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I've been rewatching DAWSON'S CREEK (my niece lent me her Amazon Prime account) and it's neat: the later years had Greg Berlanti of the ARROWVERSE running the show. DAWSON'S CREEK mirrors SLIDERS' creative trajectory in many ways: the first two seasons were run by show creator Kevin Williamson who then left the series; the remainder was run by Berlanti and some other producers. Unlike SLIDERS, DAWSON'S CREEK had a subsequent showrunner who respected and loved the show. But just like SLIDERS, DAWSON'S CREEK's later years ran the show into the ground creatively (although viewership held steady). It's very strange: Berlanti and his fellow writers approached DAWSON'S CREEK's third to sixth seasons with the best of intentions but somehow replicated almost all of SLIDERS' errors in Seasons 3, 4 and 5.

Golden Age: Original showrunner Kevin Williamson had crafted Seasons 1 - 2 as intricate blend of dysfunctional teen characters who talked like English professors but expressed the immaturity and insecurity of children. It was semi-autobiographical with Dawson, like Williamson, being a teen filmmaker. Entire episodes were built around Williamson dramatizing his childhood anecdotes. There was also a frank but tender attitude to sexuality: the characters discussed sex in terms both clinical and romantic without being tawdry.

Necessary Contrivances: In the DVD commentaries,  Williamson said that the show was hard to write. The creative Dawson, the academic Joey, the troubled Jen and the dysfunctional Pacey were not cops or lawyers, so every episode needed to find some contrived crisis or goal to create drama whether it was Dawson trying to make a football movie when he hates sports, Joey and Pacey trying to avoid failing a class through a remedial extracurricular, Jen in trouble for getting in a fight with a teacher over euthanasia or Pacey having an affair with a teacher. In the second season, Williamson noted, he hurriedly introduced new characters for the year to create new situations and problems because Dawson, Joey, Jen and Pacey alone would never do anything but sit around and talk.

The Exodus: After the second season, Williamson left the show; he was committed to scripting the SCREAM film series and no longer had time to run DAWSON'S CREEK and drifted farther and farther into films. Berlanti, Paul Stupin (SWITCHED AT BIRTH) and many other writers stepped up -- and they promptly stumbled. The first eight episodes of DAWSON'S CREEK become ridiculously oversexualized with Dawson running a strip club out of his house one episode and women now filmed as though they're Kari Wuhrer in Season 3 of SLIDERS. There's also an emphasis on fist fights, arguments, and the hyperchatty Dawson and Pacey are suddenly throwing punches at each other like they're Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Maggie in Season 3.

Overzealous: It's strange: the writers were attempting to continue Williamson's highly sexual content and intense interpersonal interactions, but they misjudged the tone: they went from earnest and sweet in the sexuality to lewd and objectifying, and before the halfway mark, they began urgently pulling back from this.

The middle of the season attempts to tone down the antics and refocus on high school drama in a more restrained fashion, but then the writers miscalculate as well. As the writers had Pacey and Joey developing feelings for each other and hiding it from Dawson, they adopted a more severe tone to the writing that, while well-scripted, lacked the quippy humour and self-aware charm of Williamson's writing. Pacey becomes a vigilante defending Joey's artwork; Dawson has a nervous breakdown when his student film is poorly received -- and DAWSON'S CREEK takes a less offensive but joyless spin into grim, depressing stories much like the back nine of SLIDERS in Season 3 where the sliders are perpetually confronting corpses and monstrosity and death and doom.

The writers attempted to reduce the sexual extremes, but they unfortunately made the series too serious and not a lot of fun to watch, very much like Season 4's attempts to rebrand SLIDERS from comedy to seriousness with a home invasion and rape camps.

Season 3 Quinn Syndrome: In addition, when Dawson finds out that Pacey and Joey are an item, the third season Dawson is suddenly scripted as a vengeful, petty brute who seeks to humiliate Pacey at every turn -- a far cry from the self-absorbed but considerate and gentle character of Seasons 1 - 2 and alarmingly similar to Quinn Mallory becoming the volatile lunatic of latter Season 3 episodes of SLIDERS. In trying to allow Pacey to grow from being the dysfunctional friend to someone whom the bookish Joey could see as an equal, DAWSON'S CREEK accidentally turned their title character into a villain.

