Our television forefathers would be in awe of the convoluted, multi-year storylines that run through our contemporary tv programs. Compared to the plastic, immutable characters of the early era, today’s characters are four dimensional beings who happen to live their very interesting lives on screen.
It became painfully obvious during the recent writers strike that tv people need thousands of writers working behind the scenes to orchestrate who they fall for next, who they slice open on the operating table, what kind of murderer they will wipe off the face of the earth this week. Perhaps our lives would also be equally fascinating if we had a cadre of ‘life writers’, but I digress.
As the strike wore on, production stopped and the networks were faced with running the shows they had, then switching to re-runs or the glorious excrement that is reality tv.
And then something very interesting happened. It was as if all the living, breathing people in tv land slowed, then sat down. They lay their hands on their lap and contemplatively watched the real world move past them. Then they hollowed out, they froze. They became still, impotent mannequins, stuck without a story to give them life-force.
And yet, their loss became our gain. In the real world, all of a sudden, people were no longer tied to the ongoing story in tv land. They were free of it and had more time, more brain space, more real life force.
And now they are waking up, regaining color, trickling back. Are you taking them back in?