Sunday, August 03, 2008


It's impossible to create any dramatic work without becoming completely absorbed in the world you're imagining. The bulk of the writer's job is constructing and then adhering to the unique rules that must be followed in this fictional setting; thus building an internal logic that governs the people, places and things included in the script.

On television series, there are also formulae and formats that further define the show's style and the flow of its stories and dictate how they are intended to be perceived and embraced by the audience.

"Perry Mason" always built to a sudden courtroom confession. No matter how good he had things, "The Littlest Hobo" was always moving on when the final credits rolled. And how would any of us follow the drift of "CSI: Miami" if David Caruso ever lost his sunglasses?

In "Adderly", our hero always had a signature moment when he figured out the mystery he was trying to solve. He was always one step ahead of the audience (we hoped) and in that moment had to communicate to them that he had put the last pieces of the puzzle together. Some bright light at the network insisted that was by saying "Bingo!" usually breathlessly or with a satisfied smile.

We hated the conceit so much we tried to find all kinds of ways to let the audience know we found the repetitive moment as laughable as we were certain they did. That led to giving his secretary  a hamster named "Bingo" in one episode that became the final piece in that week's puzzle so Adderly could look at Bingo and say "Bingo".

We had a plan B in place for when the immaturity of our plot was recognized in dailies. But instead, they told us it was the best "Bingo" moment yet.

Because TV worlds are so tightly wound and regulated. It doesn't take much to completely unravel them -- one small shift in perception is all it takes.

So please accept "Space: 1999" kinked 100 years earlier.

And enjoy your Sunday...

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