06 Oct


As a young person, September was my favorite time of the year.  No, it wasn’t the anticipation of the fall season.  No, it wasn’t about the excitement of returning to school.  It was the fall lineup of the new television programs.

Television was the place I watched characters interact.  I laughed at the antics of comedies.  I had excellent seating as the human drama of life played out before my eyes.  It was the perfect escape for a young girl.

The years have sped past. I still look forward to the new season, but the anticipation has dimmed.  Other television networks now offer a place for new television programs during the summer months, once known as the valley of reruns.

Nevertheless, I was eager to watch some of the network’s fall lineup. 

Spoiler alert.  I will mention a show by name.  I am sorry if I offend anyone.

I watched Charlie’s Angels.  I watched the original in the seventies.  I know it was considered a T and A show, but you’ve got to love the idea of a program where women kick butt.  The repurposed program has a lot going for it.  The show is well shot, the women are beautiful.  Those are good ingredients.  It’s like a novel you pick up at the grocery store.  You read the back cover blurb, and it sounds like a great read. 

Within ten minutes, I was ready to change the channel.  I knew I wouldn’t bother to watch this show again.  Ever.

What went wrong? 

They killed off one of the Angels in the first minutes of the show.  No, I hadn’t grown attached to her.  The problem was the emotions of the other characters.  They said the lines, but I didn’t believe for one second, the emotion behind the words.  There was none.  The Angels looked beautiful, but it was on the surface.   I wanted more.  I wanted to suspend belief and get caught up in these people’s lives.  That didn’t happen.

If anyone watched this show, I’d love to get your perspective on the episode. 

I don’t think they are losing sleep in Hollywood.  “Hey, what can we do to get Lynn Mapp to watch our show again?  I don’t think it will last if she bails on us.”

I will never forget last season’s first episode of Grey’s Anatomy.  The staff was dealing with the aftermath of a murderous rampage at Seattle Grace.  I believed.  The grief was real.  I felt the pain the various staff members spent the season dealing with, and how this event disrupted these people’s lives.

How often have you checked the name of the author of a book you’ve read, and promised never to read anything they write again?  I’m asking you to think about what they did so YOU don’t repeat their mistakes.   What did they do that turned you off as a reader?  You don’t have to mention names.


Posted by on October 6, 2011 in Idaho


23 responses to “September

  1. Liz Fredericks

    October 6, 2011 at 5:34 AM

    I can hardly stand to watch television anymore. It’s frustrating to remember how readily I jumped into the fictional lives only a few years ago and now so few shows prompt my attachment. So, two points. First, Dark Shadows. Yeah, old stuff, but good stuff. I watched the series a few months ago on netflix. As scary as it was when I was little (and I’d sneak to watch it), now I could see the mikes dip into the shot or the less-than-stellar acting skills of a few characters. However, it still sucked me in (really, no pun intended, but I reread and now I like it). Plot and timing matter. Point 2: Buttons differ, but some themes are universal. I stopped reading an author when s/he developed a scene wherein the hero sneered at an intellectually insecure heroine and described her as an ‘idiot’. I don’t care about the man’s character arc. Sneering. Demeaning a woman’s intelligence. These hot buttons do push passions for me, but they’ll also push me right out of a book. If the author doesn’t establish a fundamental respect between parties (even if they try to fight it), then I can’t do the book.

    • Lynn Mapp

      October 6, 2011 at 9:52 AM

      Good morning Liz. I too watched Dark Shadows. Plot and timing do matter. As for buttons, grief is…my issue. With Charlie’s Angels it didn’t strike a heart string. I know these people aren’t real, but it’s their job to MAKE it seem real.
      Here’s a question for you. How would you have written the scene? What would you do to show the ‘hero’s’ character arc. Think about it and let us know.

  2. Meredith Conner

    October 6, 2011 at 7:19 AM

    I watch movies. Very little of TV shows – although I have 2 favorites when I do sit down to watch and they are on. “Ice Loves Coco” and “Swamp People.” (It looks odd to me too, but . . .) They are both reality TV shows – which I swore I’d never watch – and full of emotion. The reality couple are so incredible sweet to each other. Whether it is all for publicity, I don’t know. But everything they do, they consider the other person. “Swamp People” is all about life in the Bayou and the 30 day alligator hunting season which brings in at least half the annual income for the families on the show. They compete against one another, help each other out because it’s the right thing to do and work in incredibly dangerous situations and for long hours because this is what they love and this is their tradition. It’s all about the character, the emotion and I love to cheer them on.

