Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Monkey Musings 1 - On waiting and on payoff


I always feel like it's a big risk to make fans wait--but I also know that it's better when a show as fewer episodes because there's no room for lame wheel-spinning. And 12 Monkeys has always been really good about eating up story. So much story. All the story. Like, seasons and seasons worth of story in an old idea of show shows work. It's one of my absolutely favorite things that this show does: there's no waiting around for things to happen, things are always happening!

All the waiting happens after the show is done airing for the year, and MAN did we wait! After the summer. After the fall season when everything else started coming back. After even the spring season, when we originally thought it was coming back, since it was a January show in season 1. There's a sort of madness that descends on fans as the waits get longer, and the way fandoms tend to deal with that madness is trying to fill the gap. Fan art, fanfic, and literally hundreds of theories! Man, we dissected everything and tried to figure out what all of it meant! I, personally, stuck to rolling around permutations rather than trying to figure out what's going to happen--because that way leads to insanity and a lot of disappointment when a show doesn't do what you want it to do, and I never want to be disappointed in this show.

But here's the thing, though. Our showrunner and our actors are there for us! I don't remember the last time I watched a show where the fans were so well-supported by the people who make the show, and it made the wait go a lot smoother--it kept the show active and present in our minds and it built the hype as much as the talking to other fans did!

But then, there's all this expectation. There's all this built-up "oh my gosh, everything is finally happening!" that comes with the new season starting on a show you love. And there's that fear that the endless building up with create an inevitable let-down, that nothing could possibly be as good as you imagined it could be. And, of course, this being the second season--how man shows had awesome first seasons and then went off the rails on the second?*

Thankfully, 12 Monkeys doesn't feel like it's going to be one of those shows. Season 1 was so tight, so well-paced and well-plotted, that there's hope that they can do it again, plus they had the extra time given by pushing the show back. I was so worried about starting the season, so afraid it wouldn't live up to how much I loved season 1--and I didn't need to worry at all. I watched the first episode three times, including live, and it's so good. It's more than worth the wait, and it sets up a really great tone and direction for the season that I can't wait to see unfold.

Is it too soon to say that? I hope not, because I'm so invested by this point. But thus far, all the hints and hopes have paid off. The first episode of the season was the exact balance of character work and conflict and awesomeness that make the show so wonderful to watch.

*cough - Sleepy Hollow - cough.
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