I started off the week here by talking just a bit about the upcoming Fall TV shows I’m excited about watching. Doing that has gotten me so carried away that I can’t resist saying a few words in the opposite direction.
So here they are. Upcoming series I’m so certain I can’t possibly like that I’m not even tempted to give them a look, with a few comments on why.
Almost Family – Fox. Here’s the logline that’s keeping me from coming within 100 yards of this show. “Heartwarming comedy-drama about a fertility doctor uses his own sperm without his clients’ knowledge to father countless children.” Sorry, but there’s no such thing as heartwarming comedy about an act that is for all practical purposes rape.
Nancy Drew – The CW. This one has three big negatives going for it. 1) It’s based on the inane Nancy Drew book series that no child I knew could ever bring him/her self to read. 2) In keeping with the tenor of the times, it’s “dark and dirty.” 3) It’s a John Schwartz-Stephanie Savage production whose previous crowning glory was The O.C., which I spent a few minutes rolling my eyes at uncontrollably back in 2003.
Batwoman – The CW. As a comic book fan for over half a century, I’ve made it a point to watch, or try to watch, at least one episode each of The C.W.’s various superhero shows and have found even the ones some critics admire to be horrendously written, with an exaggeratedly simplistic view that makes my brain burn. Nothing I’ve heard has suggested this series will be any different.
Dangerous Liaisons – Starz. With my old friend (and former agent) Chris Albrecht no longer running Starz, I have no confidence in the quality control there. And in this day and age, who in the audience could possibly be shocked by, or even care about, a couple of Jeffrey Epstein wannabes who get their kicks by seducing other men and women and ruining their lives.
Snowpiercer – TBS. The film was a horrendous and incoherent stinker that even the gloriously freaky Tilda Swinton couldn’t save, and she’s positioning herself even further from the series than I am, so what’s to watch?
The Man Who Fell To Earth – CBS All Access. Two words – Alex Kurtzman. I mean, c’mon!
Wu Assassins – Netflix. I love me a good martial arts film as much as the next kid, but my kids outgrew Power Rangers years ago so why would I watch a pretentious imitation?
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier – Disney Plus. Marvel, Disney, and even Netflix have never gotten any of the Marvel characters right on TV, mainly because with the exception of Jennifer Jones they’ve always opted for action choreography over writing. Put Melissa Rosenberg in charge, people and maybe then I’ll watch. Maybe.
That’s it for my future TV non-watching. What about yours?
From where I sit as a guy who’s been playing the “Should I or Shouldn’t I Cut the Cord” game for about six years, the vast number of new series awaiting my eyeballs – and yours – has turned the much ballyhooed “Golden Age” contemporary TV into a “Time of Terror.”
In other words, there are so many possible new loves out there on so many delivery systems that I’m afraid to get my hopes up because:
Like so many demanding lovers idealists, I’m afraid no show will meet my not exactly high but certainly demanding (and eccentric) standards
Like everyone I know who has limited electronic means and/or a limited budget (which means everyone I know except, maybe, the Old Billionaire), I’m pretty sure that I won’t be able to watch all the shows I should because I either won’t be able to find them or I won’t be able to afford them, or both.
Eternal optimist that I am, I try to be pragmatic. (I was going to say “realistic,” but if you know me you also know that’s not possible with my brain) so here are several shows I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to both find and ante-up for (unless I go bust) in the upcoming 2019-2020 Season.
Carnival Row – Amazon. This one combines two of my favorite genres, Victorian Supernatural and Political Metaphor (you know, like good ole 1984). Plus the creators are René Echevarria? and ?Travis Beacham, and while I’m not sure who Mr. Beacham is (apologies, dood), everyone knows Mr. Echevarria was the real secret weapon in the Law & Order writers rooms.
Evil – CBS. The trailers tell me this is a Procedural/Supernatural combo, and that combined with creators Robert King and Michelle King makes this a must-try. Well, actually, the Kings are the real draw here, but the genre helps.
On Becoming a God in Central Florida – Showtime. I love anything that plays with the concept of God or even “god,” and George Clooney once held an elevator for me, so I’m looking forward to this one…and hoping it’s even better than Clooney’s Catch-22.
