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SpoilerTv's Weekly Round Table: 11th Edition

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Happy Sunday everyone and welcome to another Weely Round Table! This week we talk development season, lawsuits and underused characters. This week besides me (MK) the round table is graced by answers from Milo (MI), Laura B (DL), Laura (LS), Samantha (SB), Jamie (JC), Jaz (JZ), Lisa (LM) and Djriter (DR). You as always sit back, enjoy the read and join the discussion after you're done reading.

1.) Too early? This week each member of the Big 4 put a pilot commitment for the upcoming season on at least 1 project. Apparently, each member won a tough bidding war between the networks. What do you think about the prospect picking pilots up this early? And what are your thoughts on the future pilots in general?

MK: I always lol when I read the articles and they say that there was a tough bidding war going on for a show. Have the silliest ideas how that is looking. Still, I think that these early pick ups have their good and bad sides. And while I hope it will increase pilot and show quality at the end you can never be certain how the written word will transfer to the small screen.

MI: It hopefully should be a sign of the quality of the project that they're working on if it gets picked up this early.

DL: I think it's a good sign of networks beginning to transition and take a page from their Cable counterparts. They're starting to think about mid-season & summer and beyond and having things be put on "put pilot" gives a sense that they care about tailoring a project.

SB: If it means we get some new shows that aren't remakes, spin-offs or based on ideas that have been done a billion times before, I am completely here for early pilot pickups. Whether they'll actually find an audience is a different matter entirely. Pilot season has become an extremely bloated time, so picking up shows outside of that is pretty smart. Probably have a higher variety of actors/actresses available (not that it'll stop networks going all white) and allows for more time to develop the story.

JC: I don't really care if they're picked up early or not. As long as the quality of the show is good. Bidding wars are a good sign, though.

JZ: I think it’s an excellent idea as it gives writers time develop a strong pilot and (hopefully) an outline for the rest of the season should the series be picked up. A lot of the new shows we’ve seen over the past few years start off with a fantastic premise and exciting characters but as the series goes on, the storylines lack a clear direction or become too convoluted for their own good. As a result, viewers lose interest and we see these sorts of shows bleed rating by the midseason finale. To have more time to work on new programming, creators now have the opportunity to create a more comprehensive product that will hopefully solve this problem.

LM: The earlier pilots can be picked up the better. One can only hope that if there is a bidding war it's already an exceptional project. It also gives producers time to lock in talent - and with all the possibilities for actors now, they've never been busier - and therefore hard to secure. Of course, it also means that talent that is currently under contract - but may not be by the time actual shooting begins, may not have a chance to be considered. In balance, this is a good thing for tv watchers!

2.) Meanwhile The Little 1, The CW put two very ambitious projects in development. Can The CW handle topics like Sexual harassment and Slavery without going to soapy on it and having certain rating success?

MK: I am not totally without faith regarding The CW, no matter how much they dance with trashy levels sometimes they can pull off some surprises (CeG, The 100) but these two project they put in development are really heavy and I hope the scripts and people behind them are good enough to do the topics justice.

MI: The CW's shows have always fallen into the soapy romance trap at some point and I'm somewhat skeptical that they can do these topics any justice without falling into that trap. They are one of the networks I have the least amount of faith in at the moment (along with CBS but that's another unrelated matter), but all the same these are certainly ambitious projects so hopefully, they can diversify their brand a bit more and branch out successfully.

DL: I think most CW series are aimed for teens/YA and so they tend to have soapy melodrama and so I feel certain that most series, including these, will have those elements and that those elements will stick out because there is often not good production value or nuance to balance it out, but that's not to say that there shouldn't be shows that do that. Not everything has been to be documentary-serious or anti-cliche, just that there need to be some shows with similar subject matter elsewhere that take it more seriously and we have to be educated and know the kinds of shows we're watching and/or be willing to use shows as a jumping off point to go and better educate ourselves when dealing with sensitive and/or historical subjects.

SB: Most of The CW shows are aimed at teens/YA/comic fans and the storylines tend to revolve around love triangles, with character development + plot taking a back seat. I will always applaud network runners who want to try something different because there are too many shows on air all with similar premises. However, I severely doubt The CW's capability in developing any shows that include hard hitting storylines. It's just not the network for it.

