Kathy Sees Star Trek: Into the Darkness

EDITOR’S NOTE: Yesterday we brought you Herbie J. Pilato’s take on STAR TREK: INTO THE DARKNESS. But you know how we hate being harsh. So we turned to our own Kathy Fuller for a whole ‘nuther viewpoint. Didn’t exactly get it, but we tried.

Say what?
Say what?

Twenty-one years ago when I met my husband, little did I know that there were strings attached. Their names were Kirk, Spock, Picard, Riker, Data, Sisko, Odo…you get the picture.

Star Trek was woven into the fabric of my life by virtue of syndication, movies, dvd’s, and a son who also possessed the Star Trek fan gene. But over the twenty-one years of our relationship, there became a dearth of new Star Trek material. Thank God JJ Abrams & Co. revitalized the franchise, because I don’t think I could spend the next two decades watching the same reruns fifty gazillion times, all in the pursuit of marital happiness.

I loved the first “new” Star Trek movie. I thought the reboot was brilliant. I bought the DVD. Blu-Ray, even. And Shatner forgive me, but Chris Pine is the better Kirk in my opinion. Feel free to throw tribbles at me. I can take it.

So when the sequel FINALLY released a few weeks ago, I couldn’t wait to see it. I think I was more excited than my Star Trek loving spouse, because I couldn’t wait to see Chris Pine again what JJ Abrams had in store for us in the second installment. And here’s where I agree with Mr. Herbie J. Pilato from his blog post featured on TVWriter.Com. I liked it…but I didn’t love it.

What was missing for me in a movie with the word Darkness in the title was…the actual darkness. Khan, in both the series and The Wrath of Khan was a menacing figure. While Khan 2.0 (played with iceberg coldness by the glorious Benedict Cumberbatch) was villainous, he wasn’t terrifying. Or dark. He was cold and calculating, which also happens to describe Spock. You know, one of the heroes.

I also have to bemoan the lack of cleverness in this film. Spoilers to follow:

1) Where were the surprises? Into the Darkness had nothing I hadn’t seen before in action/sci-fi films, and I’m not an expert on either genre.

2) What’s with the repetition? The space jumping suits were cool in the first movie. Not so much in this one. Kirk dies the same way Spock died in the Wrath of Khan. And how many times do we need to see Kirk get the crap kicked out of him?

3) Why so clunky? There are several moments of clunkiness in the movie, but the worst offender was the scene with the Dr. McCoy and the tribble. It was out of place and telegraphed the resolution of the movie’s black moment (bringing Kirk back from the dead).

4) How could you not have shown Kirk being brought back from the dead? This irritated me the most because I had to sit through another freaking fight scene (this time between Spock and Khan) but was cheated out of seeing how Dr. McCoy revived Kirk. Talk about fading to black at the wrong moment.

Yet despite the lack of a really scary threat and some questionable storytelling choices by a writer who KNOWS BETTER, Star Trek: Into the Darkness is still a good movie. There is an emotional core, the characters are just as engaging in their alternate universe as they were in the original one, and the movie ends with the crew heading out on their five year mission. Which means more movies to come. I hope. Maybe this franchise will have the opposite curse as the other Star Trek movie franchises–the odd numbered movies are superior to the even numbered ones. I’m cool with that.

As long as they don’t bring back the whales. 

Love & Money Dept – TV Writing Deals for 6/7/13

Latest News About Writers Who Are Doing Better Than We Are

  • Jon Cowan (SUITS) has a new overall development deal with 20th Television. (Because with credits like MY GENERATION, PRIVATE PRACTICE and CROSSING JORDAN he must be a genius, right? Okay, so maybe not, but we bet that he’s very good in the room.)
  • Lauren Beaukes’ novel about a time traveling serial killer, The Shining Girls, has bought by Leonardo DiCapprio’s production company, which intends to develop it for TV. The TV writing gig appears to be open. (Translation: The film biz is so bad that you gotta be nuts to try and put together a movie deal out of a book that hasn’t sold zillions of copies. Sigh.)
  • Emily Spivey (UP ALL NIGHT) now has an overall deal with 20th Television. (No, it’s not really for development. Emily’s going to work on 20th’ MODERN FAMILY.)
  • Elaine Ko (MODERN FAMILY) has been moved up to Supervising Producer on the show. (Maybe she’s teaming up with Emily Spivey?)
  • Brannon Braga (TERRA NOVA) & Adam Simon (THE HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT) have sold a drama called SALEM to WGN America, which, evidently, is a new cable network. The show is all about life – and witches – in 17th Century Salem, Mass. (The show has been picked up for 13 episodes. TVWriter™ prediction: It’ll go 13 – but probably less – and out.)

“If You Wish To Be A Writer, Have Sex With Someone Who Works In Publishing”

Best Onion article ever. Especially if you’re a writer.

