Lights Out

I AM GOING TO BE IN CALGARY THIS WEEKEND FOR CALGARY EXPO!!! Details HERE

Writing this at 3am when I should be leaving the house to catch a plane… nowish. Revolution officially went nanobotsbananapants. If you haven’t given up already, now’s a good time.

COMMENTERS: What’s the longest you ever stuck with a show that you hated, hoping that it would improve? For me it was Smallville, seasons 5-10. Or was it 6-10? Or was it 1-10?

Comments (36)

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Kirby's avatar

Kirby · 112 weeks ago

I can honestly like anything. Sit me in front of a TV show, movie, whatever, I’ll enjoy myself no matter how bad it tends to be. However, in Charmed I kind of have the reverse effect. I enjoy the show as a whole, but I really kinda don’t like Prue, and I can’t bring myself to just pick up the series after she leaves. So I’m forcing myself to wade through her episodes until I get through to the next part.

I decided to skip Revolution, just from the tweets it was getting on the premiere night. I also don’t tend to watch a lot of TV when it premieres, or anything like that. I don’t generally stop watching a TV show because I dislike it, I generally stop watching it because I stop catching it on TV, something else catches my interest and I stop for a bit with the intention of coming back, or I just stop watching TV for a while. If there’s a show I really like, I usually finish it/what’s available in one or two shots, then wait for more, or move on.

2 replies · active 111 weeks ago

Neph Sy's avatar

Neph Sy · 112 weeks ago

I watched a few episodes of Charmed back when it was televised, with a “meh” reaction. Recently tried watching the first few episodes, but could not get past how much that “Power of 3” chanting grated on me. Charmed was written for teens and pre-teens. The magic powers on it is so simple, the kind of stuff I used to wish for and dream when I was a child, that I can’t stomach it now.
Poodles McGee's avatar

Poodles McGee · 111 weeks ago

Charmed was mostly just establishing shots of San Francisco (great drinking game, shots every time you see Golden Gate Bridge, everybody passes out during first episode). But the whole, crappy series served one single purpose for one single moment of awesome.

In the commentary for Buffy S7 ep7, “Conversations with Dead People” (the best! the creepiest!), Drew Goddard says they had so many problems trying to film the episode, that towards the end of the very long night he was laying on the floor crying “I don’t wanna do this anymore, just put on an episode of Charmed!”

I love that. Whenever I’m having a ridiculously hard time with something that’s too important to blow off, I work up a tear and say the same thing. Then I suck it up and make something awesome anyway.

Neph Sy's avatar

Neph Sy · 112 weeks ago

It’s not a show I hate, but it’s a guilty pleasure. Sometimes I can’t believe this monster of the week/yearly apocalypse show is still on. It’s the humor that keeps me watching.
****SPOILERS BELOW****

Dang, I really liked the Benny character and was hoping he was going to become a regular.

lou's avatar

lou · 112 weeks ago

I hear ya on Supernatural. Season 6 was hit-and-miss because the showrunners never expected to make it past the 1st 5 seasons they planned out, so they passed the head-writer duty to someone else, for Seasons 6 (meh) and 7 (bleh). Now it’s on Season 8 with someone else in charge and it’s much better now.
sandchigger's avatar

sandchigger · 112 weeks ago

I’m the one guy who watched the entire run of Cult hoping it would start to be not crappy.

2 replies · active 112 weeks ago

Neph Sy's avatar

Neph Sy · 112 weeks ago

You must have a strong constitution, the only thing I liked about Cult was Robert Knepper…he does intense and creepy so well.
sandchigger's avatar

sandchigger · 112 weeks ago

I kept thinking to myself that maybe it would all tie together in some brilliant, awesome fashion. I did like the idea that the real-cult was gaining members from the tv-cult because the real-cult was literally putting words into the mouth of the tv-cult’s leader.
I think I stuck with Heroes into the fourth season, or at least close to the end of the third. I think I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt that season 2 was crappy because of the writers’ strike. I was young and foolish then…

I never started watching Revolution because I couldn’t get over the mental hurdle that if electrons can no longer flow, you get some very serious side effects. Like, oh say, molecules no longer being able to hold together. Nanomagicbots at least addresses that problem, so kudos to them for that I guess?

malcolm's avatar

malcolm · 112 weeks ago

I’ve actually been enjoying revolution lately, I think its improved. I’m not talking about the “science”, let it be magic, I don’t care. I just like where the story is going.
I watched every episode of _Andromeda_.

