If it were up to you, how would you direct the Voice?
Well, it's going to take a real visionary, which I'm not, unfortunately. But somebody who can really just figure it out and say, okay, we still want the paper to be a free weekly because that's the easiest way to distribute it. Now, what advertising market isn't being reached, and what can we do to make people absolutely have to have it? I don't know who could figure it out. There might be ways to do it. But it's very, very tough. I don't know. But the very fact that you do have the distribution system means that you're going to reach some type of audience. That's already in place. I don't know how you outwit the fact that there are fewer and fewer newsstands. I think people still want to hold something in their hands. It's kind of a drag reading things online. I mean, I do it, but it's not pleasurable.

You've been a TV columnist for years, and the medium has seemingly entered a golden age the past 10 years or so. What do you think it is about the current culture that's allowed TV to become such a force?
There are clearly some really smart people working in TV. I think probably smarter people than who are working in movies. The paid cable allowed people to do all sorts of things they couldn't do before. Even if they had originally pitched it, you couldn't have done The Sopranos on a network. You couldn't have done the level of violence. So the pay cable opened it up. There's a lot of really good, almost auteurism in television now. In movies, it's very much like the big directors are protecting their reputations. It costs so much to get it all together that everything has to be the perfect big package. I just marvel at the way a show can begin and then three years later, it's in a totally different place than you'd expect. There's just a lot of talent there.

When I sit in a movie now, it's very rare that I'm surprised by what happens. Usually it's like, well, okay, there's a closeup. They're starting to feel remorseful. They talk about beats, like there are two beats in this scene or this scene. But it's to the point now where we all kind of know the beats that are going to be in a movie, whereas with television, all of the sudden, you go, whoa, I did not see that happening. I did not expect to see a kid get shot on a motorcycle. There's much more an element of surprise.


Lucking Out
272 pages

The shows that lose me are the ones that have incredibly complicated storylines, but then you realize that the show doesn't really know how to resolve them either. Like, I was never really into Lost. Everyone doing their interpretative dancing as to what it meant. And a lot of these shows I can't get into because I just can't follow the intricacies. When I read the synopsis of a True Blood episode, I'm like, c'mon.

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