Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Punches are not hugs

Having taken a respite from blogging thanks to Vista finally making good on its daily promise to kill itself and take my pc with it, I've got a bit bored so have gone back to doodling on the laptop.  The steam-powered laptop that sounds like a plane and which runs on GOD DAMN IT Vista.

I have been watching:
The Carrie Diaries, a prequel series to Sex And The City, which you may or may not be aware of seeing as it's a pretty old show now, but from what I could tell it was a New York-based sex drama about three whores and their mother, begging the question "why is a teen drama the natural follow-up to that?"  I think we're supposed to mock the reasoning that led to this show's creation and then ask "who is the intended audience for this?" but let's face it, it's a teen drama that sexualises children and that needs no justification to programme-makers because they know exactly who its audience is - everybody.  From Home and Away to Hollyoaks to 90210 to Secret Life of the American Teenager, kids shagging is what people want to watch at the end of a day spent frothing themselves into a fury at the latest pedo-scares in the news and I am, of course, postulating what I hope is an amusing contradiction and not actually suggesting that there are people who spend all their day merely being angry at the existence of pedophiles and imagining what they get up to, as not even Daily Mail writers do that - I picture them fantasising what pedophiles get up to at most takes up their morning, and then after lunch they fantasise about immigrants, maybe squeezing in the odd payment to someone to say they've fed crack cocaine to their 17 children or have only come to the UK to sell babies to pimps because unlike the workshy unemployed sponging benefits from hard working taxpayers, Daily Mail journalists actually put some effort into their day.
Anyway - The Carrie Diaries' biggest problem for me is arguably Anna Sophia Robb, who is supposed to grow up to look like Sarah Jessica Parker, which pretty much blows the series finale as we know it now has to end with some kind of disfiguring car or horse-trampling accident, but she also ruins it because when the Rock goes to the trouble of saving your ass, the least you can do is make good use of the second chance he's bought you and not make bad television.  Shows like this fascinate me because they're basically the same thing as, say... Gidget, which is not the first female-fronted teen romance "dramedy" but it's a nice handy yardstick seeing as it was made in the 1960s (the Sandra Dee film version even earlier in 1959) with the attendant moral standards of the time, and the aspirational ideal of the lead female in Gidget is to eventually kiss Moondoggy on the lips, while her modern counterpart Carrie constantly writes in her diary of  how she secretly longs for a good fisting while a bus full of special needs orphans watch - the end goals are different and reflect the times in which these shows came to be, but they are still essentially the same show*, and therein lies the problem because some yearnings are universal experiences and work as the focus of teen dramas even in the 1960s, so you don't really need sexy sex to spice up proceedings as long as the emotions at the center of the writing ring true with experience and aren't - for instance - simply recycling the work of other shows and movies and filtering them through the arbitrary mandates of producers to create an uninteresting work of homogenised telefeces whose primary audience lies in a no-man's land demographic where the terminally bored, the moronic, and those who just aren't paying attention at all overlap to create whatever audience share this horse-trampling of a show ends up with.

* And when I say the same show, I mean "dramedy centering on a widowed father-daughter relationship, sister problems, school stuff and major hobby of main character" pretty much covers both of them.

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