new project

Harold and Angelyne

Today I am going live with the first version of my fan site for the Angelyne miniseries.

Holy crap, who am I? I have gotten pretty involved in this or that teevee show or film over the years, but going to this much effort, for just one of them? I don’t recognize myself.

Last night, I spent four or five hours transcribing the first episode of the show. I was only able to write up about twelve minutes of it. Unbelievable. At this rate, it might well take me a year or more to finish the whole series.

In the process, I was forced to pay a lot more attention to the fine minutiae of the show than I had before. I am dismayed to discover that it resorts to a lot more tired clichés and well-worn tropes than I had noticed on my first viewing. I suppose I was too dazzled by the subject matter to notice.

Emmy Rossum’s take on Angelyne is such a surprise to me. I have spent decades absorbing material about this person. My opinion of her is not great. But Emmy found a way to interpret all those stories I was already familiar with in the best possible light, in a way that makes Angelyne seem like she has well-defined goals and a purpose, without feeling fake or forced. Emmy’s optimism and big-hearted interpretation of the material really worked for me. It helps paper over a lot of the criticisms I would have normally leveled at a show like this.

My attempts at transcription helped me appreciate how much work goes into a show like this. For every second of footage onscreen, an unbelievable number of decisions are being made by the creatives, over and over again. I am going to casually estimate that, for every hour-long episode of teevee you watch, roughly ten thousand hours of labor were required to bring it to life. Think about that for a minute. You watch an episode of your favorite teevee show, it’s over before you know it, and you barely remember it a month later. But for dozens or hundreds of people who worked on it, it was all they thought about, for months-long stretches of time. Makes you want to be a little more sympathetic, doesn’t it.