My daughters and I just discovered Netflix and their extensive lists of TV shows. Yay! Movies are one of the best ways to understand the process of telling a story. You can see the beginning, middle and ending all in about two hours. And in there you watch the development of character, setting and plot.
Expanding on this is the joy of watching TV seasons, one episode after another. It used to be that watching a show once a week was entertaining for that week and the characters hardly changed and there wasn’t an over all season arc. But viewers and writers have become much more savvy.
Now we watch the episodes with barely a pause in between and it becomes one 22-hour movie with a potty break every forty-five minutes or so. Even better is watching a show that has wrapped up the series.
I watched Roswell when it first came on and somewhere in there I missed episodes. Didn’t want to, but that used to happen. Then I saw the end. Three short seasons and it was over. I remember feeling really disappointed because the first season had so much promise and I felt it jumped the shark and ruined the show.
Well, I wanted to see it all again, in a row with no missed episodes. I knew the girls would love it within a scene or two and, yep, I was right. There were actual whoops and cheers for Michael and Maria’s first kiss. If the pause button hadn’t been accidentally hit, Max and Liz’s would have been the same. And now I realize they broke one of the “rules” of writing. Three main character’s names began with the same letter: M. Yet, I never realized it.
I am pretty sure I’ll still be disappointed by the end of the series, wishing they could have stuck around long enough to fix the problems and develop the story better, but we are now toward the last 3rd of season 1. These episodes renew my faith in all the many things they did right.
Sexual tension, the move closer/withdraw, the mystery, the slow acquisition of a “scoobie gang”, the humor and the pairing. I love how Colin Hanks played this somewhat geeky nice guy who could stand up for himself and his friends. He has had some really nice moments.
And Katherine Heigl is beautiful and talented. You see it in her eyes and minute facial expressions. I loved Katherine in The Ugly Truth and look forward to seeing her this summer in One For The Money, in which she plays Stephanie Plum herself. I believe the screen casting was pretty good. She doesn’t scream “Italian” to me, but good natured comedienne in a tough business like bail bonding where she has no experience, yeah. I can see it.
I still love Jason Behr and Brendan Fehr. I’ve seen them here and there in different shows. I’d like to see them more often. The girl’s love Brendan Fehr’s depiction of a wounded-soul, tough alpha male with just enough tenderness to keep him loveable.
Seeing the arcs played out in 22 vs. 2 hours is a great way to watch more development in smaller, less showy ways. I hate when shows and movies may as well have a big neon arrow saying ‘Character Development Here”.
So, a great big thank you to modern technology and Netflix for making this possible.
Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with, well, the thoughts in my head are one LOL, but with the offerings available in the world. So many things I want to learn and do but couldn’t possibly live long enough to accomplish.
Another thing is all the resources available to writers. We check out the local library, scan shelves that offer maybe a book or two only, then don’t go back for that purpose for a long time and don’t see if they’ve upgraded and gotten better. The same with many bookstores. I’ve picked a favorite and ignored the rest for so long, then been blindsided with how much they’ve upgraded.
One of the resources I hadn’t tried in a long time is my writing chapter. And wow, it has some good stuff. I own all the requisites, Stephen King, Donald Maass, Dwight V. Swain and several others. Now I get to check out a few others I’ve seen around, or not, and haven’t thoroughly examined.
Much as I prefer to do this with a highlighter a page or five at a time, can’t do that with library books. C’est la vie!
The ones I am holding now are:
Blueprint for Writing: A Writer’s Guide to Creativity, Craft and Career by Rachel Friedman Ballon
Writing Alone and With Others by Pat Schneider
Writing the Second Act: Building Conflict and Tension in Your Film Script by Michael Halperin
Write. 10 Days to Overcome Writer’s Block. Period. by Karen E. Peterson, Ph.D.
Crumbs in the Keyboard: Stories From Courageous Women Who Juggle Life and Writing by many, many authors benefiting The Center for Women and Families
I miss my highlighter already.