This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Do you trust me?"
11944 members | you are not logged in | 23 July 2014












February 21 2008

5 Reasons Sci-fi Does Better In Movies Than In TV. Joss gets brought up in this article about Sci-fi on the big and little screen. And apparently The Sarah Connor Chronicles is on the brink of cancellation!

Another i09 link. Another article that I mostly disagree with - TV SF is cheesier than movie SF? And then sites Transformers and suggest it's not cheesey because there's an A-list actor in the lead. Firstly, WTF? Shia LaBeouf is not an A-list actor in any way shape or form. You need more than one mega hit for that. Putting him in the new Indy film doesn't automatically make him A-list. And even if he wasn't - that doesn't make Transformers any less CRAP!

The networks? Yeah, but... at least while SF TV lasts, it's allowed to be innovative. Compare/contrast Journeyman and Jumper - the TV series was bold, inventive, character driven; the movie is brainless action.

Uh, i09, ugh.
Transformers was kind of awesome! For what it was.

I don't think SCC is "on the brink of cancellation." It's been holding solid at eight million viewers, whereas Bionic Woman, I think, was hemorrhaging viewers from week to week. And it's consistently built on its lead-in. I think it has a pretty good shot at making it to the fall. It damn well better.
That was a bit depressing to read but I have to believe that with the SCC riding on the cachet of three Terminator films, and continuing to improve and bump up its game in a major way, that it will survive for another season. At least I hope so.
Wow, that's hard to believe. Fox came in 2nd this past Monday with T:TSCC building on the season finale of Prison Break. Doesn't sound like it would be on the brink of cancellation.
The TSCC cancellation talk seems to be speculation on io9's part, why they stated it as if it were fact, I dunno.
Another i09 link. Another article that I mostly disagree with - TV SF is cheesier than movie SF? And then sites Transformers and suggest it's not cheesey because there's an A-list actor in the lead. Firstly, WTF? Shia LaBeouf is not an A-list actor in any way shape or form. You need more than one mega hit for that. Putting him in the new Indy film doesn't automatically make him A-list. And even if he wasn't - that doesn't make Transformers any less CRAP!

The networks? Yeah, but... at least while SF TV lasts, it's allowed to be innovative. Compare/contrast Journeyman and Jumper - the TV series was bold, inventive, character driven; the movie is brainless action.

Uh, i09, ugh.


I think you're missing the point. The article is about why Sci-Fi DOES better in movies, not why it IS better in movies. And I think all their points are valid.
I also disagree with the claim that TV SF is cheesier than movie SF, and this is regardless of whether or not it does better as opposed to is better. Saying it's cheesier means it's cheesier, and that is describing the quality.

And while Firefly did bring up lots and lots of questions, it wasn't a huge plot tangle. It was a very episodic series, allowing anybody to jump in at ANY point and have fun (although getting introduced to everybody in the pilot enhances everything). In the meantime, it would slip in some stuff that made you go, "Wait, what? Shepherd's important? Why's he being treated like a shot senator by the Alliance brass?!?" Also, there was the whole question of what was up with River, and everybody wanted to know a little more about at least half the characters' backgrounds. But did stuff like that ever dominate an episode? No. There were no OMG CLIFFHANGERS Wait until next week! There were no River moments that had us feeling more confused than pleasantly intrigued (and look! Feet!) and whimsical. The reavers were introduced, and people were curious, but we were never taunted with questions of, "What are the reavers?" in promos or in the series (ie Mal: "You don't want to know what the reavers are made of." Audience: "But you do know, apparently! TELL! SPILL!" What really happened in Firefly. Zoe: "Those stories you hear about how horrible Reavers are are true, and the important thing isn't where they came from (although the crew might muse on the possibilities) - it's surviving an attack and, if not, if you're very, very, lucky, it'll be done in that order." Audience: We're curious, but right now, who cares? Suspense! Reaver chase! Fear from the characters spreading to us! GAH GO FASTER DON'T DIE"). We were given the information necessary at that point without being teased by hints (like bricks) of "Oh, there's MORE! But we're not telling you yet. Nyah."

So, yeah. Firefly is a plot tangle? Please. It has complex characters and interactions, but the show is easy to follow.

But yes - getting to SEE inside the Academy, and knowing about the PAX, was really satisfying. Doesn't mean the show was hard to enjoy.

Back to the cheesy thing...

"4) Scifi TV is actually cheesier than movies. The cheesiest SF movies nowadays tend to go straight to DVD, or at most appear in a few festivals. Yes, a movie like Transformers is incredibly cheesy and dumb, but it does feature an A-list lead actor (no matter how you may feel about Shia LaBoeuf.) If Transformers was a TV show... well, it would be Knight Rider."

Okay, saying that the cheesiest SF movies go straight to DVD doesn't mean that SF TV is cheesier than SF movies. Those two pieces of information aren't even connected in any way to possibly support each other. All he does is say, "Transformers was cheesy. It would be cheesy as a tv series, and would also lack the bonus of Shia LaBoeuf [I dunno about A-List - doubtful. Up-and-coming, perhaps. But he's still fantastically adorable. ::grins:: ]. Therefore, all SF tv series are more cheesy than SF movies."
...What?!? Seriously, if that's the only logic he's going on (and it must be, since there were no supporting details of real relevance that would have bolster that rather opinionated claim), that's a glaringly obvious fallacy right there. Just... my brain hurts with the stupid. The hell.

EDIT: Wow, that was a rant/ramble. Huh.

[ edited by ShamelessSingingRennie on 2008-02-21 07:41 ]

[ edited by ShamelessSingingRennie on 2008-02-21 07:42 ]
Idea: there should be new tag for IO9 links. Kind of like spoiler-tag, that would warn well ahead that it's one more of those... Sure it shows when hovering with mouse, but who checks that every time? Or people could stop linking those too. :)

Furthermore, the list is pretty pointless, Joss mention was again forced in, quite certainly just to get links in, and that's about it. Bah.

[ edited by Eerikki on 2008-02-21 10:04 ]
I think we'll have a moratorium on io9 links for the time being.

Exceptions being of course:

1) A substantial article about the Jossverse
2) A relevant interview
3) It's about me. As I am ace.
Oooo, I want to read an interview with Simon!
"Endless plot tangles" is a bad way to put it because people associate "tangles" with being bloody annoyed at constantly having to unknot their personal stereo headphone wires even though they put them in their pocket really carefully only a few hours previously (just to, err, name an example at random ;).

The sentiment is spot on though IMO - TV, being serial, has to raise questions to "have legs", films don't (in fact, sometimes when films do - as in, for instance, the end of "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" - people complain because the story isn't completely resolved).

Otherwise the article is just a fluffy editorial piece masquerading as justified opinion. It's also woefully inadequate in its Simon coverage.

(certainly used to be the case that TV - across the board - was less inventive, took fewer risks and, often, had a less polished look and feel but I don't think that's true anymore)
Polter-Cow, do we know if SCC is back in production yet, post strike? I think it'll be back. The writing occasionally urks me a little, but on the whole it's a good show.
I could see it being on the cusp though, it keeps losing viewers (albeit not in droves and at least it's still over 8 million). To me the scripts have absolutely smacked of not having the showrunner go over them as they're being shot and/or edited, just little clunky lines here and there, a few places where they miss an open goal.

Best will in the world to him, I also don't like the guy playing Charlie and don't think he's that great an actor (the guy from the pre-air pilot was much better IMO).

(for UKers with Freeview BTW, it starts on Virgin1 tonight at 10 pm - there was a full page ad in this morning's Metro as well as an interview with Lena Headey)
I think FOX would be crazy to cancel Terminator. But then again FOX is crazy. Terminator has a brand name that should sell well on DVD and outside of the US, so it would make sense to keep it going even if the ratings are borderline. The studio at the very least could subsidize FOX to keep it on the air and then make up the money from other sources.
FOX drama execs don't care about DVD sales and international sales and such. They're purely focused on ratings, as DVDs etc are elsewhere. If it looses more viewers, it'll get binned. That said, I think it'll be back for a second season.
Transformers Movie used as an good analogy? Okay, definitely not reading the article.
Sci-Fi does better in movies when it's either a TV show first or has sequels. T2 wouldn't have been as good without the backstory of T1. Sci-fi characters go through life-altering events that lends itself to character archs that are longer than 90 minutes. If you care about the characters, then you probably care about how they've changed after narrowly escaping death, saving the world from destruction, and losing people close to them.
gossi, Sarah Connor is not shooting more episodes post-strike. The nine they shot before are all we get this spring.

