Should adults be embarrassed to read young-adult fiction?

Discuss movies, television, music, games, books, media, and culture (including pop culture) generally.

Re: Should adults be embarrassed to read young-adult fiction?

Unread postby poolerboy0077 » 12 September 2014, 02:43

homomorphism wrote:
Szazomy wrote:
homomorphism wrote:I just try to pretend British television doesn't exist.

With a handful of exceptions, most of which are now from the Nineties (America knew how to do good sci-fi/fantasy), I tend to do the same for American television.


I can see that. American television has this tendency to focus on being believable, having interesting and dynamic characters and character relationships, and just has a general effort that goes into the writing that I imagine is distasteful for fans of Dr. Who.

:rofl:
Blow: "Nowadays even Liam can release an album of his screechy vocals and it'll probably go #1..."
Ramzus: I can admit that I'm horny just about 24/7
homomorphism: I used to not think your name was deshay and that Erick was just being racist
Hunter: sometimes I think I was literally born to be a pornstar
User avatar
poolerboy0077
 
Posts: 9995
+1s received: 2785
Joined: 20 December 2012, 21:20
Country: United States (us)

Re: Should adults be embarrassed to read young-adult fiction?

Unread postby René » 12 September 2014, 02:58

Szazomy wrote:But British shows tend to have a harder job of developing characters. They usually have a lot less episodes to work with (6-12 episodes a series, as opposed to the US's typical 18-24 episodes) and also can't usually rely on ensemble casts which flit between loads of different characters.

Why is that, anyway?
ImageImageImageImage
User avatar
René
Administrator
 
Posts: 8025
+1s received: 2984
Joined: 20 December 2012, 20:12
Location: Lanarkshire, Scotland
Country: United Kingdom (gb)

Re: Should adults be embarrassed to read young-adult fiction?

Unread postby Derek » 12 September 2014, 03:42

homomorphism wrote:
Szazomy wrote:
homomorphism wrote:I just try to pretend British television doesn't exist.

With a handful of exceptions, most of which are now from the Nineties (America knew how to do good sci-fi/fantasy), I tend to do the same for American television.


I can see that. American television has this tendency to focus on being believable, having interesting and dynamic characters and character relationships, and just has a general effort that goes into the writing that I imagine is distasteful for fans of Dr. Who.

Preach brother.
User avatar
Derek
 
Posts: 7153
+1s received: 2825
Joined: 21 December 2012, 02:12
Country: United States (us)

Re: Should adults be embarrassed to read young-adult fiction?

Unread postby Josh » 12 September 2014, 04:05

René wrote:
Szazomy wrote:But British shows tend to have a harder job of developing characters. They usually have a lot less episodes to work with (6-12 episodes a series, as opposed to the US's typical 18-24 episodes) and also can't usually rely on ensemble casts which flit between loads of different characters.

Why is that, anyway?

It's a variety of reasons really. Money being one of them, in that the UK couldn't afford to pull off 24-part series...especially when location filming may be required a lot of the time and it's just too cramped here to be constantly closing roads off in the name of entertainment.

The biggest factor though is the approach to hiring writers. The US approach is often called 'the writers room' approach because it would literally involve hiring a large amount of writers, getting them all to pitch various ideas for a series and then working together to piece a coherent story out of it. This would either work brilliantly and lead to long-character-driven stories, or would work abysmally and you'd feel like you were watching a different character played by the same actor every week.

The UK approach is often called the 'show runner' approach now, and involves a much smaller team of writers. There will be one lead writer, called a 'show runner', and as well as contributing their own scripts they also oversee the entire series. They brief the other writers about what they want them to write, and then redraft the other writers scripts to bring it more in line with their personal vision. Typically the show runner will still only be credited for their own scripts, but they may often be responsible for as much as 80% of scripts from other writers some of the time (I doubt the percentage is usually that high, but one show runner once commented that he had to do so). This is all of course a lot harder on one individual person but it does save money, makes many shows more coherent and accessible (dipping into a US serial drama mid-series isn't very tempting most of the time) and allows for a clearer vision. The series is much shorter to allow that writer creative control. It was originally used mainly for book adaptations understandably, though other shows such as Doctor Who adopted it more recently as well.

