Television critics have discussed how cable shows like The Wire and The Sopranos showed how television could be like books in the storytelling and character development. Scott Meslow joins Alyssa Rosenberg to discuss how Game of Thrones might be pushing the envelope on the novelization of television, or how, at least, Game of Thrones might be too much book to effectively transfer to television. I just finished book 3 and 4 of the GoT series, and… There are a lot of new characters and stories. Where as the story of the Starks and Lannisters might be enough to fill several seasons of television on their own, the GoT series actually contains at least 6 or 8 other stories going on by the end of book 4. I really liked this thought: “Sprawl, for good and ill, is a characteristic of books in a way that it never can be of television.”
Now, obviously Martin’s books have been released on a cycle that by the standards of television look leisurely. But they’re also able to give much more space to each character—sometimes for good, sometimes for ill—unconstrained by the production budgets, writing, production, and editing cycles, and standard length of a television episode that inevitably provide structure to the show. That means he writes a fair amount of digression and worldbuilding into the books, but also that he’s not bound by anything except how many pages his publishers can bind into a single volume, and even then, if he’s got to spill over into more volumes, they’re going to be nothing but happy. And those digressions, and the amount of time it takes to read the books, just give readers more hooks into the stories, the characters, and the settings. Sprawl, for good and ill, is a characteristic of books in a way that it never can be of television. I’m not saying that means the books are better than the show. But I do think that they expose some of the irreducible differences between reading and watching television once you reach a certain scope.
“Treme”, David Simon’s latest premiers Aprill 11 on HBO. The show and Simon got the
New York Times Magazine treatment on Sunday…
The story lines in â€œTremeâ€ begin three months after Katrina, and they follow a diverse group of characters as they rebuild their lives in a city torn apart, a city in which tens of thousands of houses are abandoned, in which only 50 percent of the population remains, in which neighborhoods are still without power. The main characters in â€œTremeâ€ arenâ€™t the overburdened cops, spiraling addicts, ruthless dealers, struggling dockworkers, corrupt politicians or compromised journalists of â€œThe Wire.â€ In their place, for the most part, are musicians.
I watched this entire season hours after having all 4 of my impacted wisdom teeth removed. I remember enjoying it, but can’t remember any plot specifics at all. So much so, that when I watched the premier of season 7, I went back to see if I had actually watched season 5 instead of 6.
The Avon Barksdale Story- Legends Of The Unwired…won Best Docudrama at this yearâ€™s NY International Independent Film & Video Festival…In The Avon Barksdale Story, the real Nathan Avon â€œBodieâ€ Barksdale tells all to actor Wood Harris, who played his on screen character in HBOâ€™s critically acclaimed series The Wire.
Via Nah Right
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True Blood was exciting and creative for the first 8 or 9 episodes until it turned into Vampire Veronica Mars. For some reason, I didn’t pick up on the fact that the murders were the overarching theme of the show until it was too late. And then I just got mad because I learned to despise Veronica Mars something fierce.
What better way to start Monday morning than 5 links about The Wire, 2 of which come from TVTattle.
In this article, David Simon talks about an idea for a new project about the CIA. Yes, please. Also discussed is his project on the fight for desegregation in Yonkers’ public housing and what happened after Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.
Also, I must have known about the Treme (pronounced trah-may) pilot, but can’t remember hearing about it. It’s about New Orleans post-Katrina and is heavy in the music.
Here are 12 interviews between stars of the show and Hobo Trashcan.
While this where are they now is a bit depressing. Would expect some of these folks to get more than guest roles on police procedurals.
Finally, this last link from The Daily Record has a headline saying “Cops use skills from TV show The Wire to trap drug dealers”, but then goes on to describe what sounds like a normal police bust. Unless, of course, cops in Scotland spent preceding years using different techniques like “just ask the bad guys to come in” and “pretend there’s no crime.”
Bonus link: Of course, the above link might stem from the fact that the UK is supposedly going through The Wire fever since it just started airing terrestrially on BBC2 at the end of March.
You could tell Generation Kill was written by the guys who did the Wire because of the military specific jargon. Also, because I wanted to watch it all at once and when it was over, I wanted desperately to see more. Of course, being as hard boiled as they are, though, viewer discretion is advised.
Season 5 already? I like this show, and you will too if you enjoy fantastical adventures of a Hollywood star and his gang, filled with camaraderie and bonhomie. My wife asked why I like Entourage and the explanation is it’s the best example of friends ripping on each other on TV.
We may not get HBO, but that hasn’t stopped me from watching the first two episodes of True Blood. (I won’t say how, but it rhymes with Schmitt Schmorrent.) Here are my thoughts so far:
- Vampires! Neat!
- HBO seems to have contracted out the costume design for Anna Paquin’s character to Maxim.
- The show definitely seems to be taking advantage of the fact that it’s on HBO for some gratuitous nudityâ€”except for the main characters, of course. In fact, I think the only female character to get topless so far is dead. Nice slut shaming, Alan Ball.
- The main characters, Sookie and Bill, are both very strange personalities, which makes all of their pipe-laying exposition dialogue less awkward, but still awkward.
- True Blood vampires “vamp out” much more delicately than Buffy vampires. After being used to the Buffy game faces, the little fang “snikt!” is kind of hilarious.
- Come to think of it, I’m choosing to interpret the introductory fake-out scene as a Buffy homage.
- Sookie’s brother is such an over-the-top douchebag, it’s hilarious. His self-congratulatory mirror-point while having sex with his girlfriend was laugh-out-loud funny. (I LOL’d!)
- This show picks up in the middle of the story in a kind of unusual way. It’s really refreshing to watch a vampire story that doesn’t start with several weeks of the characters all running around in denial about the fact that vampires exist, or having to keep the existence of vampires a secret. In fact, none of the supernatural elements are kept secret, and the discovery of the supernatural isn’t part of the plot at all. Bill’s the first vampire in town, but everyone knows what to expect. Sookie’s friends all know she’s psychic. Saves a lot of time.
The two episodes I’ve seen have been pretty enjoyable. I’m looking forward to seeing how they spell out all of the abilities and weaknesses of the vampires, the history of their going public, and so on. I’ll watch more!
It’s never a good sign when your vacation spot makes the New York Times’ rich people section. They even mention Moultonborough specifically.
Of course, things like this are just another reminder of how lucky Rachel and I are to have her family’s house there.