Buck Rogers, what could have been...

Axlotl

Master Member
Both BSG and Buck Rogers aired their 2 hour series premiers as theatrical releases, with some minor changes (Baltar's execution, etc.) While I remember seeing BSG in theaters, not BR. For shlock, you REALLY can not beat the THEATRICAL opening to the Buck Rogers movie, with lyrics!

OMG, it looks like a porno!
 

dascoyne

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I'm not sure that producers are hiring bad writers so much as the writers are doing the best they can with mandates from above. While I'm sure some writers out there are pretty talentless and/or fully onboard with trying to bring their socio-political ideologies to the forefront of their writing, I also believe that many of these writers are quite talented and are trying to do their best under whatever directions the showrunner(s) are giving them. After all, unless the writers are the showrunners, they're writing for a showrunner who also answers to studio execs who have a certain vision for this show or movie they're writing for. And if a showrunner and/or studio exec says that they want X in the script, regardless of whether it's a really good idea or not, you write X into the script or risk starving while you try to find another production to write for or another line of work entirely.
It's not "bad" writers, per se, but younger writers who are fresh out of college. As such you should expect that most of them bear the social consciousness pervasive in college campuses today.

Older, experienced writers are also going to be more and more expensive to hire. When you can hire several hungry writers with advanced degrees in screenwriting from NYU for a fraction of the cost of an established writer it should be no surprise a lot of studios will bet on the newcomer. The equation gets a lot more weighted nowadays where large event productions are more difficult to justify over fast indie miniseries shows.

There is certainly the factor of studio mandates enforcing quotas and social representation (e.g. Amazon), but I think the cost factor is at least as important, and likely more.

Regardless, this is all academic, they're both unfortunate realities of the current creative environment.
 
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Krel

Sr Member
Sadly our hero’s of yesteryear are gone.
Let’s recap. Big budget, contemporary movies based off of pre 50’s hero’s. How many were successful?

Lone Ranger (twice)
The Phantom
The Spirit
The Shadow
Green Hornet
Flash Gordon
Doc Savage

None of these movies made money. Now, to be fair, most of these were stinkers on their own. Personally, I think that todays Hollywood writers simply don’t know, or understand yesterday’s hero’s.
The problem is that the people that did these movies had no respect for the originals for the most part. Most didn't want to follow the source, they wanted to do THEIR version of the property. Look at "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." movie, where it didn't even have the U.N.C.L.E. organization! Why was it even named "The Man From U.N.C.L.E."?

David.
 

CB2001

Master Member
The problem is that the people that did these movies had no respect for the originals for the most part. Most didn't want to follow the source, they wanted to do THEIR version of the property. Look at "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." movie, where it didn't even have the U.N.C.L.E. organization! Why was it even named "The Man From U.N.C.L.E."?

David.
That's been true even with TV to movie adaptations. Look at Starsky and Hutch for an example. Yes, the show had some occasional funny moments (to me, one that comes to mind is the episode where Starsky and Hutch deal with a cult assaulting their cabin to get this girl they want to sacrifice. And Hutch distracts one by popping out of a bedroom with the phone receiver saying, "Telephone!" and while the cultist was looking at the receiver, he bumps him with the body of it), but it was mostly a serious police procedural circa 1970s. Yet, for the film, it did away with the serious police procedural portion of the show and made it a full on comedy (this would be like taking Law and Order and turning it into a comedy). The same is true with The Dukes of Hazzard movie. It was a comedy that was family comedy. But for the recent film attempt, they turned it into a stoner comedy. In fact, for years, I've worried about a big screen adaptation of Knight Rider, which was an action adventure series that had it's occasional humorous moments, because I was worried they'd turn the whole film into a joke fest, moving away from what made the show what it was (this is actually no different from what happened with modern Star Trek, which they stripped away the social commentary and philosophy that the shows included with their adventures, and just made them a straight up action sci-fi film that lacks what made Star Trek what it was).
 

