they’re coming back to teevee screens next week!
and this blog may become a part-time SH art blog again oops.
There is a post in the meta tag right now that simply and straightforwardly calls the writers monsters. (With, needless to say, zero objection.) I’ve no doubt that this would not be tolerated for a single second if it was about any other group. Can you imagine the outrage if someone just casually called all the actors monsters? Or if someone involved with the show called the fans monsters? But the writers have become a faceless enemy, a grotesque caricature. It’s become acceptable to say whatever you want about them and consider it critical analysis. That’s not okay. How we talk about people matters.
But really, what bothers me the most about this is how counterproductive this approach is. It ignores the real issues in favor of the comfort of having an enemy to hate. People like to think “it’s complicated” is an excuse, but the truth is it is complex. And in assuming that it is as simple as “the writers are bad people” we make the actual problems that much harder to deal with.
What if instead we talked about how SPN from its conception was rooted in troublesome concepts?
What if we talked about how those roots and the assumptions they’ve grown probably influences the atmosphere of the writers’ room?
What if we talked about the assumptions made (not just in SPN but in the television industry in general) about what works in TV—what is necessary to get a point across in 40 minutes and what viewers will identify and sympathize with?
What if we actually acknowledged and talked about these things instead of relying on the false belief that SPN has problems because the writers are awful people?
Can we all please take a moment to appreciate Hagrid here? Seriously, everyone always talks about how Harry has no father figure and how terrible it was for Sirius to die because now Harry’s all alone (dont get me wrong, Sirius is my favorite character) but honestly, Hagrid is the best father Harry ever had. He did so much for him, and no one, sometimes not even Harry realizes that. Hagrid gets no where near the mount of credit he deserves. Take a minute and try to imagine where Harry would be with out him and you’ll understand what im talking about.
I think JKR said it was really important to her that Hagrid carried him out of the forest, because he carried him to safety when he was a baby. Hagrid has been there since the beginning, and he was also there at the culmination of Harry’s journey. He’s always cared SO MUCH and been really open with Harry for the most part, which is something Harry needs since people tend to keep secrets from him. Yeah, he’s irresponsible with the monsters, but all of Harry’s father figures were pretty irresponisble, and Hagrid was definitely like, the most solid and reliable out of all of them. And he never left.
Hagrid was also most like a parent in his correction of Harry. For Sirius and Molly, Harry could do no wrong. Dumbledore saw Harry’s flaws, but he depended on them for his own plans to work.
But Hagrid saw Harry for exactly who he was, good and bad. He was the first to publicly defend Harry’s innocence anytime he got blamed for something he didn’t do; but he was also the first to call Harry out on his treatment of Hermione in PoA. He is consistently honest and forthright in addressing Harry’s behaviour and choices, and always acts in the way he believes will be best for Harry’s growth and especially for his moral development.
Harry is the man he is because of Hagrid. No one else did that for him.
Awesome point, awesome awesome.
I also think that everyone forgets how much Hagrid went through as well. I mean yes Sirius was falsely put in Azkaban but Hagrid was denied his magic, expelled from school and could only get a job working in a school full of people who could do magic. Hagrid couldn’t really work in the muggle world very well, what with being half giant. Yet he never grumbled, he was so kind. Plus he was so gentle and sweet. Not many people could become best friends with an enormous spider and actually care for it. Hagrid cared about everybody and everything, not just Harry even after everything that had happened to him.
RUBEUS HAGRID APPRECIATION LIFE.
Because this seemed necessary. Not actually SPN meta, but hopefully a useful resource for those who engage in criticism (positive or negative!) of the writers/writing. If you have additional or better resources, please let me know.
The first is more directly informational; the second two are interviews/panels with writers that may vary on how informative they are with respect to television production/writing in general.
You can learn a lot from reading teleplays,like what tends to be in a script and—perhaps more importantly-what doesn’t. A really good resource for learning about structure, but also very good for seeing what aspects of a TV episode are in the scripts. Not many SPN scripts here—although there are a few—but reading scripts for any show you watch is informative.
Blogs (and other)
Blogs aren’t really my focus, so there are probably a lot of good writing blogs that I don’t know about. These are just a couple that I’m aware of.
There are a lot of TV writers on Twitter. Some of them occasionally talk about various aspects of their jobs. For SPN, I know @adamglass44 at least does, or did, but I’m not sure of any that do so frequently enough to be listed here. But following writers on shows you’re interested is definitely a potential resource.
Never seen this (don’t have Sundance) but listing it because it sounds like a good resource.
These are not necessarily the best books out there (I really don’t know); they’re the ones that I read and I chose them based on three criteria: focus on hour drama, recent publication (the industry has changed a lot and you want the most current info) and relative inexpensiveness. Links go to Goodreads.
- Writing the TV Drama Series: How to Succeed as a Professional Writer in TV (3rd Edition)
- Inside the Room: Writing Television with the Pros at UCLA Extension Writers’ Program
- Television Writing from the Inside Out
- Inside the TV Writers’ Room: Practical Advice for Succeeding in Television
DVD Commentaries with Writers
Very hit-or-miss—you never know what’s going to be talked about in a commentary. But this can be a good way to learn about how specific episodes were developed from story to script—and by extension, a good way to pick up on the typical writing and story development process. I don’t have much of a list here, because I don’t focus that much on commentaries, but this is a very informative one.
- SPN 5x04 “The End” DVD Commentary (sorry no link.)
a list of things to remember about j2m (and all other actors, for that matter)
- they are people
- they say stupid shit sometimes and make mistakes
- yeah mainly looking at jared here i know he catches some flack for jokes he makes sometimes but you guys just gotta let it roll like water off a ducks back
- again, people
- not perfect
- they are actors
- actors do you hear me actors thats it
- they do not have that much power over the show
- if they have inside knowledge of things happening (cough destiel cough) they cannot tell you
- do you understand that like they literally cant say anything if destiel is endgame and they know about it they’re not allowed to say anything
- the actor ≠ the character
- jensen specifically okay he is kind of shy and not suave and confident like dean can be
- you start asking him difficult questions in front of a large gathering of fans that he doesnt want to upset he is going to freeze up and be uncomfortable ok just please stop
- know that anything that happens in front of the camera was done with purpose ok let that be a silver lining. nothing that happens on tv is on accident, this shit is planned out
- these guys are doing the best they can okay and they fucking love us and our show so cut them some slack
listen guys i ship destiel with the best of them its my otp to end all otps but sending misha fanfiction and asking jensen questions that you know will make him uncomfortable has got to stop. its shit like that that gives destiel shippers a bad rep and you must remember. lets repeat this. if the actor does know something we dont - are you ready for this -
i love you all okay and them i just think we all need to take a step back and realize that these guys are people just like us and they don’t need to be harassed or treated badly bc without them we wouldnt have the same show that we love so much today
Keep in mind that much of this applies to the writers as well. Those who are doing most of the interacting with the fandom—on Twitter especially but also at cons, SDCC excepted—are not the decision makers. They don’t determine the direction of the show. They may/probably (depending on their position in the hierarchy) have input and influence, but they are not in charge. And that goes for what they can tell us, too. They do not make those decisions. They certainly know more about the (currently) planned direction(s) of the show than the actors, but they cannot tell us ”this is absolutely in the works” or “no that’s definitely never happening” any more than the actors can.