Friday, July 23, 2010

Television: Impatience Prevails

In what I'm sure is going to prove to be a serious mistake, the producers/writers of "The Gates" have decided to reveal the presence of one of the supernatural "factions" to the new chief of police.  I'm sure it's intended as a bonding moment between the two, but in fact I think they're moving down this road prematurely.  Am I the only one who remembers what a disaster it was for the show dynamic on "Roswell" when they revealed the alien presence to the sheriff?  And that was after a whole season.  I have the same feeling I had when I observed that  the first season of  "Moonlight" appeared to be the first five seasons of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" on fast-forward... like the writers are so anxious to explore the un-explored territories of the shows before them that they speed their way through major events to get to the "new" stuff. 

Nothing feels *earned*.

In the words of the music group "Survivor"... when there's magic in the music, it's the singer, not the song.  Same goes for television.  Just because the issues of vampirism, or being something alien stuck among normal humans, have been explored before, that doesn't mean you need to gloss over them to get your characters in the same context as other shows so you can explore new areas.  There are still stories to be told, you just have to have the confidence in your writing and in your acting team to create a new, fresh look at the old material.  Otherwise you're going to hit season 3 and discover that you've sped your way into the new territory, but now there's nowhere further to explore.

(I was going to insert some kind of MMORPG gaming metaphor in there, but... nah.)

In short, learn patience.  You have a great story idea for a vampire who's struggling with retaining his humanity, but has killed before, and needs an ally on the police force?  Save it for season two and get the character there more slowly.  Otherwise, you may not GET a season 2, because the audience has checked out.

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