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Lone Star: Discussion Thread

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LONESTAR

From Chris Keyser and Amy Lippman, the creators of “Party of Five”; Marc Webb, the director of “(500) Days of Summer”; and creator Kyle Killen, comes LONESTAR, a provocative soap set against the backdrop of big Texas oil. ROBERT/BOB ALLEN (newcomer James Wolk) is a charismatic and brilliant schemer who has meticulously constructed two lives in two different parts of Texas. He’s juggling two identities and two women in two very different worlds – all under one mountain of lies. As “Bob,” he lives in Houston and is married to CAT (Adrianne Palicki, “Friday Night Lights”), the beautiful daughter of CLINT (Jon Voight, 24, “Midnight Cowboy”), the patriarch of an ultra-wealthy Texas oil family. More than 400 miles away in the suburban west Texas town of Midland, he’s “Robert,” living a second life with his sweet, naïve girlfriend, LINDSAY (Eloise Mumford, “Mercy,” “Law & Order: SVU”). In Midland, he plays the perfect boyfriend while secretly bilking local investors of their savings. In Houston, he’s a devoted husband, charming Cat and her family to cement his position in the rich family business he aims to clean out. Bob has lived both lives successfully for years without arousing any suspicions…so far. While one brother-in-law, DREW (Bryce Johnson, “Popular,” “The Mentalist”), admires Bob, his other brother-in-law, TRAMMELL (Mark Deklin, “Nip/Tuck,” “Desperate Housewives”), is suspicious of his motives. Bob begins to fear his secret lives may unravel. With the cons closing in on him, Bob is divided by his love for two women; his loyalty to his father and mentor, JOHN (David Keith, “An Officer and a Gentleman,” “The Class”); and his respect for his father-in-law, Clint. Now as he tries to hold his two lives together, while fending off angry investors and the suspicions of those around him, Bob puts it all on the line hoping he can beat the odds, leave the schemes behind and keep two separate relationships afloat.

PRODUCTION COMPANIES: 20th Century Fox Television, Depth of Field Productions, Keyser/Lippman Productions

CREATOR/WRITER: Kyle Killen

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Kyle Killen, Kerry Kohansky, Paul Weitz, Chris Keyser, Amy Lippman

DIRECTOR: Marc Webb

CAST: James Wolk as Robert/Bob Allen, Eloise Mumford as Lindsay, David Keith as John Allen, Adrianne Palicki as Cat Thatcher, Mark Deklin as Trammell Thatcher, Bryce Johnson as Drew Thatcher, Jon Voight as Clint Thatcher

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What happened to all of Jon Voight's blather that he was giving up acting to fight the evil Obamagenda?

This sounds very dated and out of place. Add in that it's on FOX, which generally fails to keep a show from going under, and I think I'll pass.

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What happened to all of Jon Voight's blather that he was giving up acting to fight the evil Obamagenda?

This sounds very dated and out of place. Add in that it's on FOX, which generally fails to keep a show from going under, and I think I'll pass.

Agreed. I crave some full fledged Primetime SOAP OPERA! But this, this is not it AT ALL. And this is just my personal preference, but I do not like that the lead is a man. Scratch that, I don't like that there IS a lead.

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I realize I shouldn't pass judgment on a show that's yet to air, but...I think I liked this better when it was just a two-parter on "Walker, Texas Ranger."

Honestly, I wish shows like "24" and "Lost" had never been created. You know why? Because, it seems like the minute they premiered and became the newest flavors-of-the-month, suddenly TV threw simplicity out the old window in order to chase after the next shallow, unsustainable gimmick. It's like everyone responsible for creating, developing, producing and promoting these shows forgot the cardinal rule: that it's characters, and not outside-the-box premises, that bring viewers back every week. (Heck, do you think even "Lost" would have held onto its audience if not for the fact that their characters were consistently well-drawn and surprising? I, for one, think not.)

Moreover, thanks to a little show called "The Sopranos," it seems like every other series that makes it to air these days must center around some creepy, morally depraved sociopath who, under real circumstances, I'd never allow into my home. It's bad enough that BlowShowtime has one series, "Weeds," about a marijuana-dealing PTA mom; and another, "Dexter," about a serial killer who works, or worked, for law enforcement. Do TPTB at FOX and "Lonestar" really expect me to empathize with this s.o.b. whose selfishness and duplicity is destroying so many individuals' lives? And what's next? A show about a pedophile who's married and coaches his son's Little League soccer team?

Yes, I know, daytime soap operas aren't known for their virtuousness, either. But, you know, one reason why I loved them so much as a kid was b/c each had a tentpole character who served as a sort of "moral compass" for everyone else, discerning for their loved ones (and for the folks at home) "right" from "wrong" (like Nancy Curlee once said, there was something reassuring in knowing that, no matter how crazy the rest of the world became, you could run up the back porch steps, open the door, and there Bert Bauer or Nancy Hughes would be, waiting with a tray of cookies, a glass of lemonade, and some real advice); and one reason why I don't love them as much anymore is b/c TPTB have taken away those characters and replace them with so-called "anti-heroes" who are glorified and applauded for indulging in the most heinous behaviors imaginable.

