tellitslant: Helen Magnus of Sanctuary, seen from the back pointing a gun (sanctuary - helen - waistcoat)
[personal profile] tellitslant
I have seen a couple of things lately - one play and one tv series - about which the best I could say in review was that the casts had deserved better. They both had pretty bad scripts, decent to good production values, and good to very good casts; in both cases, I was very critical of the writing. And yet I enjoyed them, for the most part, and with the tv series I watched it all the way through. Granted in both cases I was also watching for specific performers, so I had reason to stay, but still.

And yet I was thinking afterwards about what makes me give up on texts, and I think I'm more likely to stick out something with bad writing and good acting than vice versa. This kind of surprised me - as a writer, you'd think I'd be deeply offended by poor work, but possibly being able to pick it apart and laugh at it makes me able of getting some entertainment out of it. Bad acting just bores me, for the most part, but I think I'm most likely to drop a show or leave a play if it has bad production values. I just find that so sloppy - lighting, cinematography, sound: there's no excuse for fucking those up. And good production values can elevate the mediocre.

What's your make-or-break?

(no subject)

Date: 2015-12-02 01:56 pm (UTC)
jae: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jae
I guess I think that truly bad acting is much rarer than truly bad writing these days, though? I mean, I can't think of anything I've seen in ages where the acting was truly dire (just different shades of decent to good). And as for lighting/cinematography/sound, well, I know a lot less about that, but Matt Zoller Seitz at least would argue that the big sin these days in television is boring and conventional and unimaginative, rather than "bad."

I kind of want it all (and I think there's enough greatness out there at the moment that I mostly can get it), but I think for me the only real make-or-break is characters that I find interesting. To me, though, at least, good acting in something that's really terribly written has the effect of feeling really bizarre and off in an almost creepy way. Kind of similar to the effect of fanfiction (or episodes of a television show) written in a really good character voice but which have the characters doing things that they would never do.

-J
Edited Date: 2015-12-02 03:24 pm (UTC)

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