Thursday, May 19, 2011

Top five TV shows and Why I Love Them

What is the greatest thing that an artist can do?

Is it create a masterpiece that survives the times? Is it to inspire hope in desolate times? Or is it to show a side of something that no one ever considered?

Personally, I think the greatest thing an artist can do is create.

Create? Isn’t that the entirety of an artists job description? Isn’t that what they do anyways, regardless of the quality of the creation?

Perhaps, but I think true creation is never poor. True creation allows the human psyche a path to explore ideas and feelings that are previously under lock and key. For example, if I find that if I am unable to come up with a creative idea, I turn on House, and watch an episode. After that, I feel inspired enough to write out whatever I feel strongly at that particular moment. Now, you could say any work of art could potentially inspire a person to a particular magnitude of creativity, and you’d be absolutely correct. So, in light of that, I have decided to focus on television shows that have personally inspired me, and why. I’ll start from the bottom, and work my way to the top.

#5 - Lie to Me

Lie to Me is a show about an expert in facial recognition and the like. Tim Roth plays Cal Lightman, a man who basically created the field of study that he works in. By watching peoples faces for microexpressions (tiny flinches of the body and face that reveal the true feelings underneath) Lightman is able to discern what they’re feeling and why, to a degree.

Why this inspires me:

I have a very deep interest in people and their psychology, and Lie to Me helps sate that interest. My interest comes from experiences through my life, as I have always been pretty good at reading people through body language and facial expressions. Watching a show such as this gives me motivation to study the phenomenon further than I usually would.

UPDATE: Lie to Me was canceled. Fuck you, Fox.

#4 - Psych

Another show related to psychology, if only marginally. Unlike Lie to Me, this show focuses more on the humorous characters of Shawn and Gus (played by James Roday and Dulé Hill) instead of psychology in a deep aspect.

Why this inspires me:

Good comedy writing and acting is hard to find, and both of these characters pull it off magnificently. I often look to this show for ideas on how to frame certain comedy characteristics within my writing, and has been instrumental to my development as an artist.

#3 - Burn Notice

Finally, an action oriented show. Burn Notice (which airs along with Psych on USA Network) is a show about a burned spy trying to return to the industry. Jeffery Donovan plays Michael Westen, the burned spy. He does a great job portraying the necessary spy aura while also being a pretty big badass.

Why this inspires me:

I use this show as a way to learn for choreograph fight scenes within the films I write, using part of its particular style within my first short, Rescue.

#2 - Dexter

One of the greatest shows on the air. Michael C. Hall plays a serial killer attempting to blend in with the rest of humanity, while killing murderers in order to sate his lust for killing. Hall does the best job possible in portraying the cold rationality lurking within the psychopathy of a serial killer. Just a fantastic show.

Why this inspires me:

Everything Michael C. Hall does makes me want to be a better actor, not to mention my obsession with analyzing the psyche of socio and psychopaths.

#1 - House

The greatest show on the air, and, if I may be so bold, one of the top ten shows of all time. Hugh Laurie plays Gregory House, the doctor on who the show is worked around. House is an arrogant, miserable jerk with a IQ higher than most genii and a limp that drives him to madness.

Why this inspires me:

Laurie and the character he plays inspire me to be the best intellectual I can be, and to accept that I cannot make everyone happy all the time. I learn from the mistakes the character makes in order to further my own life. On the show side of it, the acting is tremendous, and the dialogue is the best and most witty I have ever heard.

Hopefully you gleaned something from this; I know that it helped me realize what I want to do within the realm of artistic creation. Thanks for reading.

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