LET’S GET WEIRD (and stay weird)! Storytelling’s Shifting Mindset

 

Oh hello there!  Long time no see.

To our seven devoted readers, I sincerely apologize for my extended absence.  While that other guy clearly can hold his own, I was undoubtedly missed.  There’s a joke about the name of the site and my lack of posts in there somewhere that I will leave to Brian.  I’ll construct a simple fib, let’s just say I’ve been conducting careful research to expand the writing about the television aspect of our viewing experiences and not that I am a lazy person.

 

(dramatic rendering of Will's time off)

(dramatic rendering of Will’s time off)

 

With a half-assed apology out of the way, I want to talk about television.  Only not really.  I want to talk about stories and the new means, methods and constructs the landscape currently provides talented, creative and, yes, ‘weird’ creators and shows.  I started a post about Wilfred (a personal favorite).  Unfinished drafts on Sleepy Hollow’s return, Penny Dreadful, The Leftovers, True Blood’s epic run and lackluster finale all lie in my ‘to-do’ folder.  Scribbled notes litter my desk about the upcoming Netflix & Amazon original series (specifically BoJack Horseman & Amazon’s Transparent) and a glut of superhero shows this fall.

 

Rather than beat myself up over these unfinished pieces, many of which deserve to be, and will be, fleshed out in the coming weeks, I realized a common thread: despite my complaint that shows are so often generically recycled (stay tuned for a new CSI/NCIS/Spinoff!), we are in a shifting storytelling landscape.  ‘Weird’ is meant to be a compliment.  With channels more open to unique forms of storytelling, the talent and creativity being put into series has led to some truly significant shows.  Great examples lie in the success of HBO’s True Detective and the creepy slow-burn oddity that is The Strain (and the somewhat-related greenlighting of projects based off of so many weird, surreal, twisted, heady books such as American Gods or Stephen King’s The Stand).

 

mmmm... deliciously weird, if you will....

mmmm… deliciously weird, if you will….

 

The talent of actors, directors and overall madmen/creative geniuses like Guillermo del Toro, George R.R. Martin and Bryan Fuller’s long-awaited smash with Hannibal points to a hopeful future for series, whether it be on cable, streaming or whatever means we see arise in the coming years (exclusive shows on gaming systems?  Virtual reality?  Who knows.).  Many, myself included, can bemoan much about the sludge churned out every new season.  However it seems a good idea to accentuate the positive for a moment.  We have superhero shows without superheroes (I will be reviewing Gotham weekly.  Agent Carter will arrive soon and provide some kick-ass women for a change), vampire shows without ‘vampires’ (check out The Strain, it is a trip of atmospheric unsettling) or sparkling and an overall willingness seeping into the old guard status quo to shake things up and try something weird.  Case and point: Hannibal.  I simply cannot imagine a show of such beauty and artistic/cinematic expression focusing alternatively between food porn and murder being made when I was younger.  Poor Twin Peaks and all the other oddities strewn across the past.  They were merely ahead of the curve.  Bravo, world, we are starting to accept our eccentricities.  Our creative oddness.  Forget the templates, let’s go off the reservation.  Silly, ridiculous, fantastical, bizarre are beautiful, especially in passionate hands.

 

 

I am back, reminded and spurred into action by Batman without Batman, Sleepy Hollow, and that weird feeling in my stomach from the end of Wilfred and The Leftovers’ season finale.  Weird is cool.  Odd reigns supreme.

 

Now excuse me, I have some words to write about Gotham and how Ryan Atwood can clean up the streets.  

go_gotham_gordon

 

<shivers>

 

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About Author: Will McMahon

Will has eclectic movie, television and music tastes. He likes Batman, horror movies and Mark Ruffalo. Has seen every episode of 'The O.C.' at least twice, so take him with a large grain of salt. Accomplished beard grower. Bad movie enthusiast. Lyrical genius. Some have said he is a real-life version of Nick Miller from 'New Girl.' No word on whether or not this is a compliment.

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