". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

So, Reign: The Rise of Mary, Queen Of Scots + Nashville + Revolution

What sort of series will this be? Will there be dragons? Evidently there are going to enchanted forests ....

From the Reign site:
As Mary learns for herself that fierce foes are conspiring to sabotage her marriage to Francis and even threaten her life, she becomes aware of other dark forces. There’s a mysterious presence in the castle; a shrouded figure who may become her unlikely ally. Villagers cope with the brutality of the times by trusting in magic and superstition. And in the dark woods surrounding the French Court lurk those who offer human sacrifice to a being who seems to require blood.

Judging only by the trailers, its another "historical" series that is entirely non-historical , from music, to costume,to design, to character, to event.

The central figure was one of the most stupid people to ascend to a throne -- and she lost her head, o yes she did -- and accomplished nothing useful for herself, her allies or her kingdom. The "Rise" of the Queen of Scots? Who do they think they are fooling? She never had any real power at all. No Elizabeth I was she. I have just asked a very stupid question, that doesn't even rise to the level of a rhetorical question. They are fooling the people from whom Barnum made a fortune.

What kind of "legend" is that?

According to the series's people, it's supposed to be fun, not historic.  That is perfectly fine.  But then, why bother with principals who are named historical figures and pretending that this is historical anything?

It's not a-historicity that drives me out of delight in a creative work of entertainment, it's unproductive bs that declares a pretense to history.  Make it all up?  Absolutely a good thing!  But hitching it to real figures who were pivots of events and actions that affected millions of real people (generally for the worse), throws viewers like me out of disbelief suspension and into a 20/20 vision that reveals all the holes and failures of imagination, plotting, story-telling and characterization.

So much going on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays: Nashville, Revolution, Scandal, Dracula and now this.  So far, the only ones that will bring me back every week are Nashville** and, perhaps the over-the-top- bonkers Scandal.  Revolution is implausible, contains dudebro brutality beyond surfeit, and, withall, lacking fun of any kind. 

Dracula-- will have to wait and see.  And this thing called Reign will probably not even get me watching a single episode, as the trailers are reminiscent of Camelot, one of the very worst series ever attempted -- so bad, they, whoever they are, should still be ashamed.

*  For the record, the historical record informs us that Barnum never said either "There's a fool born every minute," or "You can fool all the people some of the time etc."**  Nashville does posit at least one startling implausibility:

Juliette Barnes is supposed to be so wealthy she owns a jet, and can casually throw away a million here, a million there, etc. This is too hard to buy into for anybody who knows the music biz. (She might lease ....) The most popular group in their time of popularity, which meant they sold actual albums, not singles from iTunes like Juliette Barnes does (do you know what the royalty is for the artists from iTunes sales? it's nothing like what smart negotiators got their artists in the days of records and even cds), the Dixie Chicks, couldn't own their own jet. However, the ongoing story writing threads with the jet are entertaining. Further, they function by drawing in broad strokes to make instantly recognizable to the non-music business viewer of the series the vast changes in the business that have occurred between the Country Music breakout of very young star Juliette, 

and that of the 'classic' Bonnie Raitt old school star of Rayna Jaymes.

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