How “Silicon Valley” turned its greatest weakness into its greatest strength

When writers outline their script it’s important to try and understand how the audience feels, essentially about everything.

Dialogue can tell us a lot about character, but I want to focus on the structure of story itself.

Seasons 1 and 2 of “Silicon Valley” were hilarious and probably the funniest we’ll ever see the show. Season 3 lagged as fans and critics felt we were stuck in a cycle of failure and success.

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“13 Reasons Why” Season 1 worked. Season 2 was always a bad idea.

13 Reasons Why season one was solid.

There were ebbs and flows throughout the season, but overall it was a strong mystery with a satisfying, yet devastating conclusion.

Everything comes together. Without questionable cliffhangers it would’ve been a strong mini-series and critics agree.

Katherine Langford earned a well-deserved Golden Globe nomination and the critics landed on an admirable 76.

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Loud internet fandom reveals inherit faults in aged Nielson rating system (this could’ve been a headline a decade ago!)

The Nielson ratings are absurd and just about every major network still swears by them.

Earlier this month shows such as “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “The Expanse” were cancelled. Several other shows were cancelled along with them.

However these two specific shows had loud fanbases. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” was rescued by NBC and “The Expanse,” as of now still cancelled, has fans flying plane banners attempting to resucue the SyFy series.

On Wednesday “The Expanse” was met again with a subpar Nielson rating. The outcry is so strong though, that I feel confident it will be picked up.

Back in the “Firefly” and “Freaks and Geeks” days the internet wasn’t this massive community of outspoken, pissed off people.

The Nielson metric was obsolete over a decade ago. Every show my wife and I watch isn’t contributed to their number, and the same can be said of millions of people across the country.

Time to update.

The annoying trend of studios predeterming MPAA ratings to stir hype

“An R-rated movie from the Jim Henson company!? I’m in!”

That was me a few years ago when “The Happytime Murders” was announced. I love The Muppets and all the work the Jim Henson Company has done.

This… does not look good.

There’s been a trend lately that I hope dies: Production companies determine their MPAA rating before pre-production in order to stir up hype.

However, the script and resulting film should determine its rating. Articles talk about Tarantino’s “R-rated Star Trek,” yet it hasn’t been written.

The story should dictate the MPAA rating and this trend is a blatant example of studios having too much control in the creative process.

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Last Man on Earth fan theory: Tandy is the last man on Earth

It was announced yesterday that, in an attempt to be less humorous and all-around good, Fox has cancelled “Last Man on Earth,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” and “The Mick.”

“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” is a fan favorite and the fanbase has been shouting. It’s all but guranteed that the cop show will return, maybe on Hulu.

Then there’s “Last Man on Earth,” a show with a strong first season that delves into low-budget slapstick and giddiness as it moves on through its four seasons.

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The Rise of Donald Glover

“Atlanta” is Donald Glover’s dream project.

The show has steadily evolved from surreal comedy to straight-up surreal. I’ve never seen such anxiety-inducing television than I have with the last five episodes. The previous episode “FUBU” showed me that I may have some PTSD leftover from my middle school years.

Anyway, it’s easily the most ambitious show on television right now. I’m happy to see Glover’s vision realized here because so much has culminated to this point in his career.

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Handmaid’s Tale and Westworld in danger of becoming repetitive

Take “Game of Thrones” as a quality example. Yes, last season sucked, but the show has always done its own thing – been a commentary on the unpredictability of chaos of war.

“Handmaid’s Tale” has given itself the burden of political commentary. In a sense, it needs to become effective art. The unfortunate side effect to commentary is that serial art (like television) needs to change – it must be broad.

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Is Dwayne Johnson a good actor?

I think so.

I never understood the judgment of actors when their quality of performance 95% of the time is dictated by the director and the written material they’re given.

Obviously it’s unlikey we’ll see Mr. Johnson wielding a gold statue anytime soon. “Fighting with my Family” directed by Stephen Merchant seems to have Globe prospects though.

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Spielberg’s laughably misguided views on award disposition

The great Steven Spielberg is terribly, terribly wrong and misguided here.

I’m a huge fan of Spielberg, but the statement he made to ITV News has to be one of the most elitist ones I’ve heard from a successful filmmaker:

“Fewer and fewer filmmakers are going to struggle to raise money, or to compete at Sundance and possibly get one of the specialty labels to release their films theatrically,” he continued. “And more of them are going to let the SVOD [Streaming Video On-Demand] businesses finance their films, maybe with the promise of a slight, one-week theatrical window to qualify for awards But, in fact, once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie.”

The Academy seems to be struggling with a mundane conflict here. Let me break it down for them:

A movie – 1 to 4 hours to flesh out plot and characters sequentially and seamlessly.

A show – 4+ hours serialized episodically where plot and characters grow and change incrementally per episode.

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