Monday, June 1, 2009

TV's girls with guns, and my favorite summer shows

On the subject of TV, as soon as the spring season is over, I wait for the summer shows. After Stargate Atlantis, The Tudors, Heroes, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Castle, and Legend of the Seeker, I tune into In Plain Sight, and can't wait for the return of Eureka and Kyle XY. Some really creative shows are aired in the summer to test the water, and some of them are excellent.

The tough girl with guns in Eureka is Jo, the Deputy Sheriff. It's not easy to be a serious girl with a gun and a comic relief at the same time.

To me, watching TV is not vegetating. It actually helps me think creatively. If the show is good, I try to understand what makes it so good. If it's bad, I try to rewrite the story for myself and make it better, find out where the writers went wrong. Sometimes I can see that a scene is missing, probably cut for financial or length reasons. When I watch with my husband, during the breaks he always tries to figure out what will happen next. And I say "If I were writing this story, this is what I would make happen next." I'm usually right (meaning I know the mechanics of plotting a suspense). Sometimes the writers have come up with a delightful surprise or a twist at the end, and sometimes, my story is better, than what they wrote. But it's always a good exercise.

If it happens to be a true story, I know it will not follow the same arc, and I don't expect the usual happy ending. True stories also tend to have a more psychological angle and less action. I can usually tell when I'm watching a movie, whether it's fiction or inspired by true events.
So I would say that watching TV keeps my creative juices going. I'm in love with stories, whether in print, in digital format, in audiobook, or on the screen.

Vijaya Schartz
Girls with Guns, Romance with a Kick

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