There are shows I watch just for the study of characters and story. While giving my brain a rest from words, they keep me in love with the whole art and quality of writing and storytelling:
Scandal– OMG good! Writers for that show are pure genius. They pull off every quirk and every inconsistency that makes a person human. How is it possible to be charmed by a heavily traumatized and disturbed assassin? To love the adulterous love story? To absolutely hate the Jackie Kennedy-type first lady and then be brought to moments where you think she may actually have a soul and real emotions, and you feel a stab of empathy and pity before you start hating her again. The strongest person on the show who binds everyone together and keeps fixing them and their massive problems is also the most vulnerable and the most isolated. It’s all pure genius. People have never been so human.
Vikings. I was pouting because my new cable plan didn’t include FX, right when I got into Sons of Anarchy. Really, what’s changed in all these centuries?? Vikings to bikers to corporate CEO’s: Conquer and violence and wars. Alright, to be completely honest, aside from pouting, my initial hook was solely from Travis Fimmel playing the lead. He was Tarzan (mmm) in Tarzan several, several years ago before it was cancelled after 9 shows. Anyway, turns out that Vikings has some alluring personalities as well. Yesterday on Twitter, @HistoryVikings asked people to Tweet what they thought about one of the men (Rollo, lesser brother). He reminds me of the leading male in Sherri S. Tepper’s book Gate to Women’s Country (LOVED that book!). They think manhood is defined by certain actions (in Vikings: drive, intelligence, bravery, strategy, marriage and family), which may be true. However, his attempts to mimic actions that should be intuitive is what is disjointed and make him repulsive- none of him is natural. His interactions with women are grossly confused, on top of that. To counteract the overload of testosterone is the main guy’s wife, who is awesome. Mother and warrior who can kick her Viking husband’s ass. Love her!
Super 8, and it’s predecessor, The Goonies. I just watched Goonies last weekend with the boys, and was amazed how great a movie it really was. And still is. Kids, smarter and more daring than the adults, while still being smart-ass kids. Super 8 especially is just perfect screenwriting. I wasn’t all that interested in watching Super 8 initially (same for Scandal, actually). Was bored, rented it. Watched it three times in a row. Then Santa miraculously gave it to the boys for Christmas (which was only a month ahead)! How about that! It makes you rethink your definition of what is bad, and who is a villian. Going along with the kid lead: Beasts of the Southern Wild. Beautiful and haunting story told through the perspective of the richest poverty-stricken six year old in history.
Rise of the Guardians. Tatooed Russian Santa. Need I say more?
My award for perfect, excellent, beautiful storytelling goes to House of Flying Daggers. I am in love with that movie. So many simple twists, so many subtle juxtapositions. Everything is balanced and balanced again. Plus the surrealism, which you only seem to find in non-American movies. I won’t reveal more because everyone should watch that movie. No English dubbing, though, cause the subtitles are said much better.
Have your own to share?