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December 29 2009

Five things that transformed television this decade. Number three - well you're looking at it.


Man, this is the biggest honor I've been awarded since Time named me as Person of the Year.
Any comment on the claim that Alias and Lost gave birth to BSG and Dollhouse? Was JJ Abrams influence truly "immeasurable"?

I find it funny that they're citing that Alias and Lost influenced Fringe. That's like saying that BtVS influenced AtS - well, duh. :)
I love that this place is listed amongst Facebook and Twitter. Congrats! So ya'll hitting millionaire status any time soon? ;)
no need to see things like this to know that Whedonesque is powerful, but still great =)

how's that Alias and Lost influenced Fringe? lol I'm totally surprised *sigh*
I think DS9 had a lot more influence on BSG than Lost or Alias had.
Oh, I find it sweet they mention W alongside with twitter and youtube. I hope to be a millionaire sometime.
We are a social medium ! When we grow up we want to be a social large.

In fairness I think 'Lost' opened doors to SF&F in the TV mainstream just by virtue of becoming a hit though I doubt it had a huge influence on BSG specifically (or at least, less of one than DS9, Babylon 5, Space: Above and Beyond and Farscape had).
I find number five....stupid. Or at least badly worded. Yes it may have allowed for networks to take a chance with more serial shows, but to suggest before that viewers just passively watched...that theory was banged on the head many decades ago.
Abrams has never created anything great. He has next to nothing to do with "Lost", "Alias" and "Fringe" are both very middling "Felicity" was ok in it's genre. What the heck did Abrams innovate in TV that Lynch/Frost or say Whedon hadn't done better before.
Abrams has never created anything great. He has next to nothing to do with "Lost", "Alias" and "Fringe" are both very middling "Felicity" was ok in it's genre. What the heck did Abrams innovate in TV that Lynch/Frost or say Whedon hadn't done better before.

Like it or not, he seems to be the equivalent of a walking Trope Codifier just as Whedon et al are the equivalent of walking Trope Makers.
Why? Who knows - that's just the way it is.

STANDARD DISCLAIMER: TVTropes will end up rotting your brain and everything else - you've been warned.

Edit: duplicate links.

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2009-12-30 00:20 ]
JJ causes really good entertainment to happen. I could care less how much or little he is actually involved. If Bad Robot is involved, I'm there. No questions asked. Have never been disappointed.
What TamaraC said. Bad Robot is like the Good Housekeeping Seal for me. Though I think Firefly was as big an influence on BSG, at least stylistically, as anything Abrams has done (or the shows mentioned by others above).
Congrats to the super-mods once again for creating an environment and community that have helped change the way television is viewed!

And if we truly had anything to do with the extension of Dollhouse, then good for us! More hours of top-notch entertainment is our biggest reward.

And I'll let JJ Abrams have his due. I've enjoyed most of Lost (that stinker season with the tailies, though--whew, glad that's behind us), and I enjoyed Alias until its final season. But making way for BSG? No way.
I thought there was an argument that BtVS influenced Alias anyway? It all comes back to Joss in the end...
BSG the miniseries was shot and finished in 2003. I don't know exactly when they began shooting or finished shooting the 1st season, but they were certainly well on their way by September 2004 when Lost began to air. With the April 2004 success of the miniseries, production probably began July or August. BSG was also on cable, on a network that already had a highly successful Sci-fi series (to get super generalized as to genre.)

Lost had nothing to do with BSG's success, style, or quality. BSG being a success on cable misses the point, anyway. At least the point I'm inferring he's trying to make.

Not knockin' Lost, love the show, just surprised at that claim.
I had to comment on that JJ Abrams thing because "What the frell?"

It's 'awaiting moderation.'
I agree with TamaraC and The Ear Tom. If Bad Robot is behind a show, I will give it consideration, since they have a good record. Just like I do Joss. Though I never did watch Felicity and haven't watched Lost, Alias until it's last season and Fringe are too really good shows. I've heard really good things about Star Trek, though I'm not a going to the movies person anymore, but I will rent the DVD.

And let's face it, everyone is influenced by someone else on tv, that's Hollywood. But in my opinion, JJ does it creatively, and that makes his shows worth watching.
the thing that 'alias' did for bsg, and several other shows, was demonstrate that season-long and series-long narratives could thrive with little or no need for 'stand alone' episodes. i'm rewatching 'alias' at the moment, and am halfway through the second season, and some 30-35 episodes in, there has yet to be a 'stand-alone' episode. 'farscape,' while i love it, has maybe 12 episodes in the first two seasons that are actually part of the overall story. same w/ ds9.

i doubt that they were referring to any kind of thematic element that alias provided.
Well, they do have a bit of a point, but why single out Abrams? Surely the whole 'television auteur' thing is quite a recent development. Probably got going in the 90s, mind. Or maybe I was just too young before...
Congrats, Big W!
Too bad the black isn't "big" enough to sell stock.

