Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Why No Astrology ?

In the USA we're seeing a succession of TV drama series with themes based on the (mildly) paranormal: ghosts, regression, mediums, mentalists, peculiar happenings.

Medium - Lead character has dreams predicting crimes about to happen, or giving clues which help to solve crimes.

Mentalist - Guy who refuses to say he is psychic, but assists in solving crimes via skills which he says are purely due to observation and mental shenanigans.

Psychic - Similar to above, but lead character pretends to be psychic, though viewers are aware that he is using only observation skills.

Ghost Whisperer - Lead character sees ghosts, helps them to "go into the light" after dealing with unfinished business of one sort or another.

Fringe - Storylines focus on "stange" happenings, something akin to Twilight Zone (no relation), or The X-Files.

Past Lives
- An expert in the study of regression, with an ex-cop as side-kick, helps people who have troubling regression episodes stemming from problems in past lives.

There might be more - those are series of which we've watched at least a couple of episodes.

It's good that these subjects are surfacing in a format accessible to the average person, who is otherwise uninterested in the genre. Even though, in Mentalist and Psychic, there is continual emphasis on "there's no such thing as a psychic", anyone with any insight at all realises that to have extraordinarily ultra-sharp observation skills is itself beyond normal: an extra-sensory excess.

Still no sign of any drama involving an astrologer, or astrology. I find this to be very odd. Astrology is probably more in the public eye daily, in newspapers and magazines, than any of the above topics, yet no writer seems to want to use it in a drama. I wonder why?


Rossa said...

And a lot of TV and movies about Vampires. Not something I have ever been into, but I did get into True Blood though it was definitely an adult theme and I'm still squeamish which used to put me off these sorts of things. (I still hide my eyes sometimes even now) Probably seeing The Exorcist aged 14 didn't help me....lol

There's a BBC programme called Being Human about a female Ghost, Werewolf and a Vampire (both men) living together in a house in a normal street trying to deny their true natures or at least keep things under control so that they can live a life "Being Human"

It is quite humourous watching the characters having a so called normal life, getting and having a job, their relationships with humans and dealing with their "urges" to do other things and a cast of other non-humans attempting to tempt them back to the dark side.

A modern good versus evil dynamic.

Read an interview with Anthony Hopkins today who is in an updated version of The Wolfman. He certainly likes to play the extremes what with Hannibal Lecter and now Sir John Talbot with Benicio del Toro as his ill fated son.

Filmed at Chatsworth, Castle Combe and Stowe House it will be very lavish and scarier than the original which starred Claude Rains and Lon Chaney Jr. The special effects are by the same man who did An American Werewolf in London.

Oh and I found the Wiki page on Lycanthrope, the ability to shapeshift into a Wolf very interesting.


Hope I don't get nightmares tonight!

Rossa said...

PS Off topic, I've re-launched my own blog Earth Wind and Fire, this time about Moon Planting and elemental effects on plants etc. So combining two interests of mine, gardening and astrology.

The blog didn't really get off the ground last year as my Dad's serious heart problems meant I was running from pillar to post caring for him, hospital visits etc. Thought I was going to lose him a couple of times. They finally gave him a pacemaker in December and New Year and a new lease of life for him means I can catch up with myself hopefully.


There's some links to stuff on Moon Planting and I will chronicle what happens in the veg patch using these Astro influences through 2010.

Twilight said...

Rossa ~~~ Hmmmm - my least favourites - Vampires and Werewolves. I like all kinds of weird stuff except those, and avoid TV shows or movies of that ilk. It's hard not to notice the current upsurge of interest in them though.
Must be something in the astrological air. :-)

Ah - good luck with the re-launch of EW&F - I've reinstated it in my list of links, and will get around to enrolling as a follower shortly.

It's a very good idea for a blog. I'll be interested to follow progress of your growings.

Anonymous said...

Astrology is too abstract to present in a TV show. TV networks want simple concepts, and stupidity like werewolves and vampires have a long history in films and TV that serve as background references. And this is my professional opinion, I used to be a script doctor in Hollywood.

Twilight said...

Anonymous ~~ I guess so, yes, too complicated to use as a central theme which would keep an audience's interest. But the subject could by brought in, once in a while, without being central to a storyline.
Maybe nobody in the writing departments has sufficient knowledge of astrology to attempt it.

Thanks for your input! :-)

Wisewebwoman said...

Interesting reflection, T. I think something could be made of an astro-themed show based on the premise of mapping at birth and watching events/careers/partnerships unfold.


Twilight said...

WWW ~~~ I think so too - although the skeptics would be all up in arms over it - moreso than the TV shows I've mentioned. Sigh.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Interesting post, Twilight. The comment made by anonymous about astrology being too abstract to be made into a tv show sparked a lively discussion on Facebook, thanks to a link posted by Neeti Ray. Some astrologers on Facebook suggested a show where the astrologer would be a PI who would use astrology (possibly horary) to solve his cases. Others, like myself, saw a show more in the lines of HBO;s show in "In Treatment", where the clients would re-live in flashback mode the transits of their charts. Others wanted a show like "24". What do you think? How you would envision an astrological tv show?

Twilight said...

astrologyunboxed ~~~ Hi!

I'm not into Facebook - but thanks for telling me about the chat on this topic. :-)

I like all the suggestions you've mentioned. The PI one would probably be the easiest to deal with from the writers' point of view, and probably most acceptable to viewers. It would be more along the lines of Medium, but instead of dreams, clues from astrology charts could assist detectives.

Even just the mention of astrologers or astrology in any plot not connected with astrology generally would be welcome though.

Having an astrologer involved as a minor character in some of the apocalypic movies which are so popular just now could have worked.

Too much would put people who don't know astrology right off - but just a few passing mentions to begin with could spark interest, without getting the skeptics all riled up and spoiling things. ;-)