barigirl78

"Clash of the Corps" Episode Discussion

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Clash with my morning coffee! This show is just what I needed right now!

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The worst part of Clash of the Corps? All the promos of the other shows on Fuse. Just not my cup of tea.

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I think one of the downsides of the episode length is a lot of stuff falls by the wayside.

It would be nice to have some information on what they are actually competing in and for.

I thought the first episode was okay, but I'd like to see a few more to make a true judgment.

I suspect drum corps fans will be able to follow it better than non-fans and read between the lines, but I'm concerned about what non-fans will take away.

Whether something is scripted or non-scripted, an important thing is getting viewers involved in a journey. Even a good documentary takes you on a journey. You follow it because you care about the characters or the people in the documentary.

To me, the most interesting part of the first episode was the CG member who walked out. But, it didn't get much screen time. I suspect it was because they just didn't have much--if any--footage of what led to the walk-out.

Everything flew by in those first 20 minutes and we only got a perfunctory introduction to the characters the viewer is supposed to care about and want to watch again.

I also wonder if this is a "one off" project or one that has more seasons to it. If the main point is "drum corps is hard", you can communicate that in one season of the show. You don't need two.

It doesn't matter if something is scripted or a docu-series, people want to watch more seasons because they either love the concept (e.g. Survivor with its new cast every season) or want to see more of the characters they were introduced to in season 1 (e.g. the Kardashians, the guys on Deadliest Catch).

By the end of this series, what will people be wanting to see more of from "Clash of the Corps"?

I concur with everything you said, and will extend it through the second episode.

It was very interesting about the CG member (captain!?!) who left and then reappeared shortly before tour. That episode surely was a harbinger for The Cadets' season.

I was intrigued that The Cadets' MMs struggled to explain the concept of the show. In that regard, they were like the rest of us who saw the early season version. Clearly George Hopkins was struggling with staging versus old school drill, and the comment that the show was a visual mess (repeated a couple of times) proved to be both prophetic and accurate. I did get a feeling of extreme apprehension from The Cadets' camp.

On the other hand, BD's camp seemed to be more organized and purposeful, but loose and relaxed at the same time, and the show concept was easily explained and understood. Scott Chandler, in particular, seemed so easy going and in control.

One thing I really would have liked to seen was more context of a rehearsal such as showing a complete set to set rep along with the staff's critique/correction of the rep. I didn't get a good sense of how a rehearsal works, especially at the ensemble level.

I also wonder how an outsider will view Clash. If you are an insider, you will pretty much understand what is going on, but if you are not an insider, I think it will be hard to follow.

Overall, I guess the show is OK, but I was hoping, perhaps unreasonably, for more, particularly at a macro level.

Edited by Jurassic Lancer

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I think its being made for outsiders. Right now they are setting you up with the basics of story. The characters (members names and backgrounds), and the world in which they exist. Its meant to be reality TV, not a documentary. So its going to jump around a bit, but it'll eventually narrow down to several key people, showing their struggles with the activity, life, money, camps, and what happens on a free day when you let the members have time to themselves? woo.

But it reminds me a lot of ice road truckers, deadliest catch, real world... lots of broad strokes to the painting at this point. A few more episodes will likely narrow things down and tell stories. But again, its not meant to be a documentary of either corps, or the activity, its meant to be reality TV. So there's going to be some garbage thrown, and drama depicted to keep average viewers watching.

My honest thoughts on it, It wasn't good enough to inspire others to join or elevate the activity, but it wasn't bad enough to deter them from doing drum corps. Its just... ok. Not great storytelling yet.

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It was very interesting about the CG member (captain!?!) who left and then reappeared shortly before tour. That episode surely was a harbinger for The Cadets' season.

This part was interesting. My wife, who is not a drum corps person, commented, "It looks like he just didn't want to have to go through camp, and just wanted to come back when it was time to start performing." On the other hand, it did give a chance for the Cadets staff to seem empathetic towards the individual, as up to that point in the episode, they seemed very much "we are the staff, you are the members, do as we say." Where as BD was portrayed as a collective group effort, of staff and members working together to create the best product for the field.

