I still think Warehouse 13 needs to be considered a bible for all writers/directors/producers on how to make something brilliant that also happens to pass the Bechdel test with flying colors, AND includes canon queer characters, older women, people of color, etc. It’s one of Syfy’s top-rated shows, too, so boom go the “people won’t watch it” excuses for making stuff into nothing but sausage fests. It’s doable. If you can’t/don’t/won’t, it’s because you’re shitty at your job, not because audiences won’t watch stuff without wall-to-wall straight, white dudes.
great point. the show is not above criticism as it sidelines and typecasts poc, as well as ignores positioning Steve as an actively gay character. that being said, the show still kicks some serious ass and this post is a super important point. long live the warehouse!
Points taken, definitely (though I think the latter issue may be improved upon somewhat as the rest of this season goes on.)
I also have to give credit to Joanne and Jaime, for pushing ahead with the Bering/Wells thing even if it wasn’t originally intended to be canon (and still isn’t, technically.) Kind of funny, really, how the show’s biggest fan-supported ship turned out to be f/f, and traditional m/f-leads het shippers are finding themselves in the position slashers usually are.
Overall, I think most SFF shows these days are doing diversity much better than their mainstream counterparts. There are still fails now and then, both in the stuff I mentioned in the previous post (SPN, DW, Merlin) and in other stuff (why, if Grimm has a gay showrunner, has it had no gay characters? Weird.) But there’s also been some great progress. Honestly, I think that’s why it’s so jarring when stuff like SPN does fail to be inclusive. It’s just not that common anymore for a genre show to be all white dudes, all the time. We’ve definitely made some great steps forward.
And speaking of steps forward, I do have to put in a plug for a couple of shows about to have their U.S. debuts on Syfy next month: Sinbad and Primeval: New World. The former has a black lead and other prominent PoC characters, and for once is a fantasy set outside of Europe. And the latter has both PoC characters and a canon bisexual (not to mention one of the most realistic women characters I’ve seen in years in Dylan Weir.) Many of Syfy’s other recent shows have been good, too—Defiance, Continuum, etc. (My issues with Lost Girl are a different post, sadly.)
I think the conventional marketing wisdom is still a factor. Cable shows do still make only a fraction of the ratings of their network counterparts, and goodness knows the biggest ratings of all are still going to trashy reality dreck, instead of quality scripted stuff. Sadly, many women, queer folk and people of color are still blithely watching stuff that marginalizes or even denigrates them, and straight, white dudes are still considered a target demo, even if they don’t make up the majority of viewers and haven’t for a generation. But we are making progress, and I think there are fewer and fewer excuses to be had now for not being inclusive. The target 18-35 demo takes diversity as a given, not a controversy, so there’s no point in trying to pussyfoot around their delicate sensibilities anymore. The people who did care about such things are aging out of marketing sweet spots, so catering to prejudice just isn’t important anymore.
Now if only the folks with the purse strings would realize that. ;)
Andrew talks about Primeval New World.
(Thanks to Americans for ALP for the heads up.)
Hm. Not sure he’s right about the ratings thing. I know that they didn’t actually get very high ratings for the Space airings (though IIRC, Watch is so far getting good numbers for the UK airings.)
i really really hope someone else decides to pick up primeval new world because otherwise that’s it it’s gone and that makes me really sad
like primeval UK is most likely not coming back and then we get this pretty good spin off show that sort of makes up for it
and then they decide to cancel that too so we are left with nothing but cliffhangers and sadness
Reblogging for the bolded bit.
That’s kind of the entire ARCadian experience in one little phrase, there.
Time for a repost about how ratings work …
Given the tooth-gnashing following PNW’s cancellation, I can see it’s time again for me to haul out the “how TV shows get funded” post.
Read it. Know it. Live it.
Sad news my friends. Word has come down that Space Channel has not, I repeat NOT recommissioned Primeval New World. So it looks like we’ll never find out what was changed. :(
Please feel free to contact Space and voice your opinions. But remember to be respectful.
Primeval is now over, practically speaking. Dammit.
I still hold out hope for a couple of novels (and hell, I’d even write one if they’d let me), but that’s a long shot.
Primeval New World finale reax
I’ll regret this tomorrow, when I’m running on short sleep and my son’s demanding my every waking moment, but DAYM, FOLKS. Srsly, the show has been hit and miss most of the season, but when it does hit, it hits hard, and the two-part finale was fanfuckingtastic.
Spoilery details below!
