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SpoilerTV's Weekly Round Table: 14th Edition

10 Sept 2017

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Hello everyone and welcome to another Weekly Round Table. Another week another bunch of interesting topics to discuss. This week we even feature a reader submitted question. A big THANK YOU to Rendy for sending it in. If you have some interesting topics you want us to discuss feel free to send me an e-mail, you can find my address down below in my Author Box.

Now let's get to business, this week I'm (MK) joined by Lisa (LM), Luana (LA), Antonia (AL), Milo (MI) and Samantha (SB). As always I hope you enjoy the read and join the discussion in the comment section down below.

1. Development season keeps it stellar boring route, with the occasional surprise. Why do you think networks keep developing Legal and Cop dramas aka The Procedurals?

LM: Legal and cop dramas keep performing and appeal to the older demographic that still watches television.

AL: Legal and cop dramas are the easiest things to write for first, real-life inspiration (aka crimes) are constantly bombarding you 24/7. Also, they appeal to a wide demographic. Procedurals are the kind of shows that older people will watch live, and young people will watch later (or binge). As a Young PersonTM, I interact with young people daily, and one show that I’ve seen several people binging is Criminal Minds (which, while technically an FBI drama, is still a crime procedural, and I feel that it is fit to put it down here). Additionally, procedurals are easier to jump into. They’re not serialized, so anyone flipping channels will land on one of these procedurals, get sucked into the crime, and watch. This makes it absolute prime for syndication, which is another pot of gold networks desperately need. Cop and legal dramas are so formulaic sometimes, but the procedural formula is perfect if you want maximum reward with minimum effort.

MI: Because they're easy, cheap and cost-effective as well as a good target for the older demographic. And there's also less risk attached, it's a super safe bet.

SB: They're a cheap & easy way to fill hours in the TV schedule and make for really easy binge watching for people of all ages. When TV is dead during holiday periods I have tuned into the odd Law & Order SVU binge, caught up on old episodes of The Mentalist & count Criminal Minds, Major Crimes & NCIS: LA as my favorite straight up cop shows.

2. We are aware that favorite teen-oriented dramas like PLL, TVD, Teen Wolf, and many others have ended their runs over the last couple of years, and there aren't any worthy successors being developed, with exception of Riverdale and the upcoming NBC show RISE. Going forward, is there space for teen dramas during Peak TV? What kind of teen drama would you love to see in the future? -Rendy's Question

LM: Teen dramas are going to move to streaming services - because that is increasingly what teens are watching.

LA: I think witches need another opportunity to be the next big show of that sort.

MK: I have to agree with Lisa that teen dramas will probably become the prime target of streaming services. Yet I think while developing a teen drama these days you need to focus more on the current relevant topics. The Youth changed a lot since the launch of shows like BH90210, One Tree Hill, and even TVD and so the shows need to change.

AL: As a seventeen-year-old girl myself, I’m the target audience for teen dramas. I watched Teen Wolf and PLL for a couple of seasons, but as the year went by, I found myself outgrowing the shows. As we move forward in the era of Peak TV, I believe that teen dramas will have to evolve and rethink their relationship to their audience in order to keep existing. Famous teen dramas such as PLL have a large history of fan-pandering, especially in terms of ships. In PLL, Toby and Ezra were both meant to be full A’s. However, after fan outcry over the ruination of “Spoby” and “Ezria”, the reveals of the two men as bad guys were reversed, and they became romantic heroes once again. These choices ruined the integrity of PLL and reflected a dangerous trend of “ship over sense” that plagued shows like TVD and Gossip Girl. To continue existing, teen dramas have to abandon the primarily ship-focused model and start writing smarter. Teens these days are smart and engaged. They don’t just care about their OTP. They attend political rallies and tweet #RESIST 24/7. As a result, many teenagers I know are foregoing teen dramas in favor of what is perceived as “smarter TV”. Think Game of Thrones and Jessica Jones, not Gossip Girl and Blair Waldorf. That’s not to say that shippy TV should stop existing altogether. I love my ships, but I also love TV that doesn’t pretend I’m stupid enough to fall for senseless plot twists. Going forward, I’d like to see a more realistic depiction of teenagers, too. No teenager, rich or not, talks like Veronica “Swear on the September Issue?” Lodge, or says things like “Can’t we in this post-James Franco world be all things at once?”. Teenagers are people, and they speak like people. We also need more diverse casts. Most teen dramas of note have had all-white casts with a token minority or two. (Teen Wolf doesn’t exactly buck the model either since its Mexican lead is often overshadowed by his white best friend). We need teen dramas that respect their audiences, whether the dramas are about high school drama clubs or werewolves trying to take the PSATs. This is why I’m excited about shows like NBC’s RISE. It has a diverse cast that will more accurately reflect modern teens, and from the trailers, it seems grounded in a way that many teen dramas of note are not.

