Archive for December 2nd, 2008

To TV Networks: Kiss My Ass

This article at the Macleans magazine angers me. Apparently, TV execs want to move away from serialization and back to episodic TV, like in the ’80s and most of the ’90s. They have literally instructed their writers to move back to episodic TV.

The reason for this is because of the natural viewer attrition serialized shows get over time, and subsequent falling ratings. Unfortunately, as the article correctly states, the shows that have the most cultural impact are the serialized ones, not the episodic ones. Especially sci-fi mystery shows like Twin Peaks, Lost, the X-Files alien mythology arc, and BSG. Cult shows will never go away. CSI and “The Mentalist” will though.

Sure, not everyone wants a mind fuck every week, but there are some geeks like me who do. So why can’t we have that, especially when there’s space for both kinds on TV? After Lost is done in May 2010, there will be nothing as compelling on TV anymore for people like me. I keep praying that Lost’s writers, Damon and Carlton (aka Daltron), have something like this in store for us. A step beyond Lost, I am hoping for another mystery scifi series, or a grand story about the whole Marvel universe (not just a single super hero or team).

The article in question was linked by some Lost news sites and the discussion goes around these lines: people who can’t deal with shows like Lost are just dumb. Or just old and tired. Lost is an interactive game where your mind has to work at 100% to get what the hell is going on. I say that let these people have their own shitty, brainless, TV shows, but throw a bone for us who try to use our brains a bit more, too.

My JBQ agrees that Lost is the only show that elevates TV into “true art”. It’s a kind of storytelling that can’t be done with any other medium. He also notes that the kind of people who watch serialized shows are easier to target with ads. Which is why Lost and its 12 million viewers, being the most pirated TV show ever, and offering the full HD episodes for free on their site, makes more money for ABC than CSI:Miami’s 17 million (aged) viewers do for CBS. And will continue to make a truckload of money for ABC long after Lost is all done in 2010. Because it’s a cult show, and cult shows never die.

Removing serialized TV is a mistake in many levels. If the TV execs don’t understand that, then they are very short sighted and only care for their current job rather than their company’s future.

Congratulations to Apple for its iPhone’s success

The iPhone is indeed the most successful phone or PDA model ever, it seems. Apple now has 16.6% of the worldwide smartphone market, and almost 10,000 apps in their AppStore. That market share chart is very old (pre-iPhone 3G), and I expect that the iPhone by now has well over 25% of the smartphone market.

This applications point is very important too. 10,000 apps in just 6 months in unprecedented. Think that it took Windows Mobile 6 years to get to 20,000 apps, and PalmOS about 7 years for 30,000 apps. And if you want to laugh a bit, think that it took Nokia 3 years for its S60 3rd Edition platform to get… 600 apps. Remember, S60 phones are actually very popular, but there are not many apps for them! And the reason why 3rd Edition S60 has such a low number of apps available is because, as I have said many times in this blog, Nokia broke binary compatibility with S60 2nd Edition (that already had 2,000 apps at the time). Binary compatibility is very important and Nokia is paying for it for these stupid decisions that continues to make. They seem to never learn, and this is why they will go bye-bye eventually from this market. Their new touchscreen platform is a bit of a joke too, as I blogged in the past.

Google’s Android has quite a few apps too, possibly in the hundreds by now, and it’s already deemed successful. But this fragmented “app market” that doesn’t have a single store, is a terrible idea in my book. Personally, while I like the idea behind Android very much, I don’t like the Android UI and the current HTC phone at all. The funny thing is that our landlord’s office manager couldn’t wait for the G1 to come out, only to sell it a few days after he got it. He also hated the UI, and he couldn’t deal with the shitty HTC phone design (he couldn’t type correctly because of the oversized right side). He got a Blackberry right after that, he sold it within 3 days, and he’s back on the iPhone. The iPhone offers the best user experience hands down indeed.

The only thing bugging me is the kind of apps that Apple doesn’t offer us in the iPhone and third parties can’t fill in these blanks. And because of the various SDK limitations, the iPhone apps are mostly games and other useless crap.

Lost and Twin Peaks

If you read any serious analysis of “Lost” around, you will find it getting compared to “Twin Peaks” all the time. The two shows are of course very similar in many ways, but we didn’t have official confirmation about “Lost” being artistically the natural continuation of “Twin Peaks”, until now. Damon Lindelof, one of the two geniuses behind “Lost”, said recently:

“The show that REALLY affected me, however, was TWIN PEAKS, which I’d watch every week with my dad. He’d tape the show on his VCR (remember those?) and we’d watch the episode AGAIN right after it aired in our quest to pull every last clue out of the show. The idea of a TV Show being a mystery and a game that spawned hundreds of theories obviously was a major precedent (that’s a fancy way of saying we ripped it off) for LOST.”

I am very happy how Damon has evolved the whole idea behind “Twin Peaks” (my review) to something so much better, like “Lost” is. Here’s hope that someone in the future will evolve “Lost” itself to a step beyond it too.

In the same interview, the two writers also say that they won’t be revisiting Libby’s story (to the dismay of many fans online), and that seasons 1 and 2 won’t get released in Blu-Ray individually — which of course pisses me off, as I would need to buy a final boxset to get these two seasons in BD, even if I would already own all the seasons by then. Very unfair for us loyal customers.

Elsewhere, the first sneak peek of Lost’s new episode in January was released too. Not a major spoiler, don’t worry.

Meet the MGMT and the 3OH!3

MGMT is the new band that I love. They are playing “psychedelic electro-alternative rock”. And they are successful in the alternative rock scene in the last few months. If you like the “Muse” or maybe even the “New Order”, you will love the MGMT too. Listen to their song “Kids” below (video is unofficial, does not depict the actual band).

Interestingly, my favorite song of the band is not a single (yet). It’s called “Of Moons, Birds & Monsters”, listen to it below. Psychedelic to the max!

And if you happen to like the MGMT, you might just like the 3OH!3 too, another duet, who play “electronic rapcore” music. That’s rap that has rock & electronic elements. The music video of their most known song is here, although this specific song is more pop than rapcore (compared to the rest of their songs).