So this not going to be a formal post or anything but I feel like this would be a good place to organise my thoughts. As someone who loves to read or watch whatever I can get my hands on, I also enjoy analysing whatever book or show I’m seeing, as you can probably tell from my thoughts on Rebecca.
The skilled and well-written shows or books achieve two things. They entertain and simultaneously carry a message. Of course, there are things that only entertain, or only carry a message and those are not lesser or not as important as anything else. However, the smart shows can do both and that’s what I enjoy the most. I will probably keep referring to shows for convenience, even though this goes for books, dramas, comics and any other media you can think of. It’s a bit childish to think of it in the sense that something has to be entertaining to convey something important but you get further when you have something important to say and you have the impact to pull it off.
In a way, it is really hard to achieve that a complete, well-rounded show. I don’t think some people understand how hard it is to avoid plot holes. It seems easy to simply make everything feasible and realistic but actually sometimes when you run into a plot hole, there has to be a lot of thinking in order to get around it. Imagine all the real life plot holes that you. People doing the weirdest, most random things just for the sake of it. In a show, most will call it out as poor writing. If you add a low budget or time constraints then life gets very difficult very quickly. You’d be more forgiving in general for shows that have proven themselves to be fundamentally well-thought out. The worse a show is, the easier it is to find other flaws.
The characters are often what keeps a show going long after the plot has ended. I know of several shows that had a simple plot yet because the characters had depth and caught your attention, it made the entire show worth it. You could easily name loads of things that started off promising but the writers decided to write some convoluted plot just to add more seasons. With say a reality show, that hasn’t been scripted, I will forgive people for a lot of things, since everyone has bad days and obviously life doesn’t always work out the way you want it to. But with a show that has been written, there is really no excuse for portraying a character in a particular way or writing a plot point like that. If the directors made the conscious choice to do so, then for better or worse that’s something they can be held accountable.
Another important factor to consider is world-building, mostly for fantasy or sci-fi genre. My most favourite genre is fantasy because there is something infinitely skilled with writing a fantasy world, or especially with no plot holes. It is incredibly easy to go wrong or worse boring, and here’s where it’s really important that a show is amazing from the start. Everyone can forgive a couple of mistakes if the show itself is good enough but something that is bad will remain bad unless something incredible happens. World-building is so ridiculous difficult to achieve well because the entire plot, characters, society itself would be changed and more often than not people simply write this world again but change the characters a little. It’s not bad, just the easy way out which has gotten so normalised.
Tropes can be quite possibly the most boring, cliche things to ever be written. For example, the Bad Empire™ where there’s just a massive, faceless army with a horrible, mysterious leader. Who definitely has a scar on his face. Maybe he’s missing a limb. And he needs therapy. But the point is, the Bad Empire™ has been done so many times and so badly, offering absolutely nothing to the overall show. But if you asked me what’s worse than that trope, I’d say the love triangle. I just. How can people even like that. There is no point in introducing a second male lead, as is typical of such shows, when every single person and their mother knows that it’s clearly going to be the male lead and the female lead, regardless of chemistry. I can’t think of a show that had a love triangle that I can say was refreshing or even enjoyable. I would say that the Hunger Games used the concept of a love triangle well, manipulating it to show the corruption of the media, but then again The Hunger Games did a lot of things perfectly. Actually, I should talk about that masterpiece eventually.
And of course, I know for a fact that there are shows or books out there that have gaping plot holes or other flaws and are still enjoyable. That’s what each show has to find, something special or unique that’s theirs alone. I know that I’m not qualified really to say anything but what I’ve sent years looking at, considering, learning about, that’s what’s mostly in this post. A quick crash course in my thought process. Take what I said with a pinch of salt!