elomaran: (Default)

I've just watched the first episodes of Castle, a TV series about a writer who aids the police in solving crimes. I've always loved crime stories, both in books and on TV, and I'm a writer - so this looked like it were just the right combination for me. But I ended up rather disappointed. The characters are cardboard cutouts, and this not only applies to supporting characters but also to the main, everyone is granted exactly one character trait which is then blown up and repeated ad infinitum.

The writer is a narcissistic womanizer, the policewoman is your average tough-but-cute kind, the daughter is the lawful good model student, and the mother is the cheapest »All right, Mr DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up«-ripoff you can imagine, completely ignoring the fact that this type of actress died out when morphine war replaced by heroin and the only true TV nymphomaniac was
Golden Girl's Blanche. There's no character development (would have needed character to begin with!), and the murders are bizarre and implausible.

But that's okay. I watch a lot of bad TV. What really annoys me is the portrayal of the writer. It's not only he's wooden and stereotypical, but he's like Johnny Average would imagine a writer to be, not how writers really are. Now I understand that the same applies for the portrayal of policemen and doctors in TV series, but those are not written by doctors and policemen - but this series about a writer is written by, well, writers, so shouldn’t they now better? Are screen writers so different from novelists? Or do they just give the audience what they think the audience would like?

After all, I'd have liked it better if the series not centered on that super-successful bestseller writer but round a struggling novelist who is not friend with the mayor and the judge but has to make ends meet, work in some day job to earn his bread, and not go like »Oh, I'm suffering from writers block!« but worry about plot and character development, just like this series’s writers didn't.

January 2014

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