Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Write to Strike

No, the current lack of postings on Radio Free Stan is not because I'm striking in support of The Writers' Guild of America who have been on strike since 5 November. There are no scab writers being bussed in, and there is no picket line around my keyboard. I'm just working hard, doing a bit of crossword-solving blogging on http://fifteensquared.net/ and spending weekends with Mrs Stan and Stanetta.

I do support the WGA's action though - good writers are my heroes and should be the most overpaid people on the planet. Unfortunately they get less even than mediocre Associate Producers, and I couldn't even begin to guess how you could measure whether an Associate Producer is good, bad, or dying of Ebola.

The upshot of the strike is that American TV is even fuller of Reality shows and repeats than it was before - a situation likely to persist into the new year. Hopefully this will provoke outrage and a new appetite in America for writer-driven TV shows and films.

Speaking of which, I finished watching "Lost 3", which contains some great writing and some some of the laziest writing I'm seen all together. There is one of the best story-arcs ever created, which apparently extends another three series. But there are also too many episodes where it's all about the backstory for a character, and five minutes from the end it's as though the writer has thought "Oh damn, I forgot to move the plot forward" and they throw in a twist from nowhere.

I've also never seen such bad accounts of addictions in my life. Charlie is the second-least convincing drug addict in world literature, only eclipsed by Doctor Jack (in flashforward) who it seems will turn into a mumbling, bearded, denim-jacketed Nirvana-lover. Actually there may have been less convicing drug addicts in early "Starsky and Hutch" episodes, but I'd have to research it.

I'm also not sure about the nnnnnew "flash forward" device in "Lost 3" - with all the flashing back and forward, the writers may become even more forgetful about moving the plot forward, and the viewers will become .... er, lost.

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