wannabetvwriter

I be a good righter.

Monday, March 17, 2008

New TV

I can't really speak to many of the mid-season replacements. Have yet to watch CASHMERE MAFIA, have yet to get past more than five minutes of LIPSTICK JUNGLE.

What I have watched is:

SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES

Genius. I want to hire hookers in sweat pants for Josh Friedman. Not sure how his wife would like that, so I'd like to hire some male hookers for her. And loads of donuts and cake and chocolatey goodness for both. And to babysit their kid every weekend for them, so they can get some alone time, forever and ever. And more. There's nothing I wouldn't do for them. And they don't even know me. So, before I get arrested for stalker-dom, I'll move on to the only other show I've watched:

NEW AMSTERDAM

What a true disappointment this is. The premise is, if you haven't seen it, around 400 years ago, in the middle of battle, AMSTERDAM saves a woman from being killed, "We don't kill women." Ever-so-grateful, this woman and her clan of chicks nurse and curse Amsterdam back to health. The Curse is: He won't die until he meets his true love. Which, apparently, is today. 2008.

I kind of dig the premise. I kind of dug the pilot, which according to the rumor mill had lots of tinkering, cast changes, and writer changes. All of that appeared to work as the pilot's fairly strong. It sets up interesting characters, like the bartender who knows Amsterdam's secret and uninteresting characters, like the chick who's now Amsterdam's partner. A chick who doesn't want to be in Homicide, she'd prefer to be in Vice -- which is kind of weird, right?

ANYWAY

Though the pilot was strong, the ensuing two eps were not. Even with the amazing revelation that the 65-year-old bartender who knows Amsterdam's secret is actually Amsterdam's son. That, in itself, brings up the creep-factor. How many kids has Amsterdam sired? Since he seems to have been in the same area for all 400 years, on the small Island of New York, how many of its occupants are a direct line to Amsterdam -- and even worse? How many have hooked up with their second cousin without realizing it? Is it just me who's thought about this? Sorry, sick mind.

Here's what disturbs me the most about the third episode, which I watched last night, and has been bugging me ever since. I'm a new-ish writer. Oh, I've been doing it for a few years, but presumably not as long as a bunch of the writers (my lord, how top heavy is their writers' room?) on the show. Take, for instance, John Mankiewicz (sp?). A brilliant writer; I first encountered his genius in seasons one and two of HOUSE. He had some seriously sick episodes. Pardon the pun. But, they were the kinds of episodes where I had to go back and find out who wrote them; they were just that good. Not to mention, Mr. Mankiewicz (sp?) comes from a seriously pedigreed line of writers. So, he's on staff. Presumably helped break the third episode, perhaps not as it was written by Eric Overmeyer -- so I assumed we were in good hands. I made an ass out of me.

Here's my biggest issue, through no fault of Overmeyer's, with the third episode: A few weeks ago, I was working on this dastardly pilot of mine. As previously mentioned, the mystery wasn't great. I had the conlusion be revealed with information that was in a book which the victim had authored. The book had been missing for a while, but miraculously turns up in the final act! Nevermind that LAW & ORDER (all iterations of it) have done this plot a million times. Nevermind that this plotline showed up in EVERY 80's mystery show. I had to have this plot line.

Until I realized that L&O and 80's mysteries and... that it'd been done to death. It was a tired plot line. It was a tired way of getting to the truth. Actually, it was a lazy way of getting to the truth. So, a few weeks ago I changed it. Not necessarily to something better, because, as I've mentioned, my mystery bit the big one. But, the last thing I wanted to do was a tired storyline (ironically, I ended up doing one -- that's changed now).

It's not just L&O and 80's mysteries now. Now, added to the club, is the third ep of NEW AMSTERDAM. They had the missing book, they had the final act revelation, they had the appropriate chapters dedicated to the do-er. And, with this book, they got their man.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not better than the writers on NEW AMSTERDAM. A) I'm not on a network show and B) Refer to A. So, you know, what do I know? Nothing. Except, I know to not do the whole book mystery thing.

Let me compare this to my favorite show of 2007/2008 season: LIFE.

They did the now-tired storyline of a guy who has two wives. SHARK's done it, LAW & ORDER's done it (all iterations of the show), CSI's done it. It's done. So, when I realized LIFE was doing this storyline, I groaned. Except... they did it brilliantly in "Farthingale." They took that tired story, hung a latern on the boringness of it all, of their character, and turned it into something really special.

With NEW AMSTERDAM's writing staff, I would have hoped for something a little better. They didn't deliver. And I watched my tie-breaking episode (I always watch three episodes of a show, for this I loved the pilot, hated the second episode, so if the third had delivered, I'd watch again). So, sorry talented writer-guy whose name I can't spell, I'll be taking the season pass for NEW AMSTERDAM out of my TiVo posthaste.

3 Comments:

  • At March 17, 2008 11:56 AM, Blogger Scribble94 said…

    Agreed, esp re: LIFE.

     
  • At March 17, 2008 1:21 PM, Blogger Emily Blake said…

    And I do not find Amsterdam attractive at all.

    I tried to watch it but it was boring. So I agree with you.

    Life is a good show. I would have Damien Lewis' babies.

    I think, given the evidence I have presented, that a show's awesomeness is directly proportionate to the attractiveness of its star.

     
  • At March 18, 2008 6:04 PM, Blogger m said…

    Soooo disappointing when writers of a certain pedigree resort to cliches.

    And BTW, I'd say that
    A. Not being on a network show...and

    B. See A.

    ...don't really mean anything as far as knowing what's what, y'know?

     

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