According to many we are living in a golden age of televisual storytelling. Shows like Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and Dexter have shocked audiences with their disregard for old fashioned story-tropes and cliches as well as treating them with a bit more respect - expecting them to remember either a cast of thousands (GoT) or plot points that may have appeared on screen years before but are only now coming into play. Yet these shows do seem to have developed a new set of tropes and cliches of their own. Here on WhatCulture! we take you through 5 of the most important. So get out your pens and get ready to edit your screen-plays because old is out and television is in... This article contains serious spoilers for Dexter, Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones.
5. Serialized Storytelling
This may sound obvious since for many years in television there have been plot arcs and ongoing themes. Soap opera producers have known for years that if you have multiple stories going at once then people will be interested. However, there is a common problem in soap opera storytelling that characters will change their motivations and personality for the sake of the story. If you want to be part of the new wave of satellite-television entertainment then be sure to write a character-driven drama. Make yours is one story split up into parts, as opposed to many episodic stories tied together by a common, overriding hint at danger. There is a place for that on our screens but the continuation of a single story generates a more immersing experience for the audience. Of all the shows that this article is discussing Dexter follows this rule most loosely of all (to its detriment, in my opinion). Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad on the other hand follow this rule most closely to the point where Game of Thrones doesn't even place its series' climaxes in the final episode of it's series but in Episode 9. Audiences have responded well to this form of storytelling unlike films, the characters are given a lot of time to develop and consequently mean a lot more to the audience.
Whilst not writing articles for WhatCulture! Stephen can usually be found livin' it up in the city or livin' it down on the couch in front of one of many DVDs. You can tell how many of his friends are in Edinburgh at any given time by measuring how prolific he is on this site.