Over the past four weeks or so, the output on Cultural Learnings has been fairly limited. This has been especially damaging when, over the past week, the WGA strike has essentially provided a whole host of important commentary that any good blogger should be commenting on. However, coincidentally, I was dealing with a strike of my own, assisting my Students’ Union with an information blog during a three and a half week long faculty strike.
As a result, I’m sorry I missed many great episodes of television, many important news stories, and in general just wasn’t around. During that time, I was fortunate enough to finish in 2nd place in Hey! Nielsen’s Best in TV Blog Contest, and I felt incredibly guilty that I wasn’t living up to this fantastic honour bestowed upon me by you, the reader. I plan on trying to live up to that in the near future, so stick with Cultural Learnings in the interim.
Tim Kring’s Apology
However, my apology is not the only one I want to discuss today. Tim Kring, creator of NBC’s slowly fading Heroes, has officially gone on the record that the second season of Heroes has been a wildly miscalculated and redundant exercise (my words, not his). For someone who has defended the show’s various problems (Which aren’t all new, let’s be honest), it is strange to see Kring backing down – the fan response has just been that overwhelmingly negative. And I tend to agree with Alan Sepinwall: just as Kring says this, the show has its best episode of the season. Coincidence? I think not.
Now, I think we shouldn’t give Kring a free ride based on this apology: he’s never been a good writer, and much of last season’s iconic moments came from the mind of Bryan Fuller, not the ex-executive producer of Crossing Jordan. But it’s good to see that he’s at least admitting that his series has fallen off the rails creatively, which shows me that he’s willing to listen to fans. However, adversely, he also considers his vision to be expendable.
See, when Lost started its third season with a 6-episode mini-arc fans were outraged. They didn’t understand where their favourite characters were, or why we were spending so much time with the Others. And Lost producers listened to some of these concerns: they dumped Nikki and Paulo as a failed experiment, after all, so they’re clearly in tune with what viewers are looking for. I think that Lindelof and Cuse walked that fine line: they admitted their mistake, but stuck to the importance of those opening episodes in bringing the Others into this story.
Kring, however, makes a very different statement:
“Kring wants to craft a rebooted Heroes that can attract new fans and win back those who’ve tuned out: ”The message is that we’ve heard the complaints — and we’re doing something about it.””
I don’t feel that Kring is making only small concessions to his vision: I get the impression that his show’s cult fanbase is shrinking, ratings are dwindling, and buzz is reaching a critical low, and he needs to give people faith that he can turn the ship around. The thing is, I feel as if Kring’s apology is implying that he’s the right captain for the job, and I don’t think I have much faith in his ability to do so considering he’s the one who crafted the rather terrible finale last season. If the show reboots after its December 2nd fall finale, which could end the show’s season, it will be interesting to see what Kring considers a show worth watching…this time around.
Oh, and also, 24 got delayed indefinitely. And I couldn’t care less. So, bye 24!