Overrestrained: In Season 4, these same writers, recognizing the oversexuality, overhostility and overseverity of Season 3, attempt to pull back. Dawson is scripted with calm gentleness and apologizes for his violence and vindictiveness of the previous season and the warring friends make peace. The sexuality is dialed down to interpersonal romance rather than physicality. The arguments are presented with a high level of restraint. The teen drama issues are scaled back. But the result is that in trying not to be overly sexual, overly antagonistic or overly serious, Season 4 of DAWSON'S CREEK ends up not being much of anything.

The Bill Dial School of Screenwriting: Entire episodes plant the characters in a hospital or a house or a restaurant and then have them converse aimlessly about their feelings without moving the story along -- very much like a fifth season episode of SLIDERS where characters restate known information to pad out the running length. In addition, Season 4 episodes are devoid of outside crisis or incident or goals that force the characters into action; instead, school assignments, academic problems and personal objectives are in the background while in the foreground are... Dawson, Joey and Pacey conversing about their feelings at a party, then at one of their houses, then at school.

One episode has Dawson go on a roadtrip and spend the entire episode stranded between destinations due to a flat tire to stretch the story to fill the hour, very much like "The Great Work" and "Map of the Mind," and the show became so unwatchable that I couldn't make it to the fifth and sixth seasons.

Best Intentions: DAWSON'S CREEK did not become offensively bad like SLIDERS. Its third season featured a perpetually confused tone, going too far into sexuality and retreating, then going too far into serious seriousness before retreating again.

You could feel the writers' boldness and then their apologetic withdrawal in Season 3. And you could feel their timidity in Season 4: they went too far last year, they're now trying to be restrained as possible. They're not trying to hurt their show; they have complete respect for their show -- but they tried to change it and it was disastrous; they tried to imitate the previous incarnation and it was awkward; now they're staying within a limited, suffocating formula of inoffensiveness and have become indecisive and hesitant and now their show is slow, tedious, boring and impossible for me to follow because I started going into a mental coma when watching even when there were two seasons left to go.

The Return: I did skip to the end -- where original showrunner Kevin Williamson returned to write the two part finale which is set five years in the future in order to show where all the characters ended up / avoid having to address the Season 6 plots. Suddenly, all his missing skills return to the series: Dawson is struggling to complete a season-ending script for a TV show based on his life; Pacey is struggling to run his new restaurant; Joey is struggling to deal with an unwanted marriage proposal; Jen is struggling with some health issues -- and these situations unfold in the course of the characters having conversations about their feelings which are affected by the arcs.

Each scene has the characters attempting to accomplish something in the course of their conversations instead of standing around one of the sets making idle chatter until the commercial break. The sexuality is presented with amusement, charm and a sense of romance; the Serious Life Issues in the stories are explored with humour and tragedy. At one point, a character bans crying or histrionics and insists on laughter in the face of personal crisis.

DAWSON'S CREEK is bizarre, but it does show how, even with the best of intentions, shows with leaders who suddenly leave can lose their way even when his successors are committed and devoted. DAWSON'S CREEK's scripts at their best came from a writer who was mining his personal life for content, and when that writer wasn't there anymore, the show became incredibly confused, and DAWSON'S CREEK (and SLIDERS) may be a strong argument for TV shows to be staff driven rather than being defined by a single voice who might leave.

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Did anyone watch the 2019 version of the Twilight Zone?  I finally did, and I thought it was terrible.  Since it's an anthology, I pushed through.  But every episode was either boring or very predictable.  I didn't think there was anything interesting told or said - the themes were either dumb or way too heavy handed.  I thought it was an absolute mess.

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Well, if you didn't like it, I'm not going to watch it NOW!

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Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

Did anyone watch the 2019 version of the Twilight Zone?  I finally did, and I thought it was terrible.  Since it's an anthology, I pushed through.  But every episode was either boring or very predictable.  I didn't think there was anything interesting told or said - the themes were either dumb or way too heavy handed.  I thought it was an absolute mess.

Jordan Peele also had an anthology series on youtube.  They are asking too much of these creators... or rather the creators are spreading themselves to thin.  It's hard to maintain quality when you have to bang out episodes.

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Yeah, I don't know how much Peele was actually involved in the Twilight Zone.  He's listed as a writer on Nightmare at 30,000 feet, he's the narrator, and he's a supporting actor in the final episode (Blurryman).  But the episodes were so lifeless that I can't imagine he was involved even with story development.

