What a Twist!

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Hello. I’m the twist you were waiting for! 

 

Welcome back! Like any good television fan, I watched premiere week.  I like to call premiere week the preseason. It is my version of testing new players on the scene and whether I’m going to keep their shows on the team.

After watching all the new shows, I noticed a trend.  Most of the shows relied on a twist either at the end or in the beginning.  Some worked for me (FOX’s Pitch), and some made me want to change the channel (NBC’s This is Us).  Regardless, I couldn’t help but wonder, why was the ‘twist’ used so much this year?

When I think of twists in television, I think of Dallas and their infamous shower scene, How I Met Your Mother and the bastardization of the last five seasons, and St. Elsewhere and the snow globe (Look it up kids. It is very polarizing ending).  For a while, the twist ending seemed to fall to the waist side. Now, the twist seems to be back.

I feel like twists only work if they are earned. Let me explain.

SPOILERS START HERE

On the show, Pitch, we have the first women pitcher in the MLB. It all started when her father noticed she had a talent and always pushed her to be better. They kept building up the pressure of this type of relationship until at the end when you found out the father had died getting her to that next level. She blamed herself. That guilt led to an escalation of the relationship pressure that affected her pitching game and her sanity. That twist was emotional without being manipulative.

I say manipulative because the This is Us twist was manipulative. It follows a couple about to have three babies, one woman who is trying to lose weight, one man who is sick of playing the pretty boy on television and one man who found his biological father. They all converge at the end, and we see that the woman and the two men are the kids of the couple having the babies. Get it. The couple is set in the 70’s, and the grown kid’s events are set during 2016. I felt that twist was manipulative and doesn’t add much to the narrative. What? Are we jumping between decades every episode? How far can the show take this? Will the twist make the writing weaker in the end? Apparently, I hated that twist, and I won’t be watching that show. It didn’t feel earned.

SPOILERS OVER

I think twists were so prevalent in television this season because as an audience we have seen it all. We are much more savvy about narrative tropes. Writers and networks need to surprise us. Hence, the twists. Sometimes that can work out and sometimes it can feel fake and ruin a show.

What do you think? Are you hear for the twist ending or do you find them a cheap narrative ploy? Comment down below with your opinion on the subject!

Changing gears, tomorrow, I will be talking about the Hallmark show, Chesapeake Shores. Until then, enjoy your randomly organized pop culture day.

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This is Us: Over Advertised Hell

Welcome back!  The advertisements used to start near the end of the summer. It was the final warning that summer was ending and school was around the corner. Each new show would have 30 seconds (or less) to plead its case. Why we should take time out of our evenings to watch their particular show.

That was a long time ago. Now those new fall shows start advertising in May. They use social media marketing, behind the scenes videos, recognizable soap, and former teen stars. There is so much these shows do to make sure we watch.

To the point of exhaustion. That bothers me on so many levels.

I hate having a show be pushed onto me. This current fall season has a show called, This is Us. From the minute the show released its trailer the interest was intense. The powers that be knew this and went into advertising overdrive. Anywhere I looked I saw ads, interviews, twitter conversations, twitter advert cards, and YouTube ads littered across my laptop screen.  It was even more intense since I am a Young and Restless fan and one of its brighter stars is on the show. Extra promotion from all sides.

The more I see a show being pushed onto me, the less I like it. I start to think that something is wrong. Why else would NBC be pouring money into a show? I believe that it can’t be trusted. If the show is good, it should shine through its trailer. The more money pumped into the marketing machine, the less likely I am to check it out.

I like finding shows by accident. I like shows that run to a different beat. The shows with a unique premise and heart. Finding those shows are like finding a diamond in the dumpster behind the local Wendy’s. It is surprising and confusing, but you still want the rock. Same with shows that fall into your lap. I like to be surprised by a show. Not be spoiled in the thousands of advertising pieces given out from May to September.

As I write this, I had seen This is Us.  It wasn’t the best thing on earth (that is what Twitter is saying as I write this. Not kidding) but it wasn’t horrible. I’ve seen horrible. I’m giving it more time. The pilot is the foundation. I want to see the house they build on that foundation.

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Regardless, did it deserve all the promotion it got? I can understand why NBC decided to promote this show the way they did. It’s a straight up drama which is rare on television today.  I will get more into this someday. I was spoiled for a ton of plot points because I’ve seen eight different versions of the trailer, which bugged me. Hell, at least the final twist was kept quiet which is shocking considering I heard the pilot was floating around the dark side of the internet for a while now.

What do you think? Does over advertising effect how you view a show or do you not notice the advertisements and watch whatever you want. Leave a comment below!

This has been randomly organized pop. See you on Thursday.