Here’s a thread to discuss the Forever, a TV show on Amazon.
Mitchell strongly recommended this series to me, so I watched the first episode, which I didn’t care for, explaining that the characters turned me off. Here is the subsequent exchange between Mitchell and me:
Wow, really. I thought the characters would appeal to you, especially the dialogues they have about (for example) the best kind of pie, or whatever.
I’m beginning to think you and I have completely different ideas about creativity, because I was sucked in from those first ten minutes. I knew I was seeing something I’d never seen before on television. Or maybe you’re right, and you’re really just through with television. I can see that. I mean, you might stage the most creative Black Swan ever and I wouldn’t really care because I don’t like ballet.
The characters weren’t very likable to me, and the dialogue didn’t really stand out–not as something really original and creative.
Can you recall specifics about what was so unique?
I can’t say exactly what was the most creative because it would detract from the experience, if you should ever get to episode 3. Even telling you why I can’t tell you would be deleterious to a person’s viewing experience. And you know I’m not hypervigilant about spoilers.
But in the first episode, which you’ve already seen, I’d point first to the opening montage, a continuous side-scrolling, no-dialogue summary of how these two characters got to where we they are when we first get to know them. It’s the kind of thing you might see in a movie (as in Up), but certainly never in a program broadcast on television. I guess it’s the kind of thing you might see in Seinfeld or MASH, but this specific way of expositing is not something I’ve seen.
How would these two characters get together? Neither is particularly attractive (some might disagree, of course) or particularly interesting on the surface. The conversations they have establish them as smart, charming, playful, and something else I can’t really put a finger on. Of course, none of this is new. Revealing characters through their conversations is just writing.
But there’s something else. I like the way Fred Armisen’s character seems like he’d be the same person, with the same interactions, whoever he’d be with, even if he were living alone. He seems like he’d be pretty close to fine living by himself. But Rudolph’s character is different. I don’t doubt she loves her husband. But she gave something up in favor of love. It’s some of Rudolph’s best acting.
It didn’t work for you, so I get why you didn’t respond the way I did. When it was all over, I looked back and had a personal crisis. I mean, I was already kind of in the midst of a crisis anyway, but this really brought it to a boil. How the heck do you write like this? It makes me wonder (and don’t ask me about this because I don’t want to talk about it beyond what I’m about to say) if I’m that ball player who looks great hitting fastballs but simply cannot put a curveball into play. It doesn’t matter if you can smack a fastball like Barry Bonds; if you can’t hit a curve, you can’t play in the majors.
But yeah. I guess you’re right that something’s being difficult to produce doesn’t make it good. I think it’s very good, though!