I don't watch much television these days. On average I would say I watch about 2 hours a week, which I know is so below the amount the rest of the country watches. Unlike most Americans, I have never felt the need or want to have it on all the time. That constant noise and buzzing actually drives me nuts. That being said I have watched enough dramas, comedies and sitcoms to know good writing when I see it.
I have been watching the show "Parenthood", and over the last year and a half they have found their feet (which honestly weren't that wobbly to start with) and developed a very decent show. Sadly, the writers suddenly seem to have fallen into that all to predictable storyline arc or arcs as the case might be. These story lines have been done on so many shows that they bore their audiences to tears. What am I referring too?
One classic is that of the childlike adult male who, when you first meet him parties, has multiple lovers and is basically the court jester of the series. This character is often dressed in grunge or hippie fashions and very well could have tattoos and longer hair. Like all prodigal sons, this male eventually cleans up his behavior and starts to become "respectable". At some point some executive sitting in a fancy corner office decides this character needs to go back to his awful predictable ways. As a viewer, I understand that they want to keep things "fresh" but taking a character who has grown in leaps and bounds from when you first meet him and getting him to cheat on his steady love is beyond boring to us. We have seen so many characters do this that it doesn't make good television anymore. It just shows us that the writers must have writers block. There are so many other dramas and problems a character like this could experience, we don't need to see this tired story arc used.
The other classic character is that of the troubled teenager who makes good. This character is a teenage daughter on the show. We have watched her go from stoner girl to super studying college hopeful. Why on earth would you take this character who is so fragile (yes, they have her act "tough") and then decide to write her not getting into college? Why bother making her study at all? She already was nervous even about applying to college because she didn't think she was smart enough. I personally have seen this storyline done on so many shows that it bores me too. By actually sending her to college and being in that kind of atmosphere she could have experienced countless avenues of drama.
Here is my plea to all those Hollywood writers, next time don't give into the pressure of the executives. They don't know crap about good television or writing. If you are on a show, writing about families, and how their lives are; there is enough drama that goes on naturally. You seriously don't need to go down any predictable, already been done paths. Stick to your guns. Interpersonal relationships can be super messy.
Or so says this mother of three.