Starting: Rectify

This show presented me with a chicken and egg type quandary that I’m still struggling to figure out. The 6 episodes of the first season are each their own entities, but put side by side, they link up to form a novel-like season. Is it a novel broken into 6 episodes or 6 episodes morphing into the Megazord of a novel?

I like Rectify a lot. It’s powerful and thought-provoking, while also really beautiful. Aden Young smolders. But I understand why people think it’s slow. It is slow. To me, that’s because this show wants to explore conflicts, but also just show what it would be like to come back from this on a human level. There isn’t a story that can be told about Daniel not experiencing women for 19 years, but a scene with him jacking off for the first time out is understandable. I’ve never felt so happy to see someone masturbate. Scratch that. Change someone to “a man.” It also has a bit of a 13 going on 30 (19 going on 37?) vibe because a chunk of his life was skipped. That stuff gets played separately from conflicts that drive the story.

I wanted to explore the slowness and I noticed that a lot of times, conflicts were teased, but not paid off until way later. Daniel and Tawny’s relationship was teased in 2, when Tawny and Ted are strained and Tawny and Daniel seem connected. It’s a sure thing again in 4 when she takes him to church, but I was expecting the kiss then. Instead, it’s the most sexually intense hug ever. The attempted kiss comes in 5, which feels late. Then, they don’t explore the consequences on Tawny’s marriage until season 2.

A lot of conflicts are set up right away, with the option to drop in whenever. The trial coming up, the business issues, Ted and Tawny’s marriage, the potential murderer Trey, and prison flashbacks are all introduced in the first episode. How can you do justice to all of those stories while also showing Daniel’s adjustment? You can’t. Here are some set-ups, developments, and when they pay off.

Senator and the trial against Daniel (1) -> continuous, not answered in season 1

Business is in trouble (1) -> Ted learns about the rental plan (4) -> comes back a couple episodes into season 2

Trey and George, witnesses/potential actual killers (1) -> Sheriff visits Trey (4) -> into season 2

Family of Hannah (3) -> Attack (6)

Melvin the turtle guy (3) -> Visits in the hospital with chocolate turtle (1 or 2 of season 2)

Wendell bashes his face (5) -> Daniel bashes his face (a couple into season 2)

Coffee up the butt (5-6) -> episode 4-ish of season 2

A lot of set-ups that are not paid off until way later. This makes it boring or just hard to remember. The times they get it right are interesting. It’s usually when something is set up and paid off in the same episode. Or the set-up is a development of a pay-off from before. The need for intimacy show by the hug pays off with sex with a woman at the end of 4. Setting up the baptism in 4 makes it a conflict whether or not he goes in 5. It also hints at a climax because events are climactic. Bobby Dean is introduced at the start of 6, although you know what he’s about from before. By the end of 6, it’s time for him to become the villain.

Positives:

Present – Other than the flashbacks to prison, we never get to see the past. This isn’t a show about what happened. It’s about what happens next. You can have that, Sundance marketing department.

Daniel’s Monologues – Daniel doesn’t speak much, so you better listen when he does. My favorite of his monologues was when he goes to Amantha’s and John opens the door. The speech about not even thinking that was a possibility is a look into the mind of someone coming back and it’s fascinating.

Coming Home – The show takes breaks from the conflict to just show Daniel and it’s gripping. They don’t overuse it because it can be boring, but Daniel playing Sonic or Daniel taking in Walmart are what the show is made of.

Pick Up Where You Left Off – There is a certain cohesion that comes from episodes starting exactly where the last one left. It helps to keep you oriented and it can make for interesting transitions, like in this. I might have noticed this more because I watched on Netflix, so I didn’t have to wait for episodes, but it felt good. The best of these is between 2 and 3. 2 ends with Daniel tugging it and Amantha creepily listening. 3 rejoins Daniel in the morning, where his jumping on the bed confuses a still-creepin’ Amantha. Hilarious.