On another note, maybe I just missed it, but they didn't mention much, if anything, about where the groups are from. It would have been nice to see a little bit about the Concord and Allentown areas, as a point of reference about the groups (for outsiders). There was a total difference portrayed between both the members, staff, and organizations as a whole, in the edits for the show. We all pretty much know that that is the case, but it seemed pretty obvious even to an outsider.

It would be nice as well to see more of the "putting together of the show." The way in which it fast forwarded through spring training, and then they were ready for tour seemed to not put enough emphasis on the true difficulty of first making one of these groups, and second putting together a production at that level.

Edited by ibexpercussion
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My honest thoughts on it, It wasn't good enough to inspire others to join or elevate the activity, but it wasn't bad enough to deter them from doing drum corps. Its just... ok. Not great storytelling yet.

You mean after all those years with Vince McMahon and the WWF/WWE, the Rock doesn't have a true grasp on GREAT storytelling?!?!?!?

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about it being made for outsiders, I'd wonder if the non-initiated would have a grasp of what the product is. they TELL a few dozen times how extreme it is, but they only show a few seconds of final product. I get the challenges about putting show clips longer than a few seconds on TV, but will people unfamiliar with DCI have any grasp of the extent of the final product? hopefully they get to that before ep 8.

the lack of a 'what is drum corps' during e1 told me that the show was for those already familiar. a minute of DCI by the numbers would have been helpful, I figure. If anybody has presented the show to somebody with a clean slate on the topic, i'd be interested in hearing what they took away from the show.

I suppose that after these episodes it is significantly better than my worst fears but not yet to the levels of my highest expectations, which is a pretty reasonable landing zone for a reality series on any subject.

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I think what people are lamenting about the lack of depth or specifics is simply the byproduct of the format, and it is doubtful that it will change for the rest of the season. From what I can tell, they merely sent out a camera crew to grab whatever footage they could get, including letting a designated group of members talk to the camera [no doubt with occasional prompts]. Then an editor sifts through the footage to make a show out of it. But there appears to have been no advanced planning or overarching direction by someone with knowledge of the product laying out what exposition, details, story-arc, etc. would be needed to actually show the activity as a whole, and move beyond the superficial default of: "rehearsal visual in the background with voice overlay from the cast members telling you how hard or important it all is; repeat".

Do I wish it were more/deeper/better? Sure. But I still like it for what it is. and I enjoy seeing my son in the background on the field. And if they had devoted the resources to the planning and direction we would have liked, the increase in production costs might have made the whole endeavor unworkable.

Edited by Eleran

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Is it too early to get a sense what the overnight ratings were for the first episode?

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I think its being made for outsiders. Right now they are setting you up with the basics of story. The characters (members names and backgrounds), and the world in which they exist. Its meant to be reality TV, not a documentary. So its going to jump around a bit, but it'll eventually narrow down to several key people, showing their struggles with the activity, life, money, camps, and what happens on a free day when you let the members have time to themselves? woo.

But it reminds me a lot of ice road truckers, deadliest catch, real world... lots of broad strokes to the painting at this point. A few more episodes will likely narrow things down and tell stories. But again, its not meant to be a documentary of either corps, or the activity, its meant to be reality TV. So there's going to be some garbage thrown, and drama depicted to keep average viewers watching.

My honest thoughts on it, It wasn't good enough to inspire others to join or elevate the activity, but it wasn't bad enough to deter them from doing drum corps. Its just... ok. Not great storytelling yet.

Interesting, I was just thinking that it was made for insiders, not outsiders. Insiders (band kids) are the real target audience and they'll likely have a clear "band-camp" idea of what's going on. They'll also see the level of commitment and work needed.

I would bet (although I surely don't know) that someone got the idea that this is for band kids, and the editor took for granted that they would be somewhat familiar with what's going on.

Maybe later, when the show actually takes shape, it will have more "fans in the stands" connection.

Dunno, really. Just a guess.

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