I have this strange fascination with junky American TV shows. If you consume enough of them, you start to notice beguiling patterns, like how seemingly any setup or plot idea can be reduced to a buddy cop show. Seriously, literally anything. Did you know there’s a show where Ichabod Crane from the legend of Sleepy Hollow wakes up in the 21st century and helps a police officer stop the acpocalypse? No, really. I didn’t make that up. A show started this season where Lucifer helps the LAPD solve crimes. It’s called Lucifer. Its Wikipedia page describes it as “an American fantasy police procedural comedy-drama television series.”
Isn’t that just delightful?
And then we come to Colony, a show that hits every single note on the high-concept low-intelligence American TV checklist, and which I rabidly consumed every episode of. I don’t know if it’s any good or not.
Yes, it’s come to this. Pretty soon we’ll be sporking Twilight, like all the cool blogs were doing back in 2007.
Last time on the Shannara Chronicles: a whole lot of nothing.
A while back I made a post on my long-dormant Goodreads account documenting my brief attempt to read Earth Girl, a YA novel that’s gotten a fairly decent amount of praise. I’ve found myself thinking about it a lot since then– specifically, when I look back on it I’m struck by how in its opening chapters it commits a lot of mistakes that you tend to see both in half-baked YA and in half-baked writing in general. So why not revisit it to do an in-depth critique?
Yes, critique. My intention here is not to have fun lampooning something terrible (so no reaction GIFs or mining poorly-phrased sentences for sex jokes) but to honestly analyse this piece of writing and see where it went wrong. Maybe, if we all hold hands and believe, we’ll even learn something together.
You may, while reading this blog, have come to the conclusion that I’m so amazingly talented and intelligent that I must surely be an only child, as no family could support another life in addition to my own prodigious accomplishments. But in fact, no. I have a brother, and he’s got a book coming out later this year from the good folks at Harmony Ink, and now I’m going to recruit ya’ll into a marketing push that will hopefully propel it into the upper levels of the sales charts.
Unfortunately you can’t get out your credit cards quite yet, as it’s not available to purchase at the moment (Harmony Ink has yet to officially announce it for this year’s slate), but what you can do is head over to his blog and read the first in a series of thrilling behind the scenes blog posts about the creative and business realities of writing.
When you’ve finished doing that, just keep your payment details handy and be ready to hit the “go” button the second I give the word. If you fail to do so, I’ll come to your house in the middle of the night and make incremental adjustments to the position of your garden furniture, and it will unsettle the fuck out of you.
I have personally read the book myself and can attest to its many fine qualities and laudable features. Together, we can give it a fighting chance in the red-in-tooth-and-nail world of publishing. Together, we can transfer large sums of money into my brother’s bank account. I know I can count on you all to step up to the plate and make a difference.
The success of Game of Thrones has made epic fantasy on TV a more viable proposition than it’s ever been. All of a sudden stations and production companies are scrambling to plumb the depths of the genre, looking for their own cash cow franchise. MTV of all places decided to get in on the game by adapting Doing in The Wizard’s very own Shannara Chronicles, which was briefly featured in a Quick Read that came to an abrupt end because the book was boring as fuck.
I’m not going to watch the whole thing because I have better ways to waste my life; I’m thinking maybe five episodes or so, enough to get a taste for what the series is all about, and I’ll mix them in with our regular Let’s Reads to keep you all on your toes. I should make it clear up-front that these posts will come along at a fairly slow rate, as recapping the events of a TV show or movie is a lot more work than just quoting sections of a book.
Apparently the story as adapted skips over the first book entirely (it’s not hard to see why) and begins with the second, the Elfstones of Shannara. Apart from that I know basically nothing about this project and am going in completely blind. Sounds like… fun?
(Note: the screenshots in this post have an MTV watermark on them, deal with it)