There's an episode about a kid running for president.  It has John Cho and Jacob Tremblay - good actors.  The premise itself is silly, but there's tons of satire that could be done with something like that.  But they don't inject any life into it.  They don't work hard enough to sell this idea either in a crazy alternate world, and they don't make any effort to make it make sense in our world (the writers don't seem to know or care that he's not old enough to be president).  The "twist" (if you can even call it that) isn't surprising or scary.  The lesson is "don't let an 11 year old be president" - it's just dumb.

The finale wastes Zazie Beetz by just having her run around with something chasing her for 20 minutes and some lame imagery from the original series.

The Twilight Zone has a ton of episodes that could either be remade, reimagined, or even just reshot.  The Adam Scott remake of Nightmare at 20,000 Feet does a decent-enough job of updating the material for today.  The Forrest Whittaker version did a good job of updating The Monsters on Maple Street for a post-9/11 world.  There's a lot of things we could say about the world, and they only touched on some big issues (race, gender, class) in the most surface way possible.

If you can't make your own content, just borrow what Serling did.  Even if you mess that up, it'll still be better than what you gave us.

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I haven't seen THE TWILIGHT ZONE's latest incarnation. I do have a lot of respect for Jordan Peele after this video, though:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQ54GDm1eL0

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Jordan Peele is great.  Whether it's his horror or his comedy, I feel like there's a sort of liveliness and creativity in his work.  It's why I was so shocked at how dull and lifeless it was.  Even the episode he co-wrote (with Dark Phoenix writer Simon Kinberg) doesn't really do or say much.  The episode he's featured in outside of being the narrator doesn't do much more.

Now maybe Peele just performed as an actor in Blurryman with no writing input (like John Cho did, like Kumail Nanjiani did, like Zazie Beetz did, etc), maybe he just did enough writing on Nightmare at 30,000 Feet to get credit and the hit-and-miss Kinberg wrote most of the story, and maybe he had nothing to do with the writing of the other 8 episodes he narrated on.  It certainly feels like it.  But if he did much more than that, Twilight Zone is his first major screw-up in Hollywood after quite a few hits.

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"Voyagers", a tv show from the early 1980s, and a bit of a predecessor to Sliders, is available on the NBC streaming app/website.  I've used that app in the past a lot (they have "Amazing Stories") but didn't see this on the platform until now.

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I've never seen VOYAGERS, but Tom and Cory covered the entire season of the show in REWATCH PODCAST, so I can bluff my way through any conversation about it. (My God, Jeffrey is constantly crying! Hey, why is there so little backstory on the Voyagers and their organization? Phineas is so loaded with charm. The last seven episodes are a bit weak, aren't they?)

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ireactions wrote:

I've never seen VOYAGERS, but Tom and Cory covered the entire season of the show in REWATCH PODCAST, so I can bluff my way through any conversation about it. (My God, Jeffrey is constantly crying! Hey, why is there so little backstory on the Voyagers and their organization? Phineas is so loaded with charm. The last seven episodes are a bit weak, aren't they?)


I forgot that Cory & Tom covered this series.  If I have a chance to get into it, I'll listen to their podcast along the way.

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Anyone see the miniseries "Devs"?  It was written and directed by Alex Garland, and I thought it was well done.  And since it plays around with the multiverse, I thought it was pretty cool.  Anyone else check it out?

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I am currently deep in watching WAREHOUSE 13, but if DEVS isn’t as dark and scary as the real world, I’d watch it. Is it?

Right now, I am also watching PARKS AND RECREATION, a fantasy show where American government is run by engaged, capable or at least not malevolent people. And CASTLE and WAREHOUSE 13, where people who work in American establishment institutions are capable of doing their jobs. You know. Fantasy.

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Parks and Rec is great.  It *really* struggled to find its legs, but once it did, it was so great.

Devs acts like it's dark and presents itself as dark, but I don't think it ends up being dark.  I think there are hopeful moments, and I think it ends on a fairly hopeful note.

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I never watched Parks and Rec before.  I decided to go ahead and do it since it's on NetFlix.  Midway through the first season  and I keep thinking "Is this it? Is this what people were raving about?"  I'm told it gets better, and the first season on a lot of shows isn't really indicative of their run (BTVS, ST:TNG, etc).  We'll see how it goes.

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The entire first season of PARKS AND RECREATION was filmed as a pilot. Due to a delayed approval and impending air dates, Season 1 was filmed in entirety before it aired, before the people working on the show had a chance to show it to anybody else. Also, Season 1 was written without a clear sense of who the characters are; the creators hired some top shelf comedians and then threw them in front of the camera and asked them to improvise various scenarios.