Krel

Sr Member
That's been true even with TV to movie adaptations. Look at Starsky and Hutch for an example. Yes, the show had some occasional funny moments (to me, one that comes to mind is the episode where Starsky and Hutch deal with a cult assaulting their cabin to get this girl they want to sacrifice. And Hutch distracts one by popping out of a bedroom with the phone receiver saying, "Telephone!" and while the cultist was looking at the receiver, he bumps him with the body of it), but it was mostly a serious police procedural circa 1970s. Yet, for the film, it did away with the serious police procedural portion of the show and made it a full on comedy (this would be like taking Law and Order and turning it into a comedy). The same is true with The Dukes of Hazzard movie. It was a comedy that was family comedy. But for the recent film attempt, they turned it into a stoner comedy. In fact, for years, I've worried about a big screen adaptation of Knight Rider, which was an action adventure series that had it's occasional humorous moments, because I was worried they'd turn the whole film into a joke fest, moving away from what made the show what it was (this is actually no different from what happened with modern Star Trek, which they stripped away the social commentary and philosophy that the shows included with their adventures, and just made them a straight up action sci-fi film that lacks what made Star Trek what it was).
Because they don't think audiences will buy them as serious subjects, because they don't. That happened to the Lone Ranger, Doc. Savage, Flash Gordon, and that absolute abomination that was the Green Hornet. Their view is that it's an old property, so no one will take it seriously. But what they are showing is their bias, and lack of ability. In many cases they just want to do their own movie that has nothing to do with the property, but want to use that title and names in hopes of suckering people in. See "I, Robot", a script that floated around for years with a different title and names. But Universal had the rights to the novel and figured, what-the-hell, some people will come to see it because of Issac Asimov's name, and maybe we'll get a lot of money before they figure out they've been duped.

David.
 

Cephus

Sr Member
It's not "bad" writers, per se, but younger writers who are fresh out of college. As such you should expect that most of them bear the social consciousness pervasive in college campuses today.

Older, experienced writers are also going to be more and more expensive to hire. When you can hire several hungry writers with advanced degrees in screenwriting from NYU for a fraction of the cost of an established writer it should be no surprise a lot of studios will bet on the newcomer. The equation gets a lot more weighted nowadays where large event productions are more difficult to justify over fast indie miniseries shows.
I think that's at least some of the problem that we see today. If you go back to the 70s and 80s, the writers for most shows were in their 30s or 40s. They had actual life experience. Modern writers are fresh out of college and it's probably their first job and they don't actually know anything, they just blindly believe whatever their idiot professors told them was true, but what do those people know? They're just self-important morons living in ivory towers with no real life experience either.
 

CB2001

Master Member
I think that's at least some of the problem that we see today. If you go back to the 70s and 80s, the writers for most shows were in their 30s or 40s. They had actual life experience. Modern writers are fresh out of college and it's probably their first job and they don't actually know anything, they just blindly believe whatever their idiot professors told them was true, but what do those people know? They're just self-important morons living in ivory towers with no real life experience either.
I think it was Call me Chato aka Former Network Executive Reacts, that said it best (I think I'm getting the quote wrong, but it's close to what I recall him saying): "I come from a time that universities taught people how to think. Most of the new people industry come from universities that teach people what to think."
 

Cephus

Sr Member
I think it was Call me Chato aka Former Network Executive Reacts, that said it best (I think I'm getting the quote wrong, but it's close to what I recall him saying): "I come from a time that universities taught people how to think. Most of the new people industry come from universities that teach people what to think."
Most of them aren't teaching rational thought at all. They just want people to parrot ideologies.
 

CB2001

Master Member
Most of them aren't teaching rational thought at all. They just want people to parrot ideologies.
And what's worse, is that they create piss poor quality stories and characters and they think that because it features their ideologies, that it makes up for the lack of quality. And worse than that, if someone points out legit constructive criticism, they instantly lash out by throwing out terms such as "toxic", and others that I can't repeat here because I'm sure I'll be banned for including all the examples under one post.
 

joberg

Master Member
That young guy in the sepia-toned video appeared to be wearing lipstick. It distracted me from the rest of what was going on.


As a setting, 1930s America doesn't interest me much. It was the depression and life sucked. That was pretty much the defining trait of the era.

