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September 03 2008

17 Pop Culture Questions for David Boreanaz. Asked about the most overrated tv show, David says "Heroes. We were doin' that in '97 with Buffy".

David's not harsh enough. They were doing that *better* in '97 with Buffy.

I know Tim Kring talked a lot to Damon Lindelof about how to run a show. Lindelof seems to have forgotten to tell him:

1. Have a plan
2. If it's character-driven (and mostly it should be), make sure before starting that you actually know how people think and behave.
3. Only ooze pretentiousness if you can actually live up to it.

Never really was a big fan of Boreanaz, although he grew in the later years of Angel. But quite enjoyed his answers -- most of them are very far from what I'd answer, except about the DVR and TiVo. Never saw the point either (and I have a DVR/HDR -- never use it).
I think the gist with the DVR thing is, he now sees the point - you can record stuff to keep or to watch later (recipes, TV programmes etc.) - which you might've thought would've occurred to him earlier ;). Clearly he's not a big TV fan which is cool, if you don't care about missing a show then you don't need a way of recording it when you're out (or watching something else).

Frank answers from DB as usual, used to find him blunt but maybe I just know how to take him more because now I find it pretty refreshing, even if I don't agree with him on a lot of stuff.
He's always slightly off-message and somewhat zen in his replies. Which is why I enjoy reading his interviews.
Amen to that on Heroes!
Wow..I've never really read/heard/watched a lot of interviews, but he is awesome. I think he really grew as an actor on Angel, and I've heard great things about him on Bones (I've watched very few episodes..). I think it is refreshing, as Saje said, to see a person answer with such honesty.
Oh, David. I love him! That Heroes answer is high-larious! (and true.)
Fun interview. He's very honest isn't he?
I don't get the anti-DVR thing though. The only thing I EVER used to watch in real time was Buffy or Angel. Because I couldn't wait.
Everything else I used to tape, now I DVR.
Why should I watch a show when the powers want me to, rather than watching it when I want to?
Plus, skip the commercials. No brainer.
Interesting though that he somehow sees TV as better because it's live. Anyone else feel that?
Yeah, he is right in the Heroes answer, but maybe only to a specific extent. It's true that Heroes is less good than Buffy on its core message "Having a special power is not a gift, it's a burden".
But, for me, the structure that Heroes achieves, or tries to achieve, is much more integrated than Buffy's. What i mean is that there are no standalone episodes in Heroes, whereas there are a majority in Buffy (except maybe in season 7 and the comics).
The problem with Heroes is that they don't seem to really know where they are going, long-term wise, and that's really important when you are trying to make some kind of integrated narratic structure. In Buffy, Joss knew where he was going (Buffy's death is hinted by the end of the 3rd season) and he didn't try to do the integrated thing, which is only a long succession of cliffhangers.
Dude has good taste in music. Zeppelin, Floyd, Eagles...

And the DVR thing is a sore point with me at the moment. I fitted a bigger hard drive to my Sky+ box and now it's playing up and I may lose a couple of hundred hours of recordings.
(Todays lesson: Whatever it is, if it's on a hard drive, back it up!)
I wonder if that will get him in hot water with FOX, though. Ripping on "Fringe" and "'Til Death." (Though I agree. Very, very much.)
My love from him just grew. Exponentially.
I wonder if that will get him in hot water with FOX, though. Ripping on "Fringe" and "'Til Death."

All publicity is good publicity. A big actor dissing a show will get people talking about that show.
I agree with him about "Til Death"..ugh, what a beating. Bones and House...that's the way it should be (even though I don't watch House!)

I love his answers. I watch Heroes but I must agree...there are WAY to many things going on.

Floyd cira '94....I caught that tour in New Orleans. I was 14 ;)
I understand when he says he prefers to watch live TV. Here in Brazil TiVos are not popular yet, so we still watch TV by following the regular schedule. If you miss it, you better watch the rerun.
I used to prefer watching it live too, but it's just not worth the wait for episodes of my tv shows to get aired here, so I download them.

