Friday, January 31, 2014

Happenings In The Outhouse 31-Jan-2014 / What I learned from Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, and The Following

I don't watch much television.  In fact, aside from the occasional nightly news (local, not the 24-hour news cable networks) and some late night funny men such as Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon, and Jimmy Kimmel, I don't watch any television at all.

We have one television, and either my wife or kids seem to always be in control of it.  I'm okay with it.  Instead, I watch Netflix on either my Kindle or the app on my Android phone--I love it!  Netflix has opened a lot of creative doors for me, in terms of keeping in touch with movies or TV shows.  A few of my favorites are The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, House of Cards, Dexter, The Killing.  And so many more.

I recently watched the first season of The Following.  I hate to say it--because I feel Kevin Bacon is a strong actor--but I didn't like it very much.  I have a number of reasons for it.  First, there always seemed to be this high-speed pursuit to catch the bad guys and there was never any let up.  Contrast this with The Walking Dead.  In every single episode, you have the threat of the latest zombie attack.  But there is a down time too.  A breather, in other words.  You need that in your stories.  The Following had very little and I was exhausted after each episode.

Another reason I failed to like The Following is that there was no character arc throughout the season.  Kevin Bacon's character never really changed.  Sure, some of the minor characters did, but not enough to carry the story.

The final reason The Following didn't do it for me is that I never knew what the killer Joe Carroll and his followers were all about.  What was their passion, aside from killing?  It was never really clear.

Enter Breaking Bad.  Walter White, a high school science teacher who gets struck with cancer and a bad case of poor insurance.  He wants to provide for his family.  He then discovers the best way he can do it: make meth.  Over the five seasons--I haven't seen the final season yet as it does not come out on Netflix until February 24th--Walter White has some great character arcs.  There is also the threat of getting caught.

It all makes for a great story.

The edits for Shadowkill are moving along at a steady pace.  Right now, I'm roughly a sixth done with the edits and it's coming along nicely.  As far as what I want to accomplish this year, I've kept my same list of goals, but I'm emphasizing two things: publishing more and getting healthier.  The latter involves losing a certain amount of weight.  How much, I'm keeping that to myself.

(As I re-read this post, I fear that I give the impression that I watch a lot of Netflix.  I do not.  I watch a little each day, but I'm usually doing it while I'm working on chores or for a few minutes just before going to bed--I know, I know, The Walking Dead is a poor show to try fall asleep to, but I haven't gotten any nightmares . . . yet.)

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