Because then you know that, sadly, this is as true as it is funny:

“by Joyce Carol Oates”

I have so much sympathy for aspiring writers. Our profession is difficult to master, and the deluge of advice writers receive doesn’t make it any easier: “Write every day,” “Study the works of writers you admire,” “The essence of writing is rewriting,” etc. Such guidance isn’t wrong, exactly, but it certainly misses the big picture.

As an author with a half century of literary success behind me, I can assure you the only way to make it in this industry is to meet as many publishers as you possibly can and then fuck them

Take all the classes you want, attend every writers’ conference—these can be great investments in your career, but only if you’re making the most of them by meeting, exchanging contact information with, and ultimately seducing people who work in the book industry. Success in writing takes serious commitment and a willingness to devote thousands of hours to the craft of having sex with key publishing professionals.

People always ask me about my own process, and the first thing I tell them is that what works for me isn’t necessarily right for you. Each writer’s path is a highly personalized journey, and you must find your own creative methods of hooking up with high-powered publishers and showing them a night of bliss they won’t soon forget—ideally one that ensures they’ll remember your face over those of all the other writers they’re currently fucking.

What’s the best way to get started? A good rule of thumb is to fuck who you know.

This is sound advice for beginners, but it’s not an invitation to be lazy: A good writer should always be curious, constantly looking around for new and more powerful people to sleep with. Set small goals for yourself at first. Agents can be valuable lays. Even fucking someone’s assistant can be worthwhile if he or she has an editor’s ear.

But perhaps the best thing a young writer can do is to establish a daily routine and then stick to it. I myself like to have sex with a publisher first thing in the morning. Maybe I wake up at his house and fuck him in the shower; maybe I drop by his office to give him a manuscript and a blow job. Either way, I’m finished by noon, and then I have the afternoons to recharge. I may even get a little writing done in the evenings.

Whatever your method, every day you should wake up feeling as though you just have to fuck a publisher.

Inevitably there will be some bumps along the way, and every writer must learn to deal with rejection. Sometimes your sexual advances will go unreciprocated, or an editor will pull you aside and tell you to your face that what you’re doing is unprofessional. But you can’t let little setbacks like these get you down. Jump right back into bed with the next editor you find and keep sleeping your way toward that book contract.

Read it all

Ken Levine Knows How Networks and New Shows Work

Or don’t work, as the case may be. For example:

nbc-new-series-fall-2013-585x308Coming this Fall
by Ken Levine

As a former showrunner of new shows, one of my constant battles was with the network promotion department. The network never aired enough promos of our show to suit me. I’m sure all showrunners say this (except maybe the WHITNEY guys two years ago – I’m surprised NBC isn’t still promoting it even after canceling it).

And when networks do run your promo, in which show do they air it in? Getting a pop on THE VOICE is way better than SAVE ME. Every new comedy on ABC wants exposure on MODERN FAMILY, not MALIBU COUNTRY. And of course promoting your show on Saturday night is like someone making announcements in an empty theater.

Also, do you get a :30 second promo or :10? Do you get your own promo or are you just lumped in with the rest of that night’s lineup? (although the Sunday night promo ABC did last year was smashing!)

Now at least there are promos and trailers of all the new shows on network websites. So if there’s a particular show you’re curious about you don’t have to wait for ABC to run a promo in HOW TO LIVE WITH YOUR PARENTS. But the big “get” is the new viewer, the one unaware of your show. And still the best exposure is over the air (at least for now).

Read it all

IN THE FLESH – a New Kind of Zombie Series. Honest.

inthefleshJust when you couldn’t stand the thought of another show about zombies, along comes IN THE FLESH. These guys actually have a whole new take on the subject, and we’re just plain fascinated by it.

Here’s what BBC America has to say about the show, which premieres Thursday, June 6th, at 10 p.m.:

Zombie teenager Kieren Walker isn’t comfortable in his ‘undead’ state. He didn’t want to come back – he wanted to be dead. After his suicide four years ago, his friends and family thought they’d never see him again

But then, shortly after his funeral, thousands rose from the dead; and after months of rehabilitation and medication, the zombies, now known as PDS (Partially Deceased Syndrome) sufferers, are gradually being returned to their homes.

When Kieren returns, he is forced to confront his family, the community that rejected him and haunting flashbacks of what he did in his untreated state. Johnny Campbell directs, Ann Harrison-Baxter produces and Hilary Martin is the executive producer of the three-part series.

We definitely are into the way this sounds. And we’re also impressed because BBC America actually has an interview with the writer-creator, Dominic Mitchell, on the site. Credit where credit is due…what a strange and wondrous concept!

The sneak peak video of the opening show doesn’t seem to be working right now, but maybe it’ll be up and at ’em when you CLICK HERE.