Loved his answers. He's always fun and fresh reading.
(1st post here btw.. :D)
Well, to explain my own stance on DVR/TiVo (which seems to be somewhat similar to Boreanaz's -- and no, I don't really read it as him changing his mind over the course of that answer)...

I rarely see the point of most TV. Especially with the programming going on these days. Even on Denmark's "public service" channels, which have turned from "high-on-content-low-on-fluff" to... not so much.

Since most of Denmark had only one channel until the late 80s, I can also see the point of preferring live TV. Back then, at least, when you knew that most of the country's population were watching the same thing as you -- and at the same time -- watching TV could actually turn into a public-social event. Yes, you didn't actually interact with the rest of the public, but somehow, there was a strange feeling of community.

As such, recorded TV feels more of an asocial, "dead" pastime. And since these days, most Danes have at least 4 channels -- and a large percentage (including myself, unwillingly) have 40 or more -- there's less of that feeling.

Boreanaz surely never had that "one channel" experience, but even without it, I know a lot of people still feel live broadcasting is something of an event. Watching a recording, though, is no event at all. But the only thing that makes it really clear these days is sports programming (which I hate, with one exception).

So, these days, the tuner in my TV is actually only connected to anything from september to february (U.S. football season).

I've only followed a few TV shows: Twin Peaks, Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Carnivale, Alias, Veronica Mars, Lost, Heroes. That's all. Really. Of course, I've seen quite a few Simpsons or South Park episodes, but not enough to say I "follow" them.

Most of those I've watched via the internet (mostly the day after U.S. broadcast), and later bought on DVD -- because I really can't wait for a Danish station to pick them up, if ever. Or, in a few cases, I've just caught up on DVD.
I use a PVR, but 90% of it is for recording movies off Turner Classic Movies or other movie channels-that-don't-edit-the-films (which we get now with cable in Ontario). That and, yes, if I miss an episode of a favourite show, but I don't follow all that many.

Re: Heroes, I have only seen the first season and a friend if showing me the second. I liked season one, and there were individual episodes and moments that blew me away. The acting is universally strong, and the moral conundrums set up for the characters led to some riveting moments. But it was definitely wildly inconsistent, even within individual episodes. I think it's not helped by the fact that Tim Kring himself seems to be one of the weakest writers on staff on a line-to-line basis, which means that the opening and closing episodes of the season, even if they have good ideas, don't really land. And on the big picture side, characters that are developed just suddenly disappear; others die kind of pointlessly; others cover the same ground over and over again. And Mohinder's uber-pretentious opening narration is almost unbearably annoying. ("Evolution is a part of God's will, but can we really know the face of God? And if we come to close to the Sun, will it burn us, the way fire itself marked a new chapter of humanity?" No, not an actual line, but was this much different from all his other ones?)

I'll have to see Season Two to be sure though, but I might still go with Lost as the most overrated show on television--and another one overshadowed, really, by Buffy and Angel, even if the mainstream doesn't see it that way.
Oh how I agree with David on his assessment of "Heroes." I love him for that. I love him for his zany conduct during interviews. He's not insane or loopy, but he's definitely offbeat. WilliamTheB, you're so right about Mohinder's ridiculously bad opening narrations. They always evoke "Plan 9 From Outer Space" for me. And not in a good way - "Plan 9" had a perverse genius.
There's definitely a Criswell element to it, yeah. I actually almost stopped watching the pilot because of the narration. But I had paid money to rent it so I trekked on....
Well, DVR's are my friends. I've said goodbye to relying on VHS for that. Besides, I can just zip through ads now.
As ofr DB's comments about "Heroes", I started t olose interest because of those twins from Mexico having a power I still don't know what it was, Hiro in feudal Japan bored me, and I don't like seeing Kristen Bell as an electric Gossip Girl. "Lost" still has my attention because apparently they have come up with a plan. I hope "Heroes" has come up with a plan, too, but it's not too much like X-Men movies.
I actually did stop watching the Heroes pilot because of the opening narration. Never watched so much as a second of it since.