JC: I've learned to be careful when it comes to the CW. I loved The Valiant, read it just recently, but I worry that they'll have the budget to pull it off. As for the pilot on sexual harassment, my expectations are extremely low.

JZ: Short answer, no. The CW is skewed to a younger audience and with that comes a tendency to sugarcoat issues that deserve to have complexity and breadth of discussion. If people watch these shows on the CW and expect a fully realistic portrayal then they’re going to be disappointed because the CW is not a network which lends itself to that sort of informational storytelling. It’s a network based on soap opera and drama.

There’s no doubt that no matter what they do it’ll be ratings hit. Any television show that deals with a social issue is a headline grabber and are going to be conversation starters whether good or bad. This is evident when Reign dealt with their sexual assault storyline and today with Riverdale and Supergirl over their portrayals of sexuality. People will still watch whether it be out of genuine curiosity or to examine whether the network can handle such nuanced topics.

LM: The CW does not do serious shows well. Maybe they'll prove me wrong, but even Arrow and Supernatural which began as dark and edgy were teen-ified over the years. I don't think that the serious nature of the subjects will ensure rating success. I think people who watch HBO/AMC for such shows won't give the CW a second thought.

DR: While I'll agree that most of the CW shows don't handle heavy subjects well, I do want to give some props to Supergirl for the way they handled Alex's coming out story. I thought it was handled beautifully and they're allowing the story time to evolve (though I know some elements have been expedited) without turning it into a cliche which was my initial fear.

3.) With many of The Walking Dead crew suing AMC. Who is in the right or who do you sympathize? Are the creative asking too much or are their claims legit?

SB: Generally I think it is hard to comment on these situations because there are going to be two very different sides to the story. However there has been an increase in cast + crews of shows suing networks or being in pay disputes, and I don't think that's all a case of actors being greedy or doing it in an attempt to get a better deal. I get that the longer shows are on licenses etc can get more expensive, but the networks have to remember that without the cast, crew + showrunners, they don't have any shows, which they make tons of money off. Especially The Walking Dead. I've never watched an episode and yet I still know about the show because it is so popular.

LM: It's always interesting to me when a show that has always claimed to have such a wonderful set suddenly starts to fall apart - I'm always skeptical now that it's just a public relations ploy. Given the recent troubles on set, I'm much more inclined to see merit on the plaintiff's side in these suits. Without seeing the actual complaints, it's impossible to judge if they are "asking too much" and without evidence, it's impossible to say whether their claims are "legit." - we'll leave that last judgment to the judge. However, based on what I know about Hollywood-accounting and the phonebook sized contracts that everyone has to sign, I'd say my sympathies lie with the "creatives." It's essentially the same problem that currently lies at the heart of copyright law. Copyright law is based on a balance between the rights of owners and the rights of users. But the owners are rarely the creators and in Hollywood, the owners are always the producers - NOT the creators themselves. I'll be carefully watching this unfold, but don't get your hopes up that we'll see much detail. Hollywood loves to keep its secrets. I'm betting most of this will be settled out of court and all we'll hear is that all parties are "satisfied" - meaning that no one is...

4.) In light of The Defenders coming out with it universally agreed to pace issues, something a lot of viewers can agree is common on many shows on the streaming service, is this 'Netflix formula' a problem? Do writers need to quicken the plots up for future Netflix shows?

MK: I honestly don't have this issue with Netflix shows. Yes, they are slow but as they are binge shows you don't have to wait too much for the pace to pick up. If I had to wait weeks for new eps I would more stress about it but at this point, I'm okay with it. I just need Netflix to slow down production a bit so I could catch all of their new shows.

MI: Yeah, pacing on Netflix shows really is an issue even with the shorter eight episode span of The Defenders. Sometimes treating the series as one long movie isn't the best way to go about things and there really needs to be enough content in an episode to keep it entertaining. Not everyone binge-watches every episode of a Netflix show at once!

