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The Naked Page

Author Jamie Sobrato's Diary

11.16.2005

Let Us Extol Its Many Virtues

The many virtues of TV, that is. Theresa says it feeds our creativity. Is that true? I think so. Movies, sitcoms, reality TV, shoot-em-up dramas--they're all a way of examining the human experience through stories. We can learn things about story structure, plot and characterization through even bad TV shows.

Which shows feed our creativity most? I personally find myself most able to examine plot structure (definitely not one of my creative strengths, that plotting thing) while watching action or Sci Fi movies. I don't get emotionally invested in the characters, because there usually isn't much character development, so I start zoning out and considering the plot elements. Same with any other movie that doesn't engage me completely.

It also helps me to watch something several times. Once to get caught up in the story, and the next time to examine it.

What's your favorite TV indulgence? What's your favorite movie? (Mine's Love Actually, because it does such a great job of showing love in its many stages and unconventional forms.)

27 Comments:

At 12:51 PM, Anonymous Theresa said...

I'm a goofball when it comes to entertainment. I really like sci-fi, and I am a sucker for comic book movies. X-men, Spiderman-- Looooooooooooved Batman Begins. I guess it comes with growing up with three brothers.

But since my chosen genre in writing is fantasy, it really does fuel my creativity. If a show or a movie is really good, I just sit there and think, "wow, I wish I had thought of that." And I often wonder how on earth people come up with some of their ideas; the more outlandish one's anyway.

But the TV can cut both ways. It can be a drain on the creativity if you're just zoning out and putting your brain in neutral, which is what I think my husband does....but we won't go there.
And shows like Survivor don't exactly have a plot, though you could get some great character ideas from that show!

But I do go on....
Oh I do want to mention my new "favorite" show. My Name Is Earl is the funniest thing I've seen on TV in awhile. Love that show.

 
At 2:51 PM, Blogger jamiesobrato said...

Theresa, you and my husband have the same taste in movies! I personally am a huge sucker for Asian cinema, particularly Chinese film, but I don't know ANYONE else who is, so I will not going into that, LOL. But I think I've told you that already.

There is only one comic book movie I think I might love--Aeon Flux. did I spell that right? I'm looking forward to it, anyway. I never liked the MTV show, but I did think her costumes were cool, :-) and I think Charlize Theron is a good enough actress to make it interesting.

My Name Is Earl? What is that? I'll have to investigate...

RE strange plot ideas: the longer I write, the more unusual my ideas become. I think it's just a matter of practice, or maybe it's just me kidding myself. :-)

 
At 6:30 PM, Anonymous Cindy Procter-King said...

Gack, Jamie, "Love, Actually?" Is that the bore set in London? Fell asleep watching it.

Cindy

 
At 7:16 PM, Anonymous Theresa said...

My Name Is Earl is definitely worth investigating.

The premise is a guy named Earl, who is basically a redneck who's developed a consceince. He has an epiphany after winning $100k on a lotto ticket, and getting hit by a car immediately after. He decides bad things happen to him because of all the bad Karma he's built up over the years.

So he decides to make a list and atone for all the bad things he's done to people. It's really funny and well done.

 
At 9:30 PM, Blogger jamiesobrato said...

Cindy, you heartless bitch! LOL. How could you fall asleep watching the most romantic movie ever? No, no, I'm kidding, I know, WE ALL HAVE DIFFERENT TASTES and blah blah blah. So what movie do you consider a great romance?

 
At 9:31 PM, Blogger jamiesobrato said...

Theresa, I'll look it up. Sounds great. It's a regular series? I'll go search for it on Tivo.

 
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At 11:01 PM, Anonymous Cindy Procter-King said...

Great romance movie? Okay, I just loved the one with Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia, where she was an alcoholic. Does that count? What was it called again? WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN?? I think that's it.

I also loved SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE.

I love romantic comedies, but I can't think of one right now....

Cindy

 
At 11:03 PM, Anonymous Cindy Procter-King said...

Oh, oh, oh!! SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE. LOVED it.

WEDDING CRASHERS. Gotta love Vince Vaughn in that. Did anyone wind up happy in that one? Does it qualify as a romantic movie?

Does ME, MYSELF AND IRENE qualify?

Cindy2

 
At 11:16 PM, Anonymous Theresa said...

Me Myself and Irene.....I loved it when Jim Carrey asked Rene Zellweigger if her breasts were real.

I liked Shakespear in Love, but haven't seen Something's gotta give.

I watch very few romantic comedies, I think the last one I saw was How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.

Is it any wonder I don't want to write romance? It is a completely foreign concept to me. I am starting to feel sorry for my husband.

 
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At 9:36 AM, Anonymous Theresa said...

Who is the idiot who thinks this is a porn blog? Stop posting here.

