Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Spoiled by TV

Oscar season is over. I saw the winning picture this year as well as several of the contenders. And aside from The Fighter, I have to say I was a bit disappointed. I liked the King's Speech but didn't love it and True Grit left me cold.

In a conversation with a friend, I think I figured out why. I've been spoiled by TV. Serialized TV to be more precise.

My problem with True Grit was that I never got a feel for the characters. They seemed like wooden constructs. But really what can you do in 90 minutes? In the King's Speech,Bertie's triumph seemed to come too easy. Perhaps if we'd spent more time in his torment, I might have been more moved. But it was a two hour movie.

Compare that to the hours and hours that I devoted to Tony Soprano's life. That was a guy I knew but was still surprised by.

I've always been a fan of the mini series. Shogun, Roots, The Thornbirds (swoon) all delivered. We don't get many of those anymore but we have TV shows that have serialized elements. The Good Wife is a current favorite. The continuing storyline of the main character's politician husband is a great addition to whatever legal case is at hand. That's the stuff that keeps me coming back. That and the unrequited love of Josh Charles.

Right now I'm working on a new Dewey book. It's been a while since I visited with these characters, and I'm loving picking up with them again. Their lives have got more complicated. Easier in some respects, harder in others. Threads that were woven into the first three books are being picked up again. Mettle is being tested. I love that I can stay with these people and really develop them.

I guess it's safe to assume that our readers of KH like series, as that's what we write. Is it the same for TV? What do you like? One and done, like Law and Order? Or The Tudors in all splendorous soap opera-ness?


Dru said...

I never connected what I read with what I watch on TV, but I do love TV series and I especially like when there is a satisfed ending after every episode. Don't like cliff hangers.

I'm so happy to hear that you're working on a new Dewey book. I miss her.

Tiffany0227 said...

I am completely addicted to Pretty Little Liars; it is a great mystery series.

I am spoiled my TV via the internet or netflix. Where we live we don't get cable and we don't do satellite because whey we would do that when everything we want is on the internet.

I love to watch shows and movies on netflix. I don't have to worry about missing an episode and so many movies. Love it!!

Terri Thayer said...

Thanks, Dru. It's lovely to hear that you miss her, too. Interesting about the cliffhangers!

Tiffany, I'll check that out. I didn't realize it was mystery. The internet and netflix is changing TV watching, I think. You don't have to wait an entire week or more to see what's going to happen next.
That's got to effect the way writers write for TV. I'm hoping the next time I move, I can get rid of my cable bill.

Camille Minichino said...

I loved The King's Speech for (maybe) the opposite reason. I felt I got into his head intensely through one moment in his life. The same with the movie The Queen -- delving into her reaction to one incident gave me more than I would have gotten from a sweeping epic on her upbringing, personality, and ultimate choices.

I'd love to be able to write like that!

I agree with you about tv series -- please don't take Lie To Me away, oh network! -- but sometimes there are episodes that are clearly fillers that show the writers out of steam.

Terri Thayer said...

I loved the Queen, too. I do think my tastes are changing because of the TV I watch. Love Lie to Me, although that's one where the cases are interesting in and of themselves. Cal, what a character and what a pleasure it's been to get to know more about him. Otherwise, it would make no sense when he picks up a boy by the scruff of his neck and throws out of his kitchen. :)

Tiffany0227 said...


The TV series is based off the books Pretty Little Liars Series by Sara Shepard. Great plots!!!

Terri Thayer said...

Thanks, Tiffany. I'll look for those.

Linda O. Johnston said...

My favorite TV series? Castle, of course!

Terri Thayer said...

Oh, Castle. How I wish we authors all lived the life of Castle!

Betty Hechtman said...

I don't watch a lot of TV, but I do like continuing series. I was sorry to see Downton Abbey end - though they are supposedly working on new episodes. I love Southland and Parenthood.

I'm not so happy with Castle anymore. My favorite comedy is The Middle, which really isn't a continuing story, but its so funny.