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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: TV Discussion: The Rings of Power:
This is all starting to make sense: Rings of Power: Simon Tolkien's Dark Ambitions
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Eruonen
Half-elven


Jan 24, 4:10pm

Post #1 of 30 (2224 views)
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This is all starting to make sense: Rings of Power: Simon Tolkien's Dark Ambitions Can't Post

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DzAufjVRZw

It seems like he is the worst person to have control of the Tolkien estate.

Comments:

@davidllamas2192
1 year ago
Simon represents the spirit of Ar-Pharazon so well...
Full of envy of someone else's immortality.
Willing to take it for himself by force.


@IceCreamMachineFilms
@IceCreamMachineFilms
1 year ago
So, Rings of Power is born of malice and spite and resentment. It really shows. Similar to how Morgoth couldn’t create life himself, only take what Eru Illuvatar had made and twist it, and corrupt it into a mockery of itself.


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Jan 24, 4:22pm)


Junesong
Rohan


Jan 24, 4:29pm

Post #2 of 30 (2188 views)
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ok [In reply to] Can't Post

As a discussion of Simon Tolkien as a person, a rights holder, and a member of the Tolkien estate this post in wildly unfair.

As a discussion of Simon Tolkien as an influential member of the show's production, calling shots, making decisions and having ambitions (dark or otherwise) this post is wildly unrealistic.

I don't think I've seen anything on these boards that feels as "ONLINE" as this does though.

Wow.

It's like trying to capture the scope, wonder and nuance of planet Earth by looking through the head of a pin.

"So which story do you prefer?"
"The one with the tiger. That's the better story."
"Thank you. And so it goes with God."

(This post was edited by Junesong on Jan 24, 4:30pm)


Eruonen
Half-elven


Jan 24, 4:35pm

Post #3 of 30 (2183 views)
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Rings of Power RANT - Simon Tolkien & The Power of Greed [In reply to] Can't Post

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNSZDpMq6sM


Eruonen
Half-elven


Jan 24, 4:47pm

Post #4 of 30 (2172 views)
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Expand on what is unfair......his own words? [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Eruonen
Half-elven


Jan 24, 4:59pm

Post #5 of 30 (2174 views)
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There is no escaping his willingness to trash Middle Earth [In reply to] Can't Post

https://ew.com/...n-series-consultant/

How Simon Tolkien helped guide The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
The novelist — and J.R.R. Tolkien’s grandson — serves as a series consultant for the show.


TFP
Lorien


Jan 24, 6:14pm

Post #6 of 30 (2161 views)
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ST [In reply to] Can't Post

I just find that too personal & speculative, not nearly specific enough in terms of what's right & what's wrong with the RoP show.


Junesong
Rohan


Jan 24, 6:38pm

Post #7 of 30 (2154 views)
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This part [In reply to] Can't Post

From the opening description:

"the fact that at one point in time Simon Tolkien was an estranged son who lamented the fact that he was associated with the Tolkien name. Until, of course, it was going to help make him rich."
This is unfair. It's also ludicrous that some youtuber has this kind of insight into the sociopolitical motivations of Simon Tolkien. It's even more ludicrous to think that such "insight" could ever be used to meaningfully discuss ROP.

It's also wildly arrogant.

Watching the video is even worse.

But I get it. There's a huge portion of people out there who hate the show. I hated parts of it too. Nothing odd or wrong about hating a show.

It's not the hating of ROP that makes my eyes roll back into oblivion. It's the reasons WHY people hate it.

Some of them are so shallow, so conspiratorial, so exaggerated and so unreasonable as to be beyond comprehension.

I guess I must seem blind, or even obtuse to some of you. I'm not trying to be.

I'm just dumbfounded.

"So which story do you prefer?"
"The one with the tiger. That's the better story."
"Thank you. And so it goes with God."


Owlyross
Rohan


Jan 31, 8:37am

Post #8 of 30 (1979 views)
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Unfortunately [In reply to] Can't Post

Sharing of this type of video as "discussion" of The Rings of Power is the exact kind of brain dead, deeply offensive and hate filled discourse I've come to expect around this show, and why I very rarely visit these boards, which I've been part of for the last 20odd years, because they are simply filled with orc-like behaviour.

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."
Benjamin Franklin
The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.
Horace Walpole (1717 - 1797)


Eruonen
Half-elven


Feb 4, 3:08am

Post #9 of 30 (1875 views)
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From Simon Tolkien's website [In reply to] Can't Post

https://www.simontolkien.com/mygrandfather

"My father has always been in charge of My Grandfather's literary estate, and about four years ago he started to think about who would succeed him on the board of the company which administers the Tolkien estate. He named new directors to join him and I was not one of them. "

Read into that what you will.


