Thursday, March 15, 2012


When you go to a movie, see a show on TV, or read a book, what's the biggest thing you complain about.  For me, it's - "There's nothing new!"

This has driven me out of my mind for the past decade.  Look at the movies coming out of Hollywood.  There's Spiderman 3, Shrek 4, Bad Boys II, Men in Black II(soon to be MIB3), Iron Man 2, Austin Powers #3, and on, and on, and on.  The only original movies I've even heard about recently were mostly chick flicks that I wouldn't be caught dead going into(my wife can go and has gone to see that stuff with her friends...yes, I'm a Neanderthal).  I long for a new movie that isn't a sequel or offshoot of an already used idea(Puss in Boots, anyone?), but that would mean that Hollywood would need some courage and have to take a risk on an unproven idea. Since for all their pining about creative and artistic angst they do little more than recycle old ideas, we are unlikely to see another Scarface or The Sixth Sense anytime soon.

TV shows are the same way.  I don't think I've watched a new sitcom in over a decade. And for the love of God, how many CSIs do we really need?  Heroes was great when it first came on, but it quickly decided that it couldn't be too unpredictable and lose its main bad guy, thus ruining the tension.  I thought Jericho had potential, but it soon fell prey to every stereotype that crackpot conspiracy theorists ever came up with.  Supernatural is about my only refuge, but even that is just a weak spinoff from The X-Files(as is Fringe, The Warehouse, etc.).

Then we come to books.  One would think that this would be the medium where anything approaching originality would be welcomed, but I keep running across the same things on the shelves.  I'm a scifi and horror/paranormal fanatic, but too many themes are getting recycled in the same way, with only the names of the characters being original.  How many books about sparkly teen vampire romance do we need?  Does every zombie book have to follow the same formula about someone waking up from a coma after the zombie apocalypse has happened, and now the main character has to link up with the few survivors, with some conflict between the two strongest characters to follow?  And in scifi, it's usually based around: aliens find humans, cultural differences ensure misunderstanding or one side is evil, conflict follows.

Admittedly, there are a limited number of the types of monsters we can see, and human/alien stories only have a few themes to play off of.  However, there should be some variety in the stories.  How about some author tell the story of the zombie apocalypse from the point of view of the zombies?  Maybe a scifi novel could deal with the galactic aftermath of a genocidal war, with each side trying to play off of the other.  When it comes to vampires, do they all have to either be teen heart throbs or suave and sophisticated members of the elite?  Why can't some of them be brutal to other vampires, looking to topple members of their own race in order to try and live in peace with society, and how would society react to such coexistence?

I think the public is crying out for something fresh and different(Lord knows I am).  Movies and TV have been in the dumps since the early 90s, and I've previously discussed the horrid state of affairs when it comes to printed novels.  I think a lot of this could be solved by people taking chances on new ideas.  Yes, I know that a large number of them will suck big time, but if you sift through enough dirt, you will eventually find a piece of gold.  And if you locate just one, it could start a gold rush to usher in a new age of originality.  Are you willing to pan for it?

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