Rassling with major flaws

Seems like the happier I am with my writing, the less I feel the need to blog. My Bones spec is still giving me pains, so here I am.

My major struggle (since I solved the last major struggle) has been with theme. The other two specs I've written are for two shows that revolve tightly around theme – Ugly Betty and Grey's Anatomy. Hell, Grey's even goes so far as to state the theme upfront in Meredith's voice over, just in case you're too thick to notice it on your own.

But with Bones, the themes, such as they are, are usually added with a delicate hand, so as to be almost undetectable. In fact, sometimes they're so subtle, they're not there at all. Also, the theme doesn't always/often have much of an emotional impact on the characters.

Thing is, that's not good enough for me. I want to weave in a theme, kick my characters asses with it, have it be strongly linked to the A and B stories, and make it seem natural, like it completely belongs there.

Whoa. Now that I see that on-screen, I understand my own struggle a little better.

Turkey day notes
There are no strike shenanigans to report, so instead, let's talk about Thanksgiving. First, let me preface this by reminding you, I'm Canadian. In Canada, we do have Thanksgiving (it's in October), and it does celebrate the mass slaughter of native Americans by encouraging the mass slaughter of turkeys (I'm not sure I'm grasping the true nature of the holiday here), but as with everything in the US, Americans do Thanksgiving waaaay bigger.

I'm amazed by the lengths people will go to to be with their families on this day, sharing food and unearthing childhood rivalries. It's actually a pretty beautiful thing at its heart, despite annual turkey killings.

However, I'm equally dismayed by the lengths to which some people will go to save a few bucks on Black Friday. Really, camping out with the family in a Best Buy parking lot all day? I guess it's still family time, but isn't the commercialization of one annual holiday (namely Christmas) enough already? Then again, maybe a shiny new plasma TV is just the ticket for warding off those holiday family arguments.


Rhea said...

It's a tough time for someone trying to break into TV writing, huh. I've been doing screenwriting (for film) for 9 years and have had an agent in L.A. but no sales yet. I keep plugging away...

Tim W. said...

As a fellow Canadian, I've also found the American Thanksgiving a little strange, especially since Thanksgiving has never been a big deal in our family. I couldn't tell you the last one I spent with family living outside of the house. The last thing I ever want to do on a long weekend, especially one like Thanksgiving, is travel.

Josh said...

If you haven't yet, check out our NCIS for what I hope is a decent example of what you're trying to do with theme in Bones.

And I (and the other Jane) completely agree with you on not having a connective theme being not good enough in a spec. Odd-sounding sentences are fun.