Owlyross
Rohan


Feb 20, 9:33am

Post #10 of 30 (1712 views)
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From an interview in 2003 [In reply to] Can't Post

Meaning it is completely irrelevant to current debates, and there is nothing to "read into". Simon and his father had reconciled in the nearly 20 years between that and his father's sad death. Simon was, as we know, appointed to the board of trustees by Christopher before his passing.

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."
Benjamin Franklin
The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.
Horace Walpole (1717 - 1797)


(This post was edited by Owlyross on Feb 20, 9:34am)


Eruonen
Half-elven


Feb 21, 12:10am

Post #11 of 30 (1691 views)
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The entire board bears responsibility but more so on Simon due to his [In reply to] Can't Post

ROP consultant position and cheering on of trashing the world his grandfather built. If you can show me where Simon or any other board member has objected to ROP let me know.


Owlyross
Rohan


Feb 27, 9:52am

Post #12 of 30 (1601 views)
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Why would they object to ROP [In reply to] Can't Post

When they are intrinsically involved, have signed off and approved the script and direction of the show and have their names against it. You seem to think that because you don't like the show, everyone should dislike it. It does not "trash the world his grandfather built", that is a ridiculous and reactionary position to take, as ridiculous as saying Peter Jackson "trashed the world that Tolkien built" as he made far greater changes to a story that was way more set in stone than anything based in the second age.

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."
Benjamin Franklin
The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.
Horace Walpole (1717 - 1797)


Eruonen
Half-elven


Feb 28, 3:34am

Post #13 of 30 (1557 views)
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What I find ridiculous is your comment directed at MY opinion [In reply to] Can't Post

Where did I say everyone should dislike it....I know you like it. Where do you get off calling MY opinion ridiculous and reactionary?
It seems you are the one making ridiculous and reactionary responses to MY opinion. I don't expect you to agree but at least make an effort in justifying your ROP love for the sake of discussion. Tell me how ROP reflects the lore rather than being triggered.
The Directors have gone along with Amazon trashing the lore...since you watched the show it would be apparent from the start.
Peter Jackson made changes and some I did not like but overall he was pretty true to the world building. Galadriel for example was far truer than ROP "Gala Michael Phelps drial".
Finally, the audience has decided and the show is a sinking franchise that better correct course in Season 2 to have a chance of redemption. Just like Amazon's trashing of Wheel of Time, none of the show runners have any interest in the actual books.


DGHCaretaker
Rohan

Feb 28, 3:54am

Post #14 of 30 (1554 views)
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Two Points [In reply to] Can't Post

1. Peter Jackson outright said "We didn't want to put any of our own baggage, I mean, we had no interest in putting our messages into this movie, but we thought that we should honor Tolkien by putting his messages into it." Contrast that to the ROP production in total.

2. Season 2 was essentially written before audience feedback was possible. Don't get your hopes up for Season 2 improving anything. Season 3 has a better chance, whenever that will be..


Junesong
Rohan


Feb 28, 12:54pm

Post #15 of 30 (1518 views)
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Reaction Reactionary Overreactionary [In reply to] Can't Post

This is a great microcosm of this whole sad tired debate

I'm also tired of seeing people talk online as if it's objectively true that Amazon trashed Tolkien or his lore or his characters or his legacy or whatever else. I dont' think it is objectively true.

I'm also constantly starting unintentional fires everywhere by talking as if ROP is a great show and anyone who hates it has just spent too much time online becoming radicalized to fight the culture war.

That's also not objectively true.

The reality (if it can still be parsed in this online hell-dungeon we call internet discourse) is that a lot of Tolkien fans hated ROP. Some of them for good reasons. Some of them for bad reasons. Some of them for personal reasons. Then there are the regular fans - who also were pretty split on the show. This is because the show is expensive, heavily marketed, and takes big swings and has some big misses.
My eyes really start to roll when the "reasons for not liking ROP" start dripping with extrapolation and inner-Amazon politics that amount to no more than bad inferencing by people who don't know and can't know what they're talking about.
But again - I'm in danger of starting more fires.
The reality is ALSO that lots of Tolkien fans loved it. (Myself included) I loved the way Middle Earth felt, and especially the Harfoot storylines with the stranger I felt really evoked Tolkien's worldbuilding, pathos and moral compass. It felt very Tolkien to me. I've watched and re-watched the episodes and I'm keenly awaiting season 2, which I think will have less pressure to introduce and get balls rolling and should be an even better season of television.
It's hard (especially on the internet) to talk about the things we love or the things we hate without making it sound like its COMMON SENSE and anyone who disagrees must be a moron. It's an easy trap to fall into. I've fallen in many times. I try not to.
Sorry you guys hated the show so much. That sucks. I hope you find more to like in the subsequent seasons.

