Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What Season Finales Teach About Series Writing (Part One: Secret Circle/New Girl)

Quick Update: Read my update/apology here. Other than that, about to do finals for chemistry tomorrow. Scared would be an understatement.

Song Stuck In My Head: "You Know You're Right" by Nirvana. Been listening to this like crazy for no reason whatsoever.

Ah, it's that time of year when you just want to punch your fist through your TV. Yep: it's season finales time.

However, as writers, there's actually much to learn in all those twists, surprises, tears, unhappy endings, and overall #WTF moments in those TV show season finales especially if you are a series/trilogy/something-gy writer. I'm exploring some random TV show finales and the golden nuggets of knowledge they teach us. I'm also giving Harry Potter and Hunger Games examples, both very relatable and well-known series.


So the Secret Circle was once The CW's attempt to cap on the success of Vampire Diaries by adapting another L.J Smith fave, but it hasn't been too half-bad as of late. In fact (won't get into too much show vocabulary in case you haven't seen it) after two of the witches in the "circle" of six teenage witches learn their father happens to be part of a "super race" of witches, he decides to kill off the weaker witches (say, like the rest of the circle) with a curse so it's just the (moreorless) super witches like the three of them. They stop him just in time, thus killing the guy who was both evil out of his mind and way too connected to them.

But already, a new maybe-villain has been incorporated. Not thrown in: incorporated. The other "super" witches persay are already headed for them. After all, they are all connected...they just want to get to know the two witches in the circle, and recruit them. They're teenagers who all ditched their own circles to be together with their own kind. Whether or not they'll be friend of foe...that is the question.

The Secret Circle ends perfectly, with a shot of the incoming super-witches arriving in town, no faces shown. They're clearly there to collect the two new witches, unaware that the two won't be so willing to abandon their circle. There won't be a new villain just randomly introduced, they have a connection to the past villain (other than petty revenge).

Hunger Games Translation: The new villains in Catching Fire and Mockingjay are the Capitol, before just puppeteers in the first book/but now full-fledged, fighting bad guys.


Fox's hit adorkable show reached a new levels of adult and young, 20-something relationships with its finale. While there have been hints at goofy Jess and cynical Nick's possible chemistry before, despite being roommates, there have also been just as many times when that possibility had been crushed. Like when the two almost get in a threesome with their landlord. Or when the two got involved with new girls/beaus and then their exes (at the same time).

But then the writers decided to have an actual path set out. After having odd closure with her ex, the lovely Justin Long,  Jess is almost thrown off by the fact that Nick hasn't done the same with his ex. When the two decide to move in together, thus taking Nick away from the apartment, she's thrown even farther off. While Jess never really comes out and says it, or talks to anybody it, it's clear that she does NOT want Nick to leave or leave with his ex. And very subtlety, we get hints of a "Ness" in the future.

At the end, Nick does break it off with his ex and move back in the apartment. He had a few reasons to, and maybe even one of that is Jess...but not that he comes right out and says it. The most we get is Jess and him smiling at each other, and him being welcomed back. No her running into his arms. No him saying "she wasn't the one I wanted. You were." Just a very subtle, gentle shove in the "Ness" direction.

There a lot of ways to do this. As for a Harry Potter translation, think in Order of the Phoenix, when Ron jokes that if Harry and Ginny would be a better couple to him than Ginny and Dean. And what happens in the next book? Oh, wait...HARRY AND GINNY DATE! WHATTT!?

Be subtle. That's all.

That's all for today. This is (hopefully) a series post, so (hopefully) I will be back to bother you guys tomorrow.


No comments:

Post a Comment