Jeff says: You raised some very valid points about the “immortality” of main characters. I admire Martin for his approach to the GoT series. Tension in its truest sense for a reader of fiction is knowing that any obstacle or peril can be fatal to every single character. He may well have set the tone for entertainment’s future.
I highlighted that bit in the middle. It speaks to the heart of the issue.
I says: I hope so, but I don’t think the leap can be made in one giant GRRM ‘splosion. (GRRM = George R. R. Martin)
We’ve become so used to, as you put it, ‘immortal’ main characters, that forerunners like George will continue to be the exception for quite a while.
Here’s what I’d like to see as a transition concept. I’ve just finished catching up on back episodes of Warehouse 13 so I’ll use it as an example of what could happen.
(click HERE for a bit of a Wiki overview)(and we won’t mention that next season is, A – only 6 episodes long, and B – the final season!)
Wharehouse 13 has a couple of things going for it right from the start, an excellent cast of primary and secondary characters – Myka, Pete, Claudia, Steve, and of course Artie. H.G. Wells, Mrs Fredric, Dr Vanessa Calder, etc. And warehouse-13 is an ‘anchor character’ all by itself.
So, in a GRRM world the premise would go something like this: The warehouse would be the ‘featured character’ every week and the the cast would take turns, in pairs or triplets, as the storyline demanded, finding artifacts, having personal crisis-es etc, until their story arc is complete and they either die, (being an agent for W13 is a really dangerous job) or they move on with their lives. – with an appropriate melodramatic double episode.
This way, each character would be written, right from the start, with a beginning and end to their story arc. There would be an overlap between the exit of one character and the introduction of a new one, and enough time for the new characters to develop to the depth of the existing ones … a long process I admit, but full of possibilities.
The only TV show I can think of that did anything like this was the ‘Twilight Zone’
I’m not saying this should be the norm for all programming from now on, (we do love to tune in and watch our favourite characters do their thing every week, whether it be on various manifestations of TV viewing, or the interwebz) but wouldn’t it be wonderful if someone had the … erm … intestinal fortitude, and money, to give it a try.
Oh yeah, and it’d be a web-series.
“Art may imitate life, but life imitates TV” – Ani DiFranco