When Things Go Off The Rails

One of my favourite writers is giving up. At least, giving up the project he’s known for, and that’s a good thing. A very good thing. It’s been clear he hasn’t had a love for it for a long time, and that the traumas that took this whole thing off the rails have left him in a place where he’s got a lot of resentment and little passion for the project.

The good news (hopefully) is that he’s handing it off to someone else, who (hopefully) has a passion for the material.

But I’m glad for him. Sometimes, as much as we love some things, or want them to work out forever, we lose our passion for them. We run out of ideas. We allow them to expand beyond their natural lifespan because we can’t just let go (see every long-running sitcom ever).

I like that some show creators are now limiting runs to a certain number of seasons, rather than just trying to dream up new ideas and new threats all the time.

Go through the character’s journey, the necessary events to get there and stop. What happens when the arc just keeps going is convoluted histories, stuff that doesn’t make sense and increasingly ridiculous and unnecessary story arcs.

Or just bad storytelling. It’s nice to see a creator walk away from something that’s clearly not working, instead of just throwing more at it, again and again, like some kind of Sisyphus.

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