spacing hack


solo piano 20100917

I'd like to take a moment and rant about a show I used to like: In Plain Sight.

So spoiler warning first: if you haven't seen the show and/or season 3 yet, consider this your spoiler warning.

First, since I don't have access to cable or even broadcast TV anymore (I live in a signal dead zone), and can't be bothered to keep up with regular viewings on, I tend to do what I'll call clustered viewing. Instead of watching an entire season over the course of its normal run, which is however many months, I generally watch an entire season in like a week or less.

So I went from a condensed viewing of IPS season 2 to catching up on season 3 and one thing is clear to me: I hate the new direction of the show.

If it weren't for the fact that a family member still wants to give it a chance, I would've stopped watching just a few episodes in, rather than continuing to watch it and hate it.

I think the main thing that's driving me away is something I can't quite put my finger on. For some reason, I just don't give a s*** about the storylines anymore. Perhaps, it's the fact that I wasn't ever all that interested in the week-to-week stories of the random witnesses, so the drama surrounding Mary's family provided a nice offset to that. Maybe it's that the witness storylines are just less compelling, period. I don't know.

What I can put a finger on is that the show is much darker now. Literally.

Would someone turn on a f***ing light please? It's ridiculous.

It's like, in addition to getting rid of the showrunner (which apparently explains why there's such a turn for the worse this season) and several of the main actors (and/or greatly reducing their storylines), they apparently fired most of the lighting crew, too.

It reminds me of a scene in season 2 where Mary comes home in the evening to find that her family left every single light on in the house (she makes a crack about it). In season 3, there are some night-scenes where there are no lights turned on.

This reminds me of something I read where someone was complaining about how, in the old days, filmmakers had to deliberately choose to film a movie with a certain coloring effect. The effect was going to be permanently committed to film, so they had to have a real good reason as to why they would film it that way. Whereas nowadays, it's just a simple post-processing effect, so it's getting (ab)used as a lazy way to add atmosphere to a film.

So is that what this lighting fad is (please tell me this is just a phase)? Is it another lazy way to add atmosphere to a show? Please stop.

Aside from lighting, something about the music bugs me too. Every time the theme song comes on, it seems horribly out of place. I can't quite put my finger on this one either, but my theory is that it could be one or both of 2 things:

  1. compared to season 2, the music/score in general is so different from the style of the theme song, that the theme song just sounds alien in those surroundings (I'd have to rewatch season 2 to find out if this is true)
  2. the gap between whatever was playing to the start of the theme song is far too short.

I know that #2's gotta be playing at least some role because I distinctly remember one episode where the previous music was still playing as the theme song started. It clashed. It was bad. It makes me wonder if whoever was responsible for that was asleep when they spliced that thing together.

I vaguely remember reading this book on music mastering where it was talking about spacing the gaps between tracks. It wasn't some rule like "always give a 2 second gap", it was more of a "use your ear - some transitions require longer pauses". So it makes me wonder if it's so jarring to me because there is little to no gap (and sometimes an overlap) between the last music and theme song starting.

So meanwhile, I really need to catch up on Burn Notice so that I can remember what the sun looks like. Unless, of course, they've fired their showrunner too and now 90% of the scenes take place indoors. At night.

Please no.