Usually, shows film a pilot and then there's some retooling before the rest of the series is filmed. That didn't happen with PARKS AND RECREATION, so there was no adjusting the scripts to suit the actors until between Seasons 1 and 2.

The creators realized that Leslie Knope in Season 1 came off as ineffectual and deluding herself into thinking her job was meaningful or that she was good at it. They adjusted the characterization so that Leslie was aware of how hopeless her goals could be but remained determined to punch away at them with enthusiasm and optimism and even when she lost, her efforts were touching.

They altered Ron's character so that instead of being a corporate Republican who thought big business should take over everything, he was instead a Libertarian who believed that everyone should be capable of hunting and growing their own food and building their own log cabins as the actor was a capable handyman survivalist. This made the character more sympathetic than his Season 1 incarnation.

They altered Andy's character to be less of a user and more of an inept buffoon unaware of his behaviour because they liked the actor and wanted him to stay on the show as a regular and couldn't have him be malicious if he were to stick around. They left Tom the same opportunist fool, but had all the surrounding characters tell him off. They left Ann about the same except her discomfort with Leslie was removed to make them truly sisters. And once the writers knew who the characters were, the show worked beautifully and Season 2 is really when it starts.

They couldn't figure out what to do with Mark, so the character was phased out by the end of Season 2.

The show was quite heavily retooled and Season 1 is an awkward OFFICE-clone whereas Season 2 has a very clear sense of identity as a loving satire on government dysfunction akin to SLIDERS' first season of social commentary.

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One of my favourite anecdotes about Jerry O'Connell is talking about how during SLIDERS, he became convinced that his good looks would allow him to coast to movie stardom and that SLIDERS fans were really Jerry O'Connell fans. Then, after the misfires that were his films MISSION TO MARS and TOMCATS, he signed on for a buddy comedy called DOWN UNDER and was nearly fired off the film for absurd weight gain due to endless binge drinking and late night pizzas. The supposed heartthrob had become a bloated mess and while he got back in shape to keep his job on DOWN UNDER, the film was ultimately reshot to refocus on a CG kangaroo and Jerry's last bid at stardom had him playing second banana to a digital marsupial.

However, there's an interesting actor with an inversion of Jerry's tale -- Chris Pratt. Pratt played a buff, toned football player type on EVERWOOD. His next significant role was on PARKS AND RECREATION where he was playing the dim-witted, absent-minded layabout Andy Dwyer. For whatever reason, Pratt at this point in his life was slightly overweight and he decided to intentionally stop working out and balloon in order to match his role. The rotund Pratt played the silly, absurd Andy for five seasons, his body expanding with each season and the awkward, clumsy physicality being absolutely hilarious and perfect for the role. This was a character who deliberately kept himself immobilized by leg casts for as long as possible because he enjoyed being waited on by his girlfriend, after all.

In Season 6, however, Andy was suddenly trim, lean and looked athletic although his clothes were slightly oversized as if to conceal his figure. Andy being significantly in shape did coincide with this hapless oaf finding gainful employment and finding more outlets for his energy than lounging and eating junk food, but he looked like a Marvel superhero actor. Characters asked him why he suddenly looked so different and Andy said he had lost fifty pounds due to no longer drinking beer.

In reality, actor Chris Pratt had gotten into shape to play Star Lord in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. Pratt refused to leave PARKS AND RECREATION, however, declaring that despite many movie offers and being a secondary, supporting character on the TV show, he adored working with the other actors on the show and would not leave PARKS AND RECREATION; he didn't want to let down the fans by jumping ship or forcing his talentless brother into a lead role or performing episodes hungover. All he asked for was a few brief absences here and there to film GUARDIANS movies. And ultimately, Pratt didn’t view his vanity as his craft. Pratt embraced whichever character he was playing and let the character determine the physicality.

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ireactions, did you see the Community table read they did yesterday.  Really funny stuff.

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I didn't see it; I recently rewatched the entire series with audio commentary and could use a break from it.

No. That's a lie. I am avoiding the show and its creator right now due to an extremely embarrassing and painful interaction for which I accept full responsibility. Something really strange happened last year. I found a bunch of comments posted on various TV review sites that appeared to be the showrunner commenting on the season during which he was absent from the show, commenting on how his temporary replacements were respectful but overly imitative instead of being themselves.

I assembled these posts into a Google Doc and posted them in a bunch of discussion forums thinking them legitimate. The posting dates were before the creator's return season had aired. They indicated story ideas that were ultimately present in those future episodes.

