Originally Posted by Cylon Baby
So I guess where I'm going with this is to say whether the show runners have a rock solid plotline for the show's entire run or not, story arcs change, actors change, and there has to be some adaptivity to make the show work overall.
Again, I'm not against improvising or responding to what is and isn't working as a show goes on. But I do think that you shouldn't introduce a plotline if you don't have a pretty good idea of where it's going. Particularly if you are going to stretch them out over multiple seasons. Which you don't have to do. The Sopranos
, for example, had very self-contained seasons, story-wise, and it's one of the greatest shows ever. Definitely not the most tightly plotted, but because the storylines didn't carry over in the same way (and the show made a thematic point of life being full of loose ends) it was not such a big issue. Deadwood
is another show that made discursive plotting a textural strength, but again it gets away with this because it promises very little, plotwise, in the early going.
, they threw out a lot of big story points early on, which creates the responsibility to follow through on them. When you open every show with the proclamation that your villains have a master plan, you need to know what said plan is so their actions are consistent with it when it is revealed. When a mystery like who final cylon models are drives multiple storylines over several years, you need to know who they're going to be so it doesn't feel arbitrary when we find out.
Not saying every show needs to be planned out like this. But the type of story they chose to tell (heavy with mystery and mythology), and the length at which they chose to tell it (with expectations steadily rising the longer the explanations are put off), require more planning and forethought to execute satisfactorily, imo.
It probably seems like I'm being incessantly negative about the show, but really, as an amateur writer, I just find this to be an interesting topic. As this thread
will attest. My basic conclusion there was that for a long-form story to end well, it has to be aware of and informed by its internal history as it ends. And to me, BSG
felt like it was rewriting and generally working against its history during the home stretch.