2 replies · active 111 weeks ago

So did I. It was pretty good
I’ve done better. If there’s a series that’s starting that looks like it’s going to be awful, you just don’t watch it or any commercial for it ever. It really helps to keep the brain cells up and the hate-filled rants down. I guess the worst series I’ve ever actually watched was Smallville. But that was because there wasn’t anything better on (didn’t have cable or Netflix back then) which was very few and far between. Maybe I’ve seen like ten episodes in all? I’m not really sure…
jscg's avatar

jscg · 112 weeks ago

It took me five seaons to give up on Star Trek Voyager. Even though every episode from season 3 to (it seems) the end had the big red reset button denouement, I just kept watching.

Kind of like when my Grampa used to watch the Judy Garland variety show and complain about how bad it was every week. My Gram used to ask him why he kept watching if it was so bad, and his only answer was “She used to be so *good*!”

1 reply · active 111 weeks ago

The irony is after season 3 they gave up on the “We’re totally going to get home! NO WE’RE NOT!” thing and just started focusing on the story while moving them a bit closer to home every few episodes. Towards the end they realized home was WAY too far away so every other episode it was like, “Good job crew. That little maneuver shaved 20 years off our trip!”
Faye's avatar

Faye · 112 weeks ago

Stargate SG-1 was never the same after season 5. But I kept watching. Season 10. The movies. Atlantis. Universe. (I actually kinda liked Universe in spite of the ‘younger and edgier’ dynamic, but then, Robert Carlyle.)

My only release from this is that there is no Stargate currently in production, as far as I am aware. If it came back, I would be there, like a moth to a flame, and with about as much self-preservation instinct.

So, to answer the question: How long? Forever. (Though I wouldn’t say I ever ‘hated’ it, I was just disappointed, is all. There were still good times to be had.)

2 replies · active 111 weeks ago

SG-1 lost me after it left Showtime. Universe was fantastic and should never have been prefaced with the word “Stargate.” It specifically wasn’t for Stargate fans.
Faye's avatar

Faye · 111 weeks ago

Agreed. I did enjoy Universe, mostly, but as it’s own thing – it didn’t feel like Stargate. (Stargate barely felt like Stargate in the final seasons, it was effectively a spin off the network didn’t want to split from the main series. And that Ori stuff creeped me out.)

Universe could have reached a wider audience, but they got stuck with the overlapping segment on the venn diagram of ‘Stargate fans’ and ‘gritty space drama fans’. The Stargate name hurt them.

As an aside, we joked that the series was Stargate: Voyager, but how much better would Voyager have been if it was more like Universe? They had the factions already, Starfleet vs Maquis.

The last three or four seasons of X-Files were pretty bad… and I’m still watching True Blood for some awful reason. And I saw all of Lost… but to be fair, I actually liked the way it ended. I just don’t listen to what producers and writers say before something is done.
Neph Sy's avatar

Neph Sy · 112 weeks ago

I stuck it out to the end for Lost and Heroes, I especially feel Heroes was a waste…that show had potential…why did it have to turn into such a clusterf***
Can’t believe I watched “No Ordinary Family” past the first episode. The last season of True Blood was pretty bad, but I’ll probably still watch the next one…the show is STILL better than the books.

Longest show I’ve stuck to watching (and hate myself for it), “American Idol”,
To make it palatable I skip the city auditions episodes, fast forward through the critiques and listen to it while I’m working in the studio.

1 reply · active 111 weeks ago

I watched all of No Ordinary family on Hulu while I was working. It was just a horrific concept with even worse execution. A shitstorm top to bottom.
diggy's avatar

diggy · 112 weeks ago

I started to watch the “Fringe” pilot, quit after 5 minutes. Haven’t watched any of the show since.

2 replies · active 44 weeks ago

If it’s not for you, that’s fine. If you managed to watch all five seasons there are some wonderful stories, character development and a ton of payoff for the open plot threads.
I am currently trying to get to the end of Hemlock Grove. It is……bad. Like a supernatural german art house film written by a 15 year old from the suburbs of the States who really likes unicorns but hates his mom bad. I can’t stop.

1 reply · active 111 weeks ago

Poodles McGee's avatar

Poodles McGee · 111 weeks ago

I’ve never even heard of that. But that description alone makes me want to check it out.
DuckAmuck's avatar

DuckAmuck · 111 weeks ago

I’m still debating whether Burn Notice is still worth my time.
How many seasons can you get away with “I got the guy who got me. Wait. No I didn’t. Getting that guy led me to this other guy. NOW I’ll get the guy who got me.”

Though I missed the last 3 episodes of the most recent season, so maybe that answers my question.

2 replies · active 111 weeks ago

Poodles McGee's avatar

Poodles McGee · 111 weeks ago

Once he rejoined the CIA I … I just couldn’t do it anymore. I just didn’t care. His scrappy resourcefulness and rogue team of occasionally awesomely destructive misfits was what made it fun. Once they gave him “legitimacy” and “resources” it was just another spy story.

