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    Latest Topics


    Burn out or Fade Away? Television, Entitlement and Proper Endings

    In 2003, Joss Whedon’s Firefly was cancelled by Fox. The show was witty, original and would retroactively become beloved. The show became a cultural signpost for the idea that fans could "save" a show and the browncoat movement was born, eventually pushing an excellent and satisfying move into production. Jump to 2006 and fans of the cancelled show "Jericho" sent 9 tons of peanuts to CBS offices in protest to the show’s looming cancellation. (It made sense in context, honest.) Later, Netflix briefly revives Arrested Development. Later still, Yahoo "saved" Community so it could get its shot at "six seasons and a movie". As the internet improves fans’ ability to communicate directly with the creators and distributors, and as those fans get more savvy with their methods, the power of deciding "what’s on" is more and more in the hands of the viewer.

    But is this always a good thing?

    Would Firefly be as beloved if it had continued another 3 seasons? Does Community still work without Donald Glover? As televisions fans gain more power and direct control over their favourite shows, are we not also becoming more responsible for the tough decisions? And ultimately, who has control over when a series ends? The fans who love it, embrace it and for whom it was ultimately for? Or the creators whose blood, sweat and tears are the creative juice that made it so good in the first place?

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      Latest Comments

      I love the “lightning rod” theory. That Black Widow has to fill a dozen different roles because of the lack of diversity in the cast. She has to be the ass-kicking feminist, the dopey damsel, the suave secret agent, the shoehorn love interest, the sensitive confidant, the cold and calculating manipulator all in one go.

      She’s spread too thin. It’s great for a character to have many aspects, to be complicated, but Black Widow shouldn’t have to try and be labelled with the entire spectrum of womankind. It’s just impossible.

      Black Widow: Audiences' Expectations for Female Superheroes

      This article is informative, but it’s basically just a shopping list for me now. I’m going to go download some of this stuff. I hope that was the intention? To get people to play these?

      Pokémon: The Unique Experience of Fan-Made Games

      That exact sentiment always makes me think of I Fight Dragons’ song “No one likes Superman anymore”. It’s not nice to think about, but really good characters only make us feel guilty or inadequate, instead of inspiring us. I think it shows a certain level of ubiquitous cynicism.

      The Rise of Antiheroes in Modern Superhero Films

      This article doesn’t break any new ground, but I feel like it’s a good starting point for people looking to enter into an ongoing debate about “grittiness” in superhero movies, or superhero media in general. It hits all the major points and does so in a thoughtful way.

      Since the 90’s, the rise of the anti-hero has always felt a certain amount of push back. Superheros are bright, colourful and often very silly and there’s a lot of value in keeping that traditional tone. Both because superheroes are for everyone, kids and adults alike, and because throwing out the rules is often an effective method of story telling. It lets you cut out at lot of exposition if the Flash can just “run back in time” without having to explain the physics behind it. Or that a bad guy wants to rule the world, because he’s evil instead of because he thinks he needs to oppose the oppressive capitalist state.

      On the other hand, the bright costumes and simplistic stories of early comics don’t lend themselves to more complicated stories with political undertones, or topical allegories.

      I think the good rule of thumb is, if you’re going to go dark and serious, have something to say. Don’t just make it gritty or serious for sake of tone.

      The Rise of Antiheroes in Modern Superhero Films