Elsewhere: “Novels, say hi to your estranged cousin, the teleplay” on Ruelle Electrique


Dr. Corday returns in one of my favorite episodes from the final season of "ER."

In this Ruelle Electrique blog post, I write about the nature of stories in television shows. Writers for a tv show don’t usually think in terms of a story arc that spans the entire show, but rather only in terms of seasons. This of course has to do with the uncertainty of shows’ longevity and having a live-for-now/survivalist mentality. A show may face cancellation before the entire story it may seek to convey may properly be realized. Or, being too successful, it may run overlong, eking out more episodes when all the stories that can ever be told for it have already been told. In particular I cite shows like “Avonlea” and “Ally McBeal” as examples of shows that as a whole did not have cohesion in what I expected as overarching story arcs (that is, a cohesive arc from the first to the last episodes of their respective series). In the final part of the article, I set aside my misgivings with tv’s “mistreatment” of story arcs and find peace in judging a show according to its individual episodes. The article ends with a rundown of some of my favorite eps from the last season of “ER.”

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