I only object to this bit:

J.J. Abrams
BEFORE: We passively watched television.

Uh-uh. I don't like generalities. I was fully awake before J.J. came along.
Kefka, if that's the point being made (and I agree it must certainly be a part of it), I would argue to TV addict that 24 had a much more dramatic influence on that kind of storytelling, both in it's adherence to the task, and in it's overwhelming popularity. Not that Alias didn't contribute, it started the same year and was also very well received.

Never liked either show myself. :P

I did like Felicity for a while. Good stuff there.
Farscape mention <3
J.J. Abrams? Bleh.
Opinions on J.J. Abrams aside, it is kind of weird that a specific individual is named for point five when all the other points are non-personal in scope. Tv masterminds who inspired us to watch tv actively for the first time* or something similar would've made a lot more sense and be a lot less contentious.

* assuming author is speaking from personal experience.
And we all know that Firefly influenced BSG a lot. Not just through the cgi. And I have to say that Star Trek from TNG and beyond have influenced it as well. There is a lot of interviews where Ronald Moore is saying that "this we couldent do on ST... this we whated to don on ST..." and so on.

JJ Abrams? He does ok entertainment, but Id never spend a lot of money on buying his shows so that I can watch them several times and I quite seldom find my self watching Lost and thinking "what is the metaphore in this episode, whats it realy about?".
Opinions on J.J. Abrams aside, it is kind of weird that a specific individual is named for point five when all the other points are non-personal in scope.

Sure but you can't leave opinions aside on a subjective list of things a person or group of people consider transformed TV this decade because opinions are what it's all about. FWIW, I agree a broader category would make more sense but clearly the author doesn't.
JJ is overrated. But I tolerate his success.

I liked Felicity and Alias. Lost is entertaining, but he hasn't that much to do with it anyhow. Lost might also be the most overrated show in the history of television. Fringe I didn't like at all, it was unwatchable for me. A broader category would have been better, there were lots of good writers working in the last decade and I doubt JJ is the one who influenced them all, simply because I believe that writers get influenced by more than one thing.
I agree that Abrams is overrated - although I loved the Star Trek movie, a lot more than anything he's done on TV.

I realize that the transformative thingy is for this decade, but push it back a few years and I don't think there could be any doubt that Joss has had more influence on actually transforming the way TV series' are structured, and the way we watch, perceive and discuss, than anyone.

I also think that there's a direct line running from B5 to BSG. B5 was a far deeper show than any of the Star Treks and had a five season arc with even the stand-alones contributing to the long-term story. It also gave hard SciFi permission to deal with some much darker themes than anything that came before (or since, until the new BSG).

Oh .... and YAY US!!!
No.5 sounds more like Joss to me. Granted I've never seen Lost, but 'dense mythologies and unforgettable characters' - yep, definitely Joss.

Anyway, GO US!
Naturally, a little late for the party, but wanted to use this thread to thank everyone associated with Whedonesque. I love you all bunches! *hugs*
Yay whedonesque!

Re: Abrams: well, he knows how to make money and how to make popular adventure shows with dense mythologies, and on broadcast networks. That's one big difference between him and, e.g., Whedon, or the great cable showrtunners who made densely plotted shows, if not in the sci-fi genre (e.g. The Sopranos, Deadwood). Artistically I don't actually see much *there* there with Abrams, though clearly others do, and I admit I haven't seen everything he's worked on.
"J.J. Abrams
BEFORE: We passively watched television." *Cough cough* Anyone on TheTvAddict ever heard of Chris Carter before? Thought so. Alias is ok, Lost is great, Fringe is pretty good, Cloverfield is pretty good, but J.J as good as he is is horridly overrated.
*cough cough* (aargh, it's catching ;) Your point stands (how does the author know how "we" watched TV before JJ Abrams ?) but it's this decade DeezyG. Chris Carter arguably changed the TV landscape of the 90s but if we're counting the 90s (and insisting on individual creators) then it'd either be Joss or JMS for my money ("Babylon 5" being the first ever long-form "novel on screen" IIRC and Buffy being, well, Buffy).

Artistically I don't actually see much *there* there with Abrams, though clearly others do...

Yeah, that's kind of my "problem" with Abrams WilliamTheB - he (often/usually/arguably - delete as per your opinion) produces excellent entertainment but I haven't seen much evidence he can do more than that. The quotes are cos "excellent entertainment" is surely an end unto itself but IMO truly great creators can also produce excellent entertainment of substance (though that obviously doesn't mean he hasn't transformed TV this decade BTW).

[ edited by Saje on 2009-12-31 10:34 ]
Great, but the decade isn't over until January 1st, 2011. Its amazing the general lack of mathematics literacy in the press and media.

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