 
At 11:47 AM, Blogger Shannon Canard said...

Chinese cinema! When I was in school, a theater in town would run Chinese midnight movies. I saw loads of OLD Jackie Chan films (before he left Hong Kong). Have you seen "Kung Fu Hustle?" And "House of a Thousand Daggers?"

 
At 2:38 PM, Blogger jamiesobrato said...

LOL, gotta love those spam postings. I usually delete them but I think I'll leave that one above since it called this a "Sexy porn blog." Too funny.

 
At 2:41 PM, Blogger jamiesobrato said...

Shannon, I LOVE House of a Thousand Daggers. That is one of my favorite films! So beautiful, so romantic, so kick ass! I cannot remember if I've seen Kung Fu Hustle. The more action-oriented films run together in my head, but the ones that balance the art of cinematography with romance, action, and drama get me every time.

 
At 2:45 PM, Blogger jamiesobrato said...

Cindy, is Something's Gotta Give the one with Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton? That was pretty good.

And if we're going to talk tragic romances, well, that opens a whole different can of...um, worms. Leaving Las Vegas?

I still can't beleive you dissed Love Actually! LOL, I could watch that every day probably.

 
At 2:46 PM, Blogger jamiesobrato said...

Oh God, I just scrolled up some more and saw that "nice hip and thong blog" spam post. LOL. WTF is a hip and thong blog? I guess that's what happens when you cross the panty line! I think I'll leave that one too. For now.

 
At 2:48 PM, Blogger jamiesobrato said...

Theresa, I"m sure your husband is a lucky man with that naughty nurse costume and the farrah hair and all. Hee. Just kidding. I know you're getting tired of us fixating on your hair.

Sometimes I think it's better to NOT be romance-inclined, because the whole notion of romance can set up some pretty impossible standards for the average male to live up to! :-)

 
At 2:55 PM, Blogger jamiesobrato said...

Shannon, you look really familiar. Did we meet at the RWA conference in Reno? Were you one of girls dancing in The Garage? I was there every night.

 
At 3:12 PM, Anonymous Theresa said...

You know, I'm having issues with the Farrah hair lately. It seems the mere mention of it has my hair going on strike. I got it cut, and it is absolutely not cooperating.

But you gotta love the husband, he doesn't even notice the difference.

 
At 3:37 PM, Blogger jamiesobrato said...

Hey Theresa, maybe that's just a guy thing, not noticing. I recently changed my hair color from blond back to brown and my husband did not notice at all. I had to point it out to him. LOL.

I have a hair appt this weekend, and I'm terrified. I have gone to what feels like a hundred hair stylists here in the desert and they always screw up my hair somehow. So I'm trying another new one. Eek. Send good hair thoughts my way.

 
At 5:52 PM, Anonymous Cindy Procter-King said...

Jamie,

Yes, that's the one. Hilarious.

Cindy

 
At 4:55 AM, Blogger Shannon Canard said...

Gawd, me, dancing? Nah. Unfortunately, I never made it to The Garage. Wish I had. I love to drink (Gimlets and Cosmos. Yum.) and I love to hang out. I'll just watch the dancin', though.

And I totally goofed on the title of the film. It was "House of Flying Daggers." Guess I had Victoria Holt on the brain with the whole thousand thing.

Not to keep droning on, but another good one by the film maker was "Hero" with Jet Li. I really liked that one.

 
At 6:47 AM, Blogger jamiesobrato said...

Hey, that's pretty funny on the title because I thought it sounded off somehow but couldn't figure what it was. Yes, FLYING daggers! Duh.

I saw HERO but thought they might have gone a weeeeeeee bit overboard on the wire work. I loved the cinematography in that one, and some of the actors were amazingly good. I loved the secondary characters, but for me, Jet Li's character fell flat becuase there was no emotional investment in him. We didn't get to know much of anything about him, so when, the um, big ending happens, it was like...oh.

Too bad you were not at the Garage. I bet I could have gotten you drunk enough to dance. Ha!

Hey I looked at your blog and your stories sound REALLY intriguing, what little I could tell about them. What subgenre are you writing?

 
At 6:06 AM, Blogger Shannon Canard said...

Thanks, Jamie, for asking. I'm working on a series, The Elementals. It's about a group of woman in a "consulting" firm who possess elemental powers; earth, wind, fire and water. They often save the world from certain doom and kick a lot of ass along the way. It's first person thriller. Little bit chicklit-ish.

 
At 3:44 PM, Anonymous Theresa said...

Oooooh, The Elementals, sounds right up my alley. I love Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Underwold series, so I'll be sure to check out yours when they come out.

 
At 8:49 PM, Blogger jamiesobrato said...

Shannon, that sounds way cool and very marketable!

 

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