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What I Want On TV, Part N of X - Barnstorming on an Invisible Segway [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Marissa Lingen

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What I Want On TV, Part N of X [Apr. 24th, 2010|12:39 pm]
Marissa Lingen
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So timprov and I were talking about the possibility of a San Francisco spin-off of Criminal Minds, and how stupid it would be because the BAU goes everywhere. And I decided what I really want instead! timprov thinks it's a good idea that would not work in the least with anybody working in television right now, but since they don't call me up to ask anyway, I don't have to worry about that. What I want is:

Criminal Minds: Vienna or Criminal Alienists. It's not set in 2010. It's set in 1910! And so this whole psychology thing is really cutting-edge scary science stuff. The ethnic minority team member (yah, I once thought we could have more than one, too, but that was before they replaced Brunette with Brunette and Middle-Aged White Guy with Middle-Aged White Guy) is Romany, and nobody knows that the J.J. character is secretly an Emma Goldman-style anarchist. (Except the Reid character. He knows but doesn't say anything.) The Garcia character runs their train car full of interesting machines, and her hand on the telegraph is so fast and precise it has to be heard to be believed. And they dash about Central Europe solving murders! And if the show lasts more than three years there is WWI to contend with! Awesome, no? Yes. Awesome.

Also, after having watched the pilot of In Plain Sight, which was incredibly paint-by-numbers, I have decided that I am tired of cop heroines who are Tough But Vulnerable, and I want some who are Tough But...Also Tough. I am sick unto death of heroines who are being trotted out to cry on cue as if they're on Oprah, all because the writers don't trust us to see that people have more emotions than they show to their co-workers on a daily basis. Bah. I say again: bah.

So then in my head Geena Davis was doing this scene, and the new guy cop was trying to assure her that he was sensitive to how much harder it could be for her as a woman. She raises her voice and says to the other cops, "Skippy here says he feels my womanly pain on this job." They laugh. She says, "There are two choices here. One is that I am really just a hardass cop like those other hardass cops, and you have just gotten on my last damn nerve. The other is that this is a facade I put up so I can deal with the tough cases, and you've just stepped on my coping mechanism in the middle of a case. Either way, not smart. Oh wait, I forgot the third option." And then she leans in completely straight-faced and says, "I'm Batman."

So really the question remaining is: is Geena Davis really Batman? Because I could also see Jane Lynch doing this one (and possibly being Batman, not sure). Addressing young men as Skippy seems like it would work for either of them. Anyway I want the Tough But Also Tough heroine to have a similarly Tough best friend--maybe it's a show about both of them. Okay, I like this. One is a cop and the other is an emergency department pediatrician. And neither one of them is the sweet vulnerable one, because: emergency peds, seriously, not for the "but I weep like a little girl" personality. And periodically somebody says to one of them, "I could never do what you do," and the reply is always, "No, probably not." And they have a third, much nicer friend, who has strengths of her own, but they are not her. Yah. That.

Also nobody would ever get stuck on a plane. In the Criminal Alienists show, they wouldn't even get stuck on a dirigible. Because I am so far over the stuck-onna-plane plot that it looks like an ant from here. An ant I could squish with my stompy boot, and would like to. Seriously, TV writers. Make a note. Stuck-onna-plane and stuck-innan-elevator are Intro Creative Writing plots. They say, "Help! I want to do character and don't know how to do plot!" Learn how, or get comfortable with not being very plotty--your call, just don't keep giving me onna-plane, because I am done.
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From: orbitalmechanic
2010-04-24 05:46 pm (UTC)
If you promise that female tough cop's father won't appear on the show, I'm sold. MAN I'm tired of that.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-04-24 05:48 pm (UTC)
Fine with me. What if both the pediatrician's parents appear for a cobbled-together holiday meal, and they are very mellow people who have more or less completely adjusted to their daughter's friends, but the cop keeps apologizing for her language and the parents keep rolling their eyes? Would that hit the same tired-of buttons?
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[User Picture]From: marshallpayne1
2010-04-24 05:46 pm (UTC)
I admit to not having watched Criminal Minds yet. I need to get away from this PC. :D
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-04-24 05:49 pm (UTC)
I hear tell that some people actually use their PCs for that very purpose, so you don't actually have to.
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[User Picture]From: fiddle_dragon
2010-04-24 06:12 pm (UTC)
Oh my gosh, I *wish*!! That sounds *awesome*!!!
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From: ex_truepenn
2010-04-24 06:12 pm (UTC)
I would show up for Criminal Alienists every week. With popcorn.