Penny Dreadful – Showtime. Okay, this isn’t really a new series. It’s season two of an older one. Or is it? How can I resist the the chance to see more of John Logan’s writing…and the off-chance of seeing more Eva Green?
Picard – CBS All Access. Because Picard! The world’s best father figure rejuvenated into the best grandfather this side of, erm, well, me.
Sunnyside – NBC. Michael Schur, Kal Penn, the best serio-comedy writing staff this side of The Good Place. C’mon!
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance – Netflix. I loved the film way back when. I still love everything that bears the slightest impression of Jim Henson’s stamp. And Javier-Grillo-Marxuach is one of the creator-writers. No way this can fail. You hear me? No damn way!
The Stand – CBS All Access. One of my favorite books, as in, yes, this baby is in my Top Ten. Adapters Josh Boone and Ben Cavell know what they’re doing, and this has to be better than the last couple of versions, right?
Watchmen – HBO. I’m not a big Damon Lindelof fan – neither Lost nor The Leftovers made much of an impression on me, but dammit, Jim, this is Watchmen and I’m just about positive that even if I hate it I’ll love it!
That’s it for my future TV watching. What about yours?
Oh, and coming later this week – maybe even tomorrow: New Shows I’m Never Going to Watch This Fall No Matter How Much Other People Love Them.
Hunch forward and glue your eyes to the page, writing compadres, and join us in this look at a few of the most emotionally satisfying TV series of all time.
And, yeppers, we’re including the Game of Thrones finale because, well, a lot of us loved it, y’know?
by Jason Hellerman
The best television show finales leave us wanting to watch the pilot all over again. They’re celebrations of the series and usually of the creators and cast.
In light of the recent ending of Game of Thrones, we decided to dig into television finales to talk about how you can stick the landing for your shows. Whether you’re the most popular TV show of all time or creating a web series that needs to please the thirty dedicated fans who found you, good endings are necessary.
We’ve gone over how to write a TV pilot, so you know all about beginnings. Now it’s time to help you land the plane.
[Warning: Lots of spoilers to follow.]
What should every TV finale have?
As I mentioned in the opening, you want to leave the audience feeling satisfied with the journey and the lessons you wanted to impart. It doesn’t mean you have to tie up every loose end or storyline, but it does mean you owe the audience closure on the general problems you put forth in the pilot episode.
Endings are a lot like beginnings. We need to know where the characters are in their final stages and their arc. Lots of times, endings are mirrors of the first episode. They take characters back to how it first began and what was learned over time. Think about the Lost finale. When the show ends, we’re back in the jungle with Jack….
The official title of the following article is “Pre-Launch Checklist For Your Podcast,” but the steps described below apply to any independent series be it audio, video, film, you-name-it. Save yourself from having to learn these lessons the hard way and enjoy the read.
by Robin Kinnie
There are many ways to prepare for the launch of your podcast. After recording numerous episodes, it’s now your time to shine and share it with the world! But, what should you actually do to ensure a successful launch?
Here’s what I recommend any new podcaster do BEFORE hitting the publish button.
? Record 3-5 episodes
I talked about this in a previous post but, it makes a difference. Listeners may need to hear more than one episode before hitting the coveted ‘subscribe’ button. Give them numerous episodes and luckily get them hooked!
? Come up with a signature hashtag
Creating a signature hashtag can help distinguish your podcast and should be aligned with your overall brand. This is true especially if you plan to incorporate social media into your marketing strategy. Something short that people can tag to share their thoughts about your podcast is ideal.
? Create a template for episode graphics (coordinate with cover art design)
If budget allows, work with a graphic designer to create a post template. These templates can be used to announce guests, solicit feedback or share an interesting quote from a recent episode. Having a template cuts down on time to alter the graphic. If hiring a designer is not in your budget, consider programs like Canva to create it yourself.
? Know your audience (and where they interact)
Knowing your audience is very important. They will not only be your core listening audience but also your ambassadors. They will (hopefully) share your content, buy your merchandise and attend your events. But, you must first know WHO they are. Create a profile for your ideal listener (age range, gender, hobbies, education level, etc.) and use that information to research WHERE they congregate. This will give you a head start on marketing your podcast. Instead of throwing out a net in the ocean, you will be throwing a dart at a bulls’ eye….