Tuesday, May 17, 2016

TV Writers SUCK!

I have a love-hate relationship with some TV shows, like most people.   I seem to lean towards the "loving to hate" crowd, but I still have affection for those shows I quit watching in disgust.   I think shows just go on too long today.   I am thinking about this today because I read about how Castle ended its eight year run and it pretty much sums up much of my problems.

Now I am not a Castle fan although I did watch the show from time to time.   As a fan of Firefly, I wanted to support Nathan "Capt Mal"  Fillion on his new show, but I am not a fan of police shows, so it didn't keep my focus; I still followed spoilers and reviews.     When I heard it was ending its run, I was curious to find out how they would end the show and, upon finding out, I am glad I didn't invest in the show.  WTF kind of ending is that?   I'm not spoiling Castle for you, but I am going to have to spoil others show in this rant.  Be warned.

Television writers suck!   There, I said it.   They think of themselves as master story tellers who are able to spin multi-year long story arcs, but they are just television writers.  They deal with episodes, not long arcs.  If they could deal with long arcs, they would be movie writers.

Upon reflection on that paragraph, I can't fully blame the writers as the medium is not conducive to long story lines really.  Yes, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and the concept of binge watching has made it easier for TV to tell long stories, but the nature of the format really doesn't allow that kind of commitment.  A show could be canceled at any moment, like with Castle, and then the writers lose their ability to finish a story they started.   It gets shortened, altered, and made to fit to an already established narrative and comes across almost 100% of the time as a band-aid tacked on ended.   It is rare for a show like Babylon Five or Lost to get promised seasons to finish their tales, but still- the writers suck!  See Lost for an example of still screwing it all up.

What Castle has done is made me reflect on Walking Dead and how pissed I am at those writers.   If Walking Dead does what Castle just did, I see full scale riots in the Atlanta streets.  Imagine the last Walking Dead episode showing Rick waking up from his first episode coma and the entire series was just a coma-dream.    Only Bob Newhart can get away with an ending like that, but based on how these writers treat their show, I can not rule out such an ending.

I think the writers don't keep good notes on what they have done with their characters so far.   Maybe the sheer fact that these show go on and on and on make those notes almost impossible to keep track of.   How many plot points do you notice being left hanging like a chad in Florida?

 I can't be the only one who has noticed Simpsons now flashback to the 90's, a period when the show was already on and episodes from then counter story plots from today.   I can't be the only one who notices the Walking Dead writers clearly have no clue what they are doing and are using fan forums to plot the show.   I can't be the only one who notices that Castle clearly was setting up a season ending cliffhanger and, upon being canceled, was too lazy and had too little respect for the fans to bother altering their intended ending and, instead tacked on a lazy happy ending.

We need to stop giving our love to these shows until they start giving us love.   We are why they are on.  We are why they do what they do.   We need to stop being taken for granted by lazy hacks who are just winging it.   These characters, more than movie characters, become part of our shared pop cultural history and we owe it to future generations to make sure they have quality American mythology and folklore.

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