From the time I could hold my little head upright, television has been a close personal friend of mine. My mother watched daytime soap operas with religious-like fervor. Up until I was five, I thought the cast of ‘Guiding Light’ were family members.
I watched Oprah back when she was fat. Then watched her get skinny. Then fat again and finally back to the politically correct plump figure she is today.
My father was a fan of ‘M.A.S.H.’ and ‘Cheers’ but that’s where our taste in TV ended. For some reason game shows have always creeped me out and the Jeopardy theme song still gives me a stomach ache to this day.
But it’s my addiction to teen shows that has grown in magnitude throughout the years. Sure, it was normal to watch reruns of ‘Saved by the Bell’ after middle school let out. And ‘Dawson’s’ and ‘Buffy’ were the highlight of my week when I was in a freshman in highschool. But now, at 28 years old, I watch more teen television that I’d like to admit. I mean, I chalk it up to ‘research’. A writer of YA needs to reference modern day television shows, right? Keep up with the trends in language and fashion?
Well, we all know that’s only half the reason.
But honestly, now that I’ve been writing for awhile, I have to say I do pay much more attention to how my favorite series are panning out. What keeps me watching? Is it the love triangles ? The characters themselves ? The mystery ?
For the last few months I’ve been keeping a closer eye on the plot points, dialogue, and characterization in the shows I watch. Gone are the days when I could look at actors as though they’re real people and I’m simply glimpsing into their personal dilemmas.
Because, behind it all, there is a writer. Or more often writerS- people who brainstorm, write the lines and character mannerisms that make us laugh and cry along with the actors who interpret them. People who think up the devastating twists and turns.
As I caught up on last week’s Vampire Diaries, I realized that the actors aren’t quite doing it for me lately. For some reason Damon is doing the crazy eye thing in every scene whether he’s compelling someone or not. And it doesn’t help that the show’s stylists traded in his tussled dark hair with highlights for A-typical vampire flat black mop top and powdered his skin till he looks like he’s suffering from a medical condition.
Damon Before- 'hubba hubba'
Elana’s character is going flat in the personality department (or flatter in any case. Not like she was really a bottle of spunk to begin with). -- I mean, I know your life is constantly in danger hunny, but can’t you have a sense of humor? Smile once in awhile! Geez! And someone needs to call her stylist and tell them to stop stealing clothes from 1999. Use some imagination for crying out loud! Your viewership is through the roof!
2010 vs. 1999
As you can see, the character/actor part of the show is starting to get on my nerves, so why do I keep watching?
The plot. The mystery. The way every episode ends with a cliffhanger. Just because the interpretation isn’t up to par doesn’t mean the writers behind the show don’t know what they’re doing and wheras I might not have recognized this three years ago-- today it makes all the difference.
What shows do you watch and have you ever thought about the writers behind them? Have you ever looked up a writer of your favorite show to see if they have authored books?