The most cited example to show the difference is The Office UK and The Office USA. The entire run of The Office UK was written by just two writers (namely Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant) whilst The Office USA was written by nearly 40 writers.

These days both the UK and the US have borrowed a lot from each others styles anyway. The 90's saw American dramas move to a semi-serial format, which become all the rage. I believe The X Files was the first major show to do this, which was where you'd have the relatively standalone episodes of the series but an ongoing story arc that was woven throughout, leading to a finale story that explained the references. It was considered a way of making the show more rewarding for regular viewers, whilst also making the series feel more coherent. Of course, whilst keeping the writers room approach, to make it work there needed to be an overseeing writer akin to the British 'show runner' to contribute a story arc - The X Files had Chris Carter for all nine of its seasons, Buffy the Vampire Slayer had Joss Whedon for six out of seven of its seasons (he randomly missed the sixth season) and so on.
In turn UK television has borrowed heavily from the 'semi-serial' concept that the US started up. Doctor Who is a prime example, weaving story arcs each series and more recently even across several, which has proved to be a bit of a mixed bag. There are crime dramas that often do the same as well.
The US has more recently been trying out the show runner approach a lot more, with many shows ditching the writers room model. Long series are also proving controversial a lot of the time due to the low wages paid to behind-the-scenes employees contractually required to work on sets throughout a whole year at a time.
Game of Thrones is one such example of a show adopting the show runner model, and an easy one to try it out with given it's a book adaptation (which is where the UK first tried out show runner approaches...mainly with adaptations of Dickens novels) - it opts for a shorter ten-part series where you'll note that a good number of the episodes are now written by the same people consistently, or that a lot of episodes are co-credited to two writers one of whom appears consistently. The Wire is another US show using this approach.

There really isn't a British or American model any more as there's just such a middle ground.

TLDR: The way series are typically written now takes the American semi-serial format, and combines it with the British 'show-runner' writing style. They were written differently in the past due to budgetary difference, location availability, and other factors behind-the-scenes.
Josh
 
Posts: 3469
+1s received: 60
Joined: 20 December 2012, 21:55
Location: 23 Piss Off Ave, London W F*ck

Re: Should adults be embarrassed to read young-adult fiction?

Unread postby René » 12 September 2014, 04:57

Thank you for your very thorough answer. :)
ImageImageImageImage
User avatar
René
Administrator
 
Posts: 8025
+1s received: 2984
Joined: 20 December 2012, 20:12
Location: Lanarkshire, Scotland
Country: United Kingdom (gb)

Re: Should adults be embarrassed to read young-adult fiction?

Unread postby homomorphism » 13 September 2014, 05:03

Incidentally, something of a followup article to the original:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/14/magaz ... .html?_r=0
[9:11 PM] Derek: every decent person hates Doctor Who
homomorphism
 
Posts: 636
+1s received: 58
Joined: 22 December 2012, 04:52
Country: United States (us)

Re: Should adults be embarrassed to read young-adult fiction?

Unread postby senseofanending » 13 September 2014, 22:25

British TV amazes me to be honest, it can go from making interesting tv like The Fall, Black Mirror, Utopia etc and then makes shockingly poor entertainment tv like Dr Who/Merlin/Atlantis etc not really comparable to US tv drama in anyway.
senseofanending
 
Posts: 133
+1s received: 3
Joined: 30 April 2014, 18:46
Location: Manchester
Country: United Kingdom (gb)

Re: Should adults be embarrassed to read young-adult fiction?

