Cogito Patris

Random Thoughts for Random People

The Writers Strike

I usually try to avoid current events in this blog.  It isn’t really a question of ethics or anything, I just don’t keep up on current events in general. But I wanted to rant about the writer’s strike that is now a few weeks old (if it is still going on).

The reason I am interested in this particular event is that I am conflicted over the whole idea of a writer’s strike.

On the one hand, I don’t think writers get enough credit or respect for what they do.  A good show or movie relies more on writing than any other single aspect (at least in my opinion).  Obviously bad acting, directing, producing and special effects can adversely affect the quality of a show.  But they can be overcome.  Star Trek (the original series) is a good example of this.  The effects were cheesy (even for the era).  The acting left a deal to be desired.  But the writing kept the show going.

The flip side of the coin is that I have been getting disillusioned with Hollywood in general.  How many “remakes” are we going to have before we start a new direction?  If the writers that are on strike don’t have an original idea among them, then maybe it is time to get new writers.

My favorite author (Isaac Asmiov) was best known for creating universes.  That is obviously easier in Science Fiction, but keep in mind that “Heroes” and “The Bionic Woman” are both highly rated Science Fiction shows.  There is a new Sitcom called “The Big Bang Theory” that is nerd-based (albeit, not Sci-Fi).  So I think that Sci-Fi is about to have a come-back.  My father used to say that entertainment was cyclical.  Sitcoms had a golden era is the later 1980’s.  Law and Medical shows had a big period in the 1990’s (there is a bit of a resurgence in Medical shows now).  Then came the “Reality” revolution that I could have done without.  Sci-Fi was big in the late 1970’s and early 80’s.  Maybe it is time for Sci-Fi to have a Renaissance.

OK, I got off topic a little.  What Isaac Asimov did was to invent a whole new genre of Sci-Fi entertainment.  He introduced the Three Laws of Robotics that generally made Robots a benevolent character in most of his stories.  Don’t let the movie I, Robot influence you.  The book was so much better.  The only similarity between the book and the movie is that “Susan Calvin” was the name of a character in both.  The two characters, “Susan Calvin” in the movie and “Susan Calvin” in the book, were not even that similar. 

Asimov also invented Psychohistory which is a subject I would like to see explored by more writers.

Studio 60 was a great TV series that was cancelled for being “Too Smart”.  I bought the DVDs and have been glued to them ever since (I even got Angel interested in them).  Maybe my problem isn’t with the writers, but with the movers and shakers in Hollywood.

Although I would love to see a movie or, better yet, a TV series based on Asimov’s universe, I doubt that it would fly.  Instead, I think it is time to invent a whole new genre of Sci-Fi.  Where is our modern day Isaac Asimov?  We may just have to wait and hope.

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November 30, 2007 - Posted by | Random Thoughts, TV

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