    • Lynn Mapp

      October 6, 2011 at 9:55 AM

      Good morning Meredith, “It’s all about the character, the emotion and I love to cheer them on.” Wow! I think you’ve said it all. You care about the people. They aren’t paper creations. These are real people. You like them for who they are. There is nothing better.

  3. Janis McCurry

    October 6, 2011 at 7:24 AM

    I usually decide up front whether I want to see a remake. FREX: I decided not to watch the new Charlie’s Angels because I wanted to keep my memories of the original women, Farrah in particular. Yes, I admit it. I had her hair style in my young adult years.

    TPTB are remaking FOOTLOOSE, a movie from the 80’s I loved and have watched many times as it’s rerun on TV. The young actor, I’m not familiar with, but the heroine is played by a dancer I’ve watched on SYTYCD. She’s very personable and talented. But, I’m just not sure I want to replace my memories of a young Kevin Bacon and Lori Singer with new faces.

    But, I digress. 🙂 An author I dropped betrayed her primary character in the last chapter. For 300 pages, this heroine had a specific, deal-breaker set of values. Then, in the last chapter, it was as if she said, “Oh, well. It’s okay,” and the book ended.

    A character can change his/her mind and grow, but there was no prep, no paving the way for change. I even reread some prior chapters. So, I try to stay true to the character and not betray them or their values.

    • Lynn Mapp

      October 6, 2011 at 10:04 AM

      Good morning, Janis, “I try to stay true to the character and not betray them or their values.” You focus on character development. I remember watching a movie, loving it, right up to the last minutes. The “bad girl” who had done everything to bring her “bad boy” back to her, abandons him when things look “bad.” She wouldn’t have done that. It’s like the writer of most of the movie handed things over to someone else. That could be true in the case of the movie, but not in the book you mentioned.

  4. Laura Dion-Jones

    October 6, 2011 at 7:41 AM

    Personally, I love The Big C and Nurse Jackie. The writing and acting’s usually razor-sharp. The Good Wife has me hooked again with hotness and as far as Grey’s – I hate “trips to the zoo.” One of the cardinal sins of script writing. Grey’s was at its most incredible their first season – IMHO.

    • Lynn Mapp

      October 6, 2011 at 10:09 AM

      Good morning, Laura, I didn’t watch the first season of Grey’s, not even the second and possibly the third. Just between us, I don’t like medical shows. I never watched the one with George Clooney (did I spell that right). I think it’s the blood. Laura, what are trips to the zoo?

  5. megantrennett

    October 6, 2011 at 8:00 AM

    My brother in law put it best when he talked about “Charlie’s Angels”: “It’s sad when 3 hot chicks aren’t enough to make you want to watch more than fifteen minutes.” And I find that Grey’s Anatomy has been doing a steady downhill roll since its fifth season ended (and some days I’m tempted to say it’s fourth). I think sometimes shows hit their climax, and it’s like trying to read a novel when you hit that pivotal moment 1/3 into the book (which has happened, unfortunately).
    Recently I read a novel in which I was supposed to believe this guy was in love with his childhood sweetheart. All I got from it was that he was a whiney, arrogant, boarder line stalker whom I wanted to smack upside the head. I finished the book, but it was a task.

    • Lynn Mapp

      October 6, 2011 at 10:15 AM

      Megan, thank you for sharing your brother-in-laws view. I didn’t know if I was alone in the wilderness. Your brother-in-law gave it five more minutes than me.
      Grey’s had lost me, but the opening of last season brought me back (for a time, then something happened with my schedule).
      Megan, how would you have written him? What would you have done differently? Instead of ‘whiney, arrogant, boarder line stalker’ what would you have done to show his arc? Let us know what you would have done.

  6. Peggy Staggs

    October 6, 2011 at 8:41 AM

    I’m a TV snob. I record my favorites. If I do watch a new show they’d better hook me in the first episode. If not, they’ve lost me probably for good. I rarely go back for a second look. I’ve become addicted to the History and Science channels. I just don’t have time to sit and watch hours of TV. I always fast forward through the commercials, that saves fifteen minutes per hour program.

