Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Being Creative is About Making Sense.

One of the things that has kinda bothered me over the years is when certain people say that this and that writer is supposedly so awesomely creative. They think these writers are so prolific compared to those other writers in the business.

This kind of thinking is rather common with television shows that have rabid fan bases. The fans of these shows - and the media too - are convinced that these certain guys are awesome and that others don't come close when it comes to being genuinely creative.

The problem I have had with this all is that too many times that I have heard these certain people being praised, at least in my opinion they haven't really earned that praise. Their so called creations haven't honestly been that good.

There are numerous examples of this; like for example from Joss Whedon (Firefly) to Dan Harmon (Community), from Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies) to guys like Michael Schur (Brooklyn Nine-Nine). These are the people that fans tend to rave about.

But why all that praise? Why do so many people think that these guys who have pretty shaky track records - or even really bad ones - are supposedly so creative, and conversely those others who have been successful and won the biggest awards are not.

Let's not forget that there are actually people who have been both genuinely creative and successful - and pretty much nobody is singing praises for them. For some reason they think that these creative people haven't done anything worthwhile.

For example, I have never seen anyone telling us how the creators of 24 are creative geniuses. In my opinion it's obvious that 24, a real-time action show that was originally supposed to be a real-time wedding show, is indeed a genius concept.

But nobody keeps raving about these guys, Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran. They get no praise, as didn't get Everybody Loves Raymond's Phil Rosenthal - a genius - either. I guess it's not cool to praise a concept and a show that actually works and isn't completely flawed.

In my opinion in many ways it comes to this. As weird as it sounds, too many people think that you're being creative when you produce shows that don't really work. They think that you're being 'ambitious', so it's not really your fault that you failed.

If the show gets cancelled after its first season, it's the network that you can blame. If the show didn't get even decent ratings, you can always blame the audience. Your creative guy was just being misunderstood, or even yet, 'ahead of his time'.

In reality though, being creative means that you create stuff that makes sense. If it works, you're by definition a creative person. There's not much more that you can do than to make your concept work and reach its potential.

On the other hand, if the show doesn't work and if the concept doesn't have enough potential, you aren't really doing things right. After all, you are only trying to be creative - which is not the same thing as actually being creative.

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