In this episode I had the pleasure of speaking with career coach, podcaster, fiction connoisseur, and Buffy superfan Sami Gardner! Our wide-ranging conversation on vampire fiction centers around Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the often underappreciated gem of late 90’s early 2000’s TV. We talk about why the show was so special, and why messages about chosen communities resonate with modern people so much. You can (and should) find more about Sami on her website: samigardner.net
Avengers: Infinity War, the sequel to end all sequels, is finally here! Thank Thanos! We take you on a tour of the film (spoiler free for the first 30 minutes) and the comics that spawned it. In this episode you’ll hear our thoughts on the movie and the MCU mythos, and learn about the origins of the scenes and characters you liked the most.
In this, the inaugural FYMP’cast, we discuss our reasons for creating it, introduce ourselves and our approach to the world of stories & fiction. We attempt to lay the groundwork for what will be an outlet and delivery system for our massive accumulation of trivia on all things fictitious, as well as our philosophy on the importance of storytelling.
This pilot podcast (with pilot quality audio) has more focus on us than on the fiction we’ll later explore. Continue reading “FYMP Podcast #1 – The Story Begins”
So I’ve been bashing a lot of shows lately, and I feel like I should switch gears a bit to talk about why I do it. Refocusing on the FYMPlanet mission is probably in order here: the goal is not just to slam mediocre shows or to try to shame people into not watching their favorite guilty pleasure. Far from it. You’ll notice that I personally watch all of the shows that I criticize for their lack of impact. I’m not against the shows I trash here, I simply don’t think they work and I do my best to outline why.
At the end of the day, what I really want is for the mediocre and bad shows that people watch to be a backup option rather than the go-to. I also want people to be able to recognize the flaws in the shows they watch. That’s not to say this will cause them not to watch it anymore; it won’t. But it will dissipate the shared delusion that popularity and profundity are the same things.
I think that understanding the fundamentals of storytelling and the elements that go into good TV is important.
Not for some arbitrary aesthetic reason, but because the more people recognize mediocrity in all its various forms, the more they will seek out things that are better. In the long run, this may lead to better programming overall as studios realize that the drivel that has been successful in the past is no longer making the cut. We’re not there yet, but TV is definitely producing more worthwhile content than ever before. Is that simply because it’s producing more content period, and that percentage-wise the number of “good” shows is staying the same? I don’t know, but what if all of the mediocre shows could be tweaked so they were BETTER?
Wouldn’t it be great if someone made a show like Dexter with dynamic characters and good acting? What if The Walking Dead featured an engaging storyline and quit treating its characters like cardboard cutouts.
I want to watch THOSE shows. I want to watch shows like AMC’s The Killing which pulls no punches as it draws you in and breaks your heart. Or shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer that took a campy comedic premise and turned it into something amazing and unexpected.
Years from now, you’ll remember that Dexter was a show about a serial killer killing serial killers and that The Walking Dead was about zombies, but you’ll remember the details of Tony Sopranos dreams. You’ll remember Stringer Bell’s hubris and Omar Little’s code. You’ll remember every step of Walter White’s descent. You’ll remember the minutiae of those characters because they lived for you in a way that the one dimensional Dexter Morgan or Rick Grimes never will.
It can’t be a bad thing to want all of your TV to be that good, can it?
So yeah, I trash mediocre shows from time to time, but only in the service of the idea that there’s better out there and availing yourself of it will not only please your palate but evolve it. If our tastes continue to develop then our media will follow suit. I admit that it would be a dangerous world were all shows good. I doubt I’d get much done. But good or bad, I don’t want to settle for less.
I don’t know about you, but I want my FYMTV.