Unread postby senseofanending » 13 September 2014, 22:26

Then again, the US also makes an absolute shit load of rubbish tv, just turn on the tele and flick through sky.
senseofanending
 
Posts: 133
+1s received: 3
Joined: 30 April 2014, 18:46
Location: Manchester
Country: United Kingdom (gb)

Re: Should adults be embarrassed to read young-adult fiction?

Unread postby Brenden » 14 September 2014, 01:31

homomorphism wrote:Incidentally, something of a followup article to the original:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/14/magaz ... .html?_r=0

I like this article much more than the 'original'. AO Scott is far better at articulating his point and coming up with more widely-relevant examples.
Disclaimer: All views expressed in my posts are my own and do not reflect the views of this forum except when otherwise stated or this signature is not present.

ImageImageImageImage
User avatar
Brenden
Administrator
 
Posts: 9193
+1s received: 3557
Joined: 20 December 2012, 20:12
Location: Lanarkshire, Scotland
Country: United States (us)

Re: Should adults be embarrassed to read young-adult fiction?

Unread postby Josh » 14 September 2014, 01:35

senseofanending wrote:The Fall

This deserves a mention from me for many reasons...
:shifty:
Josh
 
Posts: 3469
+1s received: 60
Joined: 20 December 2012, 21:55
Location: 23 Piss Off Ave, London W F*ck

Re: Should adults be embarrassed to read young-adult fiction?

Unread postby Angel » 14 September 2014, 13:50

senseofanending wrote:British TV amazes me to be honest, it can go from making interesting tv like The Fall, Black Mirror, Utopia etc and then makes shockingly poor entertainment tv like Dr Who/Merlin/Atlantis etc not really comparable to US tv drama in anyway.


I do however feel that this is indicative of the style of show-making employed in British media vs the style employed by American media, as explained wonderfully by Josh above. In British media, with a show runner, you have very few creative voices contributing to the story. If the show runner turns out to be sub-par then you end up with a sub-par piece. Indeed, this is very evident in shows which change show runners midway through (see: Steven Moffatt taking over from Russell T Davies on Doctor Who); invariably, people will compare the two and note the change in the quality of the show. By contrast, as American shows have so many different people contributing to the process, they have a broad spectrum of ideas to pick from; the danger of this, of course, is that in an attempt to compromise between these various different viewpoints the writing tends to homogenise around a simple core ideal, and become samey and boring - take for example the CSI franchise, and the three different compromises reached on the three different shows in that franchise.
User avatar
Angel
 
Posts: 10
Joined: 9 April 2014, 11:30
Country: United Kingdom (gb)

Re: Should adults be embarrassed to read young-adult fiction?

Unread postby xyz72 » 14 September 2014, 13:54

senseofanending wrote:British TV amazes me to be honest, it can go from making interesting tv like The Fall, Black Mirror, Utopia etc and then makes shockingly poor entertainment tv like Dr Who/Merlin/Atlantis etc not really comparable to US tv drama in anyway.

You just discredited yourself.
xyz72
 
Posts: 3923
+1s received: 38
Joined: 20 December 2012, 20:50
Country: Germany (de)

Re: Should adults be embarrassed to read young-adult fiction?

Unread postby Josh » 14 September 2014, 14:51

xyz72 wrote:You just discredited yourself.

I was avoiding pointing this out, but yeah. TV shows aren't still being made 51 years after their conception if they're 'shockingly poor'. It just means you, in particular, don't like it...which is fine also but irrelevant in the grander scheme.

senseofanending wrote:British TV amazes me to be honest, it can go from making interesting tv like The Fall, Black Mirror, Utopia etc and then makes shockingly poor entertainment tv like Dr Who/Merlin/Atlantis etc not really comparable to US tv drama in anyway.


