Carpe Diem

Last Friday’s episode of Fringe picked up the inter-dimensional war thread again, but the show just never seems to be on target. I’m sure that things are not what they seem and that there will be other ramifications from the events, but all in all, not much happened.

Maybe this is a trend, maybe I am just getting crotchety, or maybe it’s always been this way and I am just waking up to the fact, but so many entertainment vehicles just don’t give up much in the way of story. I picked up some new comics this weekend to read and review; on a whim, I picked up the first issue of Ultimate Captain America, since that seems to be more the basis for the new movie than the original character. I haven’t read super-hero comics in decades, but friends had been pushing the Ultimate line for awhile, so I took a chance. The art was outstanding, the writing solid, the pace frenetic, but in the course of 22 pages the story (continued, of course, from some other title) moved forward only by inches. It sure wasn’t worth $4.00. If I developed my story in such incremental stages it would be a lifetime’s work. Plus, I wouldn’t enjoy doing it. I like a little meat on the bone.

Via a tweet from Dwight McPherson, here’s an interesting article on Poe, Lovecraft & Magick. It is of the persuasion that Lovecraft was writing about real stuff, but if you can overlook that, it has a few golden nuggets, including a Lovecraftian short story by the post’s author. I didn’t read it, and he admits it was written long ago, but what the heck.

Although not directly Lovecraftian, this video of a quick sketch -drawn upside down by Michael Broom– is a great, evocative ghoul and, from an artist’s point of view, amazing.

And if you have ever wondered what a Lovecraftian story for children might have been like, I refer you to Forest, an animated film by Eric Leiser.

Wednesday’s post will bee… I have no clue. Have a couple of things nearly finished, but also have a twenty page paper to write this week for class. Maybe it’s time for another reprint from the archives. But fear not, Friday will still be new page day.

^ 7 Comments...

  1. Grumpy Old Medivalist

    Even though McPherson is a comparatively mild case, sentences such as
    ” They go back to Dion Fortune‚Äôs idea that there is no room for authority in occultism”
    is what makes me Grumpy.
    & he finds Mr. Poe boring! >frowns into beard<

  2. dirge93

    Fringe is… not so hot really. It tries to present itself as a show targeting an intelligent sci-fi audience, while it ignores plot holes, characters, and logic at every turn. Some of that is likely due to budget limits and the desire to build suspense (ever notice how often Olivia -has- to go into a dangerous place or conduct some task without any backup?), but other parts of it are just plain bad writing (“here’s our one contact with the other universe, a guy guarding a magical typewriter. Let’s not follow him or monitor his actions, in fact let’s forget he ever existed because that’s what the FBI would do*”). It’s not “Heroes” grade bad as it hasn’t entirely written itself into a corner yet, but someone shouldn’t watch Fringe thinking it’s anything more than “Eureka – The GrimDark Episodes” .

    (*If Fringe actually does go back at some point and do something with this, I’ll happily eat those words. But it’s not like this is the only plot thread to be dropped, just the most recent and grating.)

  3. lovecraf

    Couldn’t agree more. While I’m fascinated by some of the concepts, the show has just never come together. I can think of memorable moments but no memorable episode. Threads, characters and incidents are dropped, which does happen on other shows, but the feeling I get from Fringe is that there is no master plan. It has that herky-jerky feeling that comes from being indecisive about what you are trying to achieve.

  4. helios1014

    Is there a Count Magnus reference in this ?

  5. StygianDepths

    Completely irrelevant, yet quite entertaining link.

    http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=135

  6. ulysess

    The current trend in writing can be summed up with my favorite Ron Moore quote “It’s all about the characters stupid!” (I assume that just like everything else he has done in the last 6 years he stole it from someone else). The logic being if the characters are charismatic enough, the dialogue spicy enough, and there is a constant stream of unexpected twists an turns no body will care about the narrative. Basically if you transform the action/drama into a soap opera/sitcom no one will care that intelligent an well trained characters are violating there training an common sense. No one will notice that an entire episode went by an no body learned anything about the central mystery or accomplished or changed anything. An let us not forget the most important lesson of episodic tv never ever under any situation think more than one episode ahead unless your four episodes away from the end of the season then an only then are you aloud to even consider how all the completely random an nonsensical elements might possibly fit together; if people do not actually think about it.
    All of this is the exact opposite of Lovecraft where characterization an dialogue are unimportant and it is all about the narrative.

  7. lovecraf

    Solid characters are important, but a bunch of interesting people standing around doing nothing wouldn’t be very interesting, at least not to me. And a lot of TV is like that, unfortunately. I prefer F. Scott Fitzgerald’s quote, “action is character.” What person does in a situation is much more revealing than what they say, but that means there has to be a situation. I am not for plotting things out too far in advance; that makes the writing wooden and usually predictable. The best things about writing for me are the surprises that pop up as you go along. So I agree with you, but think there’s a little nore to it. But I’m glad you give it some thought. I have too many friends that turn on a TV show and just let it wash over them, good or bad. Yikes.