Gen Kill and Reality

In television the issue of defining an author is a difficult task. This is especially true when the show has been adapted from a novel. Franklin’s article highlights some of these issues. Largely, I would say that both Simon and Wright are the authors of this series as much of the material has been adapted directly from the novel, but as Simon notes in the other article, he has put his own dramatic ‘flare’ on the series to make it  TV- appropriate. One thing I disagree with in Franklin’s article is that she says “Actually, it’s a little surprising that Simon went for this material at all”. I didn’t think it was surprising at all given that Simon’s area of specialities lies largely in television based out of journalism, which Wright’s series is. Also, as I noted last week, there is a very apparent chain of hierarchy within the series, which is also a theme in many of Simon’s works. Overall, I think that Simon is fooling himself if he believes you can have a journalistic piece without bias, and one of the biggest mistakes he made was removing the ‘reporter’ character so much from the series. In the novel, this character served to help readers identify with a world they are otherwise alienated from, and I think this was what made the subject matter so shocking and relevant. It allowed us an insider perspective and someone to identify with, whereas in the series the reporter is given little credit or intelligence. I think that Simon’s goals for un-biased television are helpful in keeping the series realistic, but even he cannot deny the need to adapt the novel in order to make it more watchable. By adding these dramatic elements, he has contradicted himself in his quest for realism, but also made the show more successful.

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