The Art of Drama

I have a confession to make. A few of my favorite shows have broadcast their season finales, and I’m not too sure how I feel about them. I understand drama and conflict–throw the hero/heroine into a hornet’s nest and watch them react. Got it. Make their life miserable just when they thought they had it all figured out. Wonderful. Perfect.

Only this season on Revenge, they killed off one of my favorite characters, the guy Emily was dating and should have been able to spend the rest of her life with once she exacted her revenge on the Grayson family. She achieved her victory but lost her man in the process. OUCH. I’m not happy. Yes, it’s the perfect circle of revenge–Victoria loses her man, Emily loses hers–but I don’t like it. I’m a happy-ever-after kinda gal. Granted, I probably shouldn’t be watching this show for HEA gratification, but I can’t help it. I enjoy watching the drama for tips on my own writing. But killing my good guy? What’s the matter with writers? Have they no heart?

woman pulling hair out_XSmall

My daughter has expressed similar outrage over Veronica Roth’s (I think it was her) killing of a main/popular character in one of her books. The author explained she did so for the express purpose of making readers FEEL the pain of death so as not to desensitize them (as so many are in today’s society), but still. I love her thinking, but don’t we read books for escape? For fantasy and fun and drama?

The Good Wife is another show that left me dangling with unease. Alicia and her law partner, Cary, are at odds over his betrayal. Their old senior partner, Diane, wants on board, and the Governor’s office wants Alicia as their new prosecutor. Great to have Diane on board–right after she turned down the same prosecutor job offer–but how is this going to work with Alicia and Cary at odds? I’m not having warm fuzzies. The betrayal is great for drama, but where’s the pleasure in having Diane on board with the new firm?

Sheesh. Maybe prime time dramas aren’t for me. Maybe I’m a lifetime specials kinda gal. I don’t know. I just find myself caught between a writer’s brain and a reader’s enjoyment. UGH.

Ever been here?



Posted on May 19, 2014, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I watch Lifetime almost every night, so I’m obviously addicted to the HEA’s of television. However, my favorite programs aren’t like that, i.e. Bates Motel, The Sopranos, etc… I’ve watched my favorite characters killed off more times than I can remember and I know it didn’t used to be like that on t.v. It sure is now. In my opinion, though, the acting is so wonderful that I don’t mind.

  2. Diane,
    I’m not sure how I feel about the ending to the Good Wife. I’m hoping that Alicia turns the offer down.

  3. Janna Qualman

    Ooh, interesting update! I stopped watching Revenge last season because the plot got too contrived for me, but I do love the dramas. And crime shows. And I see your point, approach and expectation for writer vs. reader/viewer are two different creatures.

  4. I don’t watch much TV and it’s mostly because I can’t find the time. My kids love Castle and I don’t mind them watching because it is so PG, but I swear the man never has time to write. If you’re looking for a HEA feel good show, Castle might be just what you’re looking for.

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