Levity – The scene after Ted Jr. is coffee raped is hilarious. The whole coffee rape story is pretty funny, especially in season 2. When he sees his dad making coffee, he says something about how it’s time to buy new coffee because the stuff they have is bad. That’s just funny stuff. In a show so slow and heavy, you need to have some humor.

Negatives:

Take Time – Audiences are smart. They pick up what you’re putting down. If you put something down in an episode, audiences will start to see where you’re going. Don’t let them get ahead of you. This covers a lot

Trey – Trey is sketchy, but we know very little about him other than that. It’s kind of clear that he’s the other suspect for Hannah’s death. NOTHING happens with him in season 1. That’s a problem.

Holding It In – When something pisses you off, you can only stew so long before you have to let it out. Ted not confronting his coffee butt is excruciating.

Pacing – I want to scream at the TV sometimes and yell “Do something!”

Lessons:

Slow – You don’t have to chug along, but you can’t leave things hanging. Setting things up makes things easy for you to write, but too many makes it hard for viewers to follow. This show is the writers’ main focus. They know the ins and outs. Fans have lots of other shit to watch.

Don’t You (…) Forget About Me – Jared is such a weird character. Sometimes, I completely forget he exists. What up, Rectify?

Climaxes – Events (i.e. the baptism) are climactic. You can take time to lead up to the action by prodding the characters, which leads to fireworks at the payoff.

Binge Friendly – Making a show with the intention of people watching more than one at a time is silly because people just don’t have that much time in their lives and there are so many other shows. That said, once it does reach Netflix, heavier serialization will be rewarded by the binge experience. I’d even say the same for Orange is the New Black and House of Cards. Breaking it up isn’t just to make it easier to digest. It makes you save some for later so you’re not a fat fatty.

Names – Amantha blows. Seniors and Juniors are tough to follow when you don’t always say it after the name every time.

Things I Would Like To See:

  • Rectify: Jewish Edition
  • What happened 19 years ago!!!!
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Back For Seconds: The Walking Dead

The main theme in season 2 of The Walking Dead is dissent from within. The first season explored the walkers as the antagonist, but they are always going to do the same thing: try to eat people. It gets old after a while. Or 6 episodes. Season 2 is what happens when two sides have fundamental differences about how to survive, represented by a hero and villain, Rick and Shane.

From the first episode of the second season to the last, Shane is the thorn in Rick’s side. Here’s how the season plays out.

1. Lose Sophia -> Go to search -> Carl is shot while searching

2. Carl needs a respirator -> Rick can’t leave -> Shane must step up

3. Shane saves Carl -> At the cost of Otis

4. Hershel wants them to leave once they find Sophia -> Need supplies -> Lori is pregnant

5. Daryl is injured while searching and then shot by Andrea -> Glenn finds the barn

6. Dale pleads with Hershel to stay to no avail -> Lori realizes they’re not safe -> She tries to kill the baby and Rick finds out

7. The group learns that they are not safe because of the barn -> Shane loses it -> Barn emptied -> Sophia is there

8. Hershel gets drunk and disappears right when Beth gets sick -> Glenn and Rick get him -> Kill strangers to protect barn

9. Strangers friends attack -> Randall injured and left behind -> They save Randall, Shane is mad -> Lori warns of Shane

10. Rick asserts himself over Shane -> Shane fights back -> Rick wins the battle, not the war

11. Must decide Randall’s fate -> Carl spares a walker -> Randall must die -> Can’t kill him in front of Carl -> Dale dies

12. Shane decides to take out Rick -> Rick takes out Shane

13. Regroup -> Rick re-exerts his leadership

Positives:

  • Shane always has a point – Despite the fact that he’s wrong, Shane is presented as a legitimate counterpoint to Rick. He is always looking out for safety, even if that means losing humanity.
  • Second Half – The opening of the barn is a great catalyst for the back half of the season, just as leaving Merle was for season 1. The consequences force Hershel to the bar, where they get Randall, who becomes a huge piece in the Rick/Shane fight. The story rises in intensity with each episode and culminates with a fantastic, although greatly overdue, climax: Rick ending Shane.
  • Shane dies – Once Shane killed Otis, you knew he needed to go. It takes forever, but the dude was no good.

