Learning from Television: The Art of Predictability


  1. Julie Luek
    Julie Luek August 26, 2013 at 7:34 am .

    I shouldn’t admit this, I know, but I got completely hooked on Grey’s Anatomy, Grey’s sister show, Private Practice and Scandal on Netflix– all brainchildren of Shonda Rhimes. She is the master of creating story arcs within an episode but leaving you dying for the next episode and creating characters (even the snakes) with sympathetic and likable traits, in my opinion. Damn the woman; I’m a junkie.

    1. Katriena Knights
      Katriena Knights August 26, 2013 at 8:24 am .

      If I listed all the shows I’ve been addicted to it’d be a whole separate blog post…

  2. Danyelle Overbo
    Danyelle Overbo August 26, 2013 at 12:24 pm .

    Love that you brought this up. I think there is a lot to say on this topic as television and its evolution over time is a very big part of our culture. Of course this affects our writing! As storytellers we should recognize this and learn from it. Plus, any excuse to sit watching an entire series on Netflix for a week straight is fine by me!

  3. Patricia Stoltey
    Patricia Stoltey August 26, 2013 at 12:55 pm .

    I love television, too, Katriena, and like to blog about my addiction. I’m as likely to get hooked on goofy “reality” shows like Big Brother as I am to well-acted, well-plotted series like Elementary. I did the Netflix thing with Deadwood, The Tudors, and House of Cards too. Yes, it probably does eat into my writing time. But that’s okay. Now I know from your post that I’m learning important stuff about storytelling. Yay!

  4. Karen Duvall
    Karen Duvall August 26, 2013 at 1:34 pm .

    I’m a TV junkie, too, and love the episodic style of the dramatic series TV show. I watch late at night on hulu because I can never catch episodes as they air. I’ll also watch series shows on Netflix. (If you haven’t yet seen Orange is the New Black, the exclusive new series from Netflix, you’re missing out.) I also love the brain junkfood of television that is the reality TV show. Mainly the ones that feature contests like Master Chef, The Bachelor, Get out Alive with Bear Grylls, etc. I get so caught up in the drama, lol. I realize a lot of it is scripted, but I don’t care. I still think some of the contestants’ reactions and interactions mirror real life and I’ve harvested a lot emotional grist for my writing mill from those. Fake? Who cares? LOL. It’s compelling and that’s all that matters.

    1. W. J. Howard
      W. J. Howard August 26, 2013 at 2:33 pm .

      I should have read yours before I posted mine, Karen. I’m with you. Who cares if it’s scripted. If you really think about it, once the adrenaline starts pumping in the reality TV stars, those complete breakdowns are hardly faked. Those Dance Moms are showing who they really are.

  5. W. J. Howard
    W. J. Howard August 26, 2013 at 2:27 pm .

    Great start, Katriena! I’m also a TV junkie and we recently got a DVR. *SIGH* This is perfect timing for me because I’ve been thinking about how drastically I change one of my characters. Would love to hear your thoughts about reality TV, especially competition TV. Watching real people under extreme pressure and how some turn themselves into the worst kind of caricatures. Project Runway’s my FAV for that kinda insanity!

    1. Karen Duvall
      Karen Duvall August 26, 2013 at 3:10 pm .

      That Russian guy on PR, right? Perfect example of a meltdown, LOL! He even punched out the camera. Love that show. :)

      1. W. J. Howard
        W. J. Howard August 26, 2013 at 3:47 pm .

        OMG! What a trip he was! I wanted him to stick around a few more episodes. Oh well.

        1. Patricia Stoltey
          Patricia Stoltey August 26, 2013 at 4:48 pm .

          I’ve never watched Project Runway. I’ll add it to my list. :D

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