Regarding DVD sales, FOX won't be making any money off of Sarah Connor DVDS , as the show is produced by Warner Bros.
No solid news on TSCC being brought back, but the syfyportal article regarding the cancellation of Bionic Woman is saying it appears FOX is bringing it back for the fall.
One thing to keep in mind about TSCC's chances: cost. This is just a guess, but I would wager it's a bloody expensive show to make. Very high gloss, lots of stunts, lots of special and visual effects. Plus, it's a long-running franchise with about 12 executive producers who all have to get a taste at some point.

I'd wager TSCC would have to get something like Heroes numbers and demographics to get renewed.
And time-travel isn't as cheap as it used to be either.
It depends. I know a couple of time-travel agents in New York that can get you rates well below anything you'll see advertised.
They say that, then you turn up and the hotel doesn't actually have prime views of the crucifixion or isn't due to be built until the renaissance.

Been burned a few times (once during the great fire of London - though in fairness, that was as advertised).
NEVER believe anyone who says they can get you a view of the crucifixion! If everyone who wanted could get tickets to the crucifixion it would be like . . . well, you know.
I'm thinking the show needs to put in a call to William Shatner at Priceline. Tough travel negotiator.
With ever i09 link, I'm just becoming less of a fan of it. Sigh. I don't really agree with the article, but it isn't a great argument to begin with. It's like comparing apples to oranges...science fiction tv cannot be the same or comparable to science fiction movies because they are completely separate animals.

FYI, when i09 debuted a month or so ago, some users said the blog keywords included some NSFW things, so anyone who is at work might want to stay away from i09 if their company monitors the network's activity. I don't know if they've fixed it since or not...
Anyone who can claim with a straight face that Serenity answers "all your lingering questions" wasn't paying very much attention when watching Firefly :)
Saje said:
They say that, then you turn up and the hotel doesn't actually have prime views of the crucifixion or isn't due to be built until the renaissance.
Been burned a few times (once during the great fire of London - though in fairness, that was as advertised).


Can we have a moratoriam on Saje posting while I'm eating? I just spat out half my lunch, laughing.
With DVD sales of SCC... if FOX cancels it and it does really well on DVD, wouldn't it be logical for the CW to renew it?

And about Bionic Woman...
I've heard a lot of people say they liked Katee Sackhoff's character on Bionic Woman a lot more that Jaime Sommers. Does anybody think a spin-off, on the Sci-fi channel, focusing on her character would do any better?
xerox, how would WB know how well it would do on DVD? Releasing a DVD with only 9 episodes would be risky enough and it probably wouldn't be released until long after all programming decision for next year were already made. Huge gamble.
Sorry* Lioness ;).

* N.B. - 'sorry' does not constitute acceptance of liability or a binding offer to replace keyboards/monitors/half your lunch/other objects as deemed applicable. Cheques will not be honoured. All rights reserved. Umm, no purchase necessary.
TamaraC, the WB wouldn't know until they released it on dvd, which will happen in the future. And there are only 8 episodes. The last two episodes are actually a 2-hour season finale. Also I didn't specify when it might get canceled and I'm starting to think its going to get a second season now. Maybe after this season and the second season of SCC it might get canceled. Then if DVD sales were good and FOX had canceled the show for some silly reason, then the WB would go, "Hey, let's move the Terminator show over to our network!"

And since when is releasing a DVD related to a very popular and well known franchise a "huge gamble"? Its not like a 2 disc dvd set is going to cost 60 dollars.
xerox, the gamble on the dvd is the fixed costs associated with the DVD and then not being able to sell enough to make up for it. But the gamble I was talking about was CW (which is not solely owned by WB) picking up a show that someone else has canceled.

I don't think it is going to be canceled anyway. I think Fox will pick it up for a second year and all this speculation is just fanboy paranoia.

And there are 9 episodes. 9 different hours with nine different episode titles. Two of them just happen to be playing back to back.
I'm with Tamara.

Also, The CW doesn't have near a big enough reach to support a show like SCC. The ratings wouldn't justify it.
Why is it we have io9? I must have missed a staff meeting.

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.



joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home