The posts also included a number of references to a female employee to whom the creator later issued a public apology for his harassing behaviour -- and they had been posted before this public apology had been released. For these reasons, I thought them genuine -- except the creator then responded to say that they were fake. That he hadn't written them. And that he was extremely upset because the references to this employee whom he'd harassed would call further attention to her and force her to revisit his behaviour when she likely wanted to move on.

However, because of my penchant for pastiche and the fact that SLIDERS REBORN was initially declared as attempting to duplicate his style for SLIDERS, I was briefly accused of fabricating these posts -- until someone else kindly noted that the posts were dated in the comments system as written three years before the creator had confessed to his sexual harassment, something an imitative fan would not have known about or been able to copy. And the dates couldn't have been faked.

Whoever wrote these posts was likely an acquaintance or employee who had been aware of the creator's actions.

The showrunner was gracious enough to accept my apology.

I felt really bad about this and deleted everything and then went through my own writing which had jokingly been a bit of a pastiche of his style and followed the SLIDERS fanfic tradition of writing fake interviews and fake reviews from the parallel Earth where the fanfic was actually filmed. I removed all references to this creator, swapping in Geoff Johns (ARROWVERSE producer, writer of many fan service oriented superhero comics like GREEN LANTERN REBIRTH, THE FLASH REBIRTH, DC UNIVERSE REBIRTH) instead.

I'm really ashamed of my behaviour because I know Temporal Flux and Transmodiar would have made sure to verify authorship before posting those collated comments and would have been careful with comments that might be upsetting, much in the same way TF was cautious with specific details of John Rhys-Davies and David Peckinpah's personal lives during the period when candor could have been damaging in 1997. And the way Transmodiar accommodated actors' requests to revise off-the-cuff interview remarks that could have harmed careers in 2000.

They taught me better. I failed to live up to their examples.

To this day, it makes me really uncomfortable and I am trying to leave the creator alone. I should have asked him if he wrote those posts before posting them as his. I really didn't want to talk about this, but if I can't confess to Slider_Quinn21, who can I talk to, really?

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ireactions wrote:

I'm really ashamed of my behaviour because I know Temporal Flux and Transmodiar would have made sure to verify authorship before posting those collated comments and would have been careful with comments that might be upsetting, much in the same way TF was cautious with specific details of John Rhys-Davies and David Peckinpah's personal lives during the period when candor could have been damaging in 1997. And the way Transmodiar accommodated actors' requests to revise off-the-cuff interview remarks that could have harmed careers in 2000.

I'm the guy who wrote a political column for years trumpeting every kind of conspiracy imaginable. I also was and am a fan of 60IF (look it up). While I'm a journalist at heart, I absolutely would not have given two shits about the veracity of a bunch of Internet comments and their authorship. In fact, you bringing it up makes me want to read your analysis again. And, frankly, I want to see the exchange between you and Harmon about this. Where is it?

ENQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW.

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

320 (edited by ireactions 2020-05-19 20:58:34)

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Well, I deleted every trace of the Google Doc, so that's unrecoverable, but some of the posts that I thought his are here: https://kinja.com/avclub-52a3239961f9db … iscussions They were posted in the comments to individual episode reviews and it's only for the first eight episodes. There were an additional six reviews posted under the same handle on Collider (I think) in comments that seem to have disappeared after the site was reorganized, but each time I found them, I copied them and saved them to the Google Doc that no longer exists. I thought he wrote them, he says he didn't, and I should have asked before sharing them as his.

I also ultimately deleted my comments on the subject from Reddit, but I can still look up his displeased responses to my deleted comments, so please enjoy me being rightly told off by a wronged party from whom I really had it coming:

Authorship denied! Passionately and fully denied, in what I hope is slightly easier to read prose than what I’m seeing here. I had to stop at the phrase “dilapidated boyfriend,” which, while technically an accurate description of my likeness, is a totally inaccurate likeness of my descriptions. My style is so much more graceful. I’m a long, deep, nourishing river of words. Okay sometimes a babbling stream of nonsense and in rare events a crushing flood of alcoholic bile but always flowing, never this clunky ass off-brand Frasier thing everyone’s always doing when they do me.

Just say “broken down boyfriend,” got damn!