Although really, the death knell was sounded when they brought in Jesse. Who fuckin’ cares about that guy? Nobody, that’s who.

Poodles McGee's avatar

Poodles McGee · 111 weeks ago

OH MY GOD, AND THE PRODUCT PLACEMENT. STOP TRYING TO SELL ME A FUCKING CAR, USA. HOW DARE YOU INCORPORATE YOUR ADVERTISING INTO THE SHOW’S FUCKING DIALOGUE!

Bastards.

Sorry, I’m calm now. Sorry.

Congratulations on your first stopping-watching-a-bad-show, Joel.
The wife and I actually watched like 9 terrible eps of Revolution, just because we do whatever JJ Abrams tells us to. I wish I had those hours back.

The Defiant, The Damned And The Dirty

I AM GOING TO BE IN CALGARY THIS WEEKEND FOR CALGARY EXPO!!! Details HERE

Here’s a new LoFi comic! 

I have lots of thoughts on SyFy’s Defiance, but I have to leave for the airport in about 12 hours (yes, 3am to catch a 6am international flight) so for now I will say give it a try.

The second episode is better than the pilot in terms of story and pacing, so I would recommend going at least that far before deciding whether or not it deserves a trial season pass on your DVR. The 2 hour pilot tried to establish the world of the show, but in many ways seemed to leave out key details that would give you a better understanding of how all these aliens came to be on Earth and why we were peacefully coexisting with a seemingly hostile invasion force. As of the 3rd hour of the show I still don’t have all that sorted out. I’m not sure who the agressor is, or if there even was one. I know there was a war, but I can’t tell who it was against. The main character, Shiny Captain Han Reynolds, is a member of the Defiant Few, a platoon that refused to fight and gave way to the uneasy peace with the 8 different races of aliens who all seem to be from the same planet. I understand revealing details in due time, but there are some important things about this high concept world the show would like me to be invested in that I really feel they’ve neglected to explain.

Ok, that was a bit of rambling, but I still say test Defiance out and see what you think. We need more (quality) Sci-Fi on TV and so far Defiance hasn’t revealed itself to be wholly without quality. There’s a good bit to enjoy now and a lot of room for improvement.

Regarding the similarities to Firefly, they are extremely apparent but innofensive. Firefly was 10 years ago. It’s about time it start inspiring a new generation of genre fiction.

COMMENTERS: Firefly was all about humans alone in the big ‘verse, where as nearly every other sci-fi space drama has involved extra terrestrials as friends, foes and unknowns. Which shows or movies do you think made the best use of aliens as real characters, or at least real and effective story elements? I feel like most Star Trek is disqualified in this argument because all of their aliens were just bumpy foreheaded humans that acted exacted exactly like (caricatures of) humans.

Comments (37)

I have a deep and abiding love of Babylon 5. I thought it integrated alien races and humans very well; some as enemies, some as allies, and some as “unknowns”.
Did Eli have to crush his Bat-sicle while being Heston? It seems disrespectful and clearly a waste of good ice cream…

3 replies · active 110 weeks ago

lou's avatar

lou · 110 weeks ago

He’s gonna regret that when it leaks into his eye.
Casey's avatar

Casey · 110 weeks ago

Farscape, enough said.

3 replies · active 110 weeks ago

Jon's avatar

Jon · 110 weeks ago

+1

Of course Farscape and Defiance have producer Rockne S O’Bannon in common

LeoP's avatar

LeoP · 110 weeks ago

I have recently started re watching FarScape for the first time since it ran on TV. I just finished season one. I thought that most of the aliens fell into the sad trope that Star Trek did… most of them are humanoid bipeds except for a few specific puppets. Having said that, I honestly respect their attempt at making Rygel and Pilot real characters despite their lack of traditional human-like proportions. Still… I want to see more varied non-human-look-alike humans.
Candace's avatar

Candace · 110 weeks ago

Although I haven’t re-watched FarScape as you recently have, I would say that some of the superficially humanoid aliens ultimately turned out to more deeply weird over time than they seemed at first – examples being Zhaan and Noranti.
katznhund's avatar

katznhund · 110 weeks ago

As a former resident of St. Louis, I just have to say that last panel is good stuff.

