Tuesday, August 13, 2013
These thoughts tie into something I think about a lot: the gradual failure of showrunners and creators like Steven Moffat, Chris Nolan, and Aaron Sorkin. IMO, these guys are the M. Night Shyamalans of ~mainstream liberal/nerd genre entertainment.

All three began as critically acclaimed showrunners/filmmakers, but as their fame and success grew, the quality of their output went rapidly downhill. Moffat turned Doctor Who into a confused mess full of thinly-veiled misogyny and uneven characterisation, including storylines that directly referenced things (like the Weeping Angels and River Song) that used to be his strengths. Nolan’s Batman trilogy went from a simple-but-good origin story to a disastrously nonsensical and sexist nightmare. Aaron Sorkin, well. The West Wing was good. Studio 60 was fairly good. The Newsroom is one of the worst “smart” TV shows I have ever seen, not to mention being egregiously offensive and condescending on multiple levels. ANYWAY. Moffat, Nolan and Sorkin are all writers who have been persuaded by success that they can do no wrong, and persuaded either by liberal media acclaim (Sorkin) or their wives (Moffat and Nolan) that they are not misogynist writers.

My concern with Jeff Davis isn’t so much to do with the latter problem (sexism, racism, etc) but the former. While Teen Wolf does have its issues (BOYD!!!! Paige!!) Davis doesn’t strike me as an unpleasant person in the same way as Sorkin or Moffat do (both from their actions/opinions IRL, and from their writing). Although the execution hasn’t been ideal, Davis did aim to create a TV show set in a world without sexism or homophobia. (N.B. He was more successful with the homophobia than with the sexism, but that’s because it’s a lot easier to picture a world without homophobia than a world without sexism. However, that’s a meta post for another day.)

Right now it just seems like no one is reining Davis in from making bad decisions, and as a result the third season of Teen Wolf has been kind of a mess. It’s not so much that he’s bitten off more than he can chew (because I think Teen Wolf DOES have the potential to be a more mature and complex show), but something has happened in the creative process that means the writer’s own internal image of the show is now totally detached from what audiences/reviewers are actually seeing onscreen. Jeff Davis seems like a well-meaning person and the first two seasons of Teen Wolf indicate that he can be a funny, interesting writer. But if something doesn’t change soon, then this show is going to lose A LOT of viewers, and it’s gonna get cancelled before its time.

Notes

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    I cannot YES THIS hard enough.
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    I also have the suspicion (I may be wrong here) that Jeff is starting to see season one as not good/bad where the heart...
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