"So which story do you prefer?"
"The one with the tiger. That's the better story."
"Thank you. And so it goes with God."


Noria
Gondor

Feb 28, 4:30pm

Post #16 of 30 (1501 views)
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Well said, Junesong and Owlyross. [In reply to] Can't Post

I get very tired of reading opinions that are put forward as fact, regardless of how widely they are held, or not. I never watch videos like the one in the OP, but this Simon Tolkien thing seems silly to me, as if he was some sort of all-powerful supervillain. "Simon Tolkien's Dark Ambitions"? LoL.

I liked RoP a lot. My subjective opinion is that it was far from perfect but was interesting and engaging and looked and sounded great. I loved some things and disliked others, but the world of RoP felt like Middle-earth to me. I look forward to Season 2. Other opinions differ and that's fine.

While I still take a look periodically, I no longer haunt this board. That's because I find that the discussion of RoP is often sad and distasteful, for reasons that have been debated ad nauseum over the last few years.

Does no one remember the years of heated discussion twenty and more years ago between lovers of Jackson's LOTR and its haters, often Tolkien purists, who were legion? That version of the lore was far from universally loved, whatever its iconic status now. It's well known that Christopher Tolkien completely rejected the films.


Junesong
Rohan


Feb 28, 6:38pm

Post #17 of 30 (1499 views)
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The past is rose coloured [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm also quite surprised at how Jackson's films are talked about on here. It's a far cry from how it used to be 20 year ago.

I'll be the first to say that ROP has played really free and loose with Tolkien's lore at times. (At other times, I've found it to be much more faithful than Jackson)

But the retcon that Amazon is some kind of corporate soulless fan hating IP ruiner, turning the innocent works of Tolkien into a cash machine for his ungrateful heirs is just a bridge too far for me. It feels like a WILDLY unnecessary extrapolation of current events.

It's possble that this view has gained so much traction because online communities support the illusion that its the dominant position, or the common sense position - neither of which are true.

It's usually presented as both common and dominant - but the big red flag is always the double standard for the Jackson movies.

I've found that in the last five years the biggest discrepency here is the belief about the culture wars (here I am wading into the same waters my last post was railing against)

But hear me out.
If you're viewing the ROP situation through the culture war lens (studios pushing woke diversity initiatives in arbitrary ways, conflating racist fans with "good" fans and blaming them/using them as shields to deflect from valid criticism, seeing greed in all choices you disagree with etc) then you'll see nothing but your own confirmation bias. The big red flag is that those same fans usually praise/use the Jackson films as the gold standard of "faithful adaptation"

This betrays their blind spot (or at worst, their agenda) - Their focus is not on fidelity to the source, or even on "what makes a good story" but instead is usually focused on the perceived AGENDA of the studios/showrunners and their "FORCING THINGS DOWN OUR THROATS"

The reason Jackson gets a pass is because he didn't do that. In fact, in this thread there's already been comments about how Jackson said they didn't want to put their own opinions or ideas into a story that was Tolkiens.

Of course - this isn't true. Jackson even knows it's not. He was just marketing the movie.

In reality they put all kinds of their own ideas in. Ideas like, our women fans will need more women in the movie so we should force Galadriel into the story more, or Arwen, or Tauriel. They didn't think Sam and Frodo's relationship with the ring would be believable unless Gollum's plan paid off and he was able to separate them. They didn't think Faramir should be as good as Tolkien wrote him because, in Boyens own words, "it is DEATH to the drama on screen."

All these ideas were grafted onto Tolkiens. And all of these choices made the movies LESS not more.

But they are forgiven. Why? Because they're not the sins of the culture war.

"So which story do you prefer?"
"The one with the tiger. That's the better story."
"Thank you. And so it goes with God."


Owlyross
Rohan


Mar 5, 2:44pm

Post #18 of 30 (1410 views)
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This wasn't a personal attack [In reply to] Can't Post

At all. I was simply using Peter Jackson as an example as... He made some considerable changes to a story that is detailed and set in stone, whereas Rings of Power made some additions and gap fills to a story which is basically only rough notes and sketches. The character of Galadriel for example has about three different 'lore accurate' stories in the second age because this isn't set in stone. There is very little 'lore' to break there other than the broad bullet points set out.