Negatives:

  • Slow pace – The first couple episodes are alright. Sophia is the catalyst that led to Carl getting shot, which leads to the farm and problems there. The problem is that everything stops there. Things happen, but it all seems like treading water, as Sophia is not closer to being found and Lori’s pregnancy is not urgent.
  • Filler – The Glenn and Maggie story and the Andrea and Dale story are cool and all, but they really feel like digressions. Glenn and Maggie happens way too quickly and without context, while Andrea and Dale are just posturing about issues of free choice. It’s highly passive, instead of active.
  • No results – Sophia is lost in episode 1 and found in episode 7. The thought of trying to maintain interest in that is daunting. How many ways can you spin it before it’s stale. The answer is clearly not 6. Other issues are just the amount of time until issues are resolved. We know Lori is pregnant in episode 4. The first thing we want to see is a confrontation with her and Shane/Rick. That stays buried until 6. Don’t tease me like that.
  • One note – If the season is Shane v. Rick, you have to understand that the root of the problem is Lori and Carl. Every fight becomes a reflection of each man trying to be the father and husband, but it’s the same fight over and over. Nobody will change, so watching it repeat is boring. That’s why I wanted Shane dead much earlier.
  • Romance – Glenn and Maggie are meant for each other right when they meet. It’s pretty sweet. Unfortunately, it’s not due to the writing. They get a couple of scenes together, but the heavy lifting is done by furtive glances and clever editing. I guess you don’t NEED to see them fall in love. Although, it feels pretty important.

Lessons:

  • Actions Have Consequences – This is just always true. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Finding a way to chain these makes for interesting story.
  • Say It, Do It – If you present something interesting, you better give it what it deserves. Don’t tell me Lori is pregnant and then run away.
  • Urgency – Problems don’t seem so bad if you don’t have to deal with them today. I like to procrastinate. So do characters.
  • Escalate – The back half shows a great escalation of Rick and Shane’s tension. Hershel’s barn and Randall’s life are two major conflict points that ramp up the relationship to the point where someone had to die.
  • Wrap It Up – Don’t leave an open story like missing Sophia. It doesn’t take long for it to not be interesting. I was with Shane. Give up on the girl. She was gone.
  • Things Have To Happen – You’d think that wouldn’t need to be said.

Arc Theory:

Farm Arc – 7 episodes

Randall Arc – 6 episodes

A Messy Analogy That Explains It All:

Imagine Season 2 Shane is Robin Thicke. He came out with “Blurred Lines” and it was valuable to music (episode 1). You wanted to listen to the acoustic cover (episode 2). You needed to listen to it again (episode 3). You listen to the remix (episode 4). Then, he’s still pushing it and you realize it’s actually a pretty offensive song (episodes 5 and 6). Finally, he goes head to head with “Get Lucky” for the Grammy (episode 7). “Get Lucky” wins, so Robin pulls a Kanye and storms the stage to say that “Blurred Lines” is way better than “Get Lucky”. Most people agree, but it was still a dick move to steal the mic from T-Swift, who was accepting the award on Pharrell’s behalf.

So then “Blurred Lines” tries to make a comeback tour. Robin still thinks it’s a better song (8-11). Finally, he tries to get you on board with a big live performance, but you don’t buy a ticket because you’re done with it. You have to kill it. And then Weird Carl shoots it in the head to make sure it never comes back.

On The Fly: Tyrant – Season 1, Episode 10 – “Gone Fishing”

I used to admire my sister for her ability to predict story beats and dialogue of episodes of The OC while we watched it. I thought she had some sort of power of premonition. As I’ve started writing, I’ve realized I could start doing the same. No, I haven’t developed latent powers. I just want to create the story along with the writers.

