Shows that work

So I’ve been sick at home for the last four days. What do you do when you’re sick? Catch up on TV shows in your PJs! This is exactly what I’ve done.

Firstly, I got into Cougar Town, which had been recommended to me by a few people and I watched a couple of eps while staying with my brother recently. I’d seen the pilot previously and it hadn’t grabbed me. This time around I’m obsessed. Plus it’s driven me to drink. I find myself wanting red wine every time I watch it – you’ll know why if you watch.

This witty screwball comedy is by the Scrubs team which is a recommendation in itself. Full of quirky characters and kooky scenarios, this odd group of friends have the same kind of goofy fun you had with your friends when you were younger. Except this group are supposed to be adults. I wish my cul-de-sac had been that much fun.

I’ve also been catching up on Bones and Castle. I’m always amused at crime shows. Depending on who the focus of the show is, they solve the crime and it is not always at the cops. I love these because there’s a mystery but I never feel it requires full concentration to keep up – perfect if you are tired or sick.

There is a degree of similarity of course. Bones relies on the odd-ball relationship of Bones and Booth. Castle relies on Fillion’s quirky charm and the odd-ball relationship between Castle and Beckett.

However, the thing all these shows have in common is the cast dynamic. The whole cast works well together including the supporting characters. It doesn’t matter how good the leads are, if the supporting cast doesn’t work, the show as a whole doesn’t.

Take NCIS as an example, and yes I realize there are a lot of people who would disagree with me. However I’ve never been able to watch it because although I like Mark Harmon and Pauley Perrette, I find the other three characters so inane and childish it makes my teeth hurt.

While shows like Bones continue to develop their supporting characters – even the revolving guest stars – the three NCIS children continue to squabble and pull each others hair which just makes me tune out.

It’s a good lesson in character development. Just like we need to grow and change, so do our characters – all of them. Readers (and watchers) need to feel some investment in the characters for good or bad (love them or hate them), if they simply become irritating background noise, we haven’t done our jobs properly.


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