OT: Can sci fi be saved?

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OT: Can sci fi be saved?

Postby supermodel on Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:48 pm

Interesting article today on McLean's.ca entilted Can Sci Fi Be Saved? I thought it might provoke robust discussion here.

The author's basic premise is:
Every season there’s a science fiction show from a broadcast network that is supposed to be a big hit like Lost, or the drama that made Fox’s reputation, The X-Files, but it’s been years since any of them worked. If audiences reject this year’s sci-fi shows, it might be taken as a sign that no matter how much money a network spends, sci-fi isn’t mainstream anymore.


And there is a quote from Jeff Pinkner:
“It’s really bizarre,” says Jeff Pinkner, a showrunner on Abrams’s Fringe (in which an FBI-led team investigates unexplained phenomena), “People really want to accept it in a movie theatre, but on television, they’re like, I don’t know.”


Now, before we all go nuts disagreeing, let's actually click the link and read the article because the guy makes some good points about recent overhyped failures. And about today's sci fi involving complex and demanding storytelling which can make it difficult for fans to engage. He also gives credit to shows that do it right.

Thoughts?
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Re: OT: Can sci fi be saved?

Postby DarkUFO on Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:13 am

Thanks for sharing the article. It's a good read.

It's a real shame that Sci-Fi is going through a bit of a slump at the moment. I was bought up on Sci-Fi and along with Horror are my 2 favourite genres
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Re: OT: Can sci fi be saved?

Postby DarthLocke on Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:26 pm

I don't know...

I kind of feel that the magority of US viewers doesn't want to embark on works that make them think about the world they live in and/or who they are on a daily or even weekly basis. They come home from a long day or work, or looking for work, and they want to escape..they want to be comforted with the familiar and/or simple comedy...They are bumbarded and maybe even be repressed by the weight of the current struggles of our times.

I also think people watch all kinds of shows for all kinds of reasons and that only a handful of us watch sci-fi, fantasy, horror, action/adventure, horror, romance for more than just the superficial reasons.

I am the opposite of this, simply because I relate more to the complicated that modern sci-fi-drama has to offer. I enjoy thinking about identity and reality and humanities subjectivness to seemingly never ending changes within all of the constructs of our lives, as sci fi points out, our naturalistic sense of exploration and understanding...something that perhaps humanity is starting to loose...and that is why people no longer relate to the genre in the every day sense.

The theater I guess is for that "one time" where a viewer chooses to go to think...but even here I venture people only want to think "so long" - that everything should be wrapped up for them in 2 hrs. --and personally I don't think the world works like that...I think serialization is way more realistic, (our lives and what we deal with is on going) but that might be another factor why it doesn't always work on TV.

I hope maybe one day when perhaps times are better and people aren't so scared, that they might get back to that child like sense of wonder and think about all the possibilities, all the choices, all of life's realizations and will be willing for the sake of their own understanding, turn on the television to reflect instead of deflect.


Thanks for the article, Supermodel! :)
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Re: OT: Can sci fi be saved?

Postby Devil's Arcade on Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:32 pm

Over thinking things Darth, imo.
Sci-Fi is a completely out there genre. Very specific taste, a weird taste and it's obvious to me why people don't like it/watch it. People see Fringe and think 'Stupid' or 'Not my thing' without giving it a chance to see it's more, much more than COTW and strange Sci-Fi stuff.
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Re: OT: Can sci fi be saved?

Postby Gary Troup on Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:36 pm

Devil's Arcade wrote: People see Fringe and think 'Stupid' or 'Not my thing' without giving it a chance to see it's more

This.

My mum got as far as Olivia entering the tank in the Pilot then the kayak showed up and she refused to watch any more :|
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Re: OT: Can sci fi be saved?

Postby DarthLocke on Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:44 pm

Devil's Arcade wrote:Over thinking things Darth, imo.
Sci-Fi is a completely out there genre. Very specific taste, a weird taste and it's obvious to me why people don't like it/watch it. People see Fringe and think 'Stupid' or 'Not my thing' without giving it a chance to see it's more, much more than COTW and strange Sci-Fi stuff.



Yes, but only because humanity keeps [socially] choosing to precieve it as "out there" (occult) or "strange" --they don't want to challenge their own beliefs (it's not her thing because she doesn't believe in those things, or sees the point in exploring those things)-- so there for anything different than what they believe and take as truth is "stupid" --because otherwise they might have to rethink who they are and what that are doing on this planet. (it's a sign of being scared of change and so because sci-fi goes there, they don't want to.)

Alchemy was at times considered Heiressy --and finally it branched off into what 'the people' of the time considered solid science, chemistry.

Another ex: The world was flat forever!....it took a long time to prove and have the masses believe the planet was 3D, because most people believed that "God" would never create something like that...because it implies that there is more to world than we know and that gives certain law and religious factions less control over other people. (Fear of the unknown has always scared humanity--Most important book I ever read, "Madness and Civilization" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madness_and_Civilization)

The problem is the truth changes, because the facts change, because some outside the box free thinkers find a way to continue to explore life....people don't want to think about the all the Jews that had to change their names to Christian Names just to work in a town, people don't want to think about Issac Newton jabbing his eye with pin pointed object-- going blind for two weeks, staying behind in Camberidge during the plaque all for the sake of proving a another scientist, Descartes, wrong about the human lense and light prisms and how he had to smuggle glass into England (criminal alchemist), people don't want to think about what it took to create medicines, or that the Ancients were right about the power of LIGHT (photons), or the fact that we 'could' destroy our planet with a push of a button, because then we would have to reconsider everything, because it's easier to not...it would be easier to just say it can only be like "this" and lets not care about anything or anyone else...
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Re: OT: Can sci fi be saved?

Postby JacobsMom on Sun Sep 25, 2011 7:48 pm

Interesting article. Thanks for posting it supermodel.

I agree that Sci-Fi shows have a smaller, viewer audience. I also don't think that that will change anytime soon. I am very selective in what new shows I check out each year. Just because it looks like a new Sci-Fi show doesn't mean I will watch it. I never watched Falling Skies...looked too much like "District 9". I'm not planning on watching "Terra Nova"...it looks a lot like Speilberg's revamped dinosaurs movies, and the television ads and video clips didn't catch my interest. But I do give shows a chance with involvement from favorite actors/actresses. Sometimes shows work and sometimes they don't. I feel a lot of that depends on who is behind things on these shows...writers, producers, special effects people, etc. If the show is creative and makes me think, I'll watch it. If the story line continues to grow through it's characters and plot, I'll keep watching to the very end, no matter if it is Sci-Fi or not! :D
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Re: OT: Can sci fi be saved?

Postby Ladye Rigel on Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:19 pm

IMHO Si-Fi is a growing market. That said good movies and shows are few and far between. The meshing of Horror, Action and Fantasy all together takes up a sizable slice of the TV/Movie $$$$$. There are a lot of good original books out there that would make great movies or series. Hopefully they will get utilized instead of rehashing of the same plots over and over.
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