Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Richard Dean Anderson

The SO and I just finished watching an episode of Stargate: SG-1. We are about mid-way into season 6 (of 10, plus 4? 6? more of Stargate: Atlantis). Sometimes the writing annoys me, as they tend to want to wrap up the immediate conflict/storyline in 44 minutes, which means the resolution happens pretty quickly and/or someone gets the revelation how to fix the big planet-ending catastrophe amazingly fast. It's not much different from how Star Trek or any other of this type show operates, but watching it in big chunks like we do, two or three at a time, highlights this TV writing quirk.

As for the title of the post: we got the first disk of MacGyver from Netflix to show the kids. There is a show coming on tomorrow called Royal Pains that specifically references MacGyver. The original show is from the mid-80's and I don't know how long it lasted, but I think the reference in the new show indicates that the writers are my age or older, because if you are mid-twenties, as the new show is probably targeted for, do you know the reference? Or is it like cultural knowledge that was passed on from your parents?

The original MacGyver is not that great in terms of writing - I watched the whole pilot but tapped out about 10 minutes into episode two. Again, probably par for the course for that kind of show since I don't recall The A-Team having great dialogue and coherent plots either. More of the style of a long conflict build up with introduction to sympathetic characters, meeting the bad guys, calling in the good guys, a plan, a reversal, a new plan, a quick resolution that depends on everything going right with the new plan and a minute of reflection/humor to wrap it up.

I think this maybe why networks went to nighttime shows that were more like extended soap operas with action sequences - Hill Street Blues, ER, Third Watch, NYPD Blue. Some action for the action folks, but extended, not-easy-to-resolve-in-one-episode storylines. Let the writers stretch out the conflict, make it more like the real emotional train wrecks people really have. And 24 is probably the ultimate in this extension of the story across multiple episodes. Jack Bauer and everyone who spends a day with him go on the biggest emotional rollercoaster EVER that day.

It's late and I'm going to wrap up, so let me just say that RDA is still *wicked* cute. In fact, I think he's probably sexier as the older action figure, like Bruce Willis and Denzel Washington. Nice.

~Noelle 06/03/09

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