1 reply · active 109 weeks ago

Im glad my hastily researched sports facts we’re offensive.
melchar's avatar

melchar · 110 weeks ago

Another shout out for Babylon 5. The alien/human dynamic was excellent and the storyline is still satisfying now. A lot of other science fiction shows ‘age out’, but B5 remains re-watchable.
As a former resident of Los Angeles who grew up when the Rams was OUR team, St. Louis has all my sympathy..
BluesFan's avatar

BluesFan · 110 weeks ago

What about the Blues? Hockey, sir!
Mr C's avatar

Mr C · 110 weeks ago

Actually the pilot episode of defiance is almost the same as the pilot for eureka (RIP)
http://www.memecenter.com/fun/1341067/defiance-an…

2 replies · active 110 weeks ago

You’re an awful person for linking to that site
Mr C's avatar

Mr C · 110 weeks ago

At least it isn’t 9gag
Doctor Who! Who doesn’t love the Daleks?
But i know most of the aliens they have are humanoid types like Star Trek and Farscape.

2 replies · active 110 weeks ago

WhoFan's avatar

WhoFan · 110 weeks ago

I disagree there.. The new run of Doctor Who certainly has its share of humanoid aliens, however the originals (re: the first 7 doctors) had a plethora of non-humanoids. Mostly still rubber-suited people, but definitely not human shaped. Unfortunately, none of them really continue to be used in future episodes, so they are canon but not integrated species.
I’ve only seen bits and pieces of the old series, not enough to really know all the aliens they had included. But that’s pretty awesome to hear that had odd shaped aliens.

I feel that one of the reasons why there are so many humanoid aliens is because it’s easier and cheaper to slab makeup on an actor.

WhoFan, They did bring back the Ice Warriors, who knows maybe Moffat has a few other reunions up his sleeve?

It’s on SyFy. The best I can hope for is that it doesn’t completely embarrass the genre.
DS9 shouldn’t be exempt since it had characters like Dukat, Garak, Quark, Odo, Kira, etc. As for shows where the aliens that don’t act human at all, I can’t really think of any. Even shows like Farscape had aliens with human like traits.

As for Defiance, there’s definitely a Babylon 5 vibe to it. The characters are interesting and have potential. However, the show does have its problems. The pilot was pretty predictable and there are some continuity issues that they need to address. Just a few potential continuity problems that I noticed:

The mayor said in this week’s episode that they drove out the Irathients with cold-fire weapons but during the battle in the last episode, they only had earth weapons and no alien weapons.

What happened to all the Volge wreckage from the battle? Shouldn’t they be scavenging the battlefield for tech and weapons that they can use?

The deputy was assigned to investigate who set Ben free and hired him to destroy the town but he just forgot about it and decided to save the guy who was being tortured.

They stopped Ben from blowing up the nuclear power plant but the power plant is still there so they better deal with it in the future or the bad guys could just send someone else to blow up the power plant.

BowtiesAreCool's avatar

BowtiesAreCool · 110 weeks ago

Stargate SG-1 pulled the “we populated the universe…mostly” so when there were aliens, they usually were good because all the budget went into making the costumes.

Atlantis had the Wraith, and they were scary albino witch vampires…so there is that.

wwlaos's avatar

wwlaos · 110 weeks ago

I can’t say I was “disappointed” by the pilot because, really, I expected worse, but I still thought it was terrible. Haven’t bothered to watch the second episode yet, but I’ll probably get around to that eventually.

As for shows treating aliens as real characters, obviously Star Tre -*reads the rest of your blurb* … you and me, we come from different worlds. 😐

1 reply · active 109 weeks ago

The Unknown FB's avatar

The Unknown FB · 109 weeks ago

Actually, it helped if you Wiki’ed (if that’s a word now) about the show to read up on the background…but that doesn’t help the casual viewer who should be learning about the backstory (in broad strokes) PDQ into the show.
Of Star Trek, my favorite was the episode of ST: TNG where Geordi LaForge joins the crew of the Enterprise. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go watch it. I’m not going to spoil it. I like the use of metaphysics to explain a theory of sentient evolution (that I’m sure most real physicists don’t really believe in). The effects, for their time, were pretty decent, and the drama and suspense were ratcheted up for that part.

In general…I think maybe Star Wars. Sadly, most of the movies did not focus much on the non-humanoids, or even the weirder humanoids, but between the Ewoks, the Mon Calamari, the various ruffians of Tatooine and the casual way alien reptiles were used as beasts of burden (and cavalry – apparently Taun Tauns were just hairy reptiles…somehow).

In the extended universe, many of these less human characters were free to roam around in the spotlight or as an integral part of the background noise of life in the galaxy. Of course, the quality of writing wasn’t always up to the task, but you can forgive a man his first love.

The Thing.

It was actually a free form jazz artist, but no one could comprehend the beat.

anxiety.junkie's avatar

anxiety.junkie · 110 weeks ago

It may be a weird choice, but I always thought Alien Nation was a great movie/series; especially when it was discovered that they had 3 genders.
Julie Benz is back on television? Why does nobody tell me these things?

Does it suck more or less than No Ordinary Family?

