A Writer's Journey

February 18, 2013

What TV Can Teach Writers

Filed under: journey,off topic,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
Tags: , , , ,

Oh, yes. TV can teach us many things. It may be a surprise because usually when something goes well on a show, the actors are praised rather than the writers. Not that the actors don’t deserve it—sometimes they can save or sink a project. But remember a few years ago, when Katherine Heigl decided not to submit a reel for Emmy consideration, saying she felt her work that season was not award worthy? And remember the surrounding firestorm where everyone thought she had just insulted the writers?

Now, I don’t watch Grey’s Anatomy. I caught the pilot and just wasn’t interested. So I don’t know if Heigl had a point or not. I do know the recapper on Television Without Pity was not thrilled with her storyline. But yes, writers are important as we all learned way back during the 2007-2008 TV season.

But can they teach authors something? Yes, they can. Think about a recent plot. Or one that was memorable. For this post, I’m going to use a recent “Glee” plot: the end of Kurt and Blaine’s romance.

To recap for those who aren’t viewers of “Glee:” Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Blaine (Darren Criss) began their romance in the show’s second season. Bullied over his sexual orientation, Kurt had transferred to a new school and joined their show choir, led by Blaine. He was comfortable with his sexuality and helped Kurt become the same way. The two had a growing romance which viewers enjoyed and which continued after Kurt returned to McKinley. In the third season, Blaine transferred to McKinley. Kurt, though, was a senior and graduated at the end of the season.

At the start of this season, Kurt moved to New York to be with Rachel (Lea Michele)and try to get into NYADA. In the meantime, he got an internship at Vogue, working with Sarah Jessica Parker. Blaine tried to continue on but he missed Kurt, who was enjoying his new life in New York.

I liked how it was going. When Blaine was introduced, he was this strong, confident young man who knew who he was. Throughout season three, he was mostly there as Kurt’s supportive boyfriend. In a way, he lost his identity as Blaine. So I was expecting the storyline to go along the lines of Kurt and Blaine taking a break.

Nope. Instead, Blaine reveals he met up with some guy he met online. The show has been vague about whether Blaine had sex with the guy but he did something. Wracked with guilt, he confesses to Kurt, who dumps him. Meanwhile, I cursed out my TV. I didn’t see why someone had to be the “bad guy” in this situation.

Situations like this make me think about what I would’ve done with the episode. Blaine would’ve shown up to New York out of a compulsion to see Kurt, not out of guilt. They have a discussion off screen and then we get Blaine’s acoustic and emotional rendition of “Teenage Dream.” As he sings, Kurt reveals to Rachel that they broke up. Which makes Rachel and Finn more nervous because they know they are heading for a breakup. And we’d be saved the Blaine moaning for the next few episodes. It’d also save the character.

So next time you’re watching TV, note what you like and what you don’t like. Write down what you would do differently. It’ll be good practice.

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1 Comment »

  1. That is a great idea. I had never thought of that.

    Comment by rebecca2000 — February 18, 2013 @ 12:19 am | Reply


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