That was a long way to get to Tyrant, which I thought had one big positive and one big negative in the latest episode. I wasn’t planning on writing about single episodes to keep the blog free of active spoilers, but I’m just going to assume you’ve seen the episode if you’re reading the thing about it. If not, SPOILERS.

Positive:

The Coup – The show has been building to this coup for a while and it seemed like everything was ready for Bassam to take his place as the new candidate and interim president. But that’s too easy. Instead, everything has to get turned on its head by…

Uncle Tariq – Rule for TV: If you don’t see someone die, they will come back, especially if you don’t like them (Fuck you, Jimmy/Steve. You know who you are.). When Jamal spared his uncle, I was all “kill that old motha fucka” because Tariq is a bad, bad guy. But you can’t just kill the bad guy. And when you don’t kill him, it bites you in the ass. Although, I can’t help wondering how Jamal thinks he can take Tariq back after blowing up his plane of elites in front of him. *wink* That wink is supposed to mean that I think that’s coming soon to a Tyrant near you.

Negative:

Emma – This is so close to being a positive. It’s been set up for a while. The family is not safe as long as they are in the country. That is a well-crafted conflict that has made the show interesting. They need to get on that plane. So, something has to stop them from getting on the plane. One of the kids getting held up is a good start, but that’s where I feel like we got short-changed. The writers backed off the gas by letting Tucker find her again, which was too easy. I thought as soon as they left that someone would kidnap them. Especially when she’s name-dropping Al-Fayeed all over the street. Imagine how much more suspense the finale would have if Bassam was sentenced to death, Molly and the son are trapped in the embassy, and Emma and the aunt are with enemies of the family. The writers probably talked about that path, but decided against it. There could be problems with their plan for the future if she’s kidnapped. I just think it’s a realistic way to make the finale pop more.

What’s Your Abbudin Name?:

Barry goes home to become Bassam. If you went home to Abbudin, what would your name be? I’m Hamit (aka Hank).

Starting: Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley is very different than a lot of comedies because it carries a serialized story throughout the first season that mines incredible laughs. You could say other premium cable comedies like Californication are serialized too, but none commit to being full-on sitcoms. That’s why I loved the 8 episodes from Mike Judge so much. They all work together and they’re hilariously funny. I wanted to know how that’s done.

The theme of the season is believing in yourself. It’s pretty cheesy, but the nebbish Richard in the pilot chooses to believe in himself by going with Peter Gregory and the slightly less nebbish Richard of the finale steps up to take the stage. The show is Richard’s, so it’s only natural that the theme is reflected through him.

The main plot of the show is starting a business and the season progresses with natural start-up issues taking up each episode. Here’s how to start a tech company in Silicon Valley:

1. Come up with a great idea and secure funding to help bring it to the next level.

2. Come up with a business plan and divide ownership of the company.

3. Come up with a great name.

4. Figure out what the company does beyond the initial great idea and establish a board.

5. Take the business to a show like Tech Crunch for publicity, create a logo, and establish a company culture.

6. Troubleshoot any additional issues with the product. Bring in outside help, if needed.

7. Bring out your product to the public.

8. Make sure your product launches as the best on the market and get ready to launch.

Positives:

  • A Story – The list above is basically tracking the A story across the season and it all flows naturally as a progression from the one before. All of the A stories are about starting the business, so the whole season is cohesive. It probably also makes it easier to come up with stories because you can brainstorm steps to starting a business and then just plug in your characters and comedy.
  • B Stories – The B stories of the show aren’t ever really involved with the A story. They don’t really matter to anything in the end. However, they’re hilarious ways to explore the personalities of certain characters. I’m talking about Peter Gregory’s Burger King, sesame seed dilemma, Jared’s trip in the self-driving car, or Gilfoyle convincing Dinesh and Ehrlich that his girlfriend wanted to sleep with Dinesh. They don’t matter to the business at all, but they are fun explorations of the characters that don’t take long because they only get a piece of a 30 minute episode. This would be tough to do in a 60 minute show because it would either distract or get stretched out too long over the episode.
  • Characters – Every character has a distinct, unique point-of-view and there are a lot of characters. Giving them all their deserved weight is incredibly difficult.
  • Casting – This is not about the writing, but the show is a comedy and the cast is all comedians that can act well. That’s a good move.
  • Ehrlich and Jared – When Jared enters the fold, it would have been boring to just let him in. The writers take advantage of an opportunity to tell a story and stick Ehrlich in the way as an antagonist. He’s a dick in his nature, so he can be the dick in the show. When necessary, because Jared actually belongs there, Ehrlich pulls back. In improv terms, he’s resting the game. It does well because you can play it again later.

