I find pleasure reading all the spoilers and synopses of drama serials online, instead of watching them on TV.
1. Drama serials are, well, dramatised. Some, overly.
2. Drama serials are broadcast only once every week. Keeps the viewers in awful suspense.
3. The way the drama unfolds can be painstakingly slow and unbelievable.
I appreciate the way storywriters develop drama serials, but face it, serial producers want their shows to be as long-running as possible so that with a simple storyline, they can lengthen the serial to many episodes or many seasons. Just another commercialisation ploy.
Take the drama HEROES for instance, according to Wikipedia source, the writer has enough materials for 5 seasons.
Look at LOST, already past 2 seasons, and the cast are still on the island and not knowing what’s really going on (so do we viewers).
I mean, the storywriters can throw in as much dramatisation and as much twist as they can fathom just to keep the season going. But in essence, the tale can be explained in a short novel.
That is why I dislike watching drama serials. Movies are much better, because producers have to pack the entire story in 2 hours. In fact, some art-house movies are known to spend long periods of time showing a seemingly mundane scene. So the actual tale can probably be expressed in half the time. But that’s ok for me, coz it is there for artistic purpose: for the audience to immerse themselves into the scene.
Take CSI drama. Every episode is packed with drama and tight story plots that unfolds so fast you would have missed the crux if you channel surf. In fact, it would take a lot more words to explain each CSI episode than to explain the entire HEROES storyline.
You might think that I am exaggerating, but if I were to summarise what HEROES is about, I can say that it’s about a time-traveling superpower human (Hiro) trying to stop a catastrophe by gathering other superpower humans, but he must prevent these super-humans from getting killed by a power-sucking villain. The drawing power of the show is how each person uncovers his ability and how he exploits the ability or how people reacts to the ability, as well as exploring each character. Looking at ‘The X Files’, it is very easy to expand the origins of each super-human into several episodes, and to write the conflicts and cross-paths of one another.
In short, HEROES is unoriginal, a copy from the already-existing world of comic superhero, the likes of MARVEL and DC Comics, or even to a certain extent, X-Files. And not to say the narrative presentation seems to copy ‘Desperate Housewives’.
But if you enjoy watching dramas unfold and appreciates cinematography, then I’d say HEROES is well-filmed and well-developed to keep you on your toes and makes you want to continue watching. I have to give credit to the producers for that. This, like Desperate Housewives, LOST, 24, and PRISON BREAK, are the new formulae for garnering high viewerships, where each episode is a piece of puzzle: miss one and you miss the entire point. But such formulae comes a price: how to keep viewers from losing interest.