As if the headline isn’t going to generate enough hate mail. But I need you to think about something for a minute: When was the last time you saw an ORIGINAL item on screen (TV or MOVIES) that was of any real quality?
Now I’m a Marvel fan as well, but then you’re applauding the special effects more than the story. After all in most of those movies the stories have been developed over decades, and so they aren’t really original either?
Now depending on when you were born chances are you will add 20 years to your birth-date and go “well wait, what about…” and find something, that to you anyway, was original. Now I will freely admit that I haven’t had my cable ox plugged in, in over 4 years, so I believe Friends is off the air, but don’t bet me on it. Yes, that was slightly sarcastic, but really since Amazon Prime and Netflix, add in Britbox and we just dont watch network TV. 20+ years ago I developed the idea that if things got bad enough someone would call me, so no need to watch the news. Now what I can tell there is no actual Journalism being practiced. People used to be afraid of the 60 minutes crew, now they just laugh.
Which brings me to my title. If you watch any of the international streaming services you will probably develop two thoughts rather quickly 1) None of the South American ‘weather girls’ on Telemundo ever show up on their TV Shows 2) There is some AMAZING writing coming out of what used to be called the ‘far east.’
I have a really good friend, very intelligent, yet she says she doesn’t like watching ‘eastern’ TV. OK, I get it, they do have a huge fascination with the ‘spirit’ world and demons. They also have made ‘jump rope’ a full contact sport, but if you look past that, and the Idol shows, and the Kaiju (look it up), what you will find is some of the same things that I did. Many of these countries want to produce internationally successful media but do NOT want to cross what they consider to be a cultural boundary of purity. Since I’ve been working remotely I have found many of my greatest off-work hours being spent learning about the myths and legends of China, one of the worlds oldest and most advanced cultures, and Korea a county that went from 3rd world to first place in 30 years! (southern part)
But while they like the success they see in the west, they also have thousands of years of culture to live up to and dig in to. Read a book last week that stated that in China today, over 70% of all marriages are still arranged between families. In China you don’t worry about your ‘credit score’ they have no credit, instead you worry about your ‘social score’ what other think of your actions and how those actions reflect on the country. So along with that the central governments of these countries, and others, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, All impose very severe (per american standards) limits on what characters can and can not do. These limits force the writers to be very creative, in order to keep your interest and help develop the characters.
Watching a series whereby a group of college age guys who play professional sports for a living all live and train under one roof, from what I have read, in this industry thats the norm. Suddenly a female player is recruited by one of the teams. These teams are sponsored by huge corporations, who depend on the reputations of their players as their own. Yes two of the players fall for each other, you knew that was coming, originality is one thing, but some stories cant be avoided. Then I realized it was episode 21 before they even held hands! The writers had developed all the same ‘tensions’ and misunderstandings that are normal when two people start to lean about each other, BUT due to government restrictions they had to avoid certain things that are the norm elsewhere. By episode 20 the residents of Melrose had traded, through, over and up, the entire complex, and the only thing that held off the pool orgy was the discovery that some of them were related by blood having been separated at birth by A) Communist spies B)Aliens C)Supernatural forces trying to stave off Armageddon. You know its true…..
This is not to say that the US should give up striving for its number one spot, but maybe they should try and play the long game instead of the cheap shot. Ask MTV productions or any movie opening with “Presented by SNL” you can actually beat a meme to death, and thats not a good thing. I don’t favor censorship, but I do favor originality and out of the box thinking. Having 2 charecters regardless of their race color creed, sexual disorientation sleeping together is the easy way out. Lets try something that maybe Grandma would not only watch, but enjoy. My 3 Sons, I dont think we ever saw Katie and Rob even sit on the same bed together, but we knew they loved each other. America knew it so well that many fans thought the actors themselves were married. If you want to ‘remake’ something, maybe try Mayberry RFD, or Dick Van Dyke, just leave the vampire slaying in Sunnydale. Remember Sabrina came from Archie comics, and yes she was a witch, but the only thing she ever sacrificed was a punch line.