Also, @serge: Hey, someone from the homeland! Regarding DVR, while I don't have anything against them, as Boreanaz seems to, I certainly don't have any need for them. I've got zero interest in sports, and, as Serge mentioned, Danish networks are usually at least one season behind on American shows, if they pick them up at all. To give a particularly egregious example: to this day, Battlestar Galactica still hasn't graced our screens. So it's all torrents followed by DVD boxsets here.
I don't have a DVR or Tivo, either. Probably never will. With the advents of streaming shows online and torrents, I am no longer bound by mismatched TV schedules and the overabundance of loud, repetitive commercials. At the moment, I don't even own a TV! But, with the eventual move to the standard, digital signal in February, I'll definitely be getting a new one soon.

I couldn't agree more with David and many of the members here in regards to Heroes. I just finished season two (in preparation for season three), and I'm wondering if maybe they just had a good idea when they started, but got all stumbly as they went along. I think season three will be the ultimate test. If I get six episodes in, and it's more of the same, I may have to just completely write it off as a lost cause, one-hit wonder kind of thing. There are occasional moments of solidarity, but they're too often surrounded by ideas that are either rushed, inconsistent in character, poorly executed or just plain lame. We'll see.

Also, I had no idea THAT'S what Fringe is actually about! Kind of worries me a bit now. :)
Good interview as usual. It's nice to see someone who's not constrained by their publicist or manager and says what they think. I like his sense of humour and the fact that he obviously cares about what he's working on.

I partly agree about Heroes. The first season wasn't bad but the second was mostly bad due to the random and occasionally bizarre character and plot developments.
Such an entertaining interview. "So thanks a lot, Jim. I thought you were really cool." His answers are all just so unexpected.
To me downloading is effectively PVRing, just at one remove. DB isn't saying "I don't need a PVR because I download all my TV", he's just not much of a TV viewer. Fair points though Serge and Winther, if your TV networks don't actually broadcast enough worthwhile TV then you don't need a PVR (since they're most useful when there's so much TV on that programmes clash or frequently show when you're out of the house).

Compared to me (and maybe most people on here ?) DB just watches TV differently - if I follow a show then I watch it in its entirety, missing an episode of a programme I follow isn't the end of the world (even before on demand TV and downloading etc.) but it's at least something i'd rather avoid. DB's just a much more casual viewer (probably more like a mainstream viewer from what I gather) - ironically, he's possibly the sort of viewer that wouldn't get what all the fuss was about over Buffy because he might miss a lot of the serial elements by dipping in and out.

Re: changing his mind, maybe not but even if he was purely kidding around it certainly seemed like he didn't have a use for a PVR and then, after a few seconds of consideration, came up with a use for one. Who knows what might happen in another few seconds ? ;)
I love "Bones", but I do find it a *bit* amusing that the star of what is essentially a procedural mystery, is ripping another show for being derivative. I mean, wasn't "Quincy, M.E." doing the same thing back in 1976? "Crossing Jordan" back in 2001?

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2008-09-03 20:43 ]
I don't think Boreanaz so much rips on Heroes because it's derivative, more so that it's bad and boring(my opinion).

He mentions his son so many times. Seems like he loves being a Dad.
What's all the hate for Heroes about? I love Heroes! I think it's fantastic, and second season did kind of suck massively, but I'm excited for season three...and I did really enjoy season one. Surely, it doesn't make me in the minority of fans who have poor taste in television - I watch tons of great television. I enjoy DB interviews, though in many of them I feel like he's got this annoyed tone...I appreciate his honesty, but I can't help but think many times that his answers are just too honest.

