November 17, 2006

What I learned From Hollywood - Part 5

We watch prime time television at home. But thanks to a PVR and time shifting channels we watch on our terms. This season a number established programs introduced conflict into show plot lines.

For example in House - Detective Tritter was introduced as Dr. House's nemesis. Law and Order: Criminal Intent has Lt. Ross shaking up Goren. Even in Grey's Anatomy, McSteamy is riling up McDreamy. I imagine that the writers needed to increase viewers and compete with new shows. But I wonder whether these twists blend in. Sometime the ploy just doesn't compute...what the heck were the writers and producers thinking?

There's even a label for this ploy thats called - "Jumping the Shark". It's when "a TV series has introduced plot twists that are illogical in terms of everything that has preceded them". Usually it marks the beginning of the end of the program's success.

The introduction of "conflict" is what connected with me from a business point of view. Not the prime time soap opera kind of conflict. Although I've seen soap operas unfold in the workplace. I realize that much like TV writers, managers introduce conflict under the guise of pressure, stretch goals, new work, and tighter deadlines to improve results. Some of it makes sense and alot of it doesn't.

So what I learned from Hollywood" is that if it doesn't make sense, you're "jumping the shark".

Related Links: What I Learned from Hollywood -
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

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