Not a whole heckuva lot to report this morning. Life -- both in and around genre -- is fairly status quo. I've received some emails wanting my thoughts on the whole Star Wars debacle going on right now (the Rey movie, the Mando movie, etc.); but, folks, I honestly can't muster a whole lot of interest in either project for a lot of the same reasons no one else in fandom can. Essentially, it all looks like a bit of misdirection on the part of the Lucasfilm suits, if you ask me; and there's just no clear vision to any of the projects in development. Others have pointed out that -- under Disney's stewardship -- Star Wars has morphed from storytelling to more product manufacturing, and I generally agree with that. When the goal is to simply make something for something's sake, it's very hard to not recognize cynically that the Emperor has no new clothes ... and can be brought back on a whim when there's been no authentic story written before the films have gone into production.
Seriously, if I do think of something greater to say about the train wreck of a franchise? I'll post it in this space. But until there's something substantive to react to -- a story leak, some casting news, etc. -- I just have so very little to say about it.
At the end of the day, I've always thought of myself first as a critic and, second, as a historian of genre. Because I've trained my brain to respond to something solid -- a film, a TV episode, a completed production, etc. -- I just don't always have a huge reaction to general news. This is why I've often explained to newer readers of SciFiHistory.Net why I don't cover a lot of 'breaking news' type stories. So many productions that get announced don't see the light of day, and -- having learned this lesson over time -- I just don't get excited about the latest blurb. When I do, I'll mention it; but as a practice such news bits just don't jazz these ol' bones.
Once it found its central story -- that of parallel worlds and the general consequences of trying to cheat time -- Fringe was a work of singular genius. In its first season, I think it tried a bit too hard to serve as the 'Second Coming' of Fox TV's other great paranormal procedural -- The X-Files -- and that resulted in a kinda/sorta false start. Don't get wrong: many of those episodes were quite good, definitely succeeding in recapturing some of X's magic but with a harder scientific angle. Still, the writers room (from what I've read) was struggling to deliver standalone stories alongside trickling a slow yet steady beat of mythology; all of that changed (again, from what I've read) when Akiva Goldsman came on board, saw what was waiting in the wings, and told the creative crew to lean more heavily in that direction.
As a consequence, Fringe was one of those rare TV experiences that actually grew in popularity as it went along. Audiences were suddenly vastly more aware of how the show differed from The X-Files while only cultivating some of the same warm fuzzies; and they rewarded it with improved ratings. For a good complement of the TV landscape, it became required viewing, the kind of intellectual adventure folks would talk about around the water cooler in the workplace.
Naturally, it was sad to see it go, but I choose to celebrate it being there in the first place.
Excellent, excellent stories.
"But, hey, I thought all of mankind hated Waterworld?"
Well, consider me amongst the rare few who actually thought it was great cinematic fun.
I've written before that because there was so much written about how -- at the time -- Waterworld grew into one of Hollywood's biggest and most expensive vanity projects. The mainstream press loves an opportunity to take down a Hollywood heavyweight; and -- back in the day -- there was none bigger on the silver screen than Kevin Costner. He was an easy target for a press that could smell blood in the water (snicker snicker), and I've argued that this -- in no small way -- fueled a great deal of the hate the film and the star endured because of it. No, no, and no: there wasn't some huge backlash on social media, peeps, because social media didn't exist. This was the real media doing what they're paid to do for a living, and they did it well.
If anything, then I'd have to say that Waterworld was a bit of a missed opportunity. I think it could've made for a lesser franchise in the world of genre entertainment, not unlike Highlander or Tarzan or even Conan has had TV life here and there. There could've been a series of novels or even a comic book title as a spin-off with the Mariner; and it could've been glorious.
And Costner's face would've been rightfully enshrined alongside William Shatner's or Bruce Boxleitner's or Adrian Paul's in that wonderfully Apocalyptic empire. There's still time, but it'll likely never happen.
Happy birthday, Mr. Costner!
Alas, that's all I have for you right now, faithful readers; but don't fret. You know me, and I'd never leave you 'hanging.' There's more -- a pretty good bit more -- up on the Daily Citation Page for January 18th. Yes, there's even more in the archives that I'm meaning to get up; and I give you my word that I'll try to post a bit more as time permits.
As always, thanks for reading ... thanks for sharing ... thanks for being a fan ... and live long and prosper!