The best part about great television shows and movies is the idea they present to the viewing audience of a life which would be lively, an escape from reality to a world they aspire to know and experience.
Television industry is huge and so are the innumerable (just saying, I know they do approximate) fans who devotee vital part of their time in the fantasy or virtual reality. And the best part, is that it will not even matter or change anything if they don’t. I know they don’t exist as such, may be they are just pretending, but I think I’m interested in what they have to say and may be they got me, the makers of this huge entertainment business.
When someone tells you a story, short or long, they make characters and assign roles. These two things, let’s say ‘parameters’ are vital to the listener and the story, as the listener can relate to it without thinking, since it would require nothing not known but just recollecting something already known. For instance, if I tell a story and say “Mike is a librarian”, one starts picturing or at-least I will, any librarian I know of. Some basic traits and objects come naturally such as books, avid reader, helping, good listener, focused, etc. This very first impression is registered, so if you know of a librarian and apprehend the job well enough, you would wonder what this librarian is capable of, you might find it absurd, challenging to accept, unique, acceptable and so many things as you see it. At this stage, one might stop watching any further for it’s absurd, or may be wait for the next move for it is interesting or in a hope that it will get better. On another note, if you don’t know of a librarian, then it’s just your curiosity that would bind you for more, for may be the librarian is a hot girl. But you must have come across a dozen of series where characters and roles match but still some stand out and others fall and die. I guess this is because, even though not directly reflecting, a tool or a framework for the story, is something very special and ingenious, a third parameter ‘situation’. When you see a lot of serials, you begin to identify redundancy of ideas, so when such a thing happens many-a-times you already know what will happen next, and if you are a fan of newer possibilities it’s not presumptuous to say, “you won’t watch any further if situation tells it all”, the best possible reasons for you still watching may be, you are into the character (we generally start bonding with characters over time), you are into the person playing the character (I have literally seen every Jennifer Aniston movie there is), you like the idea of that situation so much that you wanna replay it all the time, etc. So is that it, the grandness of any television series, the three magic words, characters, roles and situations? I guess not, I did not like Friends or The Big Bang Theory just for the characters, their roles and all incredible situations, it’s because there was a connection, a connection that grew stronger as I kept watching, a connection that said David Schwimmer does not exist Ross does, Jim Parsons does not exist Sheldon does (I am quite certain that this connection grows stronger if series is consistent with the former parameters). But that’s comedy, it does not have to make sense all the time, it has to be stupid for me to laugh at it. Considering series such as Fringe, Dexter, Lost, etc., where it matters what’s being done, demands entirely another dimension of connection. It is important that I understand, don’t feel like it’s going over my head, and important that it is not simple enough to have occurred to me beforehand.
There is a thin line between understood and saying understood, for the former says you know it well to have understood it, and the latter says you understood because you believed assumptions made by the writer to be true. For instance, someone might wanna object to the concepts of parallel universe in Fringe (one of which I thought was if parallel universe was a result of our choices then why is there just that other alternate, why not multiple, why same set of people are with the same set of people, should that not change), but again someone might just take it for basic data upon which the story is created, it indeed becomes so much easier if you just accept the basics, just like accepting ABC is the way to word building. For a great series, it’s important that the ideas they raise are justifiable, with explanations simple enough for us to accept, to be relied upon, so that we feel connected, not something that is being forced upon us, or not something that is questionable, because if it’s not going our way then it’s hard for us to follow, and eventually falling behind, losing interest is inevitable. I must admit that Lost was going well for me, but the end of that last season made it just another series from the great one, I just could not find the end amusing enough to applaud but that’s just me. I guess it happens with a lot of sci-fi series, since they escalate the situation and events well beyond our imagination that when it’s their turn to provide explanations to justify such happenings, we are no more compatible to their reasoning.
If you ask me, there must be thousands of reasons for you liking or not liking some serials, I know I have some, but then there is this ‘surprise variable’. No matter how much you feel connected, or not, I bet, you watching is directly reliant on this surprise, it can very well work against you or for you. For instance, I told one of my friends to watch Dexter, “It’s awesome” I told him, but he just could not, told me there’s just too much blood in it, and that was him not watching it further. So, the surprise variable ‘blood’ implies series Dexter is not meant for him.
In the end, if you are there, all that matters is a nice ending. Lost was a lost case when it came to end, Scrubs sucked too, I don’t understand why they had to make that last season, season 8 finale was simply great. It is so simple, “if you can’t end it well, the story was definitely flawed” and story matters big time. Story telling is an art, not everyone is capable of it, I know I am not, some keep it going endless, some keep it short, some don’t make sense, some don’t make it fun, some are just not meant to be told, some ………. CYNICAL! When I over-think (that’s what they tell me, I would like to say think) sometimes, some tell me watch it for fun, for entertainment, but I fail to understand and the inner voice says, “what’s the point?”. I agree with the inner voice, for if you don’t get it, may be it is not meant for you, that’s logical enough.
“Why did they make this TV Series?” is a simple question I ask when I don’t get it, the TV series!
When I ask this question, I often forget that I am not the only one who is watching, there are millions and many of them like it for what it is, I then wonder why I like that one, the one that has awful reviews but still I keep watching because I like that one. For all I know, TV Networks do a tough job to select the series they will feature under their name but I doubt everyone supports their decisions. For instance, I loved the first season of Flash Forward and I could not help but wonder why they canceled the show, it was awesome and better than Lost as far as I know, little faster, little better. One explanation I came across was that it was the competition between V and Flash Forward as only one could survive and because of greater viewership, V stayed. I am not sure if that’s the case but if it is, I’m disappointed. May be TV Networks have power over whether I as an individual will watch a series in future or not, but the good part is, I as an individual have enough choices and this year has been great with Game of Thrones and more. I’m an avid viewer and I shall find what resonates my intellect.