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Author Topic: Y The Last Man, INTERNET OUTRAGE IS MANDATORY!  (Read 3583 times)

Pat

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Re: Y The Last Man, INTERNET OUTRAGE IS MANDATORY!
« Reply #45 on: October 18, 2021, 06:48:47 PM »
Except the lead character in Y is male, which you're ignoring with your claim that people need a character to identify with that matches their immutable characteristics but don't need a character with immutable characteristics to identify with, and thus can't identify with the characters of Y because all the men are dead.

I largely agree that the characteristics you're discussing can help make a movie more easily accessible to the masses. The point I'm making is not all success is based on following existing patterns. There are very successful and highly formulaic franchises that follow that advice, like the Marvel movies. But there are also stories that are not formulaic that manage to achieve success, which is what Amazon and Netflix have been aiming at with their highly experimental and creator-led productions. They've had a number of breakout successes that are at least as untraditional as Y. Whatever side of the people need to look like me/people don't need to look at me fence you're trying to Schrodinger, there are stories that manage to get people to identify with people or even not people who are very unlike them. That's why I'm emphasizing it's the quality or lack thereof that sunk Y, not some fixed sized market.

I have some experience with marketing, just not in movies. Similarly for all your experience in writing, you're not a movie or TV show producer, and it sounds like you're aiming for the mass market rather than what I'm addressing.

ChrisFox

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Re: Y The Last Man, INTERNET OUTRAGE IS MANDATORY!
« Reply #46 on: October 18, 2021, 09:40:45 PM »
No, I'm not ignoring that the lead is male. Once again you're missing context. Having "a man" isn't enough to get people to identify.

When marketing, in all forms, you are relying on symbolic recognition. I have flown all over the world teaching this stuff, and literally wrote Write to Market. Google the phrase and see what comes up.

It doesn't matter if you are selling apps, books, RPGs, TV Shows, or drugs. Reaching an audience requires that they understand the value proposition, and that it apply to them.

If I have romance in my books, and my target audience doesn't like romance, then all they need to see is the bare-chested hunk on my cover and they're not going to give it a further look. I have provided them a symbol that says romance. If on the other hand I use a dragon, or a crown, or a throne, or a sword, then I am much more likely to attract my target audience.

This show's title makes it clear that all but one man is dead. The marketing made it clear that it's for a woke crowd. If you are a cis-woman, or a man, then it holds very little appeal for most people. You can contest that, and I expect you will, but can you explain to me why you think it was cancelled?

Free Guy crushed it. Why? Because they knew their audience, and wrote something they knew we would love.

Y excluded a huge segment of its audience, and if you could beyond your pride and gather some empirical data you'd be forced to agree. Go anywhere from reviews to YouTube comments and hear what people have to say. Straight women have no hot men to look at. Men have no one to root for, just a world of people who the show runners have made explicitly to hate on them.

I think people you vastly underestimate the intelligence of the average consumer. It may have taken us a bit, but most SF geeks have gotten wise to the fact that the wokesters are in charge and shoveling out garbage without any understanding of their audience. Quite the opposite. Their stated goal is to exclude parts of the audience, not to go as wide as possible.

I know a lot more about television than you think. I've had people try to option my properties, and am currently helping a good friend get his production company off the ground precisely because many of us know we can do it better than Hollywood. Just like we first with ebooks, then audiobooks. Yes, we know executives at Netflix.

You can't dictate to people what they like. You have to understand the emotional resonance they are seeking, and then provide it. The arrogance of the show runners is hilarious, because this can and should have been predicted prior to the show going live.

You can try to move goalposts, but television IS trying to aim for a mass market. That's the goal of every show. That you don't know that shows me how little understanding you have of television. They'll shoehorn in entirely separate genres just to broaden appeal into a new demographic.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2021, 09:44:16 PM by ChrisFox »

Pat

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Re: Y The Last Man, INTERNET OUTRAGE IS MANDATORY!
« Reply #47 on: October 18, 2021, 10:49:34 PM »
Yes, you were ignoring the male lead. And then you keep changing the goalposts from your initial contradictory post where you were simultaneously arguing for tokenism and not for tokenism, to this new one where you've completely changed your argument and said a lot of things I can actually agree with. But this is two posts in a row where you've acted like a patronizing asshole, so you can fuck the hell off.

ChrisFox

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Re: Y The Last Man, INTERNET OUTRAGE IS MANDATORY!
« Reply #48 on: October 18, 2021, 10:56:35 PM »
You're not wrong about me being a patronizing asshole, but go back and look at your very first post. Does it say anything about the male lead? No it calls me out and says:

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Are you incapable of enjoying media where none of the major characters are exactly like you when it comes to certain immutable characterstics?

And then I explained why most people are, in fact, exactly this way, based on real market research. I am shifting no goalposts. I stand by my original sarcastic post. This show got cancelled because the show runners have no clue who their audience is, and don't care in the slightest. Their take what we give you approach put them all out of a job. We work for the audience, not the other way around.

I'll dial back the patronizing attitude. I was probably reading too much into your rebuttals, and I apologize for that.

