Writing is an arduous, often unforgiving task. Keeping stories progressing, interesting and full of surprise sometimes takes Herculean talent. If you're writing an ongoing series it's especially daunting because the audience comes to expect a certain gratification you can't always provide. More often then not writer's fall short with expectations and ideas begin to run dry and story begins get derailed. S
ometimes you just have to run with a "this show should've ended 2 years ago, let's flip a coin, try and see what happens attitude." Those moments are also most glaring to the audience. You can't hide it when your lost.
Redditor u/fractured-life wanted to discuss a few things about everyone's favorite fictional stories... What character plot is a dead giveaway that the writers ran out of ideas?
Paging Meredith Grey
Surprise! you have a long lost sister. now do that 2 more times. gonna kill off everyone you love. including your husband who you spent the last 11 seasons having an epic romance with. now surprise, you're pregnant with your dead husband's child when you're generally also very unlikely to get pregnant according to the doctor you saw a few seasons ago. smh.
Circling back to the exact same circumstances they were in last season, just so they have an easy story line. See, most horror movies where the bad guy gets away just so they can make a sequel. Dude was shot in the chest three times with 00 buckshot I'm pretty sure he's dead dammit.
Score 1 for the bad guy!
I can believe that the bad guy got away if there are supernatural or ultra technological elements at play. The problem is that they usually aren't in the beginning. That, or they're never mentioned.
- When in a later episode a character seems to completely forget a big lesson that an entire episode (or even entire season) was previously spent having them learn it.
- When a skill/talent that a character is initially shown to be good or at least proficient at appear to suddenly have no memory of ever being capable of said skill for the sake of drama/comedy further on in the series. hello-this-is-gary
I wanna erase a few things...
When a character suddenly has amnesia from an injury that can't even cause amnesia.
Possession/body swap storyline in a supernatural series. Oh no, this person could be trusted before, but now they're evil. Ooooh tension!
Similarly, doing a retcon to make someone be evil all along. Oh you thought this person was a good guy, but he was plotting against the protagonist this whole time. Just ignore the number of times they've pulled the protagonist's butt out of the fire.
Rock a bye baby...
The moment they shove in an unnecessary romance and/or "I need to have a baby right NOW" plotline. A secondary or even tertiary character suddenly becomes vitally important to the plot.
Sudden drama. IE, the protagonist or their S/O are both loyal to each other, but suddenly big miscommunication happens and they fight, then theres this huge arc focused on them getting back together or fighting. It's just crazy overplayed.
The liars have doubled..
Evil twin. Flawlessly executed in the last season of pretty little liars.
Data and Lore were pretty good...
Plus all of that stuff feels like a loving tribute to telenovela tropes. That's a really fun show, I wish I had given it a chance sooner than I did.
Surprise! That evil villain? Is actually a good guy!
Ok - I can handle ONE of those. But when it keeps happening, you're done. See: Heroes, Prison Break
This. They did it really well in Avatar: the Last Airbender. Prince Zuko's redemption arc was a huge part of the plot, and in my opinion, one of the best parts of the show. Iroh is definitely my favorite character.
Bringing in guest stars, coupling two of the characters, changing an established character's sexual orientation, someone getting pregnant or doing a flashback episode. All are signs the show is jumping the shark. Also, having a character literally jump a shark. Oh, one more, having a character start a spinoff, but sometimes that actually works out.
Let me write these down if you're not using them...
A hidden organization that specializes in what you do for a living that you never heard of is now relevant to the story.
British men of letters.
Dead mom is back alive.
Minor character is now God.
Revealing the villain in the last 10 minutes with zero foreshadowing is just... no. Please stop Disney.
Wake me up when it's all over...
When a character wakes up and it was all a dream.
When a character "wakes up" in a mental hospital.
Jackie has problems...
When they break up Jackie and Hyde, undo all character growth from the prior 7 seasons thus reverting them back to season 1 character levels and sticking Fez and Jackie together at the end.
"Love triangles," not actual love triangles. I mean that weird stuff that was trending in YA for awhile. like fam you're writing dystopian and the only thing you could come up with to wow me is "chick is indecisive about just this one plot-convenient thing."
A character that has been dead since our hero's childhood suddenly shows up good as new. Usually a parent, and always with a good reason for pretending to be dead for decades.
That's a quick trip...
I Don't know if this was mentioned yet but drugs, its either little Suzy is addicted to Heroin is immediately recovered in the next episode, or its weed and its treated like its the worst drug in the world.
Last season problems...
The entire last season is an unexpected wedding between two main characters that fails and the mom dies and TED AND ROBIN GET TOGETHER AAANNND heavy breathing.
That show was such a damn shame near the end. Yeah, it had moments where it dragged on and lost itself, but that ending was absolutely egregious. The point should have been that every single decision you make in life is important, and can be the difference between you falling in love or failing to love. Not this stupid 'I actually still like this character, even though this ending was absolutely phones in.'