Friday, July 11, 2014

What about Rockne?

 Everyone knows JJ Abrams and Joss Whedon, and they're both amazing and you can generally trust most TV from either of them, but for me, going back even before Buffy (my first Joss), there was Rockne, making the shows I want to watch. Someone other than me must've been hooked my Alien Nation and brought through the 90s by SeaQuest, but no one seems to talk about this dude as much as the Js--so I want to just put this little heads-up post here, talking about his work, to weigh the scale a little on the other side.*

If you know about SciFi, you almost definitely know about Farscape, and that's probably his best show to date (though I haven't seen as much of Defiance and Revolution as I want, so maybe they're catching up and I'm just not aware yet), but all his work has certain similarities that make them his:

  • Lots of strong characters with their own motivations and goals, that don't always match up with anyone else's
  • Weirdness handled well--alien civilizations, conspiracies, not-normal-earth realities
  • Long, interconnected chains of smaller stories that tell bigger stories
  • A certain unexpectedness--it's hard to guess what his shows will do next, and that's kind of great when you watch a lot of tv
  • The juxtaposition of normal and super-bonkers--Human astronaut lost in space, end of the world survivors with new roles, a cop and his alien partner, etc
  • Big storytelling--not just a few people's stories, but the whole world's stories
  • Hopefulness, usually, even if it's hidden
  • The idea that humans are pretty adaptable, even if we're also sort of ignorant and need to be taught things
  • Politics and religion as main issues, though generally they're alien or post-apocalyptic, so it doesn't really get preachy
  • Cross-cultural understanding as the answer
  • Neat tech

Basically, if you're a fan of the normal and everyday colliding with the weird, and with those weird collisions telling stories that couldn't be told without them, you should be watching his shows and picking them apart and talking about them. And that'll give him the space and the faith from the networks to write the way he wants to write and give us more on the scale and quality of Farscape!

And speaking of, I hope the movie for that is so fantastic that the world clamors for more Farscape in some form or another, and gives the man a chance to bring us something else as ambitious without interference from the network! Because that's my wish for all my favorite writers and creators--freedom from network interference.

What do you think of when you think of Rockne S O'Bannon?

*as if fandom was a scale, rather than a big ball of wibbly wobbly fandomy stuff.
Post a Comment