Pat

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Re: Y The Last Man, INTERNET OUTRAGE IS MANDATORY!
« Reply #49 on: October 18, 2021, 11:22:54 PM »
You're not wrong about me being a patronizing asshole, but go back and look at your very first post. Does it say anything about the male lead? No it calls me out and says:

Quote
Are you incapable of enjoying media where none of the major characters are exactly like you when it comes to certain immutable characterstics?

And then I explained why most people are, in fact, exactly this way, based on real market research. I am shifting no goalposts. I stand by my original sarcastic post. This show got cancelled because the show runners have no clue who their audience is, and don't care in the slightest. Their take what we give you approach put them all out of a job. We work for the audience, not the other way around.

I'll dial back the patronizing attitude. I was probably reading too much into your rebuttals, and I apologize for that.
I appreciate that. This board can get tiresome with the combination of sycophancy and random escalation, so it's nice to see someone willing to dial it down a bit.

The male lead ran counter to your initial assertion, and it's part of the basic premise. It created an apparent contradiction, before I said anything.

I do think you're taking too narrow a view of marketing. You seem to have the marketing careerist view. Which is generally the most effective approach, from an ongoing ROI standpoint. And that's important for people in your position, who are trying to make a career of it, because you need stable cash flow with an opportunity for growth. But I've had a fair amount of experience working with startups that are trying to break the mold. Most fail, but the ones that succeed change the baseline expectations. Both Netflix and Amazon seem to be following that pattern (from what I've read, they almost sounded like they were playing in-house venture capitalists), and fairly successfully. Look at how they've dominated the awards shows. This isn't necessarily the same as audience size; it's pretty clear both are awash in money and trying to build their reputation, rather than struggling for every penny. But they've also had some genuine hits. That's why I think Y could have succeeded, if it was done well enough.

I think the essential problem isn't the lack of checked boxes, but the lack of anything that would appeal. I'm going to refer to that speech the new president gave again -- it was dismal, dispiriting, and disjointed. That's a more fundamental problem than a lack of Chris Hemsworth's abs.

ChrisFox

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Re: Y The Last Man, INTERNET OUTRAGE IS MANDATORY!
« Reply #50 on: October 18, 2021, 11:38:57 PM »
I think we agree on quite a lot.

Have you read a book called Writing the Breakout Novel? If not it's an amazing eye opener, and it really showed me what I was doing wrong. I attempted to follow its advice on my first book, and the content of the book was pretty solid in that regard.

The marketing failed. The title of the book was funny, which doesn't fit the tone of a serious archeological thriller. It looked more like a horror novel. That taught me to respect marketing much more than I had. We live in a data-driven world, and our job is to reach the market who will love our product. If we can do that with say 500 people, then Facebook, Google, and Amazon can all do the rest and start finding more without us having to do anything.

If your basic premise is amazing, like say Stranger Things, then it spreads. It goes viral. Each person tells another person or two, and before you know it everyone in your circle has seen it. I've gotten to watch this occur in the author world many times. I've seen several people hit the #1 spot on all of Amazon, which requires thousands of sales a day, and / or hundreds of thousands of pages read.

Anyway, the reason why I think this failed is that it only took one market into account, and that market isn't really interested in watching a show like that. Twitter hated it, because it wasn't woke enough. The graphic novel fandom hated it because they changed the source to reflect modern sensibilities, and it broke their suspension of disbelief.

When attempting to write a breakout thriller the goal (as I learned it) is to make as many audiences happy as possible.

You brought up award shows...I could go on and on about those. They've lost all respect from the community, because it's clear that they're a popularity contest. Everything from the Oscars to the Emmy's had their worst years ever, and next year will be worse. Because it's no longer about the what the audience wants. It's about self-aggrandizing. We're tired of being lectured.

For Y-- a man being in the plot doesn't satisfy the wider audience any more than saying a man would satisfy the audience of Lost when they are expecting Jack or Sawyer and get Hurley. Not just any man will do.

If the archetype is seeking an archetype like from my 300 example, then they'd rather have a big, butch woman filling that role, than a skinny, sniveling, weak pathetic cowardly man.

Abs are a problem to the romance crowd. Lack of scientific authenticity (or pseudoscience) is a problem for the graphic novel crowd. Obviously left politics are a problem for the conservative crowd. You add all those together, and who is watching your show?

Contrast this to the Walking Dead. I feel like they really missed here, and were quite clear about trying to miss by not wanting certain demographics. I absolutely agree that this same show, and concept, could have been successful.

If your last man is Jason Momoa, or Denzel Washington, or Peter Dinklage now we're talking. Now we have a hook. From reviews that doesn't seem to be what we got.

Anyway, apologies again for being patronizing. I felt like I was getting that from you and I was wrong.

Pat

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Re: Y The Last Man, INTERNET OUTRAGE IS MANDATORY!
« Reply #51 on: October 19, 2021, 12:15:09 AM »
Now I'm picturing a really short Aquaman...