And my whole point was you are using your dislike as a proxy for everyone else. You say "The audience has decided", when actually no, they haven't. The show was a huge success for Amazon, it got huge amounts of views, enough so that Season 2 and 3 are set in stone and they showrunners have signed long term contracts. Amazon are shrewd businesspeople, they won't do that for a "failing show".

Wheel of Time is also an interesting case, as I've read the first five books and watched the show, and I enjoyed the show a lot more than the books. Adaptation necessitates change. And I have observed that the loud minority who absolutely hate Rings of Power (and other properties) don't want change, they want a 1:1 recreation of what they saw in their head on screen. But it doesn't work that way.

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."
Benjamin Franklin
The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.
Horace Walpole (1717 - 1797)


Owlyross
Rohan


Mar 5, 2:50pm

Post #19 of 30 (1411 views)
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Quite right... [In reply to] Can't Post

See also Gollum as a drug addict. Jackson and team pushed many of their ideas and beliefs onto the story. Aragorn should be a reluctant king who retreats from power as noone would believe a strong confident and self-assured ruler from the start, he must have an arc. Same with Theoden's crisis of confidence, when in the books, following Gandalf's intervention (not the exorcism of Saruman, just simply asking him to look to the light and clear his mind), or Denethor literally losing his mind, rather than the more subtle despair and depression we see in the books.

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."
Benjamin Franklin
The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.
Horace Walpole (1717 - 1797)


Junesong
Rohan


Mar 5, 5:50pm

Post #20 of 30 (1408 views)
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Hear Hear! [In reply to] Can't Post

I find it interesting (but not at all surprising) that accusations of "Faithlessness" to the source are only ever lobbed around as part of the culture war.

"So which story do you prefer?"
"The one with the tiger. That's the better story."
"Thank you. And so it goes with God."


Eruonen
Half-elven


Mar 5, 8:43pm

Post #21 of 30 (1392 views)
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It seems "huge success" has very different meanings in your world [In reply to] Can't Post

Only 37% of viewers bothered to finish watching the first season. Anything less than 50% does not scream success. Most shows are cancelled with those numbers.
Talk about Amazon spin. They have to pretend it was $$ well spent because they are too invested in it. Trying to pump water while the ship slowly sinks.

"And I have observed that the loud minority who absolutely hate Rings of Power (and other properties) don't want change, they want a 1:1 recreation of what they saw in their head on screen."

No, everyone knows adaptations have to make changes....the problem as has been said ad nauseum is the destruction of established history, plots and characters because the writers think they know better than the author.

Orson Welles said, "The enemy of art is the absence of limitations."

I do hope the 2nd season is much improved....if not, there is always Cobra Kai, Reacher, The Great British Baking Show........and on.


DGHCaretaker
Rohan

Mar 5, 9:46pm

Post #22 of 30 (1390 views)
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Wars and Rumors of Wars [In reply to] Can't Post

Are they? Nothing about the inexperience of the show runners, or in other franchises hiring writers and directors with absolutely no knowledge of the source materials and where such ignorance is a plus, the deconstruction (and destruction) of beloved stories and the Great Franchises over the last decade or two (or more), simple corporate interference, or studios doing the safe thing with remakes after remakes on existing franchises with the demand for $B returns that erase opportunity for independent films? Blaming the culture war is getting cause and effect the wrong way around. But it makes for a great excuse for why critics don't like your movie.


DwellerInDale
Rohan


Mar 5, 11:12pm

Post #23 of 30 (1382 views)
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The genesis and interpretation of a statistic [In reply to] Can't Post

By almost any objective measure, The Rings of Power was a hit for Amazon. It was the number one show for Amazon Prime in terms of viewership, easily beating shows such as Reacher, The Peripheral, and The Wheel of Time. According to the U.S. Nielsen ratings, ROP was the most-watched streaming show on its debut, and it was in the top three for each week of its Season 1 run. The show consistently had more streaming minutes than House of the Dragon. Total streaming was just under 10 billion minutes for a show with only eight one-hour episodes. From the Prime Video site, more than 32,000 verified subscribers submitted reviews of the show, and about 17,000 (54%) gave the show five out of five stars, more than the number for the three shows mentioned above combined. The show also retained its viewership well; in the U.S.,1,253 million minutes were streamed for the first week; 1,203 million minutes were streamed for the second week, and 1,137 million minutes were streamed for the season finale, a total drop of only 9%. Even after the season finale, the show continued to be streamed, with a hefty 570 million minutes streamed during the week after the finale.