Anyone who’s still doubting Primeval: NW after the first episode - give it four episodes. Just four. I bet you didn’t fall in love with Primeval or any of the characters straight away, did you? Just another few episodes, and I promise you’ll love it.
I knew going in that it was going to be different, but even I was still slightly discombobulated by the first few eps. I’d been expecting the “quirky charm” thing of PUK, and the more straightforward, dramatic approach felt weird. But then everyone started growing on me. And then ep 4 happened, which is beyond brilliant, and I’ve now fallen and I can’t get up.
It’s actually very rare for a pilot episode of any series to be bang-on right out of the gate. Everyone’s still getting used to working with each other, getting their bearings on the character, etc. And following an established series is even harder. You have to put in enough exposition to explain everything to newcomers, while not boring existing fans, and have a lot of preexisting canon continuity to adhere to. Speaking as a writer: that is NOT easy. Then you add in the part where only one of these actors is used to working with CG/action-heavy scenes, and yeah. It’s going to feel awkward at first. Truly, I’m actually astonished at how well it comes together in just a few episodes, considering all those speedbumps they had to work with.
Something else to consider: there’s a lot of existing animosity from UKers about Americans doing flashier “remakes” of their shows. I totally get that. But even aside from the fact that this is NOT an American show (Made in Canada. Set in Canada. Mostly Canadian cast and crew), it’s not a remake or a reboot anyway—it’s a spinoff. To use gaming terminology: PNW isn’t a reboot of PUK. It’s an expansion pack for it. It’s not remotely intended to replace the original, but to expand on it. This isn’t less Primeval. It’s more. It doesn’t feel exactly the same, no, but the Hobbit doesn’t feel exactly the same as LOTR, either, and yet it’s fantastic in its own right.
If the only thing you’ll be happy with is PUK s6 that picks up right after the end of 5x06, with the exact same cast, then I’m sorry to say: your show is gone, and it ain’t coming back. But it’s not PNW’s fault that that happened, and instead, it’s carrying the same torch, albeit in a new location, and by different people.
Bottom line: give it a chance. If you still hate it after ep 4, fair enough. But sit tight for now. This show has big payoffs coming up, and they’re well worth it.
UK Primeval friends, this is just a friendly reminder that today (8th January) at 9pm on the Sky channel Watch Primeval: New World will air it’s first episode. Please watch, even if you’re not sure about the spin off or even if you’ve seen it already. Hopefully if ratings are high we’ll get a second season.
It’s definitely different from the UK version, but stick with it for a few episodes to get used to the more straightforward feel of it. The characters are well worth it, and there’s a big payoff midseason, too.
My broken-record plea
I really should just set up a post like this on a regular feed, since this is about the 12th time i’ve had to say it:
Folks, please don’t post PNW spoilers on the main Primeval tag. If your post includes PUK commentary, fair enough, but put all PNW spoilers—including images—behind a readmore cut.
PNW has only aired in a couple of places outside Canada so far. People who are still waiting for it—as opposed to pirating—shouldn’t have to get spoiled when they’re reading the tag for PUK.
Say it with me Primeval fans.
Primeval: New World is a Canadian spinoff. CANADIAN.
Canadian actors (with a few exceptions), filmed in Canada, based in Canada.
Canada Canada Canada.
All those posts about PNW being a US show is bothering me.
That is all.
As someone who lives just two hours south of the border and feels somewhat spiritually Canadian …
Canada is not the 51st state, yo (that’s likely to be Puerto Rico) and its culture, including pop culture, is very different from most of the US (border states like mine notwithstanding. Washington may as well be renamed South British Columbia.)
This is not “Hollywood” stealing a show from the Brits and remaking it entirely as if the original never existed. This is a legit spinoff, done in part by the same people who did the original. Anomalies DO open worldwide. That’s canon. There’s absolutely no reason at all there wouldn’t be different international teams to manage the ones that open locally to them. Vancouver is as likely a locale as anywhere else.
PNW did not get PUK cancelled. Don’t hate on this show before you’ve even seen it. And if you’re hating on it because you think it’s a slicked-up US bastardization, that’s not just ridiculous, but factually wrong.
Also into: Game of Thrones, Sinbad, Arrow, Vikings, Continuum, Leverage, Warehouse 13, Fringe, Criminal Minds, Sherlock, LOTR, BSG, Lost, Sanctuary, Downton Abbey, The Hour, Being Human (UK), Eureka, Longmire, Merlin, Wilfred, The Borgias, True Blood, Grimm and Lost Girl. Among other nerdy entertainment delights.