3 replies · active 109 weeks ago

DuckAmuck's avatar

DuckAmuck · 109 weeks ago

It sucks less. I think. It’s difficult to compare 2 different genres, 2 different “networks”.
Her character is a lot like her character from Dexter, but without all the abusive past and children.
I like it, based on the pilot. Like Alien Nation filtered through Orguss and Warhammer 40k with some character-notes from Enemy Mine.
NOTHING sucks more than No Ordinary Family except for maybe The Cape.
Mass Effect has more alieney aliens than anything else I’ve seen. Elcor, hanar, geth. Crazypants.
This is just a test, I’ll delete it in a moment.

Good Night And Good Riddance

I AM GOING TO BE IN CALGARY THIS WEEKEND FOR CALGARY EXPO!!! Details HERE

Please consider helping me pay for the UNBELIEVABLY expensive flight to Calgary buy buying something from MY STORE, from SHARKSPLODE, getting a super high quality print of any HE comic, or DONATING.

COMMENTERS: I don’t have much else to say. I’m just happy to be able to reflect on the events of last week and hope for better, less traumatic nightmare scenarios in the future. When the news is all bad, do you like to stay plugged in, learning as much as you can, or do you like to tune out and wait until the dust settles to find out what happened? Is there any particular story or national event that you remember following obsessively or trying to avoid completely?

Comments (22)

The pop-up text is pretty optimistic wishful thinking. #debbiedowner
Morlock's avatar

Morlock · 110 weeks ago

you should add this link, as it is quite similar to what you’ve got dere.
http://www.theonion.com/articles/jesus-this-week,…
thelogos's avatar

thelogos · 110 weeks ago

I’ve tuned out of the news since Gulf War 2: The War-en-ing for Freedom! Justice! (and oil)
I tend to be like an empath for negativity, if I were to get sucked into the news it would ruin my mood for the week. That being said, I couldn’t help but get sucked in when the news was happening live on Reddit and Twitter staying up much later than I should have.
Mr C's avatar

Mr C · 110 weeks ago

I like to take bad news in midsized doses, also i want that last panel blown up, in a giant frame, over my desk, but that would probably get me in trouble for it’s somewhat nsfw language
Wesley's avatar

Wesley · 110 weeks ago

As a non-american, Boston still dominated our news whereas similar (and deadlier) events within the same range of kilometers didn’t even make the frontpage of the news. The hypocrisy of it is infuriating and reeks of racism.Don’t get me wrong: it’s bad news, of course, but I would expect professional journalism to at least make an attempt to not totally ignore 36 dead in bombings on the same day in another country while Boston (again: this is foreign news for us) gets special editions on state tv. That’s why I tune out of main stream media more than usual.

4 replies · active 110 weeks ago

I think the typical US attitude top to bottom is “Yeah but that kind of stuff happens in those countries ALL THE TIME.” The world needs to remember that the US is still a teenager in terms of being a nation and it acts very much that way. We are invincible until proven otherwise, myopic in our world view and look at nearly everyone else as second class citizens. Give us a couple of hundred more years. We’ll either be much wiser or gone.
Zee's avatar

Zee · 110 weeks ago

Oh dsfkjg, you have no idea how much I agree with this. I also saw a report that called the Boston Bombing the “worst terrorist act since 9/11”. And I was like… *TABLEFLIP!* RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGHHHHHHHHHH! That headline is so unspeakably, incredibly, intensely, moronically, asininely WRONG!!
I wanted to “terrorize” whomever wrote it.
lou's avatar

lou · 110 weeks ago

And where are you from where it’s worse off than Boston, anyway?
Nephaline's avatar

Nephaline · 110 weeks ago

I’m pretty out of touch when it comes to news. Since the switch to digital signal, I can no longer get the local or national news shows, it wasn’t the greatest, but I do actually miss it. Now my news is whatever I see on Yahoo.ca as I’m going to check my email. Seems to be a lot of entertainment news, blah!
Prefer to live in my bubble and avoid the negative stuff.
*raises coffee mug*
Cheers to next week! sluuurp…
last frame = epic. Eyebrows and all.
I would watch a real reporter who said this forever.
I’ll tune the news out. We only know so much of what happened and the media will keep repeating it constantly.
I’m going to completely date myself here, but I was in high school when the whole OJ Simpson thing happened. I remember my dad calling to me in my dungeon lair of a basement to come watch the action as a helicopter followed the white Bronco for hours. I kinda stood there watching for about 30 seconds and just asked him to tell me what happened when it was over.
bubujin_2's avatar

bubujin_2 · 110 weeks ago

I’ve always been a newspaper reader since my days in college and I used to watch a fair amount of CNN international news. But ever since 911 I pretty much avoid any TV news. There’s one news “paper” site I regularly go to for their free downloadable PDF newspaper, click on and read through some of their news feeds, and then rely on Yahoo and other sites when/if I want more news.
I haven’t heard much good news in the last 9 years. I gave up on most of it until I picked up the Daily Show again last year.

