It’s manifesto time again, for Scott Nicolay has posted his Dogme 2011 for Weird Fiction at Weird Fiction Review. I don’t agree with him, but then I never agree with manifestos. They make me feel contrarian. Besides, I have issues with first stating that the manifesto is not intended as a judgment of existing work and then engaging in some oh so original bashing of paranormal romance in the comments. Really, it’s getting old by now.
And is it me or has the frequency of manifestos radically slowed down in the speculative fiction world? At any rate, it seems as if we haven’t had a proper speculative movement complete with manifesto since Mundane science fiction way back in 2003 or so. My comments on mundane science fiction have been lost along with the old blog, though a link to my long lost comments from the semi-defunct Mundane SF blog still appears on my inbound links list. At any rate, they were more extensive though no more positive than my comments on this new weird fiction dogme. But then, I really don’t like manifestos trying to tell what not to write.
And just because I’m feeling really contrarian today, here’s a news item that quite amused me: Apparently, America is losing its taste for the so-called “quality television” dished up by pay-TV channels such as HBO, AMC and Showtime, as this article by David Haglund in Slate suggests. Or at least, it is losing its taste for overblown wannabe “quality drama” that is attempting to emulate critical successes of the past.
My thoughts on the American brand of “quality drama” are well known, namely I am very skeptical of it, since most of the shows branded “quality drama” don’t work for me. Yes, I told you I was feeling contrarian today. And the new wannabe “quality dramas” mentioned in the article that are failing to find their audience all just elicited a single reaction from me, namely “Who cares?”
The shows might still be good, of course. There have been several shows I enjoyed a whole lot, whose premise sounded less than thrilling. Those are the sort of shows that I usually recommend to friends with “I know that the premise sounds like crap, but trust me, it’s really good.”
Still, if your premise makes a potential viewer go “Who cares?”, you’re in trouble.