The 1930s can be interesting if the show visits exotic places. Like an Indiana Jones movie.
I think that Joe Johnston should direct and make it à la Rocketeer with a dab of Sky Captain! No need to go Sepia with that one. Just re-read/watch Alex Raymond Flash Gordon's comics and you'll get it right!
 
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batguy

Sr Member
That's been true even with TV to movie adaptations. Look at Starsky and Hutch for an example. Yes, the show had some occasional funny moments (to me, one that comes to mind is the episode where Starsky and Hutch deal with a cult assaulting their cabin to get this girl they want to sacrifice. And Hutch distracts one by popping out of a bedroom with the phone receiver saying, "Telephone!" and while the cultist was looking at the receiver, he bumps him with the body of it), but it was mostly a serious police procedural circa 1970s. Yet, for the film, it did away with the serious police procedural portion of the show and made it a full on comedy (this would be like taking Law and Order and turning it into a comedy). The same is true with The Dukes of Hazzard movie. It was a comedy that was family comedy. But for the recent film attempt, they turned it into a stoner comedy. In fact, for years, I've worried about a big screen adaptation of Knight Rider, which was an action adventure series that had it's occasional humorous moments, because I was worried they'd turn the whole film into a joke fest, moving away from what made the show what it was (this is actually no different from what happened with modern Star Trek, which they stripped away the social commentary and philosophy that the shows included with their adventures, and just made them a straight up action sci-fi film that lacks what made Star Trek what it was).

IMO it's a combination of factors.

- Times changes. 'Dukes of Hazzard' wouldn't even feel plausible to modern audiences now, never mind the Confederacy stuff.

- Creative/literal laziness.

- Filmmakers who really want to be doing something else.

- Studios who really want to be doing something else.

- Filmmakers/studios who are remaking an old property because they think it's "sellable" while they simultaneously think "We can't do it like it was before. Nobody would go see that today." The logic circuits are turned off.
 

Riceball

Master Member
I think that's at least some of the problem that we see today. If you go back to the 70s and 80s, the writers for most shows were in their 30s or 40s. They had actual life experience. Modern writers are fresh out of college and it's probably their first job and they don't actually know anything, they just blindly believe whatever their idiot professors told them was true, but what do those people know? They're just self-important morons living in ivory towers with no real life experience either.
That may be true, but you really can't blame the writers, after all, writers go by the maxim of writing what you know. Even more importantly, these writers aren't writing in a vacuum, they're scriptwriters, not novelists. Whatever they're writing is being, at least in part, suggested to them by the showrunner who is in turn likely given feedback or suggestions by somebody working directly for the studio. So it's not like these writers are writing whatever they want and the show's (or movie) simply take whatever they're handed and produce it wihtout any thought or feedback. In other words, don't blame the writers who are only wirting what they're being told to write, even if it lines up with their preconceived notions and ideologies, instead, blame the show or movie's produicers and the studios who commissioning and approving these scripts.
 

Cephus

Sr Member
That may be true, but you really can't blame the writers, after all, writers go by the maxim of writing what you know. Even more importantly, these writers aren't writing in a vacuum, they're scriptwriters, not novelists. Whatever they're writing is being, at least in part, suggested to them by the showrunner who is in turn likely given feedback or suggestions by somebody working directly for the studio. So it's not like these writers are writing whatever they want and the show's (or movie) simply take whatever they're handed and produce it wihtout any thought or feedback. In other words, don't blame the writers who are only wirting what they're being told to write, even if it lines up with their preconceived notions and ideologies, instead, blame the show or movie's produicers and the studios who commissioning and approving these scripts.
You're not really changing anything. Instead of just being bad writers, which I didn't say, you've just expanded it into an entire incompetent system.

How is that any better?
 

Krel

Sr Member
- Times changes. 'Dukes of Hazzard' wouldn't even feel plausible to modern audiences now, never mind the Confederacy stuff.
The "Dukes of Hazzard" WAS NEVER EVEN REMOTELY PLAUSIBLE! :lol: It was a fantasy comedy like those in the 1960s. They exhausted the supply of Chargers in the western U.S., and had to resort to model work in the later seasons.

David.
 

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