Thursday, September 15, 2011

Never Say Goodbye

Today Roman Wild died.
I know this because my tweetstream is full of sad, tear-filled updates; because I read the spoilers a month or so ago and learned that would be his fate; because I knew the actor was leaving the show and had a feeling they'd be going in that direction rather than letting him head off to Hamburg for a seminar and never come home.
I know this, but I haven't seen it. I haven't watched Alles Was Zaehlt for months, and even when most of my online AWZ-friends were returning for the last story arc, I couldn't bring myself to join them.
TV deaths hit me hard, y'all.
I get invested in characters all the time. I follow their relationships and struggles, I worry about their choices, I connect to their hopes and dreams. If well written and acted, I'm *there*.
Which is why, when a beloved character is killed off on one of my shows, it guts me. I was a wreck when Reid was offed by a literal and figurative train wreck on ATWT; I still mourn for Ianto from Torchwood.
By all accounts, Roman's passing has been an incredible story arc, and I'm sure it doesn't suffer from Needless Death For Emotional Manipulation And Stupid Plotlines, as happened to Ianto and Reid. People who are watching are full of praise for the tour de force acting. I'm sure, if I could watch with a little more distance, I would be blown away by the skill invested in this final storyline.
But I don't have distance. I love Roman, with all his quirks and foibles and all-too-human weaknesses, with his strength and fierce determination and all-encompassing love for the people who matter to him. And I can't be there for this story now. Sometimes I wish I could. But then, if I could, I wouldn't be me, would I?
Best wishes to Dennis Grabosch, who created one of the most memorable characters I've ever seen on screen; kudos to Igor Dolgatschew for meeting him step by step along the way in a pairing that made both of them stronger actors.
And hugs and tissues for those who are watching. Maybe someday I'll be able to do the same.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Monday Movie Musings - Changes at IHMTD

Okay, it's not really a movie, but the changes being chatted about concerning new fall FOX comedy I Hate My Teenage Daughter have been on my mind lately.

First, what was already the latest premiere of the fall season has been pushed back even later, to November 30. The first premiere date, November 23, didn't make a whole lot of sense - it's the day before Thanksgiving, and you wouldn't expect it to get much attention (or ratings) then. But a week later pushes it even closer to the winter hiatus season. How many episodes will actually be shown before they go to reruns or holiday specials? At this point, they should just call it a midseason replacement and go with a January premiere.

Then comes the news that they're already retooling the show (which, to be honest, was one of the things I crossed my fingers for when I first heard they were premiering so late in the first place). When I attended the filming, I thought it was funny, but definitely a traditional sitcom-style show (not a bad thing, but it is what it is). And I was very impressed with the cast - the talent there was impressive.

But the show has been eviscerated by the critics. Absolutely shredded. And my hope was that the added time before the show premiered would give them an opportunity to change things up, maybe bring the show and script up to the level of the performers.

So word is (in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly) that they've done some reshoots that make them more confident in the show. The problem? The example given is that Eric's character, Matt, was changed to seem "less pathetic".

Okay. I have no issue with Eric being given more material, or his character switched up. But of all the negative reviews of the show (and believe me, I've read almost all of them -yeah, I'm a little invested in IHMTD succeeding), not one of them said anything negative about Eric or his performance. NOTHING. It's all about the parenting fail by the female characters, or the tone of the show, or the laugh track - but not a single critic has said, "I hated the character of Matt and it killed the show for me."

So, uhm, I really hope that's just one of the changes, and they've done other adjustments to the pilot to help it be successful - and prove the critics wrong. Even if it does start so late in the year.