No, I haven't read that. I've read King's On Writing and a handful of others, but it's been a while. Regarding your failed book, I know exactly what you're talking about. I'm an inveterate patron of used book stores, and can scan a shelf of book spines and immediately know their genre, and focus in on the ones that interest me. There are a lot of visual cues, from fonts and size to art and colors. It's a form of signaling.

To touch on the lead man in Y, I think it's more he just isn't there. He's sort of soft, and maybe hippyish... I don't have a strong sense of who he is, and he isn't buoyed up by any charisma. I'm going to throw back to another show I mentioned a few posts back: The Man in the High Castle. There's Julia, who is pretty and little stubborn, but takes a while to develop into a character. Her boyfriend is a nebbish, who bad things happen to. Joe's a little better, because he's got the boy next door look, but we know he has a dark secret. But the real seller of that series wasn't any of them, it was the villain. The Nazi Obergruppenfuhrer. More than anyone else, Sewell probably probably carried the show. With his intensity and the almost palpable malice he could exude with those bony cheekbones, while still managing to come across as human.

That's one difference between written and visual media; there needs to be a compelling character, and what makes the character compelling is a complex of visual and verbal cues. Sometimes the character can be scenery, like with Annihilation (to circle back again), though that's hard to sustain. But usually, it's a person. It doesn't need to be a sex symbol, though that helps. Or a hero, though that's the default expectation. But it does need to be someone we want to know more about. I think that's more important than politics or abs.

And I suppose bringing up award shows in the vicinity of a sf writer was a bad idea. I think your set have become uniquely bad, though Ricky Gervais' take on the Golden Globes might be the best thing that came out of 2020 unless you happen to be a huge fan of totalitarianism.


SHARK

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Re: Y The Last Man, INTERNET OUTRAGE IS MANDATORY!
« Reply #52 on: October 20, 2021, 06:46:33 AM »
Greetings!

Hey there! I haven't seen this particular show being discussed, as I don't watch much television at all. However, it did occur to me in reviewing your discussion--particularly Chris Fox and Pat--that, your misunderstandings aside, the show has failed because you are both correct at the same time. I could easily see the show failing because it doesn't appeal to a broader audience--as Chris Fox commented--while also failing because it is a shit program, with shit writing, directing, and soon, which is what I inferred from Pat's critique of the show being poorly produced in general.

I also wanted to commend you both--PAT AND CHRIS FOX. Your conversation has been excellent, and enjoyable. I am glad the two of you recognized your misunderstandings, and have reconciled.

The side-running commentary on marketing concepts--based both on theory and practical experience--has been illuminating, informative, and thoroughly enjoyable. The analysis of award shows, and the other aspects of your conversation--related to physiology, sex appeal, all that good stuff, is fucking awesome.

Award shows...*Laughing* Yeah, they have become fucking woke and they're going down the fucking drain. GOOD! Go woke, go broke, indeed! God these people are fucking morons. I know, I know. It all isn't accidental. All of this bullshit, all of the failure and raging against the culture, and efforts to create a new kind of Marxist culture, right in our midst before our eyes as we speak--is all *INTENTIONAL*. Yeah, let your minds marinate on that truth.

Recognizing that truth is part of what gets me enraged, and so ferocious against these woke, Marxist fucktards. Arrgghh. I know there isn't much I can do about it, as the culture struggles in the culture war daily, as we speak. I often have to take a deep breath, light up my fine pipe, make some good coffee, and just unplug and focus on other things. So frustrating, but we have to also live the best life we can, my friends. I find enjoyment whenever I can.

Keep up the good fight, gentlemen. And also, be kind to each other. ;D

Semper Fidelis,

SHARK 
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Wrath of God

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Re: Y The Last Man, INTERNET OUTRAGE IS MANDATORY!
« Reply #53 on: October 23, 2021, 07:58:02 PM »
I think "Y - The Last Man" is quite decent idea, and I don't really get representation arguments from Chris. I think dystopia and post-apo are meant to be catastrophic, and killing off wide swaths of mankind and biological life is proper way to go. This is option within genre. So I guess reason was either pushing woke above all, or overall screenwriting failure, or both.
I guess they tried to umph some feminist agends, and threads of some cherry picked women from vast array of female characters above, forgetting it's ultimately one man's road story in fallen world. For what I see they decided to demonize further for instance quite dark character of Yorrick's sister, that join some radfem death cult in books, here making her utterly terrible person even before Y-event, because God forbide anyone who will or would become radfem ergo TERF and SWERF would be in anyway sympathetic.

So there's that.
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With great vengeance and furious anger"


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Svenhelgrim

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Re: Y The Last Man, INTERNET OUTRAGE IS MANDATORY!
« Reply #54 on: November 17, 2021, 04:14:45 PM »
Anyone actually watching the show, or are you all too busy hate-fucking each other?

I'm on the fence on whether I want to invest the time. Maybe after I finish my Babylon 5 rewatch and have nothing else to do.
I refuse to watch any TV series that isn’t finished.  I got burned too many times with great shows that went south in their 3rd season, or outright got cancelled. 

I do however own the graphic novels and I loved them.  So if the TV series follows the comics, it should be a good show…until they write in some lame-ass shit for politically correct reason, or just outright cancel the show.