We’re not even going to get into the whole “Let Mrs. Garrett start running a gourmet store!” thing

Posted by Lizzie on 03/14/05

TV writers, drowsily roused from their coke-fueled break-of-dawn sessions, are suddenly recalling what their old film-school professors used to call “Arc”:

With the structure of “24″ bound by time restrictions on paper, Mr. Cochran wanted fewer such restrictions in the real world. After the network ordered the first full season of “24,” the writers presented a huge map of the entire first season. The blueprint, however, didn’t endure. “We used to obsess over that in Year 1,” Mr. Cochran said. “You know, Oh, God, let’s story out as many episodes as we can. We always got in a lot of trouble with that because if you try it, you end up locking yourselves into things that don’t really work and it gets really contrived.”

Some things are worse than contrivance. *

* Psst: Totally less-cut-with-baking-soda than cocaine.

Filed under: Lit-ish |


  1. “24″ is both the best and worst case scenario for not beating out your season ahead of time. It’s only one day, so there’s not that much time for character development. At the same time, it’s only one day, so any plot holes become glaringly obvious. (Coughcougarcough.)

    We can’t all be Joss Whedon and not every show can be “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” but the majority of the seven Buffy seasons are master works of plotting *and* character development. It’s not easy, but it can be done.

    For the viewer, it’s the difference between a 22 hour novel that lets you experience the world through the lives of richly imagined characters and a 22 (or 24)hour roller coaster that yanks your chain every 15 minutes. I know which I prefer.

    Comment by Harriet — 3/14/2005 @ 7:33 pm

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