The purpose of this blog is to provide me with a place in which to play with a pet project: namely, to attempt something along the lines of critical writing about a television show. I should preface this with a disclaimer: I have not taken English as a subject since I was 16, over a decade ago now. I did engineering as a degree, and I work as an engineer. My critical writing synapses, therefore, may be a little rusty. But I spend a lot of time online interacting with various fandoms, and over the last few years I have found that some of my most rewarding online time comes from discussion of fiction and from trying to pin down in words exactly what any given fantasy world is leaving behind in my head.
I have also begun to read more and more online criticism of television shows I watch, and particular critics are now essential reading for me every week. I admire those writers and how they help me to order my own thoughts on a show. I feel like I want to respond to them, but not in a paragraph comment – they leave me with an urge to write pages about symbolism and themes. And so I decided that I should at least try this little project, see whether I can structure my thoughts and commit them to the internet with any regularity. In the process, I also hope to reclaim my writing skills from the strange abyss that lurks between engineering reports and online twitter/email/messageboard spamming, since those two very separate specialities are currently the main focus of my writing.
A few questions I should maybe get out of the way before I start:
Why The Vampire Diaries? – It’s a show I am currently slightly obsessed with which lacks much substantive analysis online. There are some excellent and professional recappers who cover it, at least one highly entertaining parody site and many fan discussion boards, but generally speaking the critical community has left it alone. This may be because it is not actually as deep as some other shows, but that suits me perfectly: I naturally write too much on any given subject, so I promise to find ‘the abyss deep’ in even the shallowest kiddie pool.
Any Other Shows Planned? – Not at the moment, no. Most of my other current shows fall at the extremes of ‘too simple’ or ‘too complex’ for this project.
How Frequently? – Once a week, a few days after the episode airs in the US. I’m currently planning to write over the weekends and post on a Monday, but we’ll see. Backlog of the first three episodes of season 2 all going up at once to begin.
How Much? – I’m aiming for between 1,500 and 2,000 words per episode. I suspect I’ll find it harder to restrict myself to the upper limit than to reach the lower one, but if an occasional episode is so interesting/dull as to end up a little outside those boundaries I’m not going to be too bothered.
Will You Go Back To Season 1? – Unless I get really bored, no.
Who’s Your Audience? – Good question. Probably no-one. I might go so far as to link to here from one or two other sites, and maybe twitter, but I’m always uncomfortable with self-promotion and anyway this project is for me in a lot of ways, to see if I can do it and to help me get my thoughts in order each week to stop them infecting normal life with vampirey daydreams. That said, if you’re reading, please comment and let me know! Even if you disagree with me… in fact, especially if you disagree with me. Discussion = happy me. But either way, if you’ve made it this far I hope you enjoy!