Join 3,382 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

A series of series and serialized sub-serials. Seriously, basically help me make some mini-series - there will be spoilers.
February 12, 2011 3:34 PM   Subscribe

*Spoiler Alert*Never Read This Thread (but none within the question itself): I am hoping to create a set of custom original miniature series "arcs", highlighting various things; characters/topics/ story-arcs/plot-arcs... any sort of "shortening of a longer series" that you love, or like or know.

"Both it and its characters acknowledge that it's not doing anything new under the sun — but they go on to insist that just because it's been done before doesn't make it valueless. If anything, knowing it's happened before helps you appreciate just how worthwhile it all is." - A great comment relating to "community" that I just saw on metafilter right before posting, which sets the tone for how I am thinking of this question...

I recently saw the "Captains Logs" Star Trek collection, which features several episodes selected by each captain from each series of Star Trek, along with some fan selections. I thought the idea of a "custom" mini-series was Awesome, and I thought, hey, people out there could be the best to help me create a few really great arcs, and perhaps help me to tell meta-stories, using television series as the pawns and castles. So to speak (not trying to be grandiose, just having fun).

Assume I have seen everything and will enjoy anything. You could just give "episode numbers" and the series name, or a fully detailed explanation and justification... or anything in between (I have just used ST, and CSI as examples,you shouldn't feel limited to those kind of shows, or even genres or countries of origin [breakdowns of those shows will be certainly appreciated as well]). Potential answerers, if you worry about seeing spoilers you don't want to see, grab the scroll bar and send it to the bottom, you can't see other answers but can add your suggestion and don't worry if it duplicates other suggestions (multiple perspectives on the same set are not a bad thing).

I am trying to make mini collections to bring together some people who don't really 'like' tv (it's all "too dumb" [something, something, mumble, American Idol, groan, reality Tv sux, grar]) with others who are generally ok with TV, and love to see stories, and actors, and drama and adventure and characters and flair... while I am sympathetic and open to both positions, even receptive and engaging with the negative position; imagine during this question that it is not an issue. Forget the wider societal impact factors, for the duration of this question the guideline is that we take the statement "tv Media does not inherently 'rot' peoples brains" as valid. So I hope to address the desire for stronger, more focused and approachable CD [Character Development], or theming (the massive development of Denny Crane and Allan Shore in Boston Legal for example). I happen to not understand people sometimes, seeing soap operas TV shows where characters, through interactions and engagement with others, change or grow and encounter obstacles can help to understand or comprehend the ways people are weird, but how that actually makes people normal; the multiple ways that people are able to change their 'character', break the 'mold', and develop. Possibly even initiating growth or change in real people. Sometimes seeing people make bad choices can inspire a viewer or witness to a scenario to make better choices... (I guess the argument is that it isn't {object} that is bad, it is how {object} is used which determines the current value or danger of {object}. If that makes any sense.

Having seen christmas vacation and community, I know that Serious character and development thereof doesn't always come from a 'serious' character. I know that many series have meandering plots (I happen to enjoy the meander; but this isn't just for me, [however, if your suggestion is a meandering line though, share away!])... so, basically, I wanted to see if I can (with your help) customize new versions of popular or obscure media things, and get down to plot and character development for maximum character impact factor, patience to let meandering plots meander can come later [or about a topic, acting, writing, effects... whatever draws you in] like, you could list the Star Trek episodes that tell the 'story' of the Borg, or give the set of episodes that show us who 7 of 9 is... whatever.) I wanted to use coherent collections to help people understand (care about?) various characters... like, for example, a set of episodes that makes me understand "Who really is Gil Grissom" (Seems to be a fairly well crafted/created/acted/nuanced character (sure he tosses a cheesy line in once in a while, but eh, real people are cheesy IRL, and I know that beyond the tropes and genre, there is a character), but I might want to just select a few episodes that show him very clearly, who he is, what motivates him... highlights his humanity, or help me show the episodes which best explicate the strong relationship that develops between him and Warrick Brown; in 10 seasons there will be fluff episodes, and ones that don't feature him, or which are not serious, or are even bad... help me bridge story lines. Or conversely, something like 'the episodes which feature and engage various of the "lab tech" tertiary characters, and brings their story to the fore.)

But I am looking for (long or short) collections from any series you like, the ones I described (and in tags) were just for examples, and any 'concept' (doesn't have to be a 'character', hey, you can cross series if you think it makes sense; it could be a plot-line, or something abstract [you don't even have to justify, or reason it if you don't choose to {though if you do, that is very cool/more helpful also}]). I just know there have been a huge amount of intriguing micro-storytelling done in the last 40+ years, and I want to try to make it manageable; more bite sized, specialized and focused. I guess mostly it will be the season finales that come to mind first, where the big character development often occurs, and that is mostly what comes to my mind first, but I am certain that there are undiscovered mini-series in the making within various shows' seasons and the many out there are likely able to be more creative and experienced than I.
Also; thank you, and apologies if Tl;Dr, or unclear.
Previously, related, questions (with many excellent answers).
posted by infinite intimation to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Oh man. There are so many of these that I'd love to help with ... there's a bunch of episodes from various Star Trek series that I'd love to share, or Law and Order SVU, or Stargate SG1, or CSI LV ... but I haven't written them down. It would take DAYS to go through all the episodes. Weeks, if I decided to go through all the series.

There's a good thread going on right now about Patrick Stewart's performances, thus creating a good example of Picard's character development. That might be a start for you?
posted by Heretical at 4:23 PM on February 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Not entirely sure if I understood exactly what you're looking for, but the Cadmus Arc from Justice League Unlimited might fit the bill. If you're unfamiliar with JLU, know that it's surprisingly deep for what was ostensibly a kid's show. The Cadmus Arc in particular deals with some serious questions about power and authority and goes to some pretty dark places. (When's the last time a protagonist in a kid's cartoon announced his intention to stone-cold murder the villain?)
posted by Rangeboy at 5:41 PM on February 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

I think both answers here 'get' exactly what I am trying to find, great answers (both, thank you) oops on not noticing the Patrick Stewart's performances thread, which is particularly interesting, I had not seen that, but it is great, with wonderful answers, it very much is a great starting point for me. Sorry for following that so soon with this semi-related question.

The 'Cadmus Arc' looks like it fits what I am looking for very well, like you say, they are doing something there that reexamines the 'idea' of a superhero, and questions about power and authority, great recommendation.

This thorough comment from Greg Nog is another example, for Star Trek, of what I was imagining someone might have already done, turning 7 years of episodes into a 'condensed series' (however, I imagine it took him considerable time to create that large list, so I guess it could be quite unrealistic to think someone has just created multiple lists like that for other series or characters that interest them).
posted by infinite intimation at 8:54 PM on February 12, 2011

Justine Larbalestier wrote an essay called "A Buffy Confession" (I first read it in Seven Seasons of Buffy) in which she suggests "Buffy mini-festivals" which seem to be exactly what you're describing here.
posted by sigmagalator at 7:45 PM on February 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

« Older Do the Moonies actually supply...   |  I'd like to get tied up somewh... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.