Friday, November 18, 2011

Evolve or Die: Movie Theaters

I was thinking the other day as I often do about the movie theater experience. As a man in my thirties and a ex-employee of a movie theater chain, I often wonder will the theater business as we know it be around 20 years from now. With the evolution of technology and the degrading experience of going to the theater mixed in with the cost and inconvenience, are people really going to keep putting up with things as they stand? Can you remember the last time you went to a movie and was not blinded by the bright white light of a cell phone screen? I am not sure I can. Cell phones use to have a small indiglo screen that was a little annoying, but now they are small beacons of light that can be seen from anywhere in the theater. Add this little annoyance with a complete lack of respect for other people and you have the current movie theater experience. For some reason, people think that they are the only people in the theater and constantly talk. The last movie I saw in the theater was "The Thing", during which there were about 6 teenagers who sat in the back talking the entire time. In addition to the talking one of them had a cell phone and decided to answer it multiple times during the movie. Between people talking, cell phones, popcorn bags, and babies I think the most destructive aspects of the current movie theater experience is the customer.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Characters welcomed?

***May contain spoilers of Psych Season 5 and Burn Notice***

I decided the other day to burn through Psych Season 5 when I realized it was on Netflix Instant. I have loved this show since the first season started to air. The interactions between Shawn and Gus are amazing. They are so funny and perfect, but still feel somewhat grounded. They could have taken a very wrong turn and went the direction of Gilmore Girls where every interaction is so quick paced and super pithy/witty that it doesn't seem realistic. But somehow with the same level of ridiculousness they have made this show where the characters interact in perfectly. Basically the show is amazing and was at one point fairly original (unlike mentalist). Well all in all I often find myself watching USA shows such as Psych, Suits, White Collar, and Burn Notice, which I usually enjoy. But one thing I have noticed recently was that they are pretty much all the same shows. One of the things that USA claims is "Characters Welcomed", and one thing they do well is create very good characters that usually play well off of each other. The interactions between these people is what we want and expect from these kinds of shows, but how long can they keep going in this direction? I mean the shows are great, but even after watching Season 5 of Psych I am already asking myself, really how much longer can they keep this show going? How long before someone finally calls him out on not actually being Psychic? How long before he just gets tired of doing the whole act and just comes forward as a "hyper-observant" person? This show is excellent but cant survive off of characters alone forever.

The main problem with these shows is that they heavily rely on Characters and not necessarily story. Burn Notice is a perfect example of this. This show is more or less contained with in the season. I mean there is this weird thread that drives through the main plot but for the most part at the end of each season there is a new deeper, darker threat that he has to find. After watching 4 seasons I cant even remember if he actually found who burned him or if he even cares anymore. Psych is another example of this. They had a story that drove them from the beginning that now has kind ended in the middle of the 5th season, so what drives the show now? It cant be the hanging relationship between Shawn and Juliet? It cant be Ying Yang, so what drives it? The plus about most other shows and movies is there is a thread or drive that connects all the episodes/movies. Unlike most USA shows where every episode is more or less contained within itself.

Another problem with most of these shows is that there is actually a huge similarity between them. Psych and Suits are basically the same character with the same ability doing different jobs. And take a look at the show that really started it all for USA, Monk. Another show about a person with a photogenic mind and is hyper-observant. How long before people get tired of that trend? How many different situations can you put the same character in before we get tired of that character.

Now that I have bashed all USA shows,  let me state that I actually love them all. I thought Psych would be done years ago, and yet here I am still watching season 5, and will watch season 6 the moment the season ends. The shows are amazing, the characters are great and the actors do a really good job. More likely then not I will watch every season of all of these shows until USA goes out of business.

Monday, October 17, 2011

What is this about?!?!?

Hey Everybody,

My name is Ricky and I am just a guy who has stuff bouncing around in his head and has a desire to share it with the world. Now I am not saying I am anyone important or think that my knowledge or opinions are of any use for anyone. I just want to write and create. I am 30 years old, play video games, listen to podcasts, watch movies and tv, read books and comic books, and love hanging out with my friends and family. There are things I want to say and I think this will be a great medium.
In the last couple years I have really gotten into podcasts and web journalism. With that being said I have always desired to become some kind of great reviewer of media in one shape or the other. You know a person that runs a successful blog and podcast. Truth is I have started and deleted 2 or 3 different blogs. And after a failed attempt at running a gaming blog I have learned that I dont need anything too formal right now and I dont have the time or discipline to do anything too formal. I just want to have fun. At PAX Prime this year Will Wheaton said something along the lines of I write because if I dont I will die. It is roughly quoted and I think re-quoted from someone else. That is my main reason for doing this. I honestly dont know if anyone will even be interested in this and I don't know if anyone will read it but I hope my words can find a place in the world, but even if it doesn't I need to continue to create.