From my interview with showrunner Shelley Eriksen (
Cold Squad, Show Me Yours):
AE: At the end of a scene (and especially in an act out), you can go out with the conflict resolved (e.g. the character has made a decision), or cut away with the conflict hanging in the balance, and possibly come back from the break to the aftermath of the decision. Which do you do when?
SE: I would tend to, in the tried and true way, go with the cliffhanger. Unless you can twist it in some way. If the decision surprises you, you can go out on it: Oh my God they 're gonna do B, what 's gonna happen? I would never have them choose something that 's not a surprise and then go out on the act right there. If you have to go with the decision that's expected, then either go out on the cliffhanger or ... then have the decision and immediately plant them right into the difficulty that [the decision] puts them into.
AE: You can go out on an emotional resolution if it has unforeseen consequences.
SE: Like, oh, my God, my marriage is over ... now what? Where do you go next? Oh, my God, what 's going to happen now?
But generally, I always go for the cliffhanger. However I can get there. Or a laugh, depending on the show. You know, in a cop show, new evidence that points to a new suspect, and you [the audience] want to hang in for the consequences.
We learned on the first season of Show Me Yours
that the dramatic act outs didn 't work out quite so well. The comic outs did. It was almost as if we were trying to impose one structure on another. Trying to put the vest that was made for the circus monkey on the elephant.
AE: But wasn 't that show fundamentally a comic premise?
SE: We had the, like, "please don 't say dramedy." I liked the grounds it was walking on. It was a comic show but you could have serious dramatic scenes. But then as I was watching first season while preparing for the second that we had too many downer endings for something that 's supposed to be comic. A drama out is sort of a downer. It 's never like, "Oh god, I 'm really happy to be pregnant."
AE: But isn 't a comic out always a disaster, too?
SE: Yeah, the network was always giving us notes about Kate, our lead character. "You 're being so mean to her!"
I emailed Shelley a couple of weeks ago to tell her how much I'm enjoying this second season of 'Show Me Yours', as compared to last year.
Something seemed a little 'off' during that first season, and Shelley has just nailed down what it was in her interview with Alex. I liked the show, but most of the time it seemed like a bit of a chore for me to sit through an entire episode. I rarely laughed, and the writing seemed a little...forced.
But this year, Holy freakin' crap, it seems like a whole different show! I find myself laughing aloud every three minutes or so -- and I don't like comedies. The writing is tighter, funnier, more witty and poignant, the characters are so much more developed and complex.
Shelley, if you're reading this, to reiterate what I said in my email, 'Show Me Yours' totally rocks, and I hope to see another five seasons of this clever adult comedy series on Showcase.
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