September 15, 2010

SO IT IS WITH THE NETWORKS NOW

My TV show. Somewhere. On a desk, most likely. Or in the hands of a woefully underpaid assistant. At least now without some of the most atrocious mistakes I have ever made in writing anything down, since I took out those mistakes yesterday.

One of the things I have talked about earlier is the fact that if I am either drunk or entirely tired, my brain starts to have German bleeding into my English, or as it happened in this case, I used the title All the President's Men as a reference to the show. Strangely enough, when I referenced that movie again in the character bible, my brain on its own took the German title (Die Unbestechlichen) and automatically – i.e. without me being consciously recognising it – re-translated that title back into English, so all over sudden a movie called The Untouchables was referenced.

Uh. Yeah. Good for Kevin Costner, that. But to somebody not knowing that particular bullshit a German brain can do while writing, that would make him or her go, "what the hell is he talking about?"

I have been looking very closely at what has been greenlit in the past year, and there are two things I have noticed. (1) There is not a single show like mine anywhere, and (2) there is not a single fucking show like mine anywhere.

The shows that have been greenlit or as still on (with one major exception, that exception being The Walking Dead, and fucking yay for that, you go, Bob Kirkman, you go go go!) fall into three categories

(1) The Americana shows (Mad Men, Weeds, all the family shows on ABC including Desperate Housewives, even Breaking Bad falls into that category) that are either celebrating or deconstructing the "American Dream" in their shows, and by "American Dream" I mean, "white, suburban dream" that just may become a white, suburban nightmare.

(2) The mainstream genre shows, including but not limited to the CSI franchises, the NCSI stuff, the Mentalists, the Grey's Anatomies, the complete pile of cop/lawyer/doctor shows that make me want to scream.

(3) The quirky Vampires/Werewolves/Ghosts Need Love, Too shows that have been running rampant in the development process since Twilight ruined a perfectly good horror genre. If I see one more of those, I will sharpen sticks into stakes and begin stalking Stepheney Meyer. Or perhaps staking her. Stalking and staking. Incidentally, if you want to see how these things should be done, watch BBC's Being Human. There's more intelligence in one episode of that than there is in an entire season of The Vampire Diaries.

How would fit a show about journalists in such a landscape? Well, it doesn't. It's what is the show's strength and it is what is its greatest weakness. There is nothing to compare it to, and the only thing – even if I have created it long before – that is in the current popular culture somewhat similar is The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

Incidentally, the first reviewer who will make that comparison and perhaps even point the finger at me for "ripping off" Stieg Larsson will get his fingers broken by me. All of them. Very slowly. Finger by finger. I am serious. I wrote the first couple of character bits for The Cage down in early 2001. And I wrote the pilot in May 2009 without even having heard of Larsson, mainly because I was too poor to buy books. So, any reviewer who may come in later, be very fucking cautious what you write.

The reason why some may make that comparison is that I have created a very powerful female lead. Who is or at least may become an iconic character. But anybody who has read any of my things knows that this is what I do. Hope in It Takes A Wizard is one of these characters. And so is Queen in my never-to-be-seen-by-the-industry screenplay Possession. And Kylie in my still-not-finished children's book series Kylie's Big Book Of Monsters.

To me, there is a legacy that needs to be lived up to. And that legacy is Sigourney Weaver. We as a creative community have failed to live up to her, and her Ellen Ripley for now almost a quarter of a century. Trinity in The Matrix could have been a worthy successor, but she didn't live up to it in the sequels. Natalie Portman in the abysmal adaptation of V for Vendetta could have been that. But they failed. And the first one to bring up Angelina Jolie in Salt will get pimp-slapped by me. Miss Jolie plays cardboard characters, always has and always will. She leads by a scowl and her lips.

And so, yeah, I have that urge to live up to something as good as Ellen Ripley.

And that is a comparison I will take any day of the week.

Even if I may fail to live up to it, too.