Sunday, July 01, 2012

The Unwritten

And so, with my belated recollections of the John Landis Q&A from 2010, I think that I’ve now exhausted my cache of Unfinished Things that are Potentially Blogworthy. Half-formed ponderings that almost made the cut include:

A post bestowing lavish praise on Charlie Brooker’s Dead Set, the finest piece of genre fiction on British Television since the 1980s (with the obvious exception of the indestructible Doctor Who. And, yes, I am getting impatient with excitement for the return of the mad man with a box. Not long now!)

Anyway, yes, Dead Set. Absolutely phenomenal. I rewatch the whole thing at least once a year. It is magnificent, and it’s probably a good thing that I never wrote about it in any great detail as it would have just been a post dripping with superlatives. Although I was going to go off on a tangent about the BBC’s revival of Terry Nation’s Survivors from 2008, going into all the reasons why it didn’t quite work when Dead Set did.

The original three-season, 38-episode iteration of Survivors from 1975 to 1977 was overwhelmingly white and middle-class (but, hey, that's the BBC in the Seventies for you) and it wasn’t always fun, and it had that peculiarly-BBC habit of defaulting to episodes based in rock quarries in the arsehole of nowhere every now and then (just like Doctor Who. All conversational roads lead to Doctor Who eventually). But it was, on balance, sufficiently compelling and bleak with a far higher success rate than, say, AMC’s The Walking Dead when it came to the nuts and bolts of “The world we know has gone. What the fuck do we do now?” post-apocalyptic fiction.

What else was I playing with? A valentine to Danny Glover as Roger Murtaugh. As I get older, it occurs to me that Murtaugh was the true badass of the Lethal Weapon movies. That other guy with the wobbly accent, the dodgy mullet and the predilection for getting his arse out? Not so much. But it was just an idea. And ideas on their own ain't worth shit. But I stand by my assertion that Murtaugh, despite repeated protestations that he was getting too old for that shit, was The Man. Being crazy is easy. I'll take the reluctant, grizzled warrior with the six-shooter over that Every Single Time.

The only other thing of note I was tinkering with was a post picking apart The Cabin in the Woods. It basically boiled down to my opinion that, whilst it is clever, it is often too clever for its own good and yet never quite as clever as it thinks it is. At the same time, it is far too arch and knowing to ever be scary. And I say all this as someone who actually kind of enjoyed it. But I was never going to be able to top Sean Witzke’s blistering deconstruction of Goddard and Whedon’s meta-horror that kicked off his epic journey through 83 slasher movies. Go and read all of it.

So. Time to write new things instead of applying paddles to the corpses rotting on my hard drive. Next up: William Motherfucking Friedkin. Watch this space. It'll be finger-lickin' good.


James Whatley said...

Still haven't seen Dead Set.

AKA said...

Oh man, you are in for a real treat. Full-blooded, smart & funny - the zombie trifecta.