<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, arial">quote:</font><HR>I cant follow him blindly and have faith because he did a great job before. You all can...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Nobody is following anybody blindly. This is always the line taken by people who prefer
to see the dark side of everything, that the rest of us are just "following blindly" while only they
have the insight and the integrity to be sceptical. Spoo, I say.
JMS, Doug Netter, et. al., have a track record. Nobody is perfect, and everybody screws up once in awhile but show for show, on both B5
they did a better job than 90% of all the TV producers that have ever existed. The rule of thumb in U.S. series television is that about 1/3 of your episodes will be good, 1/3 OK and 1/3 you'll wish you never had to look at again for the rest of your life.
Those numbers hold up pretty well for most
TV series, including classics like the original Trek
and The Twilight Zone
beat those odds by a country mile. Crusade
certainly didn't have 4 lousy episodes out of 12 (I don't count "War Zone" at all.) And B5
didn't come close to having 30 some bad episodes. The most critical fan can't come up with more than a dozen out of 110.
George Lucas? Frankly, Lucas couldn't write his way out of a damp paper bag, and he isn't much of a director. The original Star Wars
is a grab-bag of mythic, pop-culture and Jungian influence that mostly by luck
touched a nerve with people (and which had amazing special effects to boot.)
It reminds me of the story of the professor's critique of a student paper: "Your work is both good and original. Unfortunately the parts that are good aren't original, and the parts that are original aren't good."
In many respects, Star Wars
really isn't a very good film. Its virtues outweigh its (manifest) flaws in logic, storytelling, characterization and (Heaven knows) dialogue, but that doesn't mean those flaws aren't there.
was a much better film. Of course, Lucas didn't write it and he didn't direct it. When he took more direct control again (in Return
) the quality slipped visibly.
And what else has Lucas really done
was an exercise in pure cinema, heavily influenced by 2001
. The dialogue is minimal, the characterizations largely up to the actors, and the camera work is skillful. Lucas played to his strengths and produced something interesting, if totally unoriginal.
was probably the film that most connects to Lucas's real life, is the most honest and human thing he ever made, and is utterly charming. (He also had a co-writer on it, so the dialogue resembles something that actual humans might say to one another.)
And that's pretty much it
. He has produced
films made by more talented collaborators, but he himself hasn't written or directed anything at all worthwhile since 1977, and hasn't done a really great
film since Grafitti
Compare that output to 150 or so hours of TV produced in half the time, and with no more than 20 hours (probably more like 14) that anyone can genuinely call bad. So, yeah, I have a lot more faith in JMS than I ever would in George Lucas. With JMS it is the failures, not the successes, that are the flukes.
Pat Tallman Division