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Living Loz
Continued love/hate relationship... 
25th-Aug-2012 10:40 am
Eternal Law (Epic Manpain)
Matthew Graham has a new show in the pipeline, with Fox. (Thanks to talkingtothesky for bringing this to my attention.)

On the one hand, I want to be all: GO MATT! I thought you had a movie coming up next, but this is an amazing opportunity, and I know you could do well, if you put your mind and effort into it. I want this to be successful for you, because somehow I have this ridiculous fondness for you and everything you choose to be, even when what you choose to be goes against all of my common sense, morals and over-developed often hypocritical integrity.

On the other: OH GOD, MATT, THIS SOUNDS SO TERRIBLE. ABORT. ABORT. I HOPE YOU CHANGE THAT RUBBISH FUCKING TITLE. USE ANOTHER SONG LYRIC IF YOU HAVE TO. URIAH HEEP. CALL IT SOMETHING MORE LIKE "TRAVELER IN TIME", YOU BLOODY FOOL. (And yes, it is ALL CAPS in my mind. Also, who can resist something that could so easily be a terrible pun? Because the 'in time' means 'quick enough', since it's more parallel worlds, though one would think there's some time element, given the shitty working title.)

On the third, mutant hand: I can't actually see this being successful. First: it's being picked up by Fox. Fox, who screwed around with Joss Whedon, not once, up at least twice. Second: I really think Matt's best work is when he's quintessentially English. Like Chris Chibnall, his SF cred isn't really all that credible. It's certainly not incredible. What he does brilliantly is mundanity and reality of character. His inspiring moments are his quiet ones, not the forced Americanised flash he sometimes engages in. Even if this is popular (and with a title like "Para Time"? Please God change that), I don't know if it will be good. Not the brilliance he's created before. Eternal Law was always charming and I loved it --- but it was its Englishness that was charming and lovable. The everything else was a bit shit, which is why it never found its audience.

In short: I want this to be great and do well for Matt's sake, but my alarm bells are ringing loud and clear that I don't want to bet any money it will. Also, there doesn't appear to be any Ashley involvement, which makes me a sad fan, because even though I no longer adore every word Ash writes, he does often make Matt better, rein his overenthusiasm a little.
25th-Aug-2012 11:57 am (UTC)
If it's on Fox, it'll make through about half a season.
25th-Aug-2012 12:28 pm (UTC)
True that.
25th-Aug-2012 03:10 pm (UTC)
We all agree.
25th-Aug-2012 03:10 pm (UTC)
I know, right? If it even gets past pilot stage at all.
25th-Aug-2012 05:22 pm (UTC)
I agree with everything you said, at first it sounds like a really good idea and then the name is a bit odd (but names do change a lot, I can't remember what program it was but while it was being filmed it went through about three different preliminary names and when it was airred it came out under a completly different name again). And Fox oh dear god, I dislike Fox immensly due to their politics and the way they screwed Weedon over. But maybe they have learnt from their mistakes, but I doubt it.

I'm not too worried about the american thing, at first I was but British tv has awful flashy moments instead of deep, mundane and based in reality moments too and the reverse is also true for american tv, we get so little of it over here that all the stuff we do see is the shitty mass culture stuff and quite a few times I've been surprised by an American show which I have been sent by american friends or discovered via tumblr (and will never make it onto brit tv) that is brilliant for its mundanity and reality of character. So it could work ither way, Dr Who is now quite american in its flashyness but his episode was good and so even if it is flashy hopefully it will still work well. Maybe there will be a comprimise between the two, like in the mentalist (okay yeah I know I talk about that show way too much but it is a really flashy in an american murder solving show way but then out of no where it goes very british - it could just be one look from Patrick Jane as he makes tea or something and its the most depressing and tear jerking bit of the whole season).

But on the other (no existant mutant hand XD) you are most likely right, LoM was a once in a life time show, to make something that awesome again is a very high bar to hurdle. I think it may be the best thing he will ever create which is a shame as it means everything else will be a bit of a disapointment as it will never quite match those standards even if (in an alternative universe) you'd seen it and LoM hadn't happened we migth think it was really good.
27th-Aug-2012 12:12 pm (UTC)
It's probably not fair to class them as "English" or "American" traits, and it's a sensibility more than anything --- that, yes, you find in shows on either side of the big blue sea. But I'm mostly firmly on the 'mundanity and reality of character' side of things. I mean, my favourite parts of Matt's DW episode were all of the quiet, restrained, understated things. My favourite parts of all of his stuff are those moments. He can do flashy, and he can even do it well --- where it's not just cheese. But he's also been known to tip too far. Like in Ashes to Ashes series 1.

I haven't actually watched The Mentalist, as a protest of how it's a rip-off of Psych, even though I've long suspected I'd probably like it. I have strange issues when it comes to some things --- like, I have no problems with some derivative shows, my current favourite is freaking Teen Wolf, but the creation of this show somehow pushed all my buttons. But I do know that American shows are capable of bringing this. I love a good many American shows.

Poor Matt. I still don't think he really even understands that Life on Mars was his story. The story. That, though undoubtedly flawed as it was in all kinds of ways, it was still a kind of perfection. I don't think he should even attempt to make something as good again, but I do want him to continue to make things that are good. I loved Eternal Law, but it was such an odd mishmash of elements that was never going to do well with the public --- it took too long to get fired up, and fizzled out too quick.

Edited at 2012-08-27 12:13 pm (UTC)
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