On Fargo, a don of television

Every once in a while, television gives us something magical, something devilishly entertaining. Fargo is that something. From the directing to the dialogues, the plot to the personas, the music to the melodrama, everything falls so nicely into a couched place. The directing has been especially ingenious this season. The directors seem to have taken a penchant for the superimposition of dialogue over the scenes. This usually creates a sort of surrealism which I struggle to define; but a surrealism that adds nonetheless greatly to the enjoyment of the show. The plot never does drag its feet but always leaps ahead when you least expect it to. The characters, as with season 1, are colorful and immensely watchable (yes, even the incorrigibly detestable ones; which only goes to show how well played by the actors and actresses they are). The music is a little reminiscent of season 1’s, and though not as catchy, still manages to run smoothly behind the mood of the show. For all that I have given here, I imagine that you are still unimpressed, or at least, not impressed enough to go ahead and watch Fargo. But such is the “water-slide” problem. Or perhaps we should call it, the “art appreciation” problem, since Fargo is almost indubitably a fine piece of television art.

Watching TV again?!

I cannot help but to feel a slight despair whenever I see my sister succumbing to the lackadaisical option of watching TV rather than picking up a book to read or finding more creative ways to entertain herself.

It will probably be less irksome if she were watching educational documentaries or rich, flavorful films that offer great insight, impel creativity and sharpen the artistic senses. But the programs that she watches are dramas (Korean, mainly) of the abhorrently melodramatic kind, from which consistently emanates cries of anguish, gasps of awe, sighs of dismay and an infinite number of “please don’t leave me”s, “I promise I won’t do it again”s, “you have disappointed me, don’t ever call me your Father/mother/brother/sister/cousin/friend again”s etc. What could one possibly gain from watching these shows apart from knowing that fictional character A finds fictional character B attractive, decides to chase him/her, they get together and then break up soon after because of a set of very predictable, highly cliched circumstance? It is not just a dull waste of time dabbling in a fictional world where most characters sparkle and possess perfect bodily proportions, but a deleterious dulling of the mind. There is nothing that the show does to provoke thinking of slightest sort; every facet of it is a gaudy superficiality masquerading occasionally as trade winds of virtue and vice, piety and mistrust.

Granted, my opinion might be unfairly influenced by the numerous TV series that I absolutely adore (True Detective, Fargo, Game of Thrones (?), Black Mirror and Utopia) and which I think are exceedingly richer in substance (in terms filmography, cinematography, music selection, underlying themes, plot twists, character intrigue..). I also despair that so many of these good TV series are bereft of the attention that they veritably deserve and more so that all that attention is being channeled towards those inane dramas. But that is another issue completely and I have resolved to not digress. Granted too, these dramas which I think are inane may actually have beyond its medley of melodrama more than just mere ostentation, and it simply is a matter of my bluntness.

Whatever the case, she watches these dramas without being aware of anything else other than the blatant, served-on-a-platter facts, and of this I am fairly certain. And because I know she stands to gain nothing by that indulging of her indolent mind, I lament her lost time. That good hour or two could well have been spent on reading a book, playing with her toys, running in the park, helping out with the gardening, or anything at all that promotes a healthy development of the mind and body. But really, who could fault the innocent child who wants only his/her fun? I blame then all those dramas that are so easily caught on and the venal traps that they have laid for children. Or should I blame the fact that there is a TV in my house?

I think now, my despair extends to all the other children whom have fallen prey to the poisonous candy of Korean dramas (since it is the most prevalent) as well as the dearth of all things finer. And I worry about their future.