Saturday, April 24, 2010

"Trust us, we have the story all figured out"

Remember 'The Nine' (2006), ABC's short-lived drama series about a hostage situation?

I saw some of it and wasn't impressed. The story was boring and didn't go anywhere.

The show getting cancelled shouldn't have surprised anyone. There was a good reason for that.

Because the premise of the show was that the hostage situation happens in the first episodes, and after that the characters go back to living their normal lives.

That's right. A show where basically nothing happens after the first episodes. Do you think that was going to be interesting television?

I would think that you were going to say 'of course not' and 'epic fail'. But for some reason the network executives bought the idea that it would be a good concept.

The only problem with this was that it couldn't work. You can't have a climax first. That's storytelling 101.

So how could the executives have been so incredibly dumb that they greenlit a doomed show like that?

Well, I happen to know for a fact that when the producers pitched the idea to the executives, they had mapped out ahead like three or four seasons of the show.

What I'm thinking here is that maybe the producers managed to sell the show to the executives based on the idea of "don't worry, as you can see, we have it all figured out".

Even when the whole concept made no sense at all.

Now, fast forward to this season. ABC brings us a show with another stupid premise, called 'Flash Forward'. The premise is that the characters see into their future and then go back to living their normal lives.


I've heard that in this case too the producers showed the executives very detailed plans about where the series was about to go.

For your information, Flash Forward is not going anywhere. It simply sucks.

I just can't help but remember the good old days when we had shows like X-Files. Speaking of that show, do you think that Chris Carter knew exactly where X-Files was about to go when he pitched it to the Fox executives?

The wikipedia tells us that he didn't. Fortunately he had a great idea and he didn't have to camouflage it with those detailed one hundred episode outlines.

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