So I’ve been talking with my family recently about what makes or breaks TV shows. Since I’ve been watching a lot of those lately and getting more of a read on the longer-running-story structure.
There always comes a point in the show (or book series, or movie series, or whatever) when the initial concept has been explored, and the silent question that hangs in the story is: “now what?” (I’ve noticed this is usually around the area of season 3 or 4.)
It can go three directions from there.
Option one, it just decides to not change. It gets repetitive and boring and formulaic. It doesn’t usually make anyone angry, but the spark of life that was once there in the concept dies out because it doesn’t branch out into anything new.
Option two, it changes too much. The story violently shifts tones to try out something “new” purely for newness’ sake without much forethought as to continuity. What people loved about it at first is thrown by the wayside in favor of moving on to newer and greener pastures somewhere far, far away from where the original story started.
And option three, the magical balance. It stays true to itself at the core, while still moving forward and letting the story explore new places and new plotlines. The story is brave enough to ask “what if?”, but doesn’t lose itself in the process. It doesn’t stay stagnant, and it doesn’t completely change identities, but it evolves and grows.
So I’ve had all this rolling around in my head for a few months now. And then I realized it actually does kind of apply in a weird way to life.
As someone who really dislikes change, and also someone who just lived through 2020 (and a few change-packed years before that)… I actually had a lot to apply to myself.
Here we can insert a riff on the universal experience of 2020 as a year. It was hard. It was confusing and crazy and… to steal a buzzword, it was unprecedented.
But as far as life stories go, I think we’ve all officially been forced out of the first option this year. And while it might have sucked at the time, it wasn’t all bad.
There’s something we can learn from what we naturally perceive as a “good story”. As human beings… as the protagonists of our own adventures… we’re not meant to stagnate. We’re meant to move and grow and learn, and things aren’t always gonna look the same.
I usually think of the term “seasons of life” as relating to the four seasons. But I guess it can also apply in the realm of shows, with all their plot twists, distinct cast of characters and lessons to be learned.
Anyway. That’s just what’s been on my mind as the year comes around the corner.
It’s been quite a year, and a lot has changed, and I know I’ve changed. And while that’s still kind of scary to me, I also now realize different times (different life plotlines, if you will) can all be good in their own ways. Things can be different and still be good.
At this point, the bar for 2021 is pretty low. But hey, I’m excited.
Who’s ready for a brand new season of life?
And this has been my existential ramble to start off the new year, folks. Hope I made at least a little bit of sense there. xD I’d love to keep discussing in the comments if any of you have thoughts.
Love you all, and hope you have a fantastic year ❤