What Kind Of Day Has It Been

For a few people, the title of this will already give you a strong indication of what this is going to be about. For the rest, heres a ‘previously’.  In all of Aaron Sorkin’s first 3 TV shows, the final episode of season has been titled ‘What Kind Of Day Has It Been’.  It’s one of a number of things you can find repeated through-out his TV work (some you have to look for, and others will likely hit you in the face). Anyway it appeared to be something of a tradition, but it’s a tradition that his most recent (and apparently last) TV show ‘The Newsroom’ broke. That shows season 1 finale was titled ‘The Greater Fool’.

But as it turned out, it only bent the tradition, instead of broke it. As the Newsroom’s series (and season 3) finale used the title. So at some point I had the idle thought of ‘wouldn’t it be interesting to what all 4 versions of ‘What Kind Of Day Has It Been’ in one sitting and use that as the spine for a discussion of the similarities of the shows and how Sorkin’s writing has evolved. So that’s what i’ve just done. All 4 episodes in one go, roughly 3 hours of TV.

Continue reading What Kind Of Day Has It Been

It’s A Teen Drama?

As drama addicts and box-set junkies I’m sure you’ve had the problem of trying to describe a great show to someone whose not quite convinced. It’s a problem with a lot of the best shows because often what makes them great is the part that can’t be covered in a standard synopsis or format and genre description. On top of that some of the best shows go ahead and call themselves ‘Battlestar Galactica’ (or ‘Stargate Universe’) so that as soon as you mention the title people tend to look at you like you’ve grown a second head.

Of course since they are great shows and you know friends and family would love them if only they’d give it a chance so you try various descriptions to see if any work. “Imagine a cross between Lost and Deep Space Nine!” was one such description I tried for Battlestar to no avail, possibly because everyone to who that description is appealing was already watching. “It’s really great drama that just happens to be set in space!” seemed to be the most effective one for BSG. “It’s similar to BSG” worked to get a certain audience to try Stargate Universe.

But as hard as its been to get people on board with ‘Drama that happens to be set in space’, another genre has proved monumentally harder to get people interested in. Teen Drama. “A teen drama?” people will say before you apparently vanish into thin air. There is a massive stigma. I am guilty of giving someone the odd sideways glance when they recommend a Teen Drama as worth a watch. That’s despite 3 of my favourite shows fitting squarely in the genre. Of those 3 shows I’ve never been able to get anyone to watch them, nada, not one single person. Continue reading It’s A Teen Drama?

Somebody Has Already Said It Better*

I don’t know which way i’m going, i don’t know which way i’ve come

and all the roads we have to walk are winding, and all the lights that lead us are blinding

no direction home, a complete unknown like a rolling stone

everyone seems to know the score, they’ve seen it all before

i came in from the wilderness a creature void of form

how can I know that and not know who i am?

so let us not talk falsely now the hour is getting late

but all my words come back to me in shades of mediocrity

i offered up my innocence and got repaid with scorn

look at what they make you give

well I know what i’ve been told, gotta break free to break the hold

i wanna know if all you need is love

try imagining a place where it’s always safe and warm

put your hands in your pockets looked away and smiled

 

Slightly different from my usual posts, the above is a poem that I ‘composed’ during a university module on identity. Thought I’d post it up here because it speaks to how much TV, Film & Music can shape the language we use to discuss ourselves and the things around us.

*even that

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