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The Chris Carter Effect?


ethsnafu

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Hi guys,

As you know, I do a daily sweep of the internet for anything new on the subject of Millennium and here is a link to an article discussing the so called Chris Carter Effect, namely, the inability to provide closure, continuity or resolution. I can't list the number of points in this article that I disagree with, it mentions not only Chris but sites Millennium as an example of this effect along with a number of franchises hailed as shining examples of genre television such as The Prisoner, Twin Peaks and and the new kid on the block, Lost. Have a read and see what you think?

Best wishes,

Eth

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He didn't appear to me that he likes anything and had only a couple nice things to say about only a couple shows. Some people have to find fault in everything and not spend any time or effort looking at the positive side. To me, this was a perfect example of that.

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"Time is too slow for those who wait; too swift for those who fear;

too long for  those who grieve; too short for those who rejoice.

But for those who love, time is eternity."

(Jane Fellowes)

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Hi Darlene,

Spot on! All those terms, every last one of them are terms of derision created by armchair critics and nitpickers-r-us. I absolutely shut off whenever the term retcon is used in an article, I find its use utterly lazy and so often baseless. I spent a good few hours checking this place out, reading the terms, the articles, finding out the individuals opinion of numerous shows that I love and found, quite unsurprisingly, that was very little positivity to be had, anywhere.

Retcon, Jump The Shark and other such discussions leave me cold - I believe this is known as The Whining Fan Effect ;)

Best wishes,

Eth

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  • Elders (Admins)
I believe this is known as The Whining Fan Effect ;)

You have such a wonderful way with words. I can't begin to express my feelings about people who do that - most especially X-Files fans who, over the years that I've been reading related newsgroups and message boards, have been and are still doing that. So often I've wondered whether they were watching the same show that I was. There's been some recent improvements, though, that I've seen on XF imdb boards where obviously some people weren't confused about the mythology. (Incidentally, super soldiers were first mentioned in season 1 and walk-ins in season 2.)

I've been reading the Lost newsgroup, and most of the posters there are really into the detail. But there are occasional people who complain that the writers are "making it up as they go along" and have "told lies" in what they've said about the show. Some people complain that the writers haven't explained something or other - and the informed regulars have to point out the missing word "yet".

It'll be interesting, in so many ways, to see how the writers end Lost. There were concerns raised that the show wouldn't produce resolution, comparing the show with the X-Files (where, of course, the last few seasons suffered from the network suits continuing the show despite the obvious problems for the writing team). Once the Lost team had a definite end-date (assuming that ABC don't renege on that decision) it will be interesting to see how that time framework works in terms of storytelling. The writers actually have a major problem there in that they won't be able to blame any fan disappointment on network vacillation. Though, however they end it, there will be complaints. It's the Whinging Fan Effect. I want a t-shirt with that slogan on it.

Libby

"Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape." Terry Pratchett

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Speaking of T-shirts, thank you Libby, lets have some made with :frank_black: on it and say BTFB, or "Bring Back Frank Black." I would definitely wear it.

DarleneSignaturePic1.jpg

"Time is too slow for those who wait; too swift for those who fear;

too long for  those who grieve; too short for those who rejoice.

But for those who love, time is eternity."

(Jane Fellowes)

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Hi Guys,

Darlene would you believe me if I told there was a BackToFrankBlack T-Shirt and that it is all set to be paraded around Cannes? Honstly, would I fib :)

But, seriously, I wholeheartedly agree with Libby's post and have to confess to my utter lack of understanding as to why the mechanics of the story have become so undeniably connected to how its quality is assessed. Would it really matter if Lost was planned and plotted on the fly? Does it make it any more of an enjoyable slice of entertainment if every swerve and bend of the plot was intended from the off? Would it make the writers better writers if they ignored the evolution of the cast, the change in any circumstances and sudden new ideas simply because they were adhering to a grand masterplan? My assertion is that it would make them less of an effective creative team if they did not allow the story to be shaped by time and tide. Truth be told, we know they make aspects of it up as they go along, and to the viewers benefit I might add. The overwhelmingly positive response to the introduction of Ben, lead to a guest star becomming a central and much loved aspect of the mythology, the universal loathing of Nikki and Paulo led to a very short stay for the characters, much to the appause of the viewers. The writers have, on a number of occasions, hinted that budget, the weather, the response of viewers, changes in technology, outside interference and more besides have required them to divert from the original 'masterplan' but, in the process, forced them to find new and creative solutions to problems, allowed plots to be developed in more interesting ways than they had originally been considered and so on. Does of this imply there is no masterplan? Well, not at all. Does it imply that we are watching a show run by a creative team responding to change? Most definitely.

Chris Carter, and I will never tire in saying this, wrote the finest 50 minutes of television I have ever seen when he sat at his PC (or whatever he uses) and wrote, Millennium, The Pilot Episode. Is Millennium a perfect TV show? Not at all. Did Chris' vision change and mutate because of circumstance, we all know it did. Does this make him incapable of delivering resolution? Hell no. Did he make it up as he went along? Maybe, but I ask you, does it matter? If each week I sit and for a few precious minutes and I am entertained, challenged, awed, scared, impressed, heck, the whole gamut of emotions, I don't care if Chris Carter wrote that episode on the back of a cigarette packet the evening before shooting. Jugde him and every other writer by what you see on screen, not on the politics, not on the behind the scenes relationships, not on the mechanics of the story's evolution and so on. When I enjoy a slice of pie, tv or otherwise, I judge on the taste, not the recipe, not the method and certainly not on the ingredients. This, I believe, is what should be termed The Positive Fan Effect.

Anyone else want to create a slogan or two ;)

Eth

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Guest Laurent.
Well said.

And I've got nothing more to say.

And if I could add this: Libby is perfectly correct that the elements that took the front stage of the XF mythology in the last seasons had already been set-up during the first years of the show.

From the "genetically created" super-soldiers in Eve, the indestructible hybrids seen in The Erlenmeyer Flask and the following seasons, to the walk-ins of "Red Museum" and the "We bury our dead alive, don't we?" comment of retired military officer Johansen... everything was already in place.

Chris Johansen: "We bury our dead alive, don't we?"

Scully: "I don't know if I understand."

Chris Johansen: "We hear them every day, they talk to us, they haunt us, they beg us for meaning. Conscience is just the voices of the dead trying to save us from our own damnation."

Mulder: I want to believe that the dead are not lost to us. That they speak to us as part of something greater than us - greater than any alien force. And if you and I are powerless now, I want to believe that if we listen to what's speaking, it can give us the power to save ourselves.
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Hi Guys,

Darlene would you believe me if I told there was a BackToFrankBlack T-Shirt and that it is all set to be paraded around Cannes? Honstly, would I fib :)

Cannes? That's where the rich and famous go. I'm in Oklahoma, living the lifestyle of the poor and unknown. Please, how can I get one of those T-shirts?

DarleneSignaturePic1.jpg

"Time is too slow for those who wait; too swift for those who fear;

too long for  those who grieve; too short for those who rejoice.

But for those who love, time is eternity."

(Jane Fellowes)

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