Also for your Tough Cop and Tough Doc show. I would further appreciate it if the Tough Doc was petite and extremely pretty and NEVERTHELESS Tough As Nails.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-04-24 06:14 pm (UTC)
I had initially imagined Tessa Thompson.
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[User Picture]From: shana
2010-04-24 06:14 pm (UTC)
If you're going to stuck, stuck-inna-traffic-jam would make sense. At least in NY.
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From: orbitalmechanic
2010-04-24 06:49 pm (UTC)
Once when I lived in California they had to halt all traffic on a highway and land a plane on it, because it couldn't make the airport! I would accept that plot, either from the traffic or the plane. Or both.
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[User Picture]From: moiread
2010-04-24 07:31 pm (UTC)
I really enjoy In Plain Sight, and all of the characters are pretty great. They are fairly predictable, because they are clichés, but I've always thought they were written very well anyway. Fun clichés, maybe? I definitely don't see Mary as Oprah-ish at all. But I can't actually remember the pilot ep, so I can't remember where the writing was at when it started. You can probably assume it's gotten better, though, since that's normal with shows. And the fact that I like it doesn't necessarily mean you will -- obviously! -- but I just thought I'd throw in my $0.02.

Have you tried The Good Wife, too? It is fucking excellent. I may think that In Plain Sight is 'predictable but awesome' but The Good Wife is just plain fantastic. It's definitely in another class.

Edited at 2010-04-24 07:37 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-04-24 08:47 pm (UTC)
Yah, I specified the pilot because I figured it would probably shift over time, and I wanted to make it clear exactly how little of the show made me react that way. I've now watched two more episodes, and we're starting to get into the part of the series where they've set up who is who and what is what and can have a little more in the way of fun moments. So I have hopes for more of that.

I have not even heard of The Good Wife. Will go look into it.
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[User Picture]From: rushthatspeaks
2010-04-24 07:54 pm (UTC)
The amount of money I would pay to see that Geena Davis scene is non-negligible.

She is totally Batman.
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[User Picture]From: dancing_crow
2010-04-24 08:03 pm (UTC)
maaan... I want whatever TV you can get your ideas on. Those sound awesome.
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[User Picture]From: zalena
2010-04-24 08:38 pm (UTC)
Criminal Alienists: I would watch/read this with devotion. (It reminds me of Sally Lockhart to be honest!)
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[User Picture]From: joeboo_k
2010-04-24 08:47 pm (UTC)
I want to watch your shows, the Geena Davis one in particular. She could use a new show and I think could rock that one.
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[User Picture]From: careswen
2010-04-24 09:14 pm (UTC)
Sounds good; I'd watch! If, y'know, I didn't have that whole, "I don't watch TV; I'm in grad school" problem.
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[User Picture]From: fidelioscabinet
2010-04-25 12:32 am (UTC)
I would watch Criminal Alienists. I would even splurge for Tivo so I could watchit again and again and again until teh DVD came out.

Also, the Garcia-equivalent would be an expert in Mr. Marconi's new wireless system. They might even have a ticker tape machine, used for transmitting information other than stock proces.

They could have Hungarian vs. German language issues with the team! And an irritated Slav, as well.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-04-25 12:20 pm (UTC)
This is good stuff. I am all for irritated Slavs in fiction. In real life not so much.
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[User Picture]From: themagdalen
2010-04-25 12:40 am (UTC)
What time is Geena's show on?
Want.
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[User Picture]From: leahbobet
2010-04-25 04:18 am (UTC)
So I would so watch Criminal Alienists. Or want to live it. Whichever.
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[User Picture]From: dichroic
2010-04-25 11:12 am (UTC)
Having just finished the first four Dr. Thorndyke mysteries by R. Austin Freeman, I've concluded they are the CSI: London of their day. So Criminal Alienists doesn't seem that unlikely.
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