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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Keep on walking, preacherman."
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March 22 2004

TV Guide's Matt Roush on Wonderfall's future. "This most cruel of TV seasons has come awfully close to crushing the spirit of those who treasure and root for offbeat TV". But Tim Minear is more upbeat especially when it comes to the ratings for the encore.

Well, now I feel a little less guilty about not getting invested in Wonderfalls right away. Losing Firefly the way we did really was enough.
Well, Matt Roush certainly took the words right out of my mouth. I can't remember a time when I've had so little faith in the idea that quality matters in mass media. The triumph of the lowest common denominator reigns supreme. Television, music, film -- over and over we see high-concept vehicles with flashy effects, little real substance and less heart continue to rule while smaller, more complex, lovingly crafted and unique gems are consigned to oblivion.

Everything's become so fragmented and unmoored from past reliables; anything exhibiting real depth, if it can even make it to the execution stage, hardly registers on the mainstream viewscreen. I get my alternative, not-heard-on-radio music from small, indenpendent stores and underground websites, not from major retailers, and my foreign and niche-market films on DVD after they fail in theaters. My TV viewing is headed the same direction; the options there are either to watch dreck in order to participate in the current culture stream, or for my own sanity, to withdraw and resign myself to more singular, if more isolated, pleasures.

It pains me that intelligent viewers are being squeezed out of the cultural equation. I wonder if all of this is signaling a deepening of the split in the way common media are shared in American society? What people enjoy often falls on either side of a recognizable ideological line. Already, large portions of the American public are completely unaware a sizable underground of media exists outside the common marketplace. If viewers like us 'opt out' of the mainstream to follow the creative folks that speak to our particular ways of thinking and feeling, will the rest of the culture even take notice?
It occured to me that one of the reasons I'm not loving Wonderfalls to death is the fact I'm waiting for the ax to fall. I'm afraid to get attached because there have been so many good shows in the last couple of years that are cancelled just as they are finding an audience. This column depressed the heck out of me because it is sounding all too familiar with what is happening with Wonderfalls and how other good, quality shows in the same position got quickly cancelled.

I read most of the rest of the letters too and was happy to see he got a few more digs in about Angel being cancelled.
Like I said in another post...I really enjoy Wonderfalls. I too am afraid to become too attached. I will continue to watch...but this tv chopping block thing is pissing me off big time. I'm ready to throw all my televisions out and tell ALL network execs to kiss my ass!!!
There is a big evolution going on in TV that we being stuck in the middle of don't fully perceive. Network TV is going over to the Neanderthals of our society because the smart folks are turning more to DVD and Tivo. I expect within the next year or two the major studios will begin putting shows like Wonderfalls directly on DVD. This has already been done in Japan with Anime for years. My guess is they will preview a show on TV to garner some buzz then start putting 3 or 4 episodes out at a time for as long as people keep buying them. Criswell has spoken!
What about the smart but poor people, like the starving artists and the struggling college students? I think it's a great idea but I'm not sure it's something I can afford.

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