TV is Contrary to Good Storytelling

Unless the story is already told…

Holt McCallany makes a strong point: most TV is writer/producer-driven. You gotta grind out the script, then grind out the shoot. Rehearsal is a minimum and re-shoots are not a thing.

How then, to square this with my disappointment with the new season, which felt exactly like a selection of tropes?

The problem is repetition. Successful TV shows by definition are supposed to keep going, but if a story is getting told well, characters and arcs should already be resolved. So we have to recreate arcs, build cliffhangers, and in general drag the thing out, because that’s where the money is.

Even Director-driven shows feel the need to do add character builds. Fifty-minute running times don’t write themselves.


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