Tuesday, February 9th, 2010
The idea is that we all watch different shows, even when we all watch the same ones. BtVS and Joss fan penny_lane_42 posted about the shows she’s watching, and got me thinking about the ones I watch.
When it looked like I was watching Gargoyles I was actually watching Blond, Bland Gentlemen Have More Fun Serving Amoral Megalomaniacs, and The Magnificent Seven was absolutely The Con Man with a Soft, Mushy Centre he Resents.
What appeared to be a book about a boy named Harry Potter was in fact The Baggage of Severus Snape and A Werewolf Tries Very Hard Not To Be Happy, For Everyone Else’s Sake. The last couple of books were also Dumbledore Plays Wizard Chess and You Are All His Pieces.
From the beginning, The West Wing was Lemon Lyman and his Quirkily Brilliant and Impervious Assistant Fall In Love with the occasional CJ Is Awesomer Than Pretty Much Everybody; Bitter, Angry, Sad Toby Tries to Save the World with Words; and Jed and Leo: It’s Good Friends Who Keep Us Sane spinoffs. The first two seasons are definitely Dialogue That Plays Like Music, and that show was the first one that made me realize dialogue can be just as flexible and brilliant and god-damn evocative as narration.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer was primarily I Love Allegory and Metaphor Like You Cannot Even Believe and Important Stories in Dark Places. Season Two became A Librarian Was Not How I Thought I’d End Up, But Somewhere I Was Always Headed, while Season Three was The Mayor and Faith Need Each Other, and Are Good People Gone Astray, Really. Season Four was, to my surprise, mostly When Did Xander Become So God Damn Brilliant, and Why Didn’t I Notice Until Now?. Season Five was definitely My Sister is More Important than the World Entire, and That Is Just Fact so Live With It, and Season Six I watched Buffy Learns to Feel Again after getting Really Good at Not. In the end, it turned out I was also watching A Girl Who Forgets How To Be a Girl Because she Has To Be a Man the whole time.
When I watched Doctor Who with David Tennant I was watching The Loneliest Man in the Universe Searches for Distraction That Usually Makes it Worse. When Season Four started it absolutely became Donna is Awesome and the Doctor Needs Her More Than Anyone Else in the Universe. I also admit to watching the Unashamed Sci Fi Crack is Cracktastic Win show on a regular basis and loving it the most.
Torchwood was mostly Torchwood Makes Everything Worse, But In a Good and Often Hilarious Way but also sometimes Sex and Love and All the Awkward, Strange, Niggly Spaces In Between Make Us Human. CoE was, by and large, Gwen Finds Her Awesome.
I watch Criminal Minds for Garcia Is My Hero In All Ways, but also for Women, Even When They’re Victims, Are Not Just Victims and Playing With Gender Roles and Identities in Smart Ways.
Dollhouse started out as Victor and Sierra and Nothing Else Matters, but then suddenly and wonderfully became Topher Doesn’t Want to Hurt Anyone Else But Can’t Help It Because That’s Who He Is.
There are others, of course. I could go on forever, but these are the ones that leap immediately to mind. What shows within shows have you watched? What tinted glasses do you wear when you watch or listen or read the stories you do? I’m intrigued by this discussion and by discovering other people’s points of view.