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So please, oh please

11 September 2019

So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books.

~  Roald Dahl
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Children's Books, Quotes

6 Comments to “So please, oh please”

  1. You have to take this one in context. It was for Mike Teavee, a boy who only watched TV, and watched it all the time.

    As for me, I like a healthy mix of TV, movies, and reading. All of it is storytelling, and I both enjoy and learn from each of the different media.

    One of my pet peeves is how everyone puts down soap operas. They are a phenomenal example of storytelling. Fans usually know exactly what’s going to happen, and still tune in every day to watch the story unfold. Soaps are a great place for writers to learn how to make an obvious plot appealing to readers. (Also, much of the acting and writing is far better than its reputation would have you believe.)

    I’m currently enthralled with General Hospital’s silly memory-replacement storyline, which began with a former villain’s sacrifice of his entire persona to save his stepson. Redemption is a recurring theme of soap operas and another thing that writers can learn from them.

    • Good points, Meryl.

      There are many stories and many ways to tell stories.

    • Oh, “General Hospital.” I started watching it in middle school, when I decided the Brenda-Karen-Jagger storyline had more dramatic potential than whatever it was “One Life to Live” had going on. I did get frustrated with it in high school, when it appeared Monica Quartermaine was about to have an affair with some guy, and I snarled at the TV,

      “You already made this mistake before! Can’t the writers have some growth in your character arc?!”

      I quit watching after that, but I did notice a couple of years ago that characters who had left when I was in high school had now returned. I can’t go back to watching it, though, because my time is no longer structured to allow me to watch scheduled TV. Telenovelas have the edge there (since they can be streamed).

      I agree wholeheartedly that soap operas do offer great storytelling lessons, especially if the lesson is “how to keep a series going, how to do a family saga, how to do an ensemble cast,” etc.

      • In high school, I broke my leg and was laid up on the couch for several weeks. I ended up watching a lot of “Days of Our Lives” and “General Hospital.”

        In graduate school, all my classes were in the early morning or late afternoon, leaving me a large chunk of free time in the middle of the day. I ended up watching the soaps again, and to my surprise, all of the same love triangles that had been going on back in high school were still going on. Not merely similar situations, but the exact same characters were still mooning over the exact same people with the exact same third wheels still getting in the way.

        I don’t distain soap operas, but I do find that there’s only so much of the same story I can stand. When I start thinking that Vegas should take odds on how much longer it will be before Sonny and Carly get back together/break up, I know it’s time to quit.

        • Carly’s back, too? And with Sonny at that? See, this is what I mean, the characters and plots have to have some growth and evolution here. When there’s no change, it’s just not exciting anymore.

      • Jamie, I got roped into telenovelas in Brazil. Everything stops — and I mean EVERYTHING — when the most-watched telenovela comes on. You can’t get a taxi during that hour. Graças a Deus they run only six months.

        Back in the States, I found that Telemundo (or was it Univision?) was broadcasting Mexican telenovelas. With Thalia in the lead in one of ’em. Again, they end after six months. Then another starts.

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