Friday, August 26, 2011

The Sookie Stackhouse Syndrome, for something totally different!

Well, it's been a busy week!

I have FINISHED a lot of things:

For example, this is Stella, a young Boxer I fell in love with and decided to paint, as much for her goofy jowls as for any other reason. Although I think I spend WAAAAYY too much time looking at and thinking about dogs' jowls. At least way more than the average person who is not a veterinary dentist.

I finished her portrait last week.

And I got three pieces selected into a juried show featuring the Dog at the Niza Knoll Gallery here in Denver. And the one I had finished JUST before the deadline SOLD at the opening! Bam! It's now gone from my universe (although I believe I will probably be waiting about SIX WEEKS for the check...).

Then there was a skateboard design featuring a bulldog that I HAVE BEEN BEATING MY HEAD AGAINST THE WALL ABOUT FOR A MONTH BECAUSE THE ADOBE CREATIVE SUITE (despite the fact that it is not SUPPOSED to be alive) HATES ME. But I actually finished it on MONDAY, THREE WHOLE DAYS BEFORE THE DEADLINE. It's gone, except for the show opening at the end of September!

So I have been thinking about ENDINGS a lot lately! To everything, there's a beginning, middle, and end, right?

Except when there's NOT.

Like with Hollywood...and some VERRY successful writers and publishers.

I should probably preface this by describing what I call "The Sookie Stackhouse Syndrome." (and I'm talking about the books here, not "True Blood," which I think has gone off into a spectacular bunch of new directions. It's saying something when two of the best characters--Jessica and Lafayette--weren't EVEN alive in the books.)

Don't get me wrong-- I love vampire porn as much as the next schlubby, middle-aged housewife, and I started out LOVING Sookie all those years ago when Charlaine Harris created her. But now we're at novel umpty-seventeenth...and I'm not feeling it so much. I think Sookie is past her due date, character-wise.

But she's SPECTACULARLY money-making. So we will probably have another umpty-forty seven novels out, along with coloring books, sing-along DVDs for children and craft spin-offs where the readers can create designs for Sookie's new kitchen or new names for whatever shade of hot-pink toenail polish Sookie will use in the NEXT book. Whatever.

Have you noticed that? Whenever Sookie is majorly stressed in the novels, she either compulsively CLEANS or BAKES something. Or she takes A LONG BATH, shaves her legs so they're "silky smooth" (her words, not mine) and applies a homemade pedicure, complete with "Hot Torrid Mama" pink nailpolish.

No wonder all those supernatural dudes want to get into her pants! She's like a cooking, cleaning Barbie with functional lady-parts!

So anyhow, I've cooked up this term for when you have a concept--a great concept, okay? There's a character that's engaging and excellent and has all sorts of room for growth in a world that FEELS REAL. Harry Potter. Anita Blake. Sookie Stackhouse. And so they do grow, for awhile. But after a certain point, you start to wonder if they're genetically modified or something equally unhealthy. Sookie so far has hooked up with vamps, were-tigers, shapeshifters, etc. And, of course, let's not forget her ever-expanding fairy powers. And then it starts to feel like Charlaine is keeping Sookie alive NOT because she has anywhere else to evolve to, but only because Sookie is a zillion-dollar enterprise. And I feel like a sucker every time I grab the latest book off the library shelves as soon as I see it


For awhile I would read the latest Laurell Hamilton (Anita Blake, vampire slayer) novel JUST to see a) what NEW and potentially confusing powers Laurell could saddle Anita with, b) what NEW breed of supernatural hot humanoid she would cook up, and c) just HOW MANY PAGES it would take for Anita and the hot dude to get to the sex scene. No kidding. I started out LOVING Anita Blake. But she's starting to feel like the literary equivalent of punching the time-clock. And I feel like a sucker.

So, ENDINGS...Hollywood and big publishers, in particular, doesn't tend to like them. And now you have this odd Sookie Stackhouse Syndrome, where sometimes you're not even allowed to ENJOY the ending before you're set up for the NEXT SEQUEL. (Latest crappy "Resident Evil" film--I'm just warning you!)

I DID mention Harry Potter earlier and that was NOT a mistake, but it only applies to the FILMS. I think J.K. Rowling did an AWESOME job writing the series and creating not only a good beginning, middle and end for the overall series, but also pretty satisfying endings for each book. And she ENDED it. Pretty definitively.

Not so, Hollywood! I went to the last (?) movie last week with my brother and ZZZZZZZZ...

HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? I was REALLY disappointed that something could a) tell things SO hectically and fit in so much stuff that got left out of the first movie (presumably so we could watch Harry and Hermione DANCE FOR FIVE PLUS MINUTES) or fit things in around the FIVE MINUTE SCENE IN THIS MOVIE WHERE HARRY AND RON TOOK THEIR SHIRTS OFF and b) be SO tedious.

The whole thing felt MIGHTY long. Which was a shame, I felt. Afterwards, I was lamenting to my brother, who works in the film industry, "WHYYYYYY??? WHY BREAK IT INTO TWO MOVIES???"

And he, cynic (and expert) that he is, said "To DOUBLE THE BOX-OFFICE."

Sookie Stackhouse Syndrome to the Max!

Anyhow, the Onion expressed it much better than I did! Here's a clip they ran that seemed to capture my whole feeling about the movie!

Have a great weekend! And, if you have any chores outstanding, just FINISH SOMETHING!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment