Friday, June 21, 2013

Getting Closer... Two Questions.

As a social media consultant, it behooves me to know virtually all social media platforms, which means, often enough, joining up and participating in them. I’ve been a member of Quora for some time, but never really used it. Today I fell in love with Quora!

Someone posted a link with the question, “What is the most important thing you have ever learned from a movie.” I posted the link on Google+ for you all to see. In the thick of it all was the following response:

• How much can you know about yourself if you've never been in a fight? • This is your life and it's ending one minute at a time. • Without pain, without sacrifice, we would have nothing. • It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything. • Losing all hope is freedom. • You are not your job. You're not how much money you have in the bank. You're not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You're not your fucking khakis. You're the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world. • The things you own end up owning you. • On a long enough time line, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero. • Fuck off with your sofa units and strine green stripe patterns, I say never be complete, I say stop being perfect, I say let... lets evolve, let the chips fall where they may. • We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. • We're consumers. We are by-products of a lifestyle obsession. Murder, crime, poverty, these things don't concern me. What concerns me are celebrity magazines, television with 500 channels, some guy's name on my underwear. Rogaine, Viagra, Olestra.

And in the thick of that response is my little nugget, “Our war is a spiritual war; our great depression is our lives.” THAT is what I want to write about… in an entertaining way. After all, nobody tunes in to become depressed; we want entertainment.

So, having identified my overall theme, how do I wrap it up in a proven formula? And, the formula I want to crack is the “will they or won’t they?” concept. It's the basis for Cheers and not until I started talking it over with my buddy, Craig, did I realize the basis for so many other shows from Sex and the City (will Carrie and Big get together?) to The Good Wife (will Alicia get back with her husband; will she get back with her lover?); to Californication (will Hank and Karen get back together, with the subplot will Charlie and Marcy get back together?); to House of Lies (will Marty and his employee get together?) and even Orphan Black (will Sarah get together with the boyfriend of the woman whose life she now inhabits?). And, when they do, how do we act as though it never happened to repeat the “will they or won’t they” question season after season?

In conclusion, two of my questions:
1) How does the “will they or won’t they” concept play out in seemingly completely different storylines/genres?
2) What devices are used to keep the question repeating?

1 comment:

  1. OK good questions Lorraine. These are specific lines of inquiry that could help you write a TV comedy-drama that strings along an audience and keeps them coming back. How could you apply it in your own TV pilot? What TV shows will you analyze? Californication plays the 'will they or won't they' but brings them together then breaks them up.

    But are there limitations when this question - will they or won't they - is limited to a love relationship or just two characters? How many seasons can you riff on that? Are there new twists to to this scenario?