The description of 'not really comparable' applies to the supposed 'interesting tv' you list as well. British TV isn't comparable to US TV because it's massively different in tone, in concept and in approach. I couldn't imagine a show like Doctor Who being made by the US - it's likely be butchered to pieces and get it all wrong...even the past few years it's been accused of becoming too 'Americanised'.
I think comedy makes the point even more clear though. A show like Friends made in Britain just wouldn't work (unless anyone here knows of Ant, Dec and Cat Deeley's quite funny 'Chums' spoof :P ). Similarly a show like The Inbetweeners which has been made on both sides was critically panned in the US because it totally missed the point of the British version, and totally misinterpreted the crude humour not to mention the characters.

US Drama isn't necessarily any better than drama from anywhere else, not only because it boils down to personal preference, but because drama from different places is so incomparable. Some might have higher production values, or more characters, or a wider variety of filming locations, or a grander scale, or more writers, but not one of these things or any combination of these things ever guarantees you a superior product. US crime dramas are a perfect example of that.
Josh
 
Posts: 3469
+1s received: 60
Joined: 20 December 2012, 21:55
Location: 23 Piss Off Ave, London W F*ck

Re: Should adults be embarrassed to read young-adult fiction?

Unread postby Derek » 14 September 2014, 17:13

Josh wrote:I was avoiding pointing this out, but yeah. TV shows aren't still being made 51 years after their conception if they're 'shockingly poor'. It just means you, in particular, don't like it...which is fine also but irrelevant in the grander scheme.

The point of this thread is that lots of popular things are shockingly poor, especially if we judge them from the perspective of adults and not the target audience (stoned teenagers in Doctor Who's case).

US Drama isn't necessarily any better than drama from anywhere else, not only because it boils down to personal preference, but because drama from different places is so incomparable. Some might have higher production values, or more characters, or a wider variety of filming locations, or a grander scale, or more writers, but not one of these things or any combination of these things ever guarantees you a superior product. US crime dramas are a perfect example of that.

Most British shows I've seen have exceptional production values (except Doctor Who, obviously). My problem is almost always with the writing, casting, and creative direction.
User avatar
Derek
 
Posts: 7153
+1s received: 2825
Joined: 21 December 2012, 02:12
Country: United States (us)

Re: Should adults be embarrassed to read young-adult fiction?

Unread postby Josh » 14 September 2014, 17:36

Derek wrote:The point of this thread is that lots of popular things are shockingly poor.

I've not seen one show mentioned in this thread that could be described as shockingly poor. Well, except perhaps the American Inbetweeners given how much shit I heard about it, but I've not seen it for myself.
Josh
 
Posts: 3469
+1s received: 60
Joined: 20 December 2012, 21:55
Location: 23 Piss Off Ave, London W F*ck

Re: Should adults be embarrassed to read young-adult fiction?

Unread postby senseofanending » 14 September 2014, 18:15

Cold Feet was a pretty decent British take on Friends. As was Chums.

I don't think I was clear with what I wrote, I meant both what I consider to be poor tv and interesting tv are not comparable to US tv, not just the poor tv.

As for Dr Who, I just don't enjoy watching tv that's made for adults and children, I feel having to entertain both compromises the quality of the writing, it is just dumb Saturday evening tele in my opinion. It wasn't on tv when I was a kid for me to make an attachment to it, it didn't start again till I was 20 and it just never interested me, I've seen a handful of episodes and found them all to be quite boring, I've never seen an episode from before the reprisal either. I haven't seen any episodes with Peter Capaldi as the Dr, though. Is he doing well? I really love him as Malcolm Tucker.

I always feel it's a strange argument comparing one to the other, as I like different aspects of both, and as I said earlier
they simply aren't comparable. Our Friends in the North could never have been made in the US, just like The Sopranos wouldn't have worked here.
senseofanending
 
Posts: 133
+1s received: 3
Joined: 30 April 2014, 18:46
Location: Manchester
Country: United Kingdom (gb)

Re: Should adults be embarrassed to read young-adult fiction?

