Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Favorite Survey

Among the many film-related items to read on the internet, one that I always anticipate-more for entertainment than educational purposes-is the Criticwire Survey on Indiewire. It's quite simple, consisting of a question posed by Criticwire editor Sam Adams, followed by responses from established critics around the web. Richard Brody almost always contributes, and I find his responses to often be the sharpest and most intelligent. In a brief paragraph he both answers the question and offers his typically stellar analysis of that question. The latest survey is on anticipated fall TV shows, to which Brody responds: 

The reason to eagerly anticipate TV series created by directors of good movies is that those series are likelier to be good. Calling TV a writers' medium is like calling novels an editors' medium. Editors are essential; so are screenwriters; but when the balance of influence tilts too far, the result, in television (or, for that matter, in movies) is like those series of novels churned out for kids, in which a mastermind comes up with the plots for the books that other writers are hired to flesh out; it's as if the directors at work on them were painting pictures while jumping on the hopscotch board that the rigid plotting dictated; they do the best they can but what's mainly visible is the mandatory pattern they jump to. I'm sure (he says with a Socratic smile) that there will be many fine series premiering on TV this fall, and I'll take good advice from the critics on which ones to sample, but the series I'm most looking forward to is the World Series; it would be good to see the inspired and ripened Montreal Expos (I mean, the Washington Nationals) or the Dodgers, with their freestyle flair, take on the Angels' powerhouse.

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