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December 01, 2005
The Invasion Blog That Could Have Been
Ok...so I watch the show Invasion. It's not the best that TV has to offer, but for some reason, I am hooked. Swamps, aliens, creepy thin blond people. It's great. So I was disappointed (for the second time in a week)to see the hopes I had built up around a blog be dashed.
See, Dave Groves, one of the characters in the series, which is about unfolding the mystery of an alien invasion, communicates with the world outside his quarantined town of Homestead, Florida via....a blog.....On the show he talks about his blog posts. And last night he was tracked down by some people through his blog!
I have been slow in searching it out, but today I remembered and checked to see if the character has a blog and he does....And....it's fine. I mean, it's ok. Whoever at ABC is writing it posts pretty often and he stays in character, talking about daily life within the show and a little on his thoughts on what is going on with the invasion.
But it could be so much more, so much more of an extension of the show....really bringing in the tension and the fear, the curiosity, the sense of danger as it's unfolding.
In this case, I think the use of a character blog actually makes sense. Because the character in the story actually does have a blog. But maybe one reason they dont want to take the dramatization too far is because, well, it might be taken too seriously.
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Being a "Lost" boy, I've followed "Invasion" as well (but with less interest; "Lost" may still turn out to be a show about MMORPGs using augmented reality or immersive technology). Aside from the obvious ("Unfolding Story" "Next Episode", etc), the thing about Dave's blog that bothers me is that it's too well designed to be his, so it even feels wrong. Why they didn't use what everyone else uses for their blog is beyond me (I don't buy the "too seriously" concern).
Dave imo would have used WordPress on his own site (not a hosted service like Blogger). His graphics would come from the net and not look custom-made. Further, the colors wouldn't match. Notice how the amber-gold beer is on a burnt-brown background, the amber is picked up in the sidebar which uses a near-complementary font color to pop the graphics, and a family blue goes into the banner? This has a GD's hand all over it! Dave does not strike me as a graphic designer.
The producers should have told the Labine to go and make a blog on his own. That way, they could add a scene with Dave bitching about blogspam and he'd probably be totally in-character.
Posted by: csven at December 1, 2005 04:49 PM
I love that you wrote about this! I too am hooked on Invasion (guilty pleasure) and just discovered Dave's blog last night. Somehow I missed mentions in earlier episodes that he was blogging (though of course he is!). I happen to work for Six Apart so you can imagine that I was pretty excited to see this cross-over approach and the frequent mentions of blogs in the latest episode.
I completely agree that it could be so much more, both in creative content and in authenticity of implementation (as another commenter describes well).
That said, here's something to be said for it: I discovered it last night just before the show because my wife and I were in Mexico last week and missed the last episode. I'm searching for a plot synopsis and find a paltry official ABC plot summary (lame that they do that, btw), then stumble onto the blog. As hokey as some of the blog's writing is, it really did help us piece together more of what happened that we had missed and set us up well for that night's episode. So, from that perspective, it accomplished a mission of keeping some loyal fans engaged, which is one of the key opportunities that blogs offer to businesses.
Posted by: Kevin at December 2, 2005 04:25 AM
I believe such a use of a blog gets to the cutting edge in entertainment and, actually, written storytelling. I haven't seen it, and am not a fan of the show, but as long as everyone in sight understands it's fiction, I think it's great. It shows a certain amount of thought about and an understanding of the consumer that's really often lacking in mass market entertainment. It also shows that the producer is on top of his or her creative alternatives, too.
These folks are earning their pay. Bravo.
Posted by: Pete Zievers at December 2, 2005 10:11 AM
Those are great comments! It's true. Dave would use MT and he would grab graphics from around the Net and he would probably podcast the tapes of thoughts he's recording...
Posted by: Heather Green at December 2, 2005 10:48 AM
"Invasion" has a lot of potential to be the new X-Files-type sci-fi series of this decade, *if* Shaun Cassidy can develop more continuity with the story line and the characters dialogs. I have been watching since the premiere episode and I too am hooked. True, there are some schlocky scenes (the deputy sawing off his arm was dumb), but does anyone remember the tiny alien fetus from "X-files", with the clamp on its head in the cryo container, that seemed to bounce from one season to the next, for 4+ years? Invasion is, IMHO, the only decent sci-fi show on today. Sadly, "Stargate SG-1" has deteriorated into a boring shell of the excellent show that it once was, "Stargate Atlantis" reminds me too much of "Earth - Final Conflict", in that you can watch the series for consecutive weeks on end and still have no idea what is going on with the characters, and there are a host of other boring shows as well. As far as saying that "Lost" is much more believable than "Invasion" - what a crock!!! Here we are on this tiny deserted island in the pacific and virtually *everyone* who was on that doomed flight that crashed, somehow managed to survive and are starting to locate and interact with each other, in and out of the weird geodesic dome shelter, where you PTFB, while at the same time, trying to avoid the "Others" cannibals? The writers for "Lost" have truly *lost* their minds! I say that we all try to be more supportive of Shaun Cassidy's latest project "Invasion". Who knows? It just may end up being another 10+ year mega sci-fi hit!!
Posted by: Invasion Fan at December 7, 2005 03:03 AM
I think Dave's Diatribe (the blog) is the best use thus far of tying a blog into a story.
Posted by: InvasionFan at December 19, 2005 12:49 PM
If you think Dave's blog is good, maybe he can explain the following:
Since Invasion is not being showed in the Netherlands, I had to turn to down loading to watch this ABC series. After watching the 10th episode, I've noticed something funny: they are talking about the 'lights' who where seen in Bonaire, a small island near the coast of Venezuela. Because this island is a colony of the Netherlands, I took a good look at the news papers they showed in this episode. The Dutch News papers weren't about these lights at all! The news paper clipping about the following: "...want bij de klant zit meestal de zwakke schakel." Is from the Belgian news paper De Standaard (they also speak Dutch) and is about internet hackers who try to steal money from I-bankers. (http://www.standaard.be/Artikel/detail.aspx?artikelId=G0UH2EF6)
And the clipping about the Psychon Troopers is actually about the Dutch band Psychon Troopers and their band members: Lars Meijer and Coen Polack.They are also being mentioned in the clipping in Invasion.
(http://www.narrominded.com/press/2000-12-23/). This article is from 2000.
Are the producers not confident about the show being sold abroad? Because we had a good laugh about it....
Posted by: Steph from the Netherlands at January 17, 2006 04:03 PM
That's hilarious! Wow, did they mess up with that!
Posted by: Heather Green at January 17, 2006 05:26 PM
Help bring Invasion back! That was too much of a cliffhanger to perpetrate on so many loyal fans!
Posted by: Kelley at June 20, 2006 04:05 PM
Don't you wish if the net-works won't bring it back, That a cable channel will. I hope so. I don't care which one picks it up, I need to see how this ends.
Posted by: Douglas F. Abbott at August 4, 2006 07:27 PM