Thursday, February 26, 2009

Why I Suck, And Why Making A Great TV Series Is So Hard

Apologies for the recent series of random, bordering on the incoherent, posts....but I haven't really been 'sparked' by much to write about of late. And I'm tired of thinking about CRTC and the major television networks in this country and speculating on what they won't do as opposed to what they are doing or want to do. And to be perfectly honest, I get sick of my own voice every now and then. I'm going through some 'now and then' these days it seems.

Blogging is a funny thing. It comes with a lot of just write whatever is on one's mind, and to write regardless of whether anyone else cares or not, or is even reading for that matter, without repercussion or consequence...but you have to at least be enjoying what you're saying and why you're saying it. Not been feeling it that much lately,

But then again, I seem to say this once, or even twice, a year at least. So will pass.

That said, go read Mr. TV Guidance Jaime Weinman's thoughts on serialized and non-serialized television series...and what you're up against trying to make them great.

With TV, then, particularly non-serialized TV, a lot of the usual ways of judging a work of art don’t completely apply. We cannot judge a TV episode by whether the character is in a different place or learned something (part of the reason “lessons” on TV are often so fake is that we know they’re meaningless; if the characters really learned anything, half the story ideas would be gone). The only obstacles the protagonist can overcome are external ones, like catching the murderer.

And though TV can and should aspire to the status of a great novel, the way TV shows are made — episode by episode, season by season — makes them inherently incoherent; the best of them are incoherent in a lovable way, like The Pickwick Papers. Television is a medium that can theoretically develop characters at great length and with great complexity, but practically finds itself rooted in forms and styles where characters cannot really be developed at all.

A great television series figures out how to do the impossible, which is to create a sense of an unfolding world while dealing with the need to keep that world essentially static.

Read the rest of this great post's what I might say if my head was in the bloggin' game right now.

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