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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

For research, I watched the first two episodes of BOOMTOWN a little while ago. It's another cop series set in LA, from a few years ago. It had an interesting hook, in theory. We see each story not only from the points of view of the cop and the prosecutor, but from the victim and the perp as well.

It was all well enough crafted -- your basic state of the art cop show. But it missed the obvious opportunity, I felt. It failed to deliver the goods on the hook. The reason why you'd tell a story from multiple perspectives is to see how things look different to different people. Akira Kurosawa's film RASHOMON is the "type fossil" for this kind of narrative. You see the same event, but in one version Joe is just defending himself, in another he's the aggressor, and so forth. You know, the way life is. There may be one actual reality, but everyone sees different things happen.

(The "Rashomon episode" is something you can pitch to almost any show. I pitched one on GALIDOR: DEFENDERS OF THE OUTER DIMENSION. We also did a "Two Kirks" episode, and I'm doing a "Two Kirks" on my current show in developement. Every sf show does "The Two Kirks". But I digress.)

I didn't see any of that in the first two episodes. Maybe they did it later. But I'm guessing that wasn't part of the template. They couldn't have failed to think of doing that. That must have been a decision made early on.

Boy, cop shows fail to pull me in these days... I am just very, very tired of serial killers, investigators, etc. They just are not part of my life in any way. (Whereas the heroes in HEROES do feel part of my life...)

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4 Comments:

It does pick up a bit of that later on. I loved that show and was sad to see it go, although that also might have something to do with my undying love for Neal McDonough.

By Blogger Emily Blake, at 11:24 AM  

I have to agree, on my list of favourite current shows, exactly none of them are cop shows. But as I'm looking to spec another show (I have a Heroes recently finished) and have read that a good choice would be to follow up with a procedural, I'm at a loss. What would be a good procedural to spec right now? Life?

By Blogger Trevor Finn, at 4:17 PM  

Surely you can't be writing off The Wire among 'cop shows'? TV doesn't get much smarter or better, in my opinion.

By Blogger Patrick, at 4:43 PM  

Yeah, Boomtown never was one story with multiple points of view. It was one story told in a few different pieces out of order. I loved it, but if the first two didn't do it for you nothing will later on.

Though you could watch it just to see a bunch of Band of Brothers actors together again.

By Blogger Tom, at 10:32 PM  

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