TV Shows with Stories
I love the start of the Fall TV season. It is always filled with hope and promise and now with DVRs with a dozen shows sitting in my recorded cue to be watched each week. This year my wife and I have been pouring through the new stuff checking out comedy and dramas alike.
It has felt weird sitting on the couch watching these shows because for a while now we have been reality TV people. Now, we aren’t singing show people, or Honey Boo Boo people, we are more of the Food Network, Design Star type of people with an occasional “America’s Got Talent” thrown in there for good measure. So we have been watching mostly cable “reality” shows (American Pickers, Pawn Stars and shows like that too).
Well, this season we made a decision to go back to some story driven shows, and I have to say I didn’t realize how much I missed writers. It isn’t that reality shows aren’t scripted to some sort of a degree, but their stories aren’t the sort of stories you get when you actually have narrative based show.
So far there have been a few shows we were sort of pleased with “Guys with Kids” and “Ben and Kate” sort of jump out at us, and a couple of shows that we want to work, but aren’t sure about yet (Revolutions and Elementary) specifically, and one show that we really like, but have no clue how it will last beyond one season (Go On).
I told you all of that to talk about Revolution. It is a neat show with a cool premise, but the focus of the creators is different from what I was looking for. The story that they are writing is a huge story about turning the lights back on. It is a story about sword fights more than it is a story about people. I guess what I was looking for was something more along the “Walking Dead” line where the story is about the people more than it is about grand events.
With that said, I still like Revolution and think it has something important, but I don’t care about big twists and a story you have to figure out. I care about the people who are stuck here with the lights off and how they deal with life now that there is no government and no power. But like I said, it isn’t my story to tell so I will go along for the ride for a while and see what happens. What I feel though is that while I like the big actiony stuff it ultimately won’t hold my attention unless they also let me know the characters.
I think there are people who teach the Bible (especially to kids) like the writers of Revolution are telling their story. We teach the big action parts because they are flashy and easy to teach, but in doing so we forget about the lives of real people who were living through the events, and even more importantly we miss the story of God who is behind these major events. God becomes a set piece instead of a character in the story. We need to be sure to present the characters and not just the highlights or when life isn’t a highlight people will walk away from the story.