SB: Ignoring The Defenders because I haven't yet watched, Netflix is the only streaming service I use and every single one of the shows I've watched has had issues. Stranger Things I gave up on after 2 episodes because it bored me. I didn't understand what the plot was trying to do with itself, some scenes were too long & nothing was really happening. Iron Fist was such a damn chore to watch! By the time I reached the end, I was actively rooting for Joy, her dad and the hand to be victorious because Danny was so annoying. Every episode until the finale was all build-up with no end product, and I ended up spending more time browsing on my phone than watching. Also after months of hype I gave up watching Las Chicas Del Cables (Spanish Netflix original) after 3 episodes. The pacing was again an issue along with character development & plain offensive storytelling. And then there's Jessica Jones of which I watched the first 2/3 episodes & haven't been back since, though it is still on my watch list. In theory, smaller episode counts are supposed to mean you get into the main plot quicker, because you don't have episodes to waste on killing time, and yet somehow they do.

JC: I do think a lot of Netflix shows have pacing problems but I don't think it's exclusively a Netflix problem. There are a lot of other shows where I have issues with the pace and the many filler episodes. I think shorter seasons would be a good solution here. I didn't struggle nearly as much with The Defenders and their 8 episodes, as I did with Iron Fist and Luke Cage and their 13 episodes. It probably also helped that we'd already gotten the introduction for all of the characters

JZ: I’m a fan of the slow burn that streaming networks bring to television. I like that it allows a show to develop more character driven the plot and I find myself being fully immersed in the universe over the show that focuses on the action or crisis. Although I will admit that I do find Netflix shows difficult to watch over a period of weeks and that this sort of storytelling (for me) really only works when I binge a series.

5.) Fall season is coming! Which of your favorite but neglected characters are you wishing a heck of season?

MK: Bonnie on HTGAWM. She did get more screen time in season 3, especially the second part but I want her to have a solo story and step away a bit from Annalise. Liza Weil is beyond talented she deserves a lot more.

MI: Harper on The 100! I hope Chelsey Reist gets a bigger role this season and her casting on Supernatural doesn't mean that her character will be killed off as The 100 writers were so fond of doing in the past. I'm hoping we see Roy return on Arrow too, it's way overdue at this point.

DL: The only shows that I'm caught up on and are returning for fall are Outlander and Stranger Things. I think for Outlander it will be good to see more of Jaime's side of things, especially the aftermath of BoC--I felt like last season was heavier on the Claire-related material. There's also a lot of new characters/or characters just barely introduced that I am also more interested in knowing like Roger, Brianna, older Ferg, and John Grey! For Stranger Things, I think it's obvious that Will has more of a story to tell this season and I think we're missing story on Hopper too, but I also think Lucas was shafted during the first season and I would like to see more from where the character is coming from.

LS: He’s not necessarily neglected, but his husband sure is! I want more Holt and Kevin shenanigans on _Brooklyn Nine-Nine_ this season, culminating in their “honest to goodness wedding” we were promised in Season 2. Is that too much to ask for? I would at the very least hope for more Kevin anyway. He’s one of my favorite characters and I understand the actor is super busy but I miss him a lot. There were so many hints dropped about him last year while he wasn’t even on-screen and we just *have to* check in on him soon. Or I might explode.

Also — can Eve come back to _HTGAWM_ now? Please?

SB: My favorite is technically dead which leaves me to route for Black Siren played by Katie Cassidy. I've seen her in a number of things over the years and she has always shone. On Arrow, she has been extremely hard done-by & I really hate this show for dragging me back in for what I'm sure will be another mighty fine mess because this show is incapable of having good storylines and character development. But I will still be here.

JZ: I want to see more of Winn Schott this season on Supergirl. He had a lot of deep, emotional turmoil in season one that has all but disappeared in season two. I’d like to see the writers go back to exploring his relationships with his family and less focus on Winn just being “the IT relief” or “the fanboy.”

I’m hoping Tabitha Galavan has a heck of a season on Gotham this year. I’m glad we finally get to see her as an individual after so many seasons of being in the shadow of her loved ones. Her relationship with as a big sister to Selina is one of the big things I'm looking forward to this season.

DR: I'd like to see more of the J'onn J'onz as "space dad" relationship with the Danvers sisters in season 3 of Supergirl. For the most part, I missed that surrogate father relationship he had with them in season 1. I'm hoping we'll see him more in that role when the Jeremiah Danvers story arc is addressed and concluded.

Hope you guys enjoyed this week's edition. Don't forget to stop by nthe comment section and share your thoughts on this week's topics. Till next week. . .

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