He later said:

Part of the damage that your post has caused, by presenting this crap as potentially real, is you’ve created a place for people to gather and play a fun game of what if [ I ] said these things, and, forgetting for a moment that the question is offensive to me personally for a variety of reasons I won’t bother explaining, let’s think about the female coworker that the impersonator(s) are apparently saying gross things about, which are then being pasted and joked about and discussed so that more gross things can be said, all tagged with her searchable name. I can accept that you people basically don’t see me as human because I was socialized by the same class system and I also have the same perverse relationship with “fame,” like, famous people with feelings should have their fame revoked so I can have it, or they should stop having feelings because they already get to fly and walk through walls. I get it. But this coworker is not a person that asked to be famous, not in this context. This is a person that most of you people are fond of pretending to see as human. You also continue to drag her name across the sticky floor of the Fan Fic Convention [in my name], which I imagine is close to her worst nightmare.

This isn’t about expunging the internet of garbage. The internet is garbage. This is about altering our relationship with garbage. What I think would really help is for you to edit the misleading post again, but this time add a full apology to the subreddit. To the people in the thread that were telling you it was fiction. They were being considerate and logical, you responded defensively and illogically.

An apology that works has three parts: acknowledgment of the offense, expression of remorse, commitment to change.

If you can’t muster it - and don’t feel guilty if you can’t, I have very little faith in people and I’m not betting my self esteem that this is the day you become a butterfly - I would like you to admit, at the very least to yourself, that you do not have any respect for me, that I am not a living human to you, that I am more symbolic than I am alive and that you therefore don’t care if I live or die, let alone if I’m happy.

Obviously you don’t have to do anything. I’m telling you what you may want to do.

I apologized. After a period of time, however, I wiped out all my posts on the subject because I didn't want to carry it with me anymore. So I can't look that up, but I do have his response:

Thank you for adding the apology! I totally forgive you and I have no ill will toward you. You didn’t have to do it but you did, and that gives it all the right context and more than makes up for the apology’s subtle reference to the question mark and its over the top tone clearly prompting readers to see you as an underdog. You know what? You are an underdog. You earned it. It’s exactly what I would have done when I was your age (you better be 14 or at least Canadian 20). I support a society where apologies are allowed to be a little bit weaponized because I want them to be abundant and if we require them to be purely healthy I think the FDA has to make them illegal.

I’m also not offended by people that pretend to be me online because when you want to be someone that much, you probably don’t want to hurt them. I’m assuming you want to kill them instantly in a way that doesn’t damage the skin so you can wear it longer before moving on to Noah Hawley. I’m not flattering myself, I’m just backdating, this person would have been active before season two of Fargo.

It was refreshing to see so many people convinced that this is what it would look like if I blogged about season 4 of Community. For one thing, the fact that you think this is how I write when I care about something confirms that I pretty much never had to stay at work past 3pm.

More importantly, you guys believing that I would do this suggests that you think I’m a completely different kind of asshole than I am. I watched season 4 once after getting hired on S5. I drank a fifth of vodka because I felt like a Civil War soldier preparing for surgery. I remember muppets and at least one Brolin. Then, as a you may have forgotten, I went to my podcast, compared the experience to watching my family being [let’s say macro aggressed] on a beach and the response made me quit reddit for the sake of any fans that still wanted to watch. So, holy shit, yes, by all means, imagine me as a guy that kept notes on the muppet episode, it’s certainly a psychological promotion. Had I actually typed anything while watching, it would have been jumbled letters and a rant about how Obama should have stepped in when I got fired. I would have probably said something like, “writing TV was my last recourse to affection from a planet of indecipherable monsters. They stopped licking my self inflicted wounds after they grew infected and they now resent me even more than if I’d just stayed in Milwaukee and kept washing their dishes wrong.” I would have expressed Japanese Animated levels of disturbing and disturbed human feelings that never should have been attached to a TV show.

Fortunately, for everyone, I did not do any blogging or commenting back then. And I got better. Not so good that I can stay on reddit without imploding but good enough that I don’t always need to labor over endings bye I love you

I'm sorry -- because I let you all down. I acted at my most thoughtless instead of emulating the best of Temporal Flux and Transmodiar and Slider_Quinn21 and Grizzlor and SlideOverride and RussianCabbieLotteryFan and pilight.

And so, I had to keep my distance and for myself as well. This whole exchange terrified me. I never wanted to talk about it. But I didn't think Slider_Quinn21 would believe me if I said I needed to take a break from a show I've praised and copied so relentlessly, so I decided to explain myself if only to confess my failings to my friends and pledge to do better.

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I think that's fair.  No worries.

