Thursday, May 26, 2011

BSG: Burnout

Just like Starbuck near the end of season three, I am absolutely burnt out on this show, and I still have a season to go.

To me, this show is nothing short of a master's class is television -- more so than Lost, more so than anything Mr. Whedon has done or will ever do. There has, to me, never been a show with so many characters with whom I feel desperately connected to. Through their experiences of loss and regret, through their times of adulation, love, ecstasy, I feel it right there with them. I believe that, of course, there is a significant amount of acting talent (and production, and everyone else), but I always take these interactions straight back to the writers of the show. It's definitely a bias, and I realize that, but without the amazing story arcs that fuse the audience to these character's psyches, you wouldn't have the same show that you have. Instead, you would have a normal, run-of-the-mill sci-fi program. The show transcends that -- not in a bad way, not that there is anything less exciting about transcending the genre, nor am I insinuating that genre shows are somehow inferior. What I am saying is that this is a show, based on space marines and starfighter pilots that asks and attempts to answer metaphysical questions. It isn't about the special effects -- it's about the people.

I could honestly go on for days. Days and days and days about this show. Anyone who will listen, I will laude and sing its praises. It deserves them all. Not only for the end product, but for all the incredible work that went into this experience that I am consuming a few years later than I would have liked to. But I am beginning to feel burnt out on it. Why is this happening?

I equate this to reading a very long, very good novel. It's spectacular. You can't get enough. And then, all of the sudden, you've had enough. It's like a punch in the gut while you sit there, looking at the words on the page, and you think I just don't care anymore. Or maybe it's not that. Maybe it's not that you don't care, but rather you simply can't care. A part of the experience has grown uneventful. Maybe you reach a lull (and in a 600-1000 page book is expected to have some digressionary longueur and metaphysical meandering) or a close inspection of a charcter or plotline you find very boring, tired, dull. "Okay," you think, "I get it. Why are you spending twenty pages/twenty minutes belaboring a beleagured point?"

It's important to the story. You secretly know that. You don't want to think that what you're reading is important, because you honestly want to skip over -- go to the next episode or chapter -- to forget this crap and move on, but you can't. Or at least I can't. Things need an order to them. I picked this up from my mother, and it has continued for as long as I can remember. Things with story arcs must be started from the beginning and end where they end, following every step along the way.

I am a believer in the narrative structure -- that sometimes, you have to read the uneventful stuff to make the eventful stuff cooler, more colorful. So, I humbly tread on, grumbling and delaying some base need to find joy on every page. I read pages and watch episodes in which I can clearly see the dominoes being lined up so that they may be knocked down, but that does not equate to excitement. It is just somewhat boring.

So that's where I am at now with BSG. I know that when I get past this one episode, everything will be honky-dorey, but I seem unable to watch this episode in one sitting. Instead, I am forcing myself to watch a few minutes here, and a few minutes there. Just trying to reach the end credits.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Unmitigated Energy, Released in a Circle

Since I've last updated this blog, quite a bit has happened.

I started a website, and immediately destroyed it irrepably (I have no idea what I have done, nor how to fix it), gone on twenty (-ish) first dates, written six short stories, and maybe (maybe) found a new job.

Oh, I have also realized that blogging is kind of important. Not even in a "Ooooh, I really want to express myself" kind of way, but in a serious "if you want to be commercially successful, it's good to have some background of writing prowess over a prolonged period of time" sort of way. So that's why I'm back here, doing what I do (or should have been doing) for, like, the past 2 years.

I am starting a book club in the next month or so which should kick off some level of literary profundity that has been sorely lacking in my life. Not that I haven't been reading tough literary novels, it's just a matter of me never discussing them. It's an issue. To rectify, I will be creating two more blogs as supplements to this one over the course of time.

The idea behind this venture is simple: I love to talk about media. Call me a wild, untamed man if you wish, but talking about difficult concepts is kind of what I am all about. The problem with this has always been, since I graduated, that I have no one to talk to about these things that I want to discuss. That's why the bookclub (we're reading Faulkner's The Sound and The Fury first, which I have somehow never gotten around to reading) is going to be so enjoyable. Real intelligent discussion with people I don't really know. It has me geeked out, honestly.

Did you see that? That paragraph was supposed to talk about the two side projects, and instead devolved into the book club again. The two side projects will be the Instant Queue Movie Review ( and something that I would like to incorporate straight into this blog, which will just be a basic book review, hopefully spurring on some sort of discussion outside of base "this book sucks" and not quite to the harvard literati level of analysis. Books and movies will be chosen seemingly at random and given a significant amount of time to shine and will hopefully spur someone to either buy the book or watch the movie. That's the plan anyway. There's a good chance that this could fail, but I'm an optimist. Of the eternal variety.

I may be down, but I'm not out. Hope everyone is having a terrific Friday.