MI: I'd love to see more diverse teen dramas in the future as well as ones that manage to avoid the typical high school settings like The 100 did, making great use of a post-apocalyptic setting.

SB: Yes there is and whilst I may be out of the age bracket now, I still think teen dramas are important and it does sadden me there are so few many in development now. When I was growing up my favorite type of teen dramas were the likes of One Tree Hill, The OC, Roswell, Kyle XY & Buffy. Shows like Gossip Girl & Pretty Little Liars were ok but they lost their way very fast, as showrunners seem to think that because it's a market catered for a younger audience, it has to all be about the shipping with the plot taking a back-step. That's a massive no-no and show ruiner, along with the problematic storylines.

3. After Shonda Netflix acquired the services of Ryan Murphy and his forefront Sarah Paulson. Murphy will develop a Nurse series with Sarah leading the show! How do you feel about this move? And who would you love to get added to Netflix development slate next?

LM: I'm the dinosaur who doesn't have Netflix - so, I don't care what gets added to Netflix. I don't watch Shonda or Murphy shows, so not too worried about their move... However, with the announcement of Disney pulling Marvel and Star Wars from Netflix to start their own streaming service, I'm wondering if the Netflix bubble is about to burst...

LA: I think Netflix gives a good platform for good content (for the most part) so I'm very excited about anything Shonda has to offer and also about Ratched, I think it could have some of the things I've enjoyed the most about American Horror Story. I've been wanting something like that since I saw Lily Rabe as Sister Mary Eunice, so if Ratched is even close to the same amount of funny and evil I'll be happy.

MK: I'm really surprised how RM will look on Netflix. He is a great mind and Netflix has the ability to send his message even further. As for who I want to see jumping ships, John Ridley for sure. Another mastermind with an amazing touch of delicacy. Think he could marvelous things on Netflix

MI: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is one of my favorite movies ever, so I'm somewhat skeptical to see how this show is going to turn out. Ryan Murphy certainly has the experience and Sarah Paulson has the talent to pull it off though, so I'm optimistic about this one.

SB: I don't really have a horse in this race, I might have over the last few months begun watching Netflix, but I don't tend to tune into Ryan Murphy shows because they're too weird for me. Having said that I think it is good for Netflix to be expanding their development. Their most popular programming is made up of Marvel, Orange is the New Black & House of Cards. Shonda Rhimes & Ryan Murphy are two of the biggest creators in TV land & Sarah Paulson is a fantastic actress. Unlike say Amazon, it's taken its development into the world of television production seriously, and this can only be good for them.

4. Dead of Summer (Shows)! A new bunch of freshman entries (Will, Blood Drive) got cancelled this week and with the faith of the remaining shows still uncertain. What is your take on this years summer show and were the Reaper right to take them so soon?

ML: Networks still have stupidly inflated expectations of the ratings a summer show should pull in. Also? Most of them are crap...

MI: Blood Drive was a fun but unremarkable show that made good use of a grindhouse setting. It was never going to last more than one or two seasons at most though, even on SyFy. I didn't watch Will so can't comment on that, but for the most part I've stayed clear from a lot of Summer shows, Midnight, Texas and returning ones aside and admittedly, it would be nicer to see some riskier, higher quality shows in Summer from network TV, but with all the focus on cable dramas in the Summer, it's easy to see why some shows aren't always going to make the cut.

SB: Networks need to understand summer programming is never going to have the same type of ratings as fall shows. People are enjoying their time off & the summer sun, so TV takes a back step. If you want to entice people to stay in rather than spending the night out, you need better programming. Blood Drive was certainly not for me, and I have no idea what Syfy was thinking when they gave it the green light. I may like the odd Shakespeare play, but I didn't need a show about him. I haven't yet got round to watch The Bold Type but intend to regardless of whether it's renewed. Somewhere Between has for the most part been abysmal, and yet I keep watching every week simply because I don't always want to watch Netflix. Cable TV, for the most part, offers better quality & more interesting summer programming, because, for the most part, they get that not a lot of people will be tuning in, and unless your numbers are absolutely beyond disastrous, it will probably stay on the air.

Hope you all enjoyed this week's edition and come back for more next week. Till than share your opinions on this week's topics.