Series Arjun when Sakshi is injured
Why most series (unfortunately) sucks
DANGER: the following post contains spoiler to the following series:
- "You - you will love me" (S01)
- "Breaking Bad" (S01-03)
- "Deadwind" (S01)
- "Spuk in Hill House" (S01)
- "The Fall" (S01-03)
- "Chambers" (S01)
And also a general one spoiler: It can be that this text spoils all series in the world for you, once and for all.
Series - probably the best form of visual storytelling
I can already see the first people shaking their heads. Series are supposed to suck? Impossible! How many hours did we suffer with our favorite characters? How many Sundays have we spent on the couch, and with Walter White in Breaking Bad or Joe Goldberg in You fevered?
That's right. Series are basically the perfect art form for visual storytelling. They combine the complexity of the content of novels with the narrative ease of films.
In series, stories can be created in peace. Crazy coincidences and plot twists, which seem implausible in films because of the shortened narrative style, are an integral part of series and provide extra tension. And the best thing: in series there is no clear good versus evil, as we are used to from most films. Figures are ambivalent and always have a motive. Blurring the lines: bad characters aren't just bad, good characters aren't just good.
You are as human as all of us. This is probably the main reason for the success of series.
And then came the donors
Where there is success, there are the production companies. The market has been flooded for several years. New series are launched every week, new seasons of established series are discussed for weeks in advance. And the start of the final season of a series titan like game of Thrones is like the start of the soccer world championship. Series are a billion dollar market.
Now this market consists of two parts. On the one hand, the business part, where broadcasters announce new series, order additional seasons and investors juggle millions. And then the creative part, where the scriptwriters and directors sit, who are allowed to rack their brains about what should happen in the 10 episodes of the ordered season. 50 minutes must be filled with action. And this is exactly where the problems start: some stories just don't produce enough.
To hide this, series scriptwriters have established a number of dramaturgical tricks with which they regularly manage to destroy good series. That would include
- Useless subplots
- Pointless conflict
- The idiot
“I'll tell you how it was. Whether you like it or not. ”- The flashback
Flashback is one of the simplest but also most problematic stylistic devices. Screenwriters like flashbacks because you can build them in as you like and get a few minutes of running time. They are especially popular in the first 10 minutes of a season finale, that seems somehow deep and supposedly increases the tension ... No, of course it doesn't. Flashbacks are a torture for us viewers. After all, we don't want to indulge in the past, we want to know how things will go on now.
If a flashback does not contain essential additional information that eliminates ambiguities in the story, it is superfluous. Unfortunately, it only does this in the rarest of cases. Most flashbacks just roll out something you suspect or basically already know.
E.g. at You - you will love me. After tens of episodes it has been suggested that an ex-girlfriend of the protagonist and stalker Joe has disappeared, and even the stupidest viewer the connection Stalker - ex-girlfriend - disappeared without a trace - probably something to do with it The authors insist on giving this aspect of the story another detailed flashback and narrating in minute detail what happened at the time. And as a viewer, you sit in front of the screen in exasperation and want to scream all the time, "I KNOW IT, HE HAS WHAT TO DO WITH IT, I DID UNDERSTAND".
So if you want to know how productive a story really is, just count the flashbacks in a season. The more flashbacks, the less there was to tell.
“I don't know why this is happening.” - the useless subplot
You know that: you watch a series such as Deadwind, accompanies Sofia Karppi on her hunt for a serial killer, enjoys the sight of the Finnish landscape, and suddenly she has to take care of her daughter. Because the daughter has shagged a classmate, was filmed, the video went around, and everyone thinks like “WTF? What does that shit have to do with the serial killer? "
Nothing. We are dealing with one of the famous useless subplots that usually appear from the second half of a season onwards. And then when the scriptwriters have noticed that the story is basically over, but 4 episodes still have to be filled up somehow. Then all of a sudden a lot of unimportant clutter happens that has nothing to do with the main story - and which you can basically leave out completely. Because nobody needs him.
Other examples of this are the entire "Karen" plot from the one mentioned earlier You. The stalker has a normal relationship with Karen, but of course cannot forget the object of his stalking desire, then he separates and there is no real impact. The whole thing could have been done in 2 minutes, but the authors dedicate two episodes to the nonsense. Or if you want it really bad: the infamous "Flies" episode in the 3rd season of Breaking Bad. That made me stop the series.
“Let's not stop quarreling!” - Senseless conflicts
Where we're at Breaking Bad are: you hated Skyler as much as I did, didn't you? Naturally. Everyone hated Skyler. Because she was part of a meaningless conflict that stretched over several seasons of the series.
Okay, at the core of this conflict was understandable: Walter White doesn't want his wife to find out that he cooks meth because she thinks it's morally wrong and would break up.
That he cooks meth to fight his illness and not to die - for free. And then she separates from him because she is fed up with his secrecy, even though they love each other so much, and he still doesn't tell her, etc., and actually you just want to fast-forward all this outrageous nonsense into oblivion.
Senseless conflicts are the ulcers of a series action. They don't hurt at first, but they grow and at some point you just want to remove them. Because after a certain point in time they are no longer credible. By then, at the latest, they are no longer exciting, but only annoying.
When series talk about head and collar
"Communication is the alpha and omega". A sentence that many series authors apparently take to heart. And often too much.
Sure: you can fill gaps in the plot through dialogues and explain the motivation of characters in detail, and in addition, such scenes are relatively easy and cheap to shoot. This is probably why they are so popular, because how else can you explain that people in series chatter their mouths so fuzzy that Matrix 3, on the other hand, looks like a silent film?
A nice example is The Fall, whose 3rd season consists of endless chatter that should hide the fact that nothing else is really happening. As well as? The serial killer is in the hospital after all. So interrogations are going on. For minutes. Whole episodes. Until you switch off in exasperation.
Or the two horror series Chambers and Haunted Hill House. Both series have a season finale, which is so consistently ruined that one only wishes all those involved a quick series death so that they finally, finally shut up.
Because long dialogues are deadly, especially in the season finale: they slow down the narrative, and it should really be going on here.
Instead, at the end of the season finale credits, you sit in front of the telly and wonder what this is all about. It's Sunday evening or late at night during the week. You stayed awake for an extra long time, and now you have this unique feeling that all too often occurs at the end of a series: emptiness. Disappointment. THAT is what I have now stared at for 8 hours?
Yes, for that. And for the fact that the broadcasters are now ordering the next season because it went so well. And the round of flashbacks, useless subplots, senseless conflicts and dead babbling begins again.
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