 

[Air Quotes] NEWS [/Air Quotes]

“Informative” “journalism” whose purpose is to “educate” the “public.” Get it? “Confirmed” “facts” jk LOL. 

I probably watched more cable news this week than I have in 5 years (other than during elections), which is to say that I watched SOME cable news this week instead of NONE. EVER. NEVER EVER. I found myself listening to the 1 or 2 pieces of information the head-talkers possessed  then muting the TV before they could repeat, rephrase, reiterate and rehash the same information continuously for the next 30 minutes until something else happened. I just want an informed person who is adept at communication to tell me what’s going on, then stop talking. Maybe cut to a slideshow of relevant images, maps, etc. when the facts run out. Don’t cut to “a guy” who “used to know a guy” to talk about “his feelings” or “some stuff” just because there is airtime to fill. “Well, that’s all the news we have for now. Joining us via satellite is some guy who was near the explosion. How did the explosion make you feel, guy?” / “Pretty exploded, Dan.” And the nation rests easy knowing how extremely informed it is.

It was odd that during this last week of unimaginable simultaneous national crises I got the most relevant, concise and up to date information from Twitter. I’m not saying this is how it SHOULD be. I’m just saying this is how is WAS this particular time. It’s a bit of a shock to realize that we are now able to read and often watch first hand accounts of major world events exactly as they are happening from the people they are happening too. CNN doesn’t have a camera in the house of a guy on the street where the terrorists are thought to be hiding, but that guy has a smartphone which makes him a defacto imbedded reporter.

I feel like we aren’t that far from a time when a major event happens and some sort of rudimentary AI starts to comb the web for first hand accounts, tweets, blog posts, YouTube videos, etc., then aggregates, edits and presents them to you as “Here’s what’s happening right now.” It would basically be an on demand, custom new broadcast created in real time based on the real information that was available. Sort of like the city wide cell phone imaging system from The Dark Knight but with Tweets and Vines (and maybe a few Yelp reviews). Of course the moment something like this existed would be the moment people started gaming the system. Tweeting false information to sway public opinion, etc. Wait… we already do that. Never mind.

COMMENTERS: How do you like to get your news? From a professional news-talker on the TV box or a “professional” news-newser from the Internet box? Or perhaps you get it from that fist guy’s grandpa who works at a newspaper that hasn’t closed yet for some reason. Or do you take to the social web and cull through the 1000’s of cat photos and food tweets to find the real first hand accounts?

Comments (37)

Ziggy Stardust's avatar

Ziggy Stardust · 110 weeks ago

I usually read the BBC’s wobsite for news, or NPR if I need something more ‘Merica-specific. Cable news is what turned me off of laundromats. Is it not enough that I must do laundry, that I have to see Fox News on every TV as I do so?
Sbs's avatar

Sbs · 110 weeks ago

You know that thing we’re not too far away from? It’s right here: http://storify.com/

2 replies · active 110 weeks ago

Also, some kid here in England just sold an App to Yahoo (for megabucks) that amalgamates and summarises all the various feeds you’re signed up to.
yendorii's avatar

yendorii · 110 weeks ago

In a time of crisis I will tune to one of the few anchors who I feel actual try to deliver quality news, even when I disagree with many of their political views as in the case of Rachel Maddow.Otherwise if something important is happening I hear about it on twitter.

1 reply · active 109 weeks ago

The Unknown FB's avatar

The Unknown FB · 109 weeks ago

While I like her, I COULDN’T STAND the rest of the talking heads on MSNBC during all of this. Some of them were even going borderline racist/bigot in an attempt to spin all of the events, and I had to switch back to CNN just to stay away from them, then walk away from the TV in disgust after seeing 30 minutes of people being told to stand away from everything.
Bryce's avatar

Bryce · 110 weeks ago

For things like this I tend to just shut the news off, though usually I try to catch the Newshour a few times a week.Back in 2000 I learned about the repetitive news cycle when my hometown caught on fire and we were evacuated. They just showed the same three shots of houses burning all day, no sense of scale or actual information. My parents turned into grief zombies watching it, and while I’m sure my brother and I did as well we snapped out of it first and got them away from the TVs. After that we managed to turn it into a bit of a vacation, and just checked in the evenings to see if there was any news on when there would be news.

