Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Man Who Knew Too Much

I love my job. I'm an entertainment junkie, so this is the perfect place for me to be: the eye of a perfect pop-cultural storm. I am, as they used to say in the '60s, "in the know." I know, before most people, the latest developments with this show or that movie, or which star dropped out of which name it, and if I don't know it, I've got the access to find out.

But there are times, every once in a while, when I wish I didn't know. When I wish that I could come to a piece of entertainment and be surprised by it. Not to say that I don't get taken unawares, but those times are far and few between. (My favorite time was when, on a lark, I went to a pre-release screening of The Iron Giant. It was a toon, and I'm EW's resident geek, so I figured it was my solemn duty. I came out of that screening room—I was alone in that room, like so many people were when it was released to deafening indifference to theaters—having to shammy off my face. The end of that movie wrecked me, all the more because I didn't see it coming.)

I watched the pilot for Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles—which I quite liked, by the way—and wished I didn't know a goddamn thing about it beyond having seen T2. If I was truly ignorant of the show itself, I could've been genuinely surprised when it's revealed that the teensy brunette that John Connor meets in his new school is actually a Terminator, sent to protect him. But, since I knew that Summer Glau was cast in that role, all I could do was sit there and think, "That was pretty well done; I'll bet there's a rube somewhere with no internet access and who only turns on the tube for fishing and football who was completely blown away by that."

Sometimes, I miss that ignorance. S'why I can't wait until my kids are old enough to be able to digest movies—I've got thousands that I want to show them and vicariously revel in their eyes opening to the possibilities.


Scott said...

I don't know if you're kidding or not, but I got as far as

If I was truly ignorant of the show itself, I could've been genuinely surprised when it's revealed that

before quickly averting my eyes, as I am currently blissfully ignorant and would love to stay that way until I get a chance to actually watch the show.

At which point my blissful ignorance will be lessened ever so slightly.

Ken Lowery said...

I think that's just the disconnect between creation of a project and the marketing of it. I mean, my comic shop was sent tons of bags for that show, featuring pictures of Glau only half there, with bits of cyborgery dangling from her missing pieces.

Whoever wrote the damn thing probably didn't anticipate that the marketers would take that angle; this is why so many movies with "the supernatural is real!" premises seem so weak for the first 30 minutes... WE already know "the supernatural is real!" because we've seen the ads. We're just waiting for the characters to catch up. In script stage, that slow reveal was probably more powerful.