    • Lynn Mapp

      October 6, 2011 at 10:22 AM

      Morning Peggy, I agree, sort of. A show needs to hook me. Persons of Instrest has hooked me, but it’s on against Grey’s. I like the story line in Grey’s. One of the main issues this season is trust. McDreamy (Derek?, while I watch I don’t know his name, sad) has married Meredith and promised not to leave her. She has adbandondment issues. He feels she has betrayed him and their research, but he’s made a promise to her. Not to leave. They are going to work through this. I want to see how they work through this “Dark Moment” in their relationship.

  7. Clarissa Southwick

    October 6, 2011 at 9:39 AM

    Wow. I’m going to have to go back and watch some of these shows everyone is recommending. I find my lack of television-watching to be a major social handicap, but I figure if I have time to watch TV, I have time to write.

    As for authors I’ll never read again, I have to say that freaky, weird POV experimentation will almost always put an author on my do-not-buy list.

    • Lynn Mapp

      October 6, 2011 at 10:25 AM

      Morning Clarissa, POV experimentation? It sounds like a medical problem, as well as a problem for readers. Do you think the author was trying something different. How often to we hear we want something fresh?

  8. megantrennett

    October 6, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    Well Lynn and co., when she asked him to trust her, that she knew what she was doing (When dealing with someone he did not care for or believe to be good) I would have made him listen to her. Perhaps check in on the circumstances from time to time, but not to the point that he would follow her around and then demand what she was doing (FYI, this guy was not actually her signifcant other, he just really wanted to be). He could have still been the hero in the end, and when he almost dies for her, I probably wouldn’t have sat there thinking “darn, I would have rather he ended up with the psychopath.” After all, we were supposed to think this guy as the noble, good one. We were supposed to believe she belonged with him, and I just wanted to go through the pages and smack him. 🙂

    • Lynn Mapp

      October 6, 2011 at 11:05 AM

      Hey Megan, I also hate it when you have a character too stupid to live.
      I am going to ask you another question. Do you think this is how the author was trying (notice I used the word trying) to create tension between them?

  9. megantrennett

    October 6, 2011 at 11:16 AM

    I’m not entirely sure. The story wasn’t told as from the POV of Supposed Hero, Stalked lady, or Psychopath, but from a friend of a friend who was hanging around Supposed Hero, and read his memories as well as others from people who observed Supposed Hero’s behaviour.

    • Lynn Mapp

      October 6, 2011 at 11:37 AM

      Okay…the author was doing something different. STILLL…it didn’t work. Thank you for sharing and thinking. I normally don’t have a chance to ask questions. I’m ususally at work when I blog is posted. I’m a teacher (hence the questions), and there is no way I can respond until I get home from work.
      Thank you for talking to me. If you have any other thoughts on the book you mentioned, get back to me. I’m interested. If we take time to think we can “see” what went wrong and work not to follow the mistakes of others.

  10. Carley Ash

    October 6, 2011 at 5:56 PM

    Predictability is what turns me off. I alway put Nicholas Spark’s books back on the shelf because I’m under the impression that he’s going to kill off one of the beloved characters at the end.

    If this is a false assumption, someone tell me, please.

    • Lynn Mapp

      October 8, 2011 at 4:54 PM

      Carley, Carley, Carley, you aren’t wrong. Nicholas Sparks likes to kill off people. This is how I feel about Danielle Steele. I remember settling down to read one of her books. I put a box of Kleenex within reach. That was my moment. I was planning on shedding tears. That’s when I stopped reading her.

  11. megantrennett

    October 6, 2011 at 6:28 PM

    I will certainly let you know if any other thoughts come up, Lynn. 🙂

    And Carley, I believe Mister Sparks spared the beloved characters in the book “A Bend in th Road.” Oddly enough, it was one of the ones I enjoyed the least, though I can’t say I’ve read even half of his work. I too got tired of watching someone die after I spent pages upon pages becoming smitten with them.

  12. Mary Vine

    October 7, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    My favorite pick of the new season is Person of Interest. Hooked like you, Lynn. I think what puts me off is paranormals that are too dang bloody or gory.

    • Lynn Mapp

      October 8, 2011 at 4:55 PM

      Mary, I like Person of Interest as well. I think I’ll record it and watch it on the weekends.


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