Saturday, November 24, 2012

Arrested Development

I no longer just suffer from Arrested Development, I've also become a fan of the show.

I had always written off the television series Arrested development as just another cookie cutter american sitcom but my opinion has changed after having actually sit down to watch it recently as the suggestion of one of the members of my current writing group.  It's very clever and there's a lot to learn there in terms of effective writing.

In the last episode I watch for example there is a beautiful example of what you could call cut and shut writing.  Taking the best parts of two jokes and making a single cohesive scene, two payoffs without what would be their predictable "padding".

The scene I'm talking about is where two characters are working on a construction site.  Now, one of them is bored with his work so decides to stir up unrest and prompts a strike.  That's funny but in any other show would lead to a "lesson" about how boring strikes actually are.

Instead of that, the character prompting the strike gets into an argument with his brother and calls him chicken.  The construction workers luckily, have a way of telling who the chicken is.  They call it, "chicken".  The brothers face each other down in bulldozers, end scene.

So what's going on there, maybe breaking the rules a little?  Wasting a setup?  Or an example of some of the sweetest writing I've ever come across.

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