Saturday, May 23, 2009

Quotes of the Week: Stories Are Built to End

I am forced to admit, painful as it is, that now, this show has given up on me. "Sorry!" it calls out jauntily, sailing off into its own oceans of complexity as I stand on the dock, helpless ... If more shows had end dates; if more shows could count on a life of a fixed length on television followed by a longer life on DVD where everyone can afford to be a completist, maybe we'd get better shows. Imagine the world we might find ourselves in if more creators were willing to say, "If you've been dating us on and off for five years and haven't married us yet, then we're dumping you, how about that?"
--NPR's Linda Holmes, on how the inaccessibility of this last season of Lost isn't a bad thing.

But what superhero comic books, soap operas, serialized dramas and even some sitcoms have in common is a refusal to acknowledge that stories are built to end ... And that's dangerous, because characters, like consumer electronics, have a planned obsolescence. They exist to grow and change; when they stop changing, the story's supposed to end.
--NPR's Glen Weldon, saying what we all know to be true, but don't like to acknowledge.

1 comment:

Siskoid said...

On Glen's point: We often have this very conversation here at Siskoid's pad, in large part because we're big fans on Brit TV and HBO series. The concept of the shorter series that ends when it is meant to stands in stark (quality) opposition to network TV's "as long as it's a hit" shark-jumping exercises.


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