Hulu

April 20, 2017

Fandoms and Navigating the Golden Age of Television

Once a month, we have a segment on the podcast, “TV Roundup.” We discuss what we’ve been watching, and most of the time, it’s the same thing. Right around “Game of Thrones” time talk about that, Justin talks “Homeland,” and DJ usually signs the praises of “Mr. Robot” and most recently the resurgence of “Samurai Jack” on Cartoon Network. “Luther” has popped up, as well as “Gotham,” “The Flash,” “Arrow,” the list goes on.

But as many people have pointed out, and continue to remind us; WE’RE LIVING IN THE GOLDEN AGE OF TELEVISION!!!

So this got me thinking; how much is there really to watch in this “golden age?” So I made a list, and the list is quite extensive, and got me thinking; how does one find the time to fulfill all of their TV fandoms while going through a normal life of work, home life, children, watching film, being smarmy on the Internet, and sleeping…maybe.

One of the main reasons why I don’t watch so much TV is the overall time it takes. A film is pretty much one and done, and even that I’ve been having issues getting caught up. Sure, with On Demand and Binge Culture so abundant these days, it’s easier to watch more TV than ever, but is there any one person that just happens to watch everything on TV just to make sure that they can have an actual opinion on everything.

Yes, if you happen to be a professional writer/journalist it’s your job to watch everything and lend your “expert” opinion and create a cute little list of the Top Ten reason why you should be watching said show, or how this show “wins the Internet” or how this new actor/actress on said show is “everything,” or maybe even why you “can’t even” (that’s still a thing right) with a certain episode. The list goes on…

In doing a little research, yes, we research things occasionally on Simplistic Reviews, there are over 20 major networks and/or content providers releasing shows that have some type fandom attached to it. I’m sure I’m leaving quite a few channels or shows from this general list, but to my point, that’s how much is currently out there, TV-wise. HERE is just a brief look at just some I could come up with. Trust me, I’m missing a ton, so put the torches and pitchforks away if I forgot your precious little angst-ridden hipster drama, or anything that might be on CBS. CBS doesn’t exist.

I guess the real question is whether TV can keep up it’s momentum, or will it collapse under the weight of it’s own grand ambition. I’ve mentioned in a previous podcast how I see a quiet decrease in the quality of Netflix’s Marvel TV shows. It’s incredibly hard to keep momentum for so long without people starting to poke holes in the most minor of minor issues, and sure, even I’ve gotten into the act, but the miracle of the Internet and having a platform, even if it’s a small one, is that you’re able to have an opinion.

With the rise of fandom, comes the continued effort by everyone and anyone to stand up for their given fandom. People may argue about the perceived slide in quality of shows, or scoff at the fact that there is another comic book adaptation or the re-boot of a once beloved TV show from the 80s or 90s, but there always seems to be someone defending it, and for the most part, I commend that. Hell, even I’m not one that will write something off right away. At first I thought the “Lethal Weapon” TV show looked interesting, just from a nostalgia perspective. Have I seen an episode, nope.

But this is pretty much my MO with TV. Something might be interesting, but I still won’t waste my time, and if a show gets to a point of it being a chore to watch and show-runners are simply biding their time to get the show to be good again (I’m looking at you “Walking Dead”) I’m out. This is the same for “The Flash,” “Arrow,” “Agents of SHIELD,” seeing a trend here.. However, when a show does enter the zeitgeist of Film Twitter, I am compelled to watch since critics on the Internet are just as bad as cable news and their 24-hour news cycle. It’s pretty much watch, or be left in the dust, which is the vomit-inducing place we are with our Binge Culture. It really does want to make you binge-and-purge.

 So let’s try this; how many shows do you in fact watch, either streaming or on cable or network TV. Do you feel an obligation to watch everything since we’ve been conditioned to think that everything that appears on the TV is important and fantastic? Leave a couple of comments, and/or just tell him I’m an idiot and trying to be a contrarian. Kisses, and good luck on that WGA Strike…

February 16, 2016

Simplistic TV: 11/22/63

PROMISE
11/22/63 – Promise

Not many reviews of any kind grace the pages of the site much anymore, mainly because we either get around to talking about it on the podcast, log them on Letterboxd (on occasion), and the fact that every other site on the Internet talks about the same stuff over and over ad nausea, so what’s the point? However, since the Grammys are on, and who really gives a crap about seeing 1,000 cut-aways to Taylor Swift being “happy” for every single artist that has ever stepped in front of a microphone, I thought I’d dust off the old writin’ fingers and give a few thoughts on the surprise Hulu Original, the James Franco-led “11/22/63.”

Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, this eight-part series features a time-traveling portal that takes the user back to 1960. Al (Chris Cooper), the proprietor of the diner in which the portal resides, convinces Jake (Franco), a schoolteacher, to travel back into time and stop the assassination of John F Kennedy. With hesitation, Jake enters the portal and is transported back to 1960 and travels to Dallas, Texas.

Most of the time, when King’s works are put to TV or celluloid, the results are mixed. Most of the miniseries’ that aired on network TV back in the 1990s and early 2000s had solid starts, and quickly fizzled out (I’m looking at you “Storm of the Century”). And of course for every “Stephen King’s It” you have duds like “Dreamcatcher,” but being that this is the golden age of TV is almost seems time to see more of King’s work on platforms like Hulu; they can take chances, there are no limits, and with audiences moving to cutting the cord and watching shows on their own time, this might be one of the biggest success stories for any of King’s works and could lead to a revival of “The Stand” or any other work of his that at one time was seen as unfilmable and too big for TV. If anything, at this point in time, in order to tell the story completely, his stories are too small for the silver screen, and perfect for the small screen.

In the first episode, you really get a taste of things to come in this short series. The world seems fully realized in recreating the 1960s with a combination of small town rural and big city Dallas. The creepiness factor moves in with Kevin J O’Connor as the so-called “Yellow Card Man” and the reoccurring comment to Jake; “You shouldn’t be here.”

The early comments are me are as follow; How are they going to show how time travel affects the present, and will eight episodes be enough to tell this story? To the first comment, that is a resounding, “we’ll see” it was partially explained within the first 20 minutes or so, but I’m interesting to see how the bigger implications come into play. As far as the eight episodes, the novel was 800+ pages, so if you figure 100 pages an episode, hopefully it should work, take into account that I’ve never read the novel, so hopefully people loyal to the book will agree on that.

Lastly, you can’t talk a Franco-led show or film without some pretty funny Francoism, and this episode has two whoppers. Early in the show, when Jake first enters the portal, he mentions that there better not be any spiders, and later on, while in 1960, he’s eating pie and mentions how the pie is. Of course this could all be coincidence, but I like to think that Franco is making a concerted effort to relive/make fun of his days in the “Spider-Man” series. Speculation of course, but I like to think that’s what Franco was trying to do.

Overall, from a production, acting, and story standpoint, “11/22/63” is almost unsurpassed. I love the look, I love the tone, and I simply think this is a well crafted and well made adaption of a novel (of course, like I said, I haven’t read the novel, but it looks good) that might have eagles eyes on it from die-hard fans, and TV people alike. Hell, if this works out, we might be looking at more King work going to a studio that knows exactly what to do with it. Don’t mess this up Hulu!     

Welcome to the new home of SimplisticReviews.net - We're currently still working on the site. You might notice a few issues, please be patient with us. Thanks! (Store also in testing — no orders shall be fulfilled.)
Scroll to top