A few days ago @danieltwalters of The Pacific Northwest Inlander tweeted that he was “writing a list of suggested New Year’s #TVShowrunnerResolutions” and asked if anyone had any to add. To which I tried to think of some, but couldn’t come up with any. Then he posted his list of Suggested New Year’s Resolutions for TV Showrunners a couple days ago. Great list, I only disagreed with one of them. Yet, I still couldn’t think of anything to add.
On Thursday at work, it was a slow night, my mind wandered onto this topic and by the end of my shift I had come up with seven more resolutions to add.
“I resolve that my police procedural will not have a coroner with some weird or wacky trait.”
“I resolve that I won’t use certain elements on my premium cable show just because I can.”
“I resolve to not write midseason/season ending cliffhangers that are so easily resolved in the first few seconds/minutes of the next episode as to not have mattered at all.” – The White Collar rule, if you will.
“I resolve to not remake a foreign and/or old show unless I have a truly new and unique version of the story to tell.” – The Battlestar Galactica rule. Updated Note: I called this the BSG rule cause they did it right, which I see now given how I named the previous rule could have been misinterpreted.
“I resolve that I will not kill off a character just because the episode will be airing during sweeps and/or the show needs a ratings bump.”
Conversely, “I resolve not to keep a character around too long, just because the fans, the network, or I really like them.” – The Sylar rule.
Lastly, “I resolve that I will never have a character say, ‘I just peed a little’ or ‘I just threw up in my mouth a little bit’ ever again.” – This is a TV pet peeve of mine, but every time I hear a character utter the words “I just peed a little,” it makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit.
And in case you were wondering, the resolution from Daniel’s list I disagreed with is the one about never having favorite characters hook up romantically. I believe that the “will they/won’t they” question should be answered, one-way or the other, before the last episode of a series. I think there are just as many problems with dragging out this type of storyline with obstacle after obstacle as there are with resolving it at some point the way most fans would want to see. There’s a wealth of stories to be told in the context of the latter and it’s kind of sad that most never will.
What New Year’s resolutions for TV showrunners/writers would you add? Which ones do you disagree with? Let us know in the comments.