The Fall TV season is just beginning, news shows are starting, but online everyone is talking about a show reaching its end.
Breaking Bad, one of the flagship dramas on the AMC channel, is coming to an end. Unlike a lot of shows it's ending by the choice and design of its creator Vince Gilligan.
People are eagerly anticipating the show's finale and ratings are going up because the viewers aren't content to let it wait in their DVRs and are watching it live.
|Artist's Conception of Vince Gilligan|
If Mr. Gilligan's work lives up to expectations, which are high, his show could go down in history as one of television's groundbreaking crime epics. If he fails, it could be a stain on his career that fans may find hard to forgive.
Remember The Sopranos? One of the most honoured and revered shows in TV history. However, the show's deliberately obscure, just stops, finale? Not so much. The only people who defend it are either the people behind it, or folks scared of being thought stupid for not "getting it."
So let's do a little thought experiment.
Imagine that you are the creator-showrunner of a critically acclaimed hit TV show. It's had a great run, but you've decided that now is the time to wrap it up.
Before you fire up the old Final Draft on your laptop you're going to need to ask yourself these questions:
WHERE DID YOUR CHARACTERS COME FROM & WHERE ARE THEY GOING?
Every show these days has some sort of an arc for its characters. Even television's most rigidly structured procedural dramas feature characters that change and evolve over time.
When it comes time to wrap up a show, and you have a chance to do it properly, you have to look at how they started, how they changed, and where do you think they should end up.
WHAT THEMES ARE ESSENTIAL TO THE SHOW?
Some shows are built around friendship, family, and thus should end on a note that enforces that theme. Some are built around less positive themes, and cry out for a darker ending.
WHAT COURSE BRINGS THE CHARACTERS & THEMES TOGETHER IN THE MOST SATISFYING WAY?
Are your characters on the road to hell or redemption? Are they being brought together, or torn apart? You need to work out how your characters and overarching themes work together to create the most satisfying conclusion.
And let's not forget...
IT'S NOT THE AUDIENCE'S JOB TO 'GET IT' IT'S YOU'RE JOB TO GET THEM.
A thing that annoys me about some conclusions is that when people expressed dissatisfaction the people behind them said variations of: "You just don't get it."
As an artist if you ever feel the urge to say "You just don't get it," slap yourself instead.
Because if you've got the urge to say that it means you've failed as an artist, and are at risk for failing as a human being.
Art is a form of communication that goes beyond the simple definitions of the words being said. If people don't understand what you're saying, and you have to toss a lot of academic sounding baffle-gab to explain why they don't understand what you're saying, then you probably aren't sure what you wanted to say in the first place.
You might think that your art is for you, but without the audience you're not an artist, you're just a dingus writing stuff no one enjoys. You need to make that vital emotional/intellectual connection with the audience, and satisfying them is a sign that you're doing it right.
That's what I think, tell me what you think in the comments...