Usually, I just check the BBC and Chicago Tribune RSS feeds. If I’m on their website, I listen to NPR’s hourly news recap.
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Candace · 110 weeks ago

I look at the headlines on Google news, but I’ve noticed a similar problem, which is that most of the news sources with an online presence are in such a hurry to be “first”, that they don’t bother to fact-chect before publishing, and often present unverified information as fact, resulting the dissemination of large amounts of information, most of which is inaccurate. It generally seems to take a few days to a week for facts to coalesce into anything coherent.

3 replies · active 110 weeks ago

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Candace · 110 weeks ago

BTW, was Josh dipping nacho cheese Doritos into a jar of peanut butter? That sounds appallingly delicious. 😉
Indeed. It’s a recurring theme in the comic and his real life.
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lou · 110 weeks ago

Yahoo!News has the same problem, with multiple articles covering basically the same event.
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Fengor · 110 weeks ago

This last week I got my news via this method. First I found myself at Yahoo, my homepage; then I might see a new development in the Boston case. Then I went to the BBC to read their more concise and useful update.Honestly though I gave maybe 0.47 fucks about the whole situation because I already knew the ending would be one of three things. The find the suspect already dead, suspect is killed in shootout, suspect is captured alive and considered guilty before they’re even booked into the precinct.

I give it less than a year before we see this all adapted to 4 different crime dramas and a film of some kind.

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Paul Christian · 110 weeks ago

I followed the chase this week via online streams of Boston PD’s scanners/radios. Very interesting to listen in on something like that as it’s happening, and to hear everything 15 or 20 minutes before it shows up on cable.I knew people listened in on police scanners with their CB radios or whatever, but had no idea they were streamed online, and could be accessed from anywhere in the world.

2 replies · active 109 weeks ago
Regarding the live online police scanners, i kept asking myself what was to stop the person they were chasing from tuning in and using that info to evade capture.
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The Unknown FB · 109 weeks ago

I know the news shows supposedly were on a delay, and what I found interesting was that CNN was holding back some information (probably thanks to John King running his mouth earlier in the week and the channel being chastised for it), while MSNBC was blabbing about anything they could get their hands on as soon as they heard it.
I get my news from The Guardian. They tend to have a more balanced approach to world news and give summarized reports of ongoing crises as new information arises.
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Bob · 110 weeks ago

Reminds me of that 30 minute period before Obama officially said Bin Laden was dead. It was interesting news, but within 30 seconds I knew everything they knew and noticed the rapid descent into pointless dialogue.With Boston, NPR had the descency to give us real info with little pointless talking before going back to other very important stories.

Even though CNN is a often a laughable excuse for “news,” I always find Anderson Cooper classes up the joint every time he’s on.
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90percentgeek · 110 weeks ago

I just stick with the BBC news on my radio and over their website. You get the news – just the news – and uncoloured by opinion. Plus they don’t tend to report stuff unless they’ve actually fact checked it. Its kind of nice to be able to get an hourly news update on the radio too. I drive around a lot listening to BBC Raqdio 2 so I can generally enjoy just listening to some music, get a bulliten if anything important actually happens, and otherwise just catch the 5 minute news summary of the hour.The BBC – not just for Doctor Who and Sherlock!

Twitter, Reddit, and a few other blogs are where I get my news
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Ceri · 110 weeks ago

Is anyone else reminded of Mac’s or Will’s rants on “The Newsroom”? ;)I don’t have TV and haven’t had any for a few years now (because I would have to pay for a crapload of sucky German TV I don’t want, just to get 2-3 shows I like). Being in Germany helps to steer clear of Fox and their ilk. I watch my entertainment shows online, occasionally listen to a local rock station (one of their jingles is “Spaghetti Monster save Berlin!” – I love these guys) on the way to work, most of which is underground, so at the most, that’s 20 minutes/day; and I don’t read newspapers. I get my Ahmurrican news from The Daily Show and my American Facebook friends. I *very* rarely use my Twitter account – I find it too hard to follow a conversation. If I feel the need for up-to-the-minute news, I check the BBC or CNN websites. Haven’t missed the Apocalypse so far, so I guess I’m fine.

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katznhund · 110 weeks ago

I check the CNN website a couple of times of day just to see what is going on in the world. However for important stuff like last week I tend to check the BBC or NPR so I can get decent information with fewer ‘facts’ in it.
I get mine mostly from Twitter. I occasionally check the BBC news website, but as they have become the mouthpiece of our government rather than an independent broadcaster, I only do this to find stories that don’t have political implications/input or to see how the government are lying to us now.I know that sounds boringly and annoyingly paranoid, but the head of the BBC is a former Tory MP and many of the board members have financial interests in the private companies to whom our government is handing public contracts (publicly available information) so it’s all provable.

Twitter has proven to be more accurate and up to the minute.

