I have worked in the film and television world for (oh Good Lord) ten years. To paraphrase TNT, I know drama. I understand what appeals to an audience, what has people returning in droves. The last three months of my job have centered around tonight’s premieres, so I understand what sells. It’s the same with books…Robert Ludlum has been dead since 2001, but Jason Bourne is still saving the world one novel at a time.
While reading a book, you often notice that your favorite character is not in every chapter….
You might say to yourself, you’re right, my favorite character often returns to the story, after a lengthy absence, after a major plot point… only to resurrect himself heroically at the end…it’s then we see a vampire return to save a human, a dead wizard reappear to Harry, or see Holden watching Phoebe on her carousel.
This notion of your favorite character not being in every chapter might seem really clever and poignant. I personally think it’s one of the saddest, most intentionally depressing things I’ve ever heard. Life doesn’t need to be that hard. Write your own story, control the plot. We often make decisions, for drama’s sake, for what will move us. There’s enough drama in the world. We don’t need obvious, sweeping endings with the cataclysmic rise of the orchestra.
But seriously, are they getting off the island again…is it all a dream…purgatory? It’s driving me nuts.
When it comes right down to it… Life is simple. It’s however hard you choose to make it. Let television add the drama to our lives, we pay enough for cable. Just be good to each other. And sit down together and watch other people’s sad stories of loss on a flat screen.
Speaking of wonderful stories of loss…I saw the pilot of this show the other day. A show that makes me proud of where I work…it’s an impossibly funny tale of a wife and mother who finds out she has cancer, and doesn’t tell anyone. Instead she lives her life, knowing she has but a year left. If I wasn’t sitting in a room of twenty co-workers, I would have been moved to tears by the inspiration, the writing, the acting, the point…. That you don’t know what is going to hit you as you turn that corner. It a rarity that a show can make you re-evaluate your own life, your own choices, and the things that happen despite our beliefs. So turn off ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ You’re killing me. Watch this instead. And write your own story.