My week in media

Monday: I’ve given up on the Game of Thrones prequel thing. Cancelled my Now TV subscription. It’s absolute gubbins. A boring, dark, slow turn off. Just like the royal funeral.

Tuesday: I’m sort of looking forward to The Peripheral, coming soon to Amazon, and based on William Gibson’s novel, which I have read. Another genre show! Most of them are poor, and yet we genre fans keep giving them more of a chance than they deserve.

Wednesday: I’ve cancelled Paramount+ too, because apart from Star Trek there’s nothing on. And in the absence of a current new Star Trek, I’m not paying. I have been rewatching the original series, which is still great (and, crucially, not too dark in terms of its visuals). I think my subscription will run out before I have time to rewatched the unloved third season. But both my daughter and I agree that Season 3 of ToS is actually brilliant, simply because the stories are completely bonkers. There needs to be more absolutely bonkers television.

Thursday: I resubscribed to Netflix after these cancellations, but there’s very little on. I burned through The Lincoln Lawyer (average), and then couldn’t bring myself to watch Stranger Things. I’d already lost interest in the second season. So I put on Lost in Space, which is a weird modern TV show because it keeps its language clean and doesn’t feature any sexy stuff. But I do actually quite enjoy it. There’s some father-daughter stuff (which pushes my buttons, natch), and the storyline isn’t bad at all.

Friday: I’m in a the mood to give up on the Lord of the Rings prequel thing, which (like House of the Dragon) is also boring and slow, but at least not dark. It’s lush to look at, and you can see stuff because the lighting is mostly high key. But, but, but, it is dreadfully slow, and almost nothing happens. The most recent episode was over an hour long, and (as the Guardian recap noted) ‘ruthlessly packed in’ 17 minutes of story. But it’s on Amazon Prime, which I’m paying for anyway. So I’ll watch it to the end, and Amazon will call it a success, but it’s not. It’s awful.

I was talking to a friend (hi, friend) and mentioned how many mediocre genre shows there are on Netflix. They’re all pretty much of a muchness. I’ve noted before, Netflix think they have a formula for making such shows, and they’re sticking to it, even though it means they all seem the same. There are (a very few) exceptions, like Travelers, but they are rare. It happens, but it’s rare, but it happens.

Saturday: The BBC have a formula, too, for the vaguely science fictiony techno thriller audio dramas in their Limelight strand. They’re all pretty similar, all have youthful casts, and they’re all a bit rubbish (even if they don’t all go down the anti-vax road). They have characters who start every sentence with, “So…” and they do that irritating thing of telling a series of linked individual character stories rather than making six episodes that tell one story. This is as bothersome to me as the doorstep fantasy novel with twelve p.o.v. characters. I’m just tired of it: it’s time to ring the changes on these things.

This is why I have hopes for the William Gibson thing. Amazon do seem to be picking up some interesting properties. I wish they’d look at some Tim Powers IP, or Robert Charles Wilson: I would be here for the TV series based on Spin. I also think Bezos made a massive mistake in buying the Lord of the Rings Except Not Lord of the Rings rights. It’s a colossal waste of money, and their best move would be to cancel it now, rather than sink even more money into it. It’s just not good enough.

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