. But otherwise it's just not coming. It's not that I don't love M&S - they were my first and formative OTP, to the point where I can trace back all of my other OTPs to at least some of the tropes of theirs - but they aren't mine. I was too young. I didn't start with the show. I didn't grow up with it because it left me before I got out of high school.

But you know what show I did grow up with? The one whose pilot I remember? The (horrible admission) first show I wrote fic for, that never ever ever saw the light of day because it was terrible and Sam's POV and why does that exist? The one whose baby wank I remember, back when the biggest fan drama was upset over the introduction of Bella and Ruby in the same season and the fear that they'd have "some girl in the backseat of the car," coming between the boys? The writers' strike and the constant danger of cancellation?

Supernatural. Supernatural is the show I grew up with.

I will say this, in Supernatural's...well, not defense. Maybe explanation. From every single one of the spoilers we've gotten regarding the XF reboot, it is increasingly clear that even after all the years, all the poor ratings, the failed movie, and the chance to at least get online and fucking listen to your fanbase, Chris Carter still has no damn idea what his audience wants. He is arrogant and convinced of his genius - one wonders if this is why he has had exactly zero success in anything since XF ended - that he insists upon his nonsense "mytharc," blithely ignoring that in the thirteen some odd years since XF went off the air genre television has moved so far beyond XF in terms of concentrated storytelling that any attempt he might make will have audiences flipping the channel in ten minutes. Meanwhile, he simply doesn't tell Mulder and Scully's story, despite the fact that at this point, the characters are the only reason his terrible ideas are being put on the screen. This is a show that ran for nine years, but relatively speaking we know so little, about Mulder and Scully. Where did Scully get her degree? Was Mulder once married to Diana Fowley? When did they start sleeping together? These are fairly significant character moments that CC just....didn't see as important. And in glossing over them, he consistently fails to give his audience what they want.

And then there's Supernatural. No one is defending its writing at this point: I'm fairly certain they have some kind of algorithm that generates scripts. Their budget doesn't seem to allow for classic rock anymore so now their soundtrack sounds like a constant low-budget porno (no really, tell me it doesn't). There isn't a "plot" so much as "a series of events that will occur, in some order, and then no longer occur. Dean almost went to outer space. My point is that the show is just, objectively scientifically bad here. But it doesn't matter because this is a show that knows its strengths, and its strengths are not in the story, but the characters. By season nine of SPN we knew everything about Sam and Dean. We know Sam's afraid of clowns because he associates them with abandonment; we know Dean has a panty kink and is submissive as hell. We know what their childhoods looked like, we've watched them grow up. We've met their parents and their grandparents and seen the quirks and mannerisms and parts of their personalities that came from each one. And, let's be real: it's not hard to look at. "Soul Survivor" still might be my favorite thing on earth just because I didn't realize it was Jensen's episode while watching it and all I kept thinking was, "whoever's directing this knows what we want." Good work, Jensen. Kinda makes it weird, but good work.

I lost my point somewhere in there. Oh, yes. But that's the thing about formative shows: they're the ones that stick with you. My dark secret: there is a part of me that loves the Winchester brothers, more than I love Mulder and Scully.

This post ended up not being at all about what I thought it would be about. Isn't that the beauty of text-platform blogging?

Date: 1 Oct 2015 02:37 am (UTC)
fenlings: (cop casual)
From: [personal profile] fenlings
I wonder if the lack of knowledge of the principals' life histories is a function of the episodic procedural genre (as well as Chris Carter's myopicness). It's like pulling teeth to get many details about Starsky and Hutch's backgrounds (Was Starsky in Vietnam? Is he Jewish? Maybe??) Supernatural isn't a procedural, so it doesn't follow that same template.

But I agree that the mytharc episodes are annoying and the best X-Files is metaphor-heavy MOTWs! (And Krycek.)

Date: 3 Oct 2015 02:28 am (UTC)
fenlings: (Default)
From: [personal profile] fenlings
I think that in 1993 TV was more episodic in general, and genre television was episodic in particular. In genre television existing at the time, Twin Peaks was doing great non-episodic storytelling. But most genre shows like the Incredible Hulk, Wonder Woman, Swamp Thing, and The Flash still followed an episodic trend. And I feel like the comic book archetype aesthetic lends itself to a hard reset at the end of each episode/issue.

I don't think we can let Chris Carter off the hook with the TV trends of his day, though, because he expected so many people to follow his non-episodic mytharc episodes. We only knew about people's families/backgrounds if it directly tied into the alien mytharc, which is kind of backwards character development. That he sacrifices character development for mytharc and then fails to give a convincing payoff to the mytharc makes it even worse...

You're so right that people expect one coherent story spread over 6 episodes now. I kind of fear some Damon Lindelof-style hijinks where there is all this buildup and suspense until a ~reveal~ and ~twist~ is supposed to make everything make sense but really just insults the audience for investing any of their attention. You know, like the plot of season six. I was watching the trailer and when Scully said "I have seen this before. You're on fire, believing that you're onto some truth." I was like I HAVE SEEN THIS BEFORE TOO, SCULLY. I ALSO HAVE THE NARRATIVE PTSD. I thought I could puzzle out a truth, but Chris Carter took it all away. ;_; Trust no one.

LOL I was completely ready to see CSM and Skinner die, because I find them tedious (especially CSM), but I am so there for the Lone Gunmen and Krycek! Talk about a hard reset, haha.

But they BETTER talk about what Mulder and Scully have been doing in these intervening years, their relationship, and yes if they've been sleeping together. THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE.


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