Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Thursday Afternoon #MINI post: The Three Lessons I learned from #VinceGilligan. #breakingbad

It's true, I am one of those people, you know, the kind that started out bashing #breakingbad before ever watching a single episode. It's because I wanted to hate it. No father wants to see a meth dealer made into some kind of hero. Ultimately, however, my son talked me into watching a few episodes. I mean, your teenager wants to spend some time together, you do it, right?

It was not love at first sight between Walter White and I. But there was something there, something I couldn't deny. And the next thing you know, I am sitting next to my son every Sunday night, waiting for the next episode. Why? Because I learned a few things about storytelling from Vince Gilligan, and a writer can NEVER pass up the opportunity to learn from an accomplished storyteller like Vince.

Lesson #1. A protagonist doesn't have to be good, or moral, or sympathetic, or even likable; just memorable. #WW may have started out as sympathetic, but he breaks bad away from sympathy, and we learn in the end what we suspected all along--that he was doing it for himself. But none of this detracted from the popularity of the show; to the contrary, the more #WW broke bad, the higher the ratings. #2) Great characters need strong supporting characters to fulfill their potential. #WW would been nothing more than a chemistry teacher turned meth cooker without Jessie Pinkman and Hank Schrader. 3) There is no substitute for good writing. Don't believe me, just wait for the onslaught of copycat dramas that are sure to come. Unless they are written well, they will fizzle.

Ok, that's the #MINI for this Thursday. Thanks again, and we'll see you on Sunday.