Study their behaviors. Observe their territorial boundaries. Leave their habitat as you found it. Report any signs of intelligence.

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Saturday, April 02, 2022

The Drug of Myth Arc

 Here are my favorite live-action sci-fi/fantasy/superhero dramas:

  1. The Boys
  2. Battlestar Galactica
  3. Westworld
  4. Heroes
  5. Legion
  6. Humans
  7. The Expanse
  8. Watchmen
  9. The Umbrella Academy
  10. Jessica Jones
  11. The Man in the High Castle

Why do these shows all lean so heavily on Myth Arc?  Can't anyone do a riveting long-arc fantasy series that doesn't rely on glacial revelation of some secret plan that some of the characters have known from the beginning? 

You could argue that the alternative would just be a soap opera, but there have been great ones: Sopranos, Vikings, Rome, House of Cards. I suppose having a Myth Arc has since Babylon 5 been table stakes for a fantasy series. (Even more so now in the age of streaming, which doesn't worry about viewers starting in the middle). You could in theory write a fantasy series without a Myth Arc (or a comedy series without romantic tension), but it would be like opening a coffee/tea shop without any caffeine on the menu. Your prospective customers would just patronize somebody else willing to deal them the drug they demand.

1 comment:

Brian Holtz said...

The Fugitive (1963) and The Prisoner (1967) might be the earliest examples of Myth Arc on American TV.