Unread postby Josh » 14 September 2014, 18:42

senseofanending wrote:Cold Feet was a pretty decent British take on Friends.

My Mum used to love that show, but I simply cannot stand either James Nesbitt or Helen Baxendale.

senseofanending wrote:As for Dr Who, I just don't enjoy watching tv that's made for adults and children, I feel having to entertain both compromises the quality of the writing, it is just dumb Saturday evening tele in my opinion.

It is at the end of the day just family oriented entertainment. I guess on your slant, or depending on what you want from a show, you're either going to interpet that as 'compromised writing' or 'something for everyone'.
I think Doctor Who (in its revival anyway) was at its peak a few years ago when it has spin-offs as well. You had the child-oriented Sarah Jane Adventures, and the adult-oriented Torchwood (Peter Capaldi appears in a series of that and it was stunning, adult, political drama) and then Doctor Who was tidily in the middle of the spectrum. Episode quality was more consistently high, due to not needing lighter episodes here and there.


senseofanending wrote:I haven't seen any episodes with Peter Capaldi as the Dr, though. Is he doing well? I really love him as Malcolm Tucker.

There's always an early inhibition to a new Doctor, all of them have had it. But I'd say Capaldi is doing comparitively well. There's the odd American newspaper complaining they can't understand a word he's saying, but I think the general consensus is that the show has picked up again and is out of a rut a bit.
Josh
 
Posts: 3469
+1s received: 60
Joined: 20 December 2012, 21:55
Location: 23 Piss Off Ave, London W F*ck

Re: Should adults be embarrassed to read young-adult fiction?

Unread postby homomorphism » 14 September 2014, 21:15

Josh wrote:
Derek wrote:The point of this thread is that lots of popular things are shockingly poor.

I've not seen one show mentioned in this thread that could be described as shockingly poor. Well, except perhaps the American Inbetweeners given how much shit I heard about it, but I've not seen it for myself.

Wait, Dr. Who has been mentioned a lot...

Also this

Most British shows I've seen have exceptional production values (except Doctor Who, obviously). My problem is almost always with the writing, casting, and creative direction.
[9:11 PM] Derek: every decent person hates Doctor Who
homomorphism
 
Posts: 636
+1s received: 58
Joined: 22 December 2012, 04:52
Country: United States (us)

Re: Should adults be embarrassed to read young-adult fiction?

Unread postby Mod » 15 September 2014, 03:53

The It Crowd, Green Wing, The Mighty Boosh,The Thick of It, Misfits (mostly a cheesy YA show).
Were all good British shows.
I for one can't stand Orphan Black but I think it's approaching American production glitz.
Money can't buy happiness; but we'll sell it to you anyway.
Mod
 
Posts: 3174
+1s received: 161
Joined: 20 December 2012, 21:26
Country: New Zealand (nz)

Re: Should adults be embarrassed to read young-adult fiction?

Unread postby CuriousPhoenix » 18 September 2014, 01:48

An adult should not be embarrassed for reading teen fiction. I am an adult and I love some teen fiction. They are not massive books to read so are easily consumed, plus they usually start the action at the very beginning. They are also easily to get lost in because they don't cause your mind to think a lot.

There are two main reasons why I read them. First being that it makes me feel young to read them. Secondly they are so much more fun to read than some adult fiction. The premises and the plots are much more fun and enjoyable. Being a teacher, there is a third reason I read these books. It keeps me up to date on what my students are reading and allows me to make suggestions to them.

Also there are some adult fiction books that I would be embarrassed to read, such as 50 Shades of Grey or any other books in the same vein. Now I'm not saying that I wouldn't read them just that I would be embarrassed to say that I read them.
User avatar
CuriousPhoenix
 
Posts: 10
+1s received: 1
Joined: 17 September 2014, 04:15
Country: United States (us)

PreviousNext

Recently active
Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot], imilia, lnBoith, MaricBaric, seo-web.com.pl nix and 216 guests