Planned or Unplanned

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So I was talking the other day with a friend about tv series, and how sometimes it annoys me when there are dead end plots that go nowhere. Specifically I was thinking about Melrose and when Laura Leighton was on 90210 for like, six episodes or something, and then her character just disappeared. Or that one weird episode of 7th Heaven in which a crooked contractor feigns injury while renovating the garage apartment to rip off the Camdens and Annie is all “I will fight you on this!” and then nothing was ever mentioned again. Clearly plots they threw at the wall that didn’t stick.

These always annoy me, despite the fact that in real life events happen that don’t necessarily lead anywhere all the time. Then again, if I wanted real life I wouldn’t need a tv at all.

Initially I floated Lost as a show with a plan before I realized it too is littered with lost (heh) plots, like Libby and Ana Lucia or, more gallingly (since AL & L were apparently let go because of bad behavior filing in Hawaii) Shannon and Boone. Why were they even there? It really puts a damper in my faith that Lost has an overarching plan, in spite of its assurances.

I have similar issues with BSG. Don’t tell me “They have a plan” unless they have a plan.

At the end of the day, the only shows I can think of that seem airtight to me are Veronica Mars and some anime series (which are, presumably, planned out in the manga?), though I’m always ready to hear more.

I haven’t finished the Sopranos yet, but it seems to be a pretty tight show thus far (midway through S5) and possibly Big Love, although it’s hard to tell with series that are ongoing.

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3 Responses to “Planned or Unplanned”

  1. eloriane Says:

    I think the number one factor that determines whether I will love a show is The Plan. If there’s a clear plan, I will probably love the show, no matter what kind of show it is. If there isn’t a plan, my affection will always be limited. So BSG, Heroes, V… these are all shows that I liked at first, but were too unplanned to keep my attention. I want a show that will reward emotional investment (and, ok, fanatical attention to detail.)

    Shows I’ve loved include Avatar: The Last Airbender and Babylon 5. I think Firefly was also fairly solidly planned, if you take the movie as the season finale, but it doesn’t have the multi-arc complexity of the first two.

    I’m actually looking for more shows to love, and though I’ve heard of Veronica Mars I’ve never really considered watching it (no idea why) until now, but if the writers had a story to tell and they told it with intent, I’ll be happy to go along with the ride. It is now in my queue!

  2. Sadako Says:

    Ooh, speaking of Big Love, so excited for it to come back.

  3. gnatalby Says:

    Me too! Did you see the Juniper Creek Christmas song?

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