Negatives:

  • The Carver – When you look at the progression, this just seems like filler. It’s not that figuring out the cloud part is less important than naming the company, but the issue is presented in a way that seems to just bridge to Tech Crunch. Maybe they could have been fighting outside help earlier in the season. I’m not sure.
  • Advertising – This is also not the writers’ fault, but the show was advertised poorly in respect to Big Head’s narrative. Josh Brener was a part of the team in the pilot and Zach Woods was not, but it was Zach and not Josh on every billboard. I kept asking the question “What is he doing here?”, which ends up being the reason he leaves in the show.

Lessons:

  • How to Stay Cohesive – Coming up with a concept for the season can help narrow down story concepts to form a progressing narrative. Starting a business is the engine that drives the story in all 8 episodes.
  • Short Digressions – When your A story is serialized, your B story can be episodic if it’s good enough (whatever that means).
  • (S)ABC ((Still) Always Be Conflicting) – Jared can’t just join the team. Someone has to get in the way. Richard can’t start the company without having a competitor. Enter Nucleus. Nothing comes easy. Or else we’d be watching porn.

Arc Theory:

Season – 8 episodes

Who are we? – 4 episodes

Tech Crunch – 4 episodes

The World’s Greatest Scientific Paper About a Dick Joke:

If you haven’t seen this, you should at least take a look. Ehrlich knows how long it would take to jerk every man off in the room and Vinith Misra proved it.

Theme Songs

I know every single lyric to the theme song of Dexter’s Laboratory to this day. It was great. There was doom and gloom while things went boom. It was also short. Theme songs and opening credits are the least interesting part of a show. They usually come after a teaser too, which means a long open can really test your attention to the point where you may enter Act 1 with less than full attention.

Here’s the deal. We watch things on our computers. We can exit fullscreen and open a new tab at any time. Giving me a minute and a half of boring theme music that I’ve seen already 10 times before will spark my ADD.

Who am I really talking about? The Leftovers, Orange is the New Black, Game of Thrones, True Blood (although I guess not anymore), Masters of Sex, Bojack Horseman, and any other show that has theme music longer than 30 seconds. Bojack might be 30 seconds, but it is a boring 30. I’ll also admit the Game of Thrones score is epic and True Blood’s “Bad Things” is still worth a bunch of listens. However, I started skipping them both after about 4 times. The Leftovers is especially stupid because it’s like a run across the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel with boring, instrumental music. I watched it once and thought it was a waste of time.

I’m sure that the data on skipping the opening credits is collected, at the very least by Netflix. They have to know that Regina Spektor’s theme song is tiresome on OITNB. I would just like to reinforce the notion that people skip it if it is too long.

I’m done complaining. At least for now. Now, it’s time to give some awards for short, but sweet openings. The Walking Dead, The Strain, Satisfaction (what a sweet cover of the Stones), Suits, Royal Pains, Garfunkel & Oates (they better), New Girl, The Big Bang Theory, Parks and Rec, South Park, The Simpsons, Shameless, Archer, Louie, and Community. There’s more that I left out, but those ones are all succinct and memorable. You’ll notice it starts of with shows that have aired in the summer and then I just started brainstorming. As an added note, True Detective’s was great. That song is so good.

