October 30, 2009

Angsty angst ruins everything


As an addendum to my previous post, here Alfred (from Batman) gets to the heart of the matter (he's pretty much quoting C.S. Lewis verbatim):


Another good summation of the problem by Steve Sailer:

People used to like to read short stories because each one was a story and it was short. Now nobody reads short stories except other short story writers. And the stories always end with an "epiphany" in which the main character realizes his life is hopeless, as utterly doomed as, say, the contemporary short story author's life.

As a case in point, Chase's self-absorbed and depressing angsty angst on House is a slow-moving train wreck that as far as I can tell is only being dragged out in order to induce some ratings-inspired rubber-necking. But it's making me reach for the remote.

Long-running series get into this fix when they run out of new ideas and turn progressively soapier. My rule of thumb: the conflicts of the secondary characters shall never be more compelling than those of the main character for longer than a single show.

If they're trying to write Chase out of the series (which raises the same question I had with Eric Millegan on Bones--they handily got rid of him once, so why bring him back just to bury him again?), then get a move on. It's bumming me out. Worse, it's boring.

Related posts

Writing to be read
The conservative hero
Good books don't have to be hard

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