But when you feel better with it, the table read was really well done.  It was nice to see the cast interact with each other and crack up.  Pedro Pascal was very fun.

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ireactions wrote:

Well, I deleted every trace of the Google Doc, so that's unrecoverable, but some of the posts that I thought his are here: https://kinja.com/avclub-52a3239961f9db … iscussions They were posted in the comments to individual episode reviews and it's only for the first eight episodes. There were an additional six reviews posted under the same handle on Collider (I think) in comments that seem to have disappeared after the site was reorganized, but each time I found them, I copied them and saved them to the Google Doc that no longer exists. I thought he wrote them, he says he didn't, and I should have asked before sharing them as his.

I'm sorry -- because I let you all down. I acted at my most thoughtless instead of emulating the best of Temporal Flux and Transmodiar and Slider_Quinn21 and Grizzlor and SlideOverride and RussianCabbieLotteryFan and pilight.

And so, I had to keep my distance and for myself as well. This whole exchange terrified me. I never wanted to talk about it. But I didn't think Slider_Quinn21 would believe me if I said I needed to take a break from a show I've praised and copied so relentlessly, so I decided to explain myself if only to confess my failings to my friends and pledge to do better.

Dan Harmon is a goddamn lunatic who won't be satisfied until every person in his life and every character he creates is an empty husk devoid of joy. Don't bother yourself over whether or not you hurt his feelings with your investigations; regardless of whether or not he wrote those reviews he still stalked and harassed Megan Ganz for years, and he's not a good example of what it means to be human.

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

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I really appreciate you saying this. And it makes me feel better. However. We can't waive our personal standards of conducting ourselves with consideration and respect for people even if some of those people are creepy, unpleasant, rude, deceitful, homophobic, transphobic, racist. We still have to acknowledge that Informant is an excellent writer of fiction.

And with regards to this other party -- I have to be grateful to him because, well, he helped me save my memories of Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo. His writing was a model I was able to apply to my fictional friends. You asked me in the pre-embryonic stage of my project, "What are you trying to accomplish?" And I wanted a jokey, bantery college reunion with my old friends and followed this person's writing model by applying it to SLIDERS and it worked.

He has my thanks and he should have also had the immediate option of saying he didn't actually write whatever comments were posted under a theatre school nickname he used use which included references to female employees he would admit to sexually harassing three years after the comments were originally posted.

(I'm not implying that he actually wrote these comments and decided to lie about it afterwards; surely someone as willfully confessional as he would have admitted to it. Likely, it was a Season 4 writer engaged in a thought experiment to criticize their own work.)

I mean, Diesel Mickey Dolenz granted your wish to have your past set aside from the Hall of Fame archives. We can't have one standard for volatile and antagonistic people and another standard for Transmodiar and Temporal Flux and Sarah_Slider and Grizzlor and pilight and JWSlider3 and SlideOverride and Slider_Quinn21 and Brand_S and Recall317 and Darren Mooney and other people I like.

I confess that I am deeply unconcerned with the feelings of a power mad stalker, but I don't excuse my own behaviour as it is a reflection on myself and those who choose to associate with me. I am responsible for myself and will use that shame to ensure never instigating such conflicts again. And also, I've moved on -- I've found a new TV show that will sit next to SLIDERS in my heart now.

(It's PARKS AND RECREATION, a show about nice people trying to do nice things under impossible circumstances.)

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I finished the fourth and final season of 13 REASONS WHY.

It's finally over.

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you are a executive for syfy.  what do you do?

http://www.cancelledscifi.com/2020/06/0 … e-network/

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RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan wrote:

you are a executive for syfy.  what do you do?

http://www.cancelledscifi.com/2020/06/0 … e-network/

Reboot Sliders as a reality show.  Using a candid-camera format, let everyday people wander into elaborately redressed city blocks populated with actors presenting a current day result from alternate history.  How would the everyday person react?

Wait - I thought this was an audition to be a SyFy exec, and we had to think like they do.

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ha!

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And so it begins:

https://deadline.com/2020/06/hollywood- … 202962093/

In other news, the imaginary show used for testing has gotten a series order because it is the only pilot filmed this year.

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TemporalFlux wrote:

Just watched the premiere episode of a new NBC show, “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist”:

https://www.nbc.com/zoeys-extraordinary-playlist

I really enjoyed it.  It’s not anything ground breaking - just a quirky female lead in kind of a mash-up between Eli Stone and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.  It’s also set in San Francisco and even had a passing joke about parallel realities.  But I think what really hooked me in was her family.  For the past four years, I lived that with my father; and it just really caught me off guard seeing that all of a sudden in this crazy little show.  They’ve got a fan in me.

RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan wrote:

I like it too!  Which was surprising since there were some reviews a couple of weeks ago (I believe they gave some press the first few episodes) and it was really panned.  But the pilot certainly was enjoyable imo.

Renewed for Season 2!

https://gritdaily.com/zoes-extraordinar … eason-two/

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This past weekend, four old friends from the 90s who faded into non-existence in 2000 were restored and reborn with a new beginning and a new destiny before them. Yes, that's right: Netflix released a 10 episode reboot of THE BABYSITTERS CLUB. My sister and I loved these children's novels when we were kids in the 80s and 90s, thrilling to the adventures of four 12 year olds taking on the challenge of babysitting facing down disgruntled toddlers, hostile pets, abrasive neighbours, exploitative labour practices, diabetes, ghostwriters taking over the writing as the original author took over outlines and editing, spin-off upon spin-off upon spin-off.

I have fond memories of Kristy's bossiness and sense of vision, Dawn's environmental activism and vegetarianism, reading the books at recess, being mocked for reading girls' books at recess, having Dawn's debut book ripped in half by my scamp of a classmate Vishnu and me playfully putting thumbtacks in Vishnu's boots, me good-naturedly burning Vishnu's winter coat, me mischievously smashing Vishnu's bicycle with my grandfather's axe and me carefully removing all the screws from his glasses while he was swimming.

I may have had some childhood rage issues. Anyway! THE BABYSITTERS CLUB was basically a factory, pumping out 3 - 5 books a month from 1986 to 2000 in a recursive timeline where the kids had summer vacation after summer vacation but never seemed to get out of Grade 8. Everyone learned but nobody ever seemed to get all that much more mature. I loved the reassuring repetition and low stakes of THE BABYSITTERS CLUB, but I confess, around book #90 or so, it occurred to me that none of the girls had ever gotten their periods which made no sense to me as I grew up in an all-female environment.

The books were also written by middle and upper class Caucasians who were inclusive but had no cultural or social context to write minorities or truly address serious social justice issues. The values of the books -- friendship, teamwork, sharing, earning your way through life, caring for others -- they were well-considered and appropriate, but they were never challenged or tested. It was comfort food for kids and at this point hopelessly dated as they were written in an analog era without smartphones or social media. All the ghostwriters did a nice job of capturing the simple charm and pleasures of the first 13 novels written by Ann M. Martin, but there came a point when the sheer volume of the series was vastly overstretching the content through repetitive formula and a cyclical timeline. The original 13 novels are really all there is; the rest is just reruns and (barely) variations.

The Netflix reboot captures all the strengths of THE BABYSITTERS CLUB while addressing and repairing all of the weaknesses. The kids live in 2020 and have to face down social media; there's a new inclusivity for some of the originally Caucasian characters. I loved Dawn Schafer as a blonde vegetarian surfer from California, but there are plenty of blonde Caucasians on TV and we don't need another; it's wonderful to see Dawn reimagined as Latina and the geeky Mary Anne as biracial. Transgenderism and gay parents are introduced casually and socioeconomic class differences are shown with frustrated outrage. At 10 episodes, the show doesn't overstay its welcome. Everything that was strong and meaningful about THE BABYSITTERS CLUB is present, everything that is dated or shortsighted has been broadened with diversity.

What's also terrific: THE BABYSITTERS CLUB does not fundamentally alter the concept. I was expecting that a BSC reboot would have the kids as secret spies and assassins uncovering the terrible conspiracy behind the town with Kristy going on the run for murder, Mary Anne joining a biker gang, Claudia joining the FBI, Stacey having an affair with a teacher, the Babysitters Club guarding their charges with tasers and sniper rifles and all the parents being serial killers and sociopaths. Instead, the Netflix reboot leaves the characterizations and the family friendly appeal of the series intact, and tries to make its merits as strong in 2020 as they were in 1986, but also makes sure that girls get their periods in this reboot.

I hope someone will revive SLIDERS someday and let SLIDERS have its period as well.

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Twilight Zone Season 2 has some good stuff.  Been very impressed.

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RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan wrote:

Twilight Zone Season 2 has some good stuff.  Been very impressed.

Did you like season one?

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Grizzlor? What's Nicole Eggert like? I have always wondered.