Saturday, April 3, 2010

The character's the thing

I watched the pilot for Miami Medical last night. It was a mess. Lots of new characters tossed in, tons of medical emergencies, one right after the other, the people intertwined, and good gravy the sentimentalism. I confess I teared up once or twice, but never for the "regulars," only for the "will only appear in this episode" characters that were dying, then magically not dying. A good show might have two of those moments; a good medical show should probably have at least one per episode, but this mess had literally 6 different "Oh no, the world is ending, oh wait that kitten just smiled and the sadness and joy of it all" moments.

And I thought, why don't I want to watch this again? Grey's Anatomy has lots of flaws, but I think I know why it's so successful. It's all about the characters. The medical stuff is secondary to their development: the situations showcase the characters as they change, grow, have setbacks. The medical cases are a backdrop, not the show. This is why Three Rivers was canceled and Miami Medical will soon.

The best plot in the world falls flat if we don't care about the characters moving through it. Thoughts?


  1. I have no thoughts. You said it perfectly. I agree.

  2. Yes. I read sometime ago about that re No Country For Old Men, about how the reader finds themselves bonding with his villain. Something about getting into his head, into his thought processes. It becomes a "shared" experience. We care.


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