1 reply · active 109 weeks ago

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The Unknown FB · 109 weeks ago

Until Twitter decided to blame that college student who looked like a ‘ferriner for the attack, yet was dead in a river for over a month.
At least Reddit apologized to the family for their part in that.
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diggy · 110 weeks ago

The usual way I receive news is when someone mentions it and I hear them. After that, it isn’t really news anymore.
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Becky · 110 weeks ago

I’m from Boston and had family and friends affected by the shelter-in-place order (my office in Boston proper was closed, too), and I stayed on local news – WBZ on the TV – for coverage. My roommate and I actually had the TV playing on mute and followed the Boston Globe Live Blog for updates – information on that was tweeted and retweeted from the BPD, the FBI, and on-scene reporters. There was far less noise and useless chatter on that feed.But there is a flip side to social media reporting by witnesses and journalists: compromising the safety of law enforcement, witnesses, and perpetrators. The Internet streams of scanners was blocked on several occasions by the police when their positions were compromised by people tweeting info obtained from the scanners. The reporters were pushed far off of the perimeter of the search grid because they kept giving away position information. Immediate information is great, but not at the expense of lives. And unfortunately many people tweet, Facebook, or Instagram before they think.

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Kryss LaBryn · 110 weeks ago

I get mine almost entirely from web comics and Fandom Secrets, with the odd ten-minute snippets of CBC Radio thrown in as I’m driving to the grocery store.I used to have a subscription to a daily newspaper. Oddly, I find that I don’t seem to be less informed about things that matter to me than I was when I was reading the paper; there’s just a lot less filler about stuff I don’t care about, like sports.

Thanks to my web comics (Something*Positive in particular), I actually found out about Boston only a few hours after it happened, and had more details than my husband, who was at work at the time (ironically as a communications technician).

Your depiction of the news is more accurate than the news itself.
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Scanderoon · 110 weeks ago

I am new to Twitter, so was surprised over the last week that I was getting more information (and more accurate information) from my Twitter feed than from Google News.I read about the earthquake in China, went on to Google News, and NONE of the headlines mentioned it. Not in Top Stories or World News. You’d think an earthquake that injures 11,000 people would be a little more important.

Sometimes I wonder if it’s because it focuses too much on Canada (since that’s where I am). Sorry, Google, I don’t care about some stupid Canadian politicial maneuvering when there are disasters happening elsewhere in the world.

I usually do BBC/Guardian/Twitter. I did check out reddit but quickly realised people were running around crying SHOPPED at not-shopped pictures (I’ve been working with digital imagery and Photoshop since version 2, so I think I know what that looks like) and gave up.Really I got annoyed and switched off about the start of day 2, it was the stupid newscycle, the churn, it actually started doing real damage with false allegations and nastiness…so I left my friends to do that and looked at the odd thing that popped up in my feed.

Really I lose interest really quick because in the 24 hour news as you say above it just repeats and they don’t actually inform you of anything, so it actually becomes far worse and actually far more dangerous than not knowing.

Reading Comprehension

Oh hey! It’s Eli’s wife, Denise. We haven’t seen her in… a couple of years? I almost considered her lost in the partial reboot a year ago, but let’s just assume she’s been in the Philippines studying at the finest culinary schools, learning how to prepare live baby ducks that you eat whole or soup made of blood and bile.

This is how my wife and I watch Game Of Thrones. I pause the TV every 15 seconds to ask her questions and she looks at me with this knowing glint in her eye like, “Oh shitbaskets you have NO IDEA what’s about to happen.” It’s like she’s a time traveler returned from one of many possible futures just observing and laughing as we (the past-folk) run around and play out the events of her history, seemingly devoid of free will. It’s an unsettling way to watch TV to say the least.

Couple this with the fact the Game Of Thrones doesn’t consistently rewrite, leave out or work around plot points from the book and the whole experience can be rather frustrating. What I mean is sometimes they’ll lump a few key events into an episode by having them all take place in the same area or at the same time and to one guy instead of the 8 guys on 9 different continents they happened to in the books. Other times they’ll just leave out extremely vital information, either assuming you know it already, having read the books, or you’re so confused by everything else that one more thing to be confused about isn’t going to make much difference. Still there are other times where they completely rewrite events, characters or entire plot lines from the books to make for a better TV show. This final stratagem is the one I prefer. I’d rather the show be a unique experience that neither requires or punishes having read the books.

COMMENTERS: What are your favorite/least favorite movie/TV translations from books? Do the most faithful translations make for the best adaptations or do you prefer the ones that take more liberty and consolidate the story for the new format? Have you ever been the “one who read the books?” Did you aid or ruin someone else’s movie/TV watching experience because of it?