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I realize I shouldn't pass judgment on a show that's yet to air, but...I think I liked this better when it was just a two-parter on "Walker, Texas Ranger."

Honestly, I wish shows like "24" and "Lost" had never been created. You know why? Because, it seems like the minute they premiered and became the newest flavors-of-the-month, suddenly TV threw simplicity out the old window in order to chase after the next shallow, unsustainable gimmick. It's like everyone responsible for creating, developing, producing and promoting these shows forgot the cardinal rule: that it's characters, and not outside-the-box premises, that bring viewers back every week. (Heck, do you think even "Lost" would have held onto its audience if not for the fact that their characters were consistently well-drawn and surprising? I, for one, think not.)

Even "Lost", for all the media hype, began falling off badly in the ratings after a few years, and it was mostly ABC changing the scheduling and announcing the show had an end date which seemed to stop the bleeding, as viewers were less likely to look at all the blathering form the producers and find entertainment elsewhere.

Moreover, thanks to a little show called "The Sopranos," it seems like every other series that makes it to air these days must center around some creepy, morally depraved sociopath who, under real circumstances, I'd never allow into my home. It's bad enough that BlowShowtime has one series, "Weeds," about a marijuana-dealing PTA mom; and another, "Dexter," about a serial killer who works, or worked, for law enforcement. Do TPTB at FOX and "Lonestar" really expect me to empathize with this s.o.b. whose selfishness and duplicity is destroying so many individuals' lives? And what's next? A show about a pedophile who's married and coaches his son's Little League soccer team?

It's more of the same cynicism and sneering at the public which makes up a lot of TV these days. It's also why critics tend to love these types of shows, as they think it makes them seem hip.

The public is taught to look down on a decent person, to see them as a loser and as weak. It's just lazy writing all around.

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I realize I shouldn't pass judgment on a show that's yet to air, but...I think I liked this better when it was just a two-parter on "Walker, Texas Ranger."

Honestly, I wish shows like "24" and "Lost" had never been created. You know why? Because, it seems like the minute they premiered and became the newest flavors-of-the-month, suddenly TV threw simplicity out the old window in order to chase after the next shallow, unsustainable gimmick. It's like everyone responsible for creating, developing, producing and promoting these shows forgot the cardinal rule: that it's characters, and not outside-the-box premises, that bring viewers back every week. (Heck, do you think even "Lost" would have held onto its audience if not for the fact that their characters were consistently well-drawn and surprising? I, for one, think not.)

Moreover, thanks to a little show called "The Sopranos," it seems like every other series that makes it to air these days must center around some creepy, morally depraved sociopath who, under real circumstances, I'd never allow into my home. It's bad enough that BlowShowtime has one series, "Weeds," about a marijuana-dealing PTA mom; and another, "Dexter," about a serial killer who works, or worked, for law enforcement. Do TPTB at FOX and "Lonestar" really expect me to empathize with this s.o.b. whose selfishness and duplicity is destroying so many individuals' lives? And what's next? A show about a pedophile who's married and coaches his son's Little League soccer team?

Yes, I know, daytime soap operas aren't known for their virtuousness, either. But, you know, one reason why I loved them so much as a kid was b/c each had a tentpole character who served as a sort of "moral compass" for everyone else, discerning for their loved ones (and for the folks at home) "right" from "wrong" (like Nancy Curlee once said, there was something reassuring in knowing that, no matter how crazy the rest of the world became, you could run up the back porch steps, open the door, and there Bert Bauer or Nancy Hughes would be, waiting with a tray of cookies, a glass of lemonade, and some real advice); and one reason why I don't love them as much anymore is b/c TPTB have taken away those characters and replace them with so-called "anti-heroes" who are glorified and applauded for indulging in the most heinous behaviors imaginable.

There's enough to go around for everyone. I watch Lost, 24, Weeds, Dexter. If you don't like these type of dramas, I'm sure there are other shows you can watch. If you want to see "good guys" or "moral compass"...try "Psych" or "Monk" or "Brother and Sisters" or "The Good Wife", those type of dramas - non high-concept dramas. I'm glad there are shows that push the envelope and try different/high concepts. Or else we'd be stuck in the 50's.

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There's enough to go around for everyone. I watch Lost, 24, Weeds, Dexter. If you don't like these type of dramas, I'm sure there are other shows you can watch. If you want to see "good guys" or "moral compass"...try "Psych" or "Monk" or "Brother and Sisters" or "The Good Wife", those type of dramas - non high-concept dramas. I'm glad there are shows that push the envelope and try different/high concepts. Or else we'd be stuck in the 50's.

I do think there's a certain pressure from the media to try to go more in the direction of the antiheroes-or-bust line, otherwise you won't get the fawning coverage. That type of attitude has seeped into daytime and has probably helped drive away a lot of viewers.

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There's enough to go around for everyone.

Honestly...? I don't think so anymore. Aside from maybe all the original series that currently air on USA, primetime TV peddles too much in unsettling moral ambiguities. Even "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," which I used to love, has become too twisted for its' own good.

Then again, I'm like Robin Strasser; I worry all the time what these networks are sending into people's homes.

For the record, though...? I hope you don't think I'm putting down everyone who watches shows like "Weeds" and "Dexter." Because, if that's what you think, Toups - and I say this, b/c I'm gathering from the tone in your response that you are - then let me just say how sorry I am for coming across that way.

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For the record, though...? I hope you don't think I'm putting down everyone who watches shows like "Weeds" and "Dexter." Because, if that's what you think, Toups - and I say this, b/c I'm gathering from the tone in your response that you are - then let me just say how sorry I am for coming across that way.

No, no. I didn't think you were putting down anyone. I know you're not "that type" of person who's always negative. ;)

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I do think there's a certain pressure from the media to try to go more in the direction of the antiheroes-or-bust line, otherwise you won't get the fawning coverage. That type of attitude has seeped into daytime and has probably helped drive away a lot of viewers.

I think anti-heroes are a trend, but I don't think they are the new norm by any means. Also, I think in the case of a show like Dexter what he's doing isn't really glorified. I know that's debatable, but Dexter does go through a lot of inner struggle and the character does "pay" for his actions. He knows that what he's doing is wrong, but he can't stop himself. Plus you have characters like Deb, Rita, Harry and Angel as the good guys for contrast.

Actually, so far I don't think I've seen a show that really glorifies the anti-hero. Even or the Sopranos, they would draw you in to a glamorized version of Tony and then slap you in the face nice and hard with how truly evil he was. Not to mention Dr. Malfie discussing Tony as a classic sociopath with her own shrink and how his love of animals and children is just a part of that and not a truly redeeming characteristic.

Anyway, I'll give Lonestar a chance, but as Carl said it is about character. Tonny and Dexter are compelling characters played by amazing actors with very good writing and production. I think that's hard to come by on network TV right now. Especially when they have to pump out 22 episodes. On the otherhand, I'm not sure the main character in Lonestar sounds any worse than JR Ewing really. On paper JR would have sounded like a huge, life destroying SOB (which he was), but Larry Hagman made it work. I have nothing to lose by watching an episode or two.

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classic sociopath with her own shrink and how his love of animals and children is just a part of that and not a truly redeeming characteristic.

The problem is... That there are two many sociopaths on TV, whose behaviour isn't really glorified, but it's omnipresent and sometimes served in a specific way as to confuse people and make the proliferation of sociopathy a problem.

One thing is to be our main character with a problem, a neurosis, something stressful, but completely different when psychopathology is part of your being.

but as Carl said it is about character.

It really isn't. It's about character + plot. A character can't be great if the plot sucks. The two go hand-in-hand. Characters prove themselves through plot. The duality can't be broken into two separate categories. It's just same lame-ass crap thesis someone once served to people and it's now repeated ad nauseam.

If you don't trust me, and you don't, read Aristotle's Poetics, in which he says: Plot comes first. So he too is wrong: these two come together, one can't come before the other because they're bound by an unbreakable connection.

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On the otherhand, I'm not sure the main character in Lonestar sounds any worse than JR Ewing really. On paper JR would have sounded like a huge, life destroying SOB (which he was), but Larry Hagman made it work.

True. OTOH, although J.R. became the breakout star of "Dallas," he wasn't its' protagonist or main character. He was more the agitator against which the other characters reacted.

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I guess you missed the part where I mentioned the great writing and production.<_< Maybe read and quote the full intent of my post before trying to tell us that you are the only one who gets it.

Now let me be even more clear for you. FOR ME it is about the characters. I will not watch a show, even if it has good writing and production, if I do not care about the characters. I will however watch a poorly written show because I love the characters. Clear enough now?

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I guess you missed the part where I mentioned the great writing and production.<_< Maybe read and quote the full intent of my post before trying to tell us that you are the only one who gets it.

Now let me be even more clear for you. FOR ME it is about the characters. I will not watch a show, even if it has good writing and production, if I do not care about the characters. I will however watch a poorly written show because I love the characters. Clear enough now?

No, don't kid yourself. Your point and my points differ. :)

You're kidding yourself also if you are firm in your belief that for you it's about the characters, it is an illusion. They can't be great characters if they haven't proved themselves in a great story. Simple.

But it's OK. We can end it here.

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