What about this for a plot?
A devoted family man with a child suffering from an incurable disease and a surprise baby on the way is diagnosed with lung cancer. His job provides a barely livable wage and little or no insurance to cover his treatment. He needs money to provide for his family after he's gone. So, what does he do? He turns to a life of crime, cooking meth, murdering people good and bad, being the reason for others being killed, and destroying his family.
Or, a mob boss who murders, steals, cheats on his wife regularly, sees a shrink and has people working for him that do the same. Or a serial killer who works for the police department (and has other family members who work there) so he can track down his victims. Do you think these stories will work? Sound too demented? Sound like it’s already been done? It has.
These are the basic plots for Breaking Bad, the Sopranos, and Dexter. Three of the highest-rated small screen shows ever. Millions of people, me included, were addicted to these shows. Walter White is the characters name in Breaking Bad. I don't know if any of you watched it but, it was beyond addictive. Walter was unredeemable one moment and you felt sorry for him in the next. Not only him but his partner, Jesse, a drug addict and even more unredeemable. If you didn't watch it you're probably wondering why I did and like it. All I know is the writing was brilliant. I cared about these unredeemable characters. The Sopranos did the same thing. So did Dexter. I never knew what was coming next. The writers had me hating a character for their despicable behavior one minute and then the next they did something that had me feeling empathy for them. There are two other shows, Boardwalk Empire and Homeland, that evoke the same feelings. I find these shows have valuable writing lessons. Villains I can feel for and understand their motivation. Incredible foreshadowing. Hooks that keep me coming back every week. Surprises I never see coming. Spot on dialogue.
I am as sorry to see Breaking Bad and Dexter end, as I was the Sopranos. I’m considering getting the Breaking Bad DVDs to keep learning from the masterful writers.
What about you? Do you like any of these shows? Do you ever use TV or the movies as teaching tools?
Rita writes sexy stories suspense/thrillers about Extraordinary Women and the Men They Love with Military Heroines.
Under Fire: The Admiral