Fringe is NOT about a disease that takes over an airplane. Seriously. What he thinks might not matter to J.J. Abrams, but he probably hasn't even watched the damn show yet! How does that make him any different from the other people who make snap judgments? And railing on other shows seems to actually make him look kind of a jerk, IMO. It's one thing to be neutral, say "I don't watch it," but for someone who doesn't seem to watch much television, proclaiming that all of these other shows are horrible...seems a little pretentious..and Crossing Jordan WAS doing the comedic procedural thing before Bones even made it on the air. And Numbers was doing the science meets law enforcement thing a few years before thing. And CSI started the chain.

I should also husband hates watching Bones. He tolerates it for me, but he genuinely dislikes it, and I've heard his reasons why and I can overlook them, but he can't.

I mean, I think he's a fine actor. But there are times when what you think should be filtered before it comes out of your mouth.

And the DVR comments...sigh...sometimes, and I'm wondering why he doesn't understand this in regards to DVRs, people don't agree on what they want to watch, and want to share and compromise...and sometimes, people work and don't get home in time to watch their favorite television show. Just because it isn't "live" doesn't mean I shouldn't be able to watch it every week on my TV instead of a 15 inch laptop monitor.

[ edited by CaffeinatedSquint on 2008-09-03 22:13 ]

[ edited by CaffeinatedSquint on 2008-09-03 22:17 ]
@CaffeinatedSquint: I see your point. I can't speak for others here, but allow me to try putting your mind at ease a bit. For me, it's not a hate for Heroes, but more a disappointment. It's like if your child is working on a science project that when he explained it to you in the initial stages of doing it, expressed so much passion about it, making it easy to see the creative potential and merit in it. Then, he comes home with not only a finished product that's kind of a let down in quality, but the bad grade to show for it. One might say to their child, "Son, I'm a bit disappointed in you. Aside from these very good designs here and here, your work is ultimately lacking, as if you lost your passion somewhere along the way, and then just threw the rest together. You're better than this. You know it. I know it. DOGS know it. I've spoken to your teacher and we both agree you should get another chance to go back and try again, in the hopes that you'll apply yourself and come up with something we all know you're capable of, something to be proud of. I love you, son. Now go wash up for dinner. We're having stew tonight, and pudding for dessert."

Also, regardless of what David or anyone else tells me about Fringe, that doesn't mean I'm not going to check it out. I believe in the freedom of choice to judge for myself. Besides, Abrams has a pretty good track record and it's got Joshua Jackson in it. I kinda heart him. :)
I liked 'Heroes' season 1 - though it had its share of hoke IMO - until the finale which was a fairly big disappointment to me. Season 2 had all the problems that Tim Kring apologised for and a couple more IMO but i'll still give season 3 a chance because the show has some great characters (and actors to play them), it's a great premise and episodes like season 1's 'Company Man' show that it can be great drama.

Haveta say also, i've mentioned this before but the whole "Bones isn't a procedural" thing is starting to get old for me. It seems a bit dismissive of a whole slew of excellent TV shows that've gone before, some of which had as many or more great character moments as 'Bones' and yet, because each episode was written around the procedure of solving a mystery, were unashamedly procedurals. It's only a bad word if you solely apply it to bad shows IMO.

(and yeah, that "description" of 'Fringe' actually only really covers the opening teaser)
I dislike the idea of "Bones isn't a procedural" less because it's dismissive of procedurals (which I do like) and more because it's so obviously and objectively not true. It's a procedural. Thanksgiving is a ritual sacrifice with pie. Sorry. To be a procedural doesn't preclude interesting characters with long and involved personal journeys -- even "Law & Order" characters have those, they are just always in the background.
David always delivers a frank and entertaining interview, but my DVR is my salvation. I think I may have to get a second one as well. Just look at the Monday night and Friday night schedules this fall. 3 and 4 shows on at the same time that I want to watch. ACK!
Agreed King of Cretins (it's just that's what I said last time I had a moan, thought i'd try and mix it up a bit ;).
I think the argument for which "Bones isn't a procedural" is lazy shorthand is: Bones isn't ABOUT being a procedural, it's about putting these particular characters through a procedural premise. For the most part (for the most part), the L&Os are about the procedural not about the people. In the case of Bones, it's always seemed to me that for the most part the procedural is incidental.
People (like me) see the word "procedural" and run as far and as fast away as humanly possible. Boring! David is just letting us know that the show is more about character and less about grisly death of the week. In other words, this isn't CSI or L&O SVU. And thank the goddess for that small blessing.
"Heroes" is most certainly one of the most overrated TV series currently occupying the airwaves (in my little ol' opinion). I tried to stick with the first season but never returned after the completely-lackluster season finale.
I love Heroes, so I don't agree with him on that one, and it doesn't help that I have a HUGE soft spot for Jeph Leob and Tim Sale. Comic LOVE. Heroes does have its flaws, I won't deny that, but the sum of its parts is kick ass.

