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    From: STRACZYNSKI [Joe]
 Subject: Re: formula...yes, but remember...
      To: GENIE  
    Date: 12/26/1995 11:38:00 AM  

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Re: formula...yes, but remember that all the shows you cite, THE
that lent itself to formula, all of the 50s and 60s. You set a format and you
never wavered from that. (But even in those, there was some room to maneuver;
remember the DICK VAN DYKE show which was one long dream about alien invasions
and closets full of walnuts? Even there some were experimenting and pushing
the envelope.)

Since then, television has grown, and changed, and the better shows tend
to be the ones that are most groundbreaking, least formulaic. You look at
TWIN PEAKS, or NYPD BLUE, or PICKET FENCES, and they're fresh, innovative,

This is probably the one area where I have my biggest beef with ST. The
logic goes that if you're a new, untested show, you can't afford to take
risks, you have to build your audience. But ST has, however you wish to
phrase it, a guaranteed audience. It *can* take chances. It *does* have the
money for big episodes. But what it does is to stay within very strictly
proscribed boundaries. It's like having this incredibly powerful, souped up
Porsche...and using it to drive around the block to the corner store for

ST is a program rooted strongly in the 1960s form of storytelling. It's
frozen in time, I think, when it could be innovative, challenging, dynamic.
It chooses, deliberately, not to be that. And if that's what people like
about it, then that's fine. I just think it's a tremendously wasted
opportunity to present something for the 90s that would be as innovative and
imaginative and challenging as the original ST was in the 60s.


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