I’m tired of knowing all the characters’ secrets on this show.
I keep thinking about the stories that I’ve hated the most in the last few years and most involve some sort of secret that the viewer knows, but some of the characters don’t. It becomes intolerable because the characters, when trying to keep their secrets, act in ways that the audience doesn’t find acceptable.
Take Claudia as a perfect example. She’s supposed to feel guilty for her part in Michael’s shooting, but all you hear from her is denials about it. You’re forced to watch while she tries to play the victim, which just makes you slowly grow to hate her.
Robin is in the same situation right now. We know she’s lying to Patrick about treating her depression and we’re just waiting for the next shoe to drop. This is just a recycled dynamic from the week before when Patrick and Robin both were keeping secrets from one another.
And I could name at least another half a dozen other story lines from the last few years that can be described in a similar fashion.
I’m obviously not a television writer, but aren’t there other styles of writing? I’m not saying that the secret/reveal should never be done, but where is the variety?
I also think you need good writing to pull this kind of thing off. If you make the characters in these situations constant liars, how are they supposed to be empathetic? You have to show depth in the character. You have to draw the audience in so that they understand why the person is lying, and even at times show that the character knows this choice may have negative consequences. At the same time, the writing needs to be able to demonstrate why the viewer should be rooting for this character. There needs to be layers!
And you need secrets to be revealed in a reasonable amount of time. I’m sorry, but when you air your show for five hours each week, taking a year to reveal a secret the audience already knows is way too long. We are not a patient culture. We like instant gratification.
I’m not saying that we should be given this information right away, but cutting most of the time frames in half is more than reasonable.
This is probably why I’m most engaged in the Helena plot right now.
I find myself interested and wondering what is happening. And I know that they could be coming up with the most implausible reasoning, but I don’t care. It’s a mystery.
And ultimately, I’d prefer to not know about the suck beforehand.