Entertainment bits

* What a stupid show “Terminator” is. So this guy had his house burned down and he lost his AI computer program that he was working for years. 2-3 weeks later (in the show’s timeline), he already had re-written from scratch the AI chess program and he was ready to compete at a Chess competition. Not only it’s not possible to write alone such a complex software “that learns” in 3 weeks, but even if he had done so, it would still be full of bugs and not ready for the competition. If the writers instead had said that the guy had a backup of the software in a safe location I’d believe them, but re-writing from scratch software in such a little time shows how the writers have no fucking clue what they are doing. It’s so fucking pissing me off having clueless people writing technology shows. You see, the people who watch sci-fi, are usually technologists and geeks. And that’s an audience that you can’t serve them shit. They’ll go elsewhere.

* “Prison Break” instead had a great episode tonight. Very intense. Too bad it will be canceled, I don’t think it will get lucky this time.

* Very interesting analysis from an MIT media professor about “Lost” and “Twin Peaks”. He claims that the puzzle factor of these series is what people want, and no matter how many people are crying foul and shout “give us answers”, in reality they don’t need answers, but even more deepen puzzles. From the moment you give them the ultimate answer that resolves the show, their interest is over for that show. This is what happened to Twin Peaks after the Laura Palmer murderer was revealed: the ratings went downhill. Not everyone likes puzzles, but everyone is intrigued by them, at least in the beginning. Because of this, such shows can lose as much as half their audience over the years, but the ones who will remain, will be fanatics.

* I’ve grown to hate John Locke. And on the upcoming “Lost” episode it will be shown what an ass he is, and that he doesn’t really know what the hell he is doing. Bleh.

* This is the story of Anonymous’ Los Angeles chapter against Scientology, in HD. I love their masks. “Remember, remember… the fifth of November…”


irbis wrote on February 12th, 2008 at 7:07 AM PST:

I agree that it’s the puzzle factor in certain kind of tv series like Twin Peaks or Prisoner that fascinates people. Also, the best detective stories are often those where the story doesn’t just end there in the end, but it keeps on going at least in people’s imagination.

But too much illogical and incredible fantasy might also break the illusion, make the story look like total nonsense to people. There must be a balance between fascinating mystery and credibility.

Prisoner, the TV series, started feeling too much like a flat pancake in the end when the answers behind the enigma were revealed. Ok, the ending may have kept part of the mystery but it seemed artificial and not credible. Maybe if the end would have been more logical and not so far out, it would have made more sense? I read that the authors of that series had some better ideas for its ending and which might have worked better.

Most people if not all seem to like thrillers, scifi or fantasy fiction, at least to some extent. That kind of entertainment has something to stimulate the mind, make people think, have new ideas, forget other more boring things in their daily lives and routines for a moment.

Another factor is that mystery fiction may often at least pretend to provide some glimpses of higher ideals and bigger stories in life than just plain materialism often fulfilling modern men’s minds. That must be one reason why, for example, Tolkien’s Middle Earth stories are so very popular. They show as a world where there are still grand scale ideals and stories about good and bad.

People seem to need some degree of mystery in their lives, and a feeling, at least in their imagination, of being part of some bigger stories too than just their daily routines.

Kevin wrote on February 12th, 2008 at 9:34 AM PST:

“in reality they don’t need answers, but even more deepen puzzles.”

I would have to disagree with that. The realization that I would never get answers, just more questions was why I (and almost everyone I know) stopped watching that show.

Jim wrote on February 12th, 2008 at 12:22 PM PST:

After watching that video, I think that scientologists should go to a Shrink and get their heads examined

irbis wrote on February 12th, 2008 at 12:30 PM PST:

I just read that “analysis from an MIT media professor”. Interesting, and it makes sense too.

Good stories have a lot to do with intertextuality and creative interpretation. As long as the plot and its mysteries stay more or less open, people are able to connect their own varying interpretations into the text. With all the possible connections to various other stories and interpretations in people’s minds the story starts to feel bigger and more mysterious than it may actually be. But once all the loose ends are joined together, and the story unfolds and has a certain kind of conclusion, the intertextual richness that the story may have originally had will be partly gone too.

That is also what can make art like paintings, or poetry or song lyrics so fascinating. People can have thousands of varying and personal interpretations for the same piece of art or poem.

Of course, if the story or work of art doesn’t seem to make any sense at all in people’s minds, or seems only frustrating waste of time, audience will probably lose their interest quickly. What does seem to make sense depends on people’s knowledge of other stories, ideas, values etc. – intertextuality.

This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on February 12th, 2008 at 12:39 PM PST:

>I (and almost everyone I know) stopped watching that show

Nope, you are simply in that category I wrote above. The person who doesn’t want to solve puzzles forever. But half the audience wants to, even if they don’t know it. If the whole mystery of the island was to revealed in season 3, then Lost would become a boring soap drama and the ratings would go down EVEN more for the rest 3 seasons.

Andy wrote on February 12th, 2008 at 12:54 PM PST:

Stop watching those crappy tv-series, ffs!

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Eugenia wrote on February 12th, 2008 at 1:25 PM PST:

“Lost” ain’t crappy, it’s a work of art. It’s your loss if you don’t watch “Lost”. To me, it’s as good as reading a good, classic novel. “Prison Break” had a very good first season but it went downhill ever since (and the reason was because the overall mystery of the series was solved: they had escaped at the end of the first season). “Terminator” is crappy already.

Kevin wrote on February 12th, 2008 at 1:52 PM PST:

Yeah, I agree that Prison break has gone down hill. I think they should only have made it one, maybe two seasons. It was fantastic the first season.

I haven’t seen Terminator yet.

Brendan wrote on February 12th, 2008 at 3:29 PM PST:

Classic. Blogging that Terminator, the series, is bad!

How could you watch enough of it to be able to rationally critise it?


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Eugenia wrote on February 12th, 2008 at 4:12 PM PST:

I have nothing better to do on Monday nights. And I love scifi anyway.

newstop wrote on February 12th, 2008 at 7:44 PM PST:

I remember how on “Numbers” they had a very dark shot from the surveillance camera, just a bad guy’s silhouette.
And then that math-genius guy starts to explain in details, how if you process that shot for a very long time (for days), you’ll eventually see the bad guy’s face. “There is no limit for improvement!” he said.

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