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Writing 101

Spain
Spoilers Below

Don't read this if you haven't yet watched the season finales of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA and/ or LIFE ON MARS. I've finally seen both (we are TIVO junkies, so we don't always watch shows the night they air), and... well...

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA ends with "God Did It." Looks like somebody skipped Writing 101, when you learn that a deus ex machina is a crappy way to end a story.

And now LIFE ON MARS ends with "It Was All a Dream." Curiously, I actually found that a bit more satisfying than the end of BSG. But still... really??? C'mon. Writing 101.

Oh, and while I'm at it, let me spoil the new Nicholas Cage movie, KNOWING. I actually enjoyed that one, mostly, although everyone else I know who has seen it hated it. But the ending... this time it was space angels who did it. And when the little kids starting running through the alien grass toward the glowing alien tree, I almost thought the boy was going to say, "My dad used to call me Caleb, but my real name is Adam," and then the little girl would say... oh, wait, you've seen it?

Yeah, yeah, sometimes the journey is its own reward. I certainly enjoyed much of the journey with BSG, parts of LIFE ON MARS, and even some stuff in KNOWING. But damn it, doesn't anybody know how to write an ending any more?

Writing 101, kids. Adam and Eve, God Did It, It Was All a Dream? I've seen Clarion students left stunned and bleeding for turning in stories with those endings.

Pfui.

(I sure hope those guys doing LOST have something better up planned for us. Though if it turns out to be They Were All Dead All Along I'm really going to be pissed).

Comments

white_serpent
Apr. 6th, 2009 06:27 am (UTC)
although since the UK show has a sequel series, there may be more to the mystery than "It was just a coma-induced hallucination,"

The UK show starts out with it being very obvious that it's a coma-induced hallucination: he keeps hearing doctors talking to him, power goes out and doors shut when his heart monitor stops, etc. (The sequel centers on someone else, in which it's even more obvious that things are not real.) So, I'm not surprised at how they apparently chose to end the US version, but I'm surprised that the unreality of the situation was less clear.
werthead
Apr. 8th, 2009 06:08 pm (UTC)
The problem is that the events ARE real. When the series ended people forgot that in the very first episode, Sam changes time so the maniac gets put away in prison 30 years earlier and never kidnaps his girlfriend, and in later episodes we see his girlfriend is okay.

Similarly, at the end of ASHES TO ASHES Season 1, Alex remembers Gene Hunt being the policeman who turned up after her parents were killed, indicating that he was also real. Apparently Season 2 will focus on this a bit more and ends with an 'Empire Strikes Back' moment which will put the mystery a bit more to the fore in the third and final season.

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George R.R. Martin
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