quarterlife – not a capital show

So, I had hopes for quarterlife, because there are some folks with some good track records behind it. Although I admit, that I never got around to watching its original web version, because I’m not that fond of watching longform video on the web.

Anyway, there’s a scene in the first episode of this series about creative young folk (and we know they’re creative because they hit us over the head with them telling each other how creative they are) in which two young filmmakers are at a car dealership (a product placement, we should note) and are pitching the dealer on having them do an ad. They’re talking about how the dealer’s existing ads don’t have anything for young folk like them. And that really seems to encapsulate this show, only the two guys doing the pitching are Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick, two men in their mid-fifties. The show feels like a careful manipulation toward a target audience, with being all blog-gy and internety and with sexy young things falling into all the wrong romantic combinations, and new and edgy in some hard-to-look-at ways.
Want to know how bleeding edge it is? The lead character? Her name is Dylan. Yeah, that’s a cool, hip name now… for babies. In 2004, 474 out of ever million American baby girls was named Dylan. But before 2003, the number drops to … zero per million. This gal must be younger than she looks.

Herskovitz and Zwick achieved verygoodness two decades back with thirtysomething and greatness a decade back (with lots of help from the talented Winnie Holzman) with My So-Called Life. Let’s hope they have something else to bring us in this decade.

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Published in: on February 28, 2008 at 2:07 am  Comments (2)  

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  1. Can’t let the opportunity pass to heap praise on their last project, as well – the very lamented Once and Again.

  2. Remember that season of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air when the actress who had been playing Will’s aunt left, and another actress was brought in to take her place? And, to mess with the normal assumptions in these cases, there was one character (Jazz) who noticed the changed, and was utterly weirded out by it and by the fact that no one else noticed? Well, when it comes to Once and Again, I’m Jazz. All the coverage at the time of how great O&A was, and it was like everyone seemed not to notice that it was a continuation of My So-Called Life – the actors were different, the characters names were different, and the focus was different, but it was blatantly taking the same character situations and continuing them, skipping perhaps a season. And just as Jazz couldn’t notice whether Daphne Maxwell Reed’s Aunt Viv was a nice and good person, and could only focus on the fact that she wasn’t really Aunt Viv, I couldn’t watch Once and Again and judge it as itself, but could only see it in the ways that it wasn’t My So-Called Life, perhaps TV’s greatest drama, and one where the absence was not only disappointing but would’ve been incredibly avoidable.
    So I watched O&A for a while, came back when they brought back David Clennon’s Miles Dentrell from thirtysomething (he had provided some fascinating moments there), but could never quite settle into this good cast of folks doing a roman a clef of MSCL.


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