But wait...what about this "only 37% of the audience watched the entire series" statistic? Doesn't that mean that 63% of viewers didn't like the show? How is that possible?

The 37% figure came from a Hollywood Reporter piece that quoted an "unnamed source" within Amazon. My best guess is that this person (who is not quoted directly) chose their words very carefully. This "37%" statistic would include the effects from multiple groups of viewers who for one reason or another saw episode 1 but did not watch all eight episodes at the time they were released. This would include 100% of people who had free trial subscriptions to Amazon Prime, watched some shows including ROP, and then decided not to pay for a full subscription. It would include 100% of viewers who loved the show after episode 1 and then got together with friends for a group watch of subsequent episodes. It would include those who missed any episodes for whatever reason but caught up later. And, of course, it would include those who watched episode 1, decided that the show wasn't for them, and did not watch the remaining episodes. While we will probably never be able to estimate these numbers, I would be very careful using this (apocryphal?) statistic as a criticism. We don't really know the full interpretation, nor do we know what this source actually said. We do, however, have the Nielsen numbers, and I would trust their word over that of an anonymous source.



In Reply To
Only 37% of viewers bothered to finish watching the first season. Anything less than 50% does not scream success. Most shows are cancelled with those numbers.


Don't mess with my favorite female elves.









Junesong
Rohan


Mar 6, 12:53pm

Post #24 of 30 (1351 views)
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Love and Hate [In reply to] Can't Post

My personal theory is that there's a pretty clear correlation between how much someone loved or hated ROP and how much they're engaged with the online world.

Two personal stories and then I'll shut up. You guys all know my position here.

First - my friend B, who spends A LOT of time online and who keeps telling me ROP is crap and giving me detailed reasons why that have almost nothing to do with the show itself but way more with the online extrapolations he reads, and the haters he believes, and he's incredibly and inexplicably knowledgeable about the inner workings of Amazon and the ROP writer's room and he mentions DEI a lot. (By the way, he had never seen the show until last week when we finally got him over to watch and episode. (He's a big Tolkien movie fan but hasn't gotten into the books etc)
He loved it. He plans on watching the whole series. His exact quote was, "It's so different from what I thought based on what I'd heard."

The second personal story is this:

Last night I finished Season 1 for the 6th time. I'm just feeling the anticipation and I have no way to scratch the itch except for the impulsive re-watch.

During the finale, particularly the scene in which Elendil and Miriel are talking in the bowels of the ship on its return to Numenor, I was struck by how godawful the writing is. Not ALL the writing, but the Numenor stuff was really clumsy and terrible. It was also really dumb watching them talking in vagueries about their respective regret/need for vengeance when there are so many more interesting things they could have been talking about. It opened my eyes to some of the very real and very frustrating shortcomings of this show. They need to hold onto their good writers and get rid of their bad writers and they need to take the whole enterprise up a notch.

ROP was not a GREAT show. It was a mixed bag. Beautiful and at times breathtaking - funny, sad, exciting, scary - all while being wildly cringey and headscratchingly dumb (Mithril, jumping ship to Valinor, Halbrand's whole king of the southlands backstory)

My position has always been that the show is a mixed bag that has more than a little crap in it.

If that's what people were on here griping about I would be commiserating right along side them. But I have no time for wildly conspiratorial extrapolation that makes all of this sound somehow intentional. Like these people want to make a bad show so they can bully the fans?
I've heard the argument. It's been laid out beautifully.
I just don't buy it.

"So which story do you prefer?"
"The one with the tiger. That's the better story."
"Thank you. And so it goes with God."


DGHCaretaker
Rohan

Mar 6, 2:51pm

Post #25 of 30 (1346 views)
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Cause and Effect [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Like these people want to make a bad show so they can bully the fans?


Cause and effect again.

"They" (not exclusive to RoP) don't make bad shows to bully fans. Bad shows get criticized and the studio defensiveness follows.

Fan-baiting as a Marketing ploy is abuse. Using ists and isms as a shield against criticism of a bad show is abuse. And it rolls downhill from there.

Some writers seem to revel in their deconstructions or agendas, and some of those do it perhaps to offend those who they feel deserve to be offended. I guess that's getting close, but they're not *trying* to make a bad show like "The Producers."


(This post was edited by DGHCaretaker on Mar 6, 2:55pm)

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