He is adorable, I have to say. I think his honesty is funny and refreshing. It makes me crush on him even more.
In the case of Bones, it's always seemed to me that for the most part the procedural is incidental.

I get the shorthand thing theonetruebix and largely agree that that's true (i'm not totally convinced that's what DB thinks though) but the procedural elements are the frame all that juicy character flesh is hung on, take 'em away and you're left with a big floppy pile of moments (we may not watch it for the procedural element - frankly a lot of the "mysteries" are fairly transparent IMO - but a skeleton is still pretty important and nothing to be ashamed of).

I think it's just a difference in perspective - the 'Law and Order' "franchise" is on over here but it's not the sort of mainstay of the TV landscape that it seems to be in the US so when I think "US procedural" I think of shows like 'NYPD Blue' or (because it was maybe my favourite new show last year) 'Life', which are both pretty rich in character stuff, despite being unashamed procedurals (and then there's 'House', current king of the US procedural hill IMO).
Heroes was easily my second favourite new show of 2006, beaten only because of the arrival of Dexter during that same season. It had some amazing early episodes that were enough to keep me hooked right to the end of the season, despite the fact that the final two episodes were in no way equal to the season that had set them up. The last fifteen minutes of season one were probably the biggest let down I'd experienced from a television show since the end of the X-Files. Not surprisingly, the end of the new X-Files movie has recently taken the award of 'Most Disappointing Ending" back from Heroes again. What goes around...

Season two was a mixed bag, in my opinion. Some good ideas. Some excellent new characters. However, the few plus points soon got lost in the mess of poor, dragged out story ideas and dreary supporting characters taking up way too much story time.

Season three, on paper, looks like it could return the show to it's early glory but, and there always seems to be a 'but' with Heroes, again I'm seeing article after article talking about a seemingly endless supply of new characters. Surely they aren't going to make the exact same mistakes again?
"Heroes" had each character assigned to a writer (at least for the first season). For the most part, the characters were cliched and non-self-aware. It was the exceptions (Claire/Noah Bennet, Hiro) that encouraged me to keep watching. I think Bryan Fuller's writing was a big part of that, and part of why season 2 had a decline (when Bryan moved to "Pushing Daises").

Besides, how can you take David's comments that literally, after his comments about almost being the Thing (in F4). For all his frank talk, he doesn't take himself too seriously.

My two cents.
That's true about Ben Grimm isn't it ? Or at least, there were certainly rumours to that effect before the first "Fantastic Four" movie came out (and he was pretty quick to debunk the false Batman rumour).
WilliamTheB and phlebotinin: Mohinder Suresh is gorgeous. End of story.

I know it doesn't add to the discussion and is in fact highly irrelevant...but there you are.
Season 2 wasn't awful, but I watched the second half of it on my PVR all over a couple days. The first half, watched live, felt slow and like they were retreading Season 1 themes. Second half moved more and felt a bit more epic (the whole thing with Adam and the virus and almost revealing all to the public but maddeningly having that prospect shot to hell...on and Sylar coming back should be fun, he's one of the better stock-ish villains I've seen in a while).

Like a couple others have mentioned, it was material like "Company Man" in Season 1 (almost the entirety of Claire's arc, really) that kept me watching and guarantees I'll check out Season 3. Bryan Fuller is missed though.

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