Tuesday, July 12, 2011

You Reeka! Hooters and Shooters

“And ALERT: My character “Hollie Martin” starts her 7 episode run on Eureka July 18th - Felicia Day”

A season featuring Felicia Day that begins with footage of the launch of a Mercury Redstone is not without the irony of an inside reference to her. Cute.

On the other hand, the season premier is weak in the knees.

Leave it to Canadian production to take pieces of American history and mash them up. From the perspective of someone who lived through that history up close, the season opener was clumsy. The holes and misattributions are glaring like a 1950s pre space era sci-fi movie. I found myself laughing in all the wrong places.

As to Siffy’s season premiers: C for effort and keeping a lot of CGI types in work, but the writing is derivative and in critical need of innovative originality.

It is possible the writers are coming at this from a gamer's perspective. We've never really mastered the art of interactive character and plot development. It gets in the way of action and grinding for gold or solving puzzles that are neat in first person but terrible in dialog. When you apply that approach to a series, you get what a friend of mine calls "chicks in tank tops" or simply, hooters and shooters.

I get the same sense from the Siffy season openers and premiers as I get from gen y music; it is as if they don’t have their own experiences so they keep going to the baby boomer well and sipping shallowly. They try to make themselves look smarter or more cool than the baby boomers and simply come off as plastic heros with boob and gun fetishes. The 60s had their share of schlock too. No contest. The question is how to do better.

Felicia Day can do better as one of the most original voices of her own generation. Her best work is The Guild. She writes from her own experience as they say a writer should, but more importantly, she isn't writing a game. She is writing a comedy series that explores the foibles and strengths of her generation or gamers and in doing so, also as a writer should, reveals the universals there. How well she could craft a decent sci-fi series is up for debate but I doubt she can do worse and I'm willing to bet she can do quite a bit better. Otherwise she should distance herself from Siffy and take a hard look at offers that will enable her to develop her own considerable talents as a writer while she continues to hone her acting chops.

Give her the shot. It's time to quit imagining greater; imagine better.

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