Back to complaining. Here are a few that could use work. They’re not auto-skips, but they’re close. Undateable (WTF is going on there), About a Boy, It’s Always Sunny, Catfish, SNL (too many peeps), and I’m getting sick of Family Guy. Other than Undateable, everything else is just my personal taste. You can probably ignore it. Undateable’s is shit though. Chris D’Elia doing DVD commentary does not make for an interesting opening.

So get it together TV. Keep it short and try to make it unique to the show if you can. We need more Charles in Charges or even just taking ownership of a song like Veronica Mars and “We Used To Be Friends” or The OC and “California”. Don’t be The Leftovers. It is currently in the top spot of the “Horrible Opening Power Rankings”.

Actors Hall of Fame

In honor of the Emmys, I wanted to take a chance to talk about awards. As a lover of TV characters, I want to see my favorites beat the loser characters on other shows. It’s the same feeling I get when I want Adam Jones to win MVP of MLB. I want my Orioles to shine bright.

It’s pretty easy to pick an MVP in sports. You look at the stats, team record, situations, and your gut and make a pick. It’s much tougher for TV. How do you judge Bryan Cranston’s last 8 episodes as Walter White against Rust Cohle against Don Draper? It’s not easy. Hopefully, you look at the individual seasons and compare how they made you feel. The one that made you feel the most wins.

There are a lot of amazing characters on TV that actors never won awards for. Steve Carrell as Michael Scott. Jon Hamm as Don Draper. Josh Charles as what’s his face on The Good Wife. It’s a shame. I’ve seen a lot of people argue that Josh Charles should win this year because it’s his last chance. Not because he was a better actor.

This is an issue that plagues the Oscars as well. Samuel L. Jackson still moans to this day about how he should have won the Oscar for Pulp Fiction over Martin Landau, but lost because they wanted to honor Martin Landau’s legacy. The issue is there is no honor in Hollywood for the breadth of someone’s work.

Michael Scott may not be an Emmy-winning character, but he is one of the funniest, most memorable characters in TV history. He deserves a spot in an Actors Hall of Fame (that walk of fame nonsense doesn’t count). Let’s make a Michael Scott bust and put it up in Silver Lake, the new Cooperstown of the West. It doesn’t have to be Silver Lake.

How do we pick the inductees? The first thing to look at is the stats. Awards wins, award nominations, and anything else that is quantifiable. Then, you can try to look at the most representative ratings available for the show (Live+30 years?). It doesn’t mean the performance is great, but the number of people that watch matters. It just doesn’t matter when they watch. Situations are also important. That might mean watching the top highlights of the character. Finally, it’s the gut call. Who makes you want to tune in every week?

Recognition will help clean up the voting process because more performances are recognized and they deserve to be. Jon Hamm has 7 Emmy nominations. He has 0 wins. Is Don Draper not one of the most special characters in history? Are we really going to let Jeff Daniels have an Emmy for The Newsroom and give nothing to the Hamm? Let’s fight the injustice. Actors Hall of Fame. Get at it.

Starting: The Walking Dead

The first season of The Walking Dead is a delightfully compact story that flows perfectly and does great work to kick off the series. Unlike most American seasons, it is only 6 episodes long. This gives a lot of advantages to the writers, which they used. 6-8 episodes seems to be the length that audiences can stand a singular arc. I’ll explore this hypothesis more in future posts.

The theme of season 1 is safety through togetherness. It’s all about finding family, which can be both literal and figurative. Here’s a simplified look at the story of season 1:

1. Rick wakes up alone -> Family and safety might be in Atlanta -> They most certainly aren’t

2. Rick and gang need to get out of Atlanta at any cost -> The cost is Merle

3. Daryl wants to go back for Merle -> Probably a bad idea to send protectors back -> Guns could help -> Go to find Merle, but he’s gone

4. At least there are still guns -> But the guns aren’t coming easily -> Well… they actually are -> But the bad idea bites them in the ass

5. Regroup and come up with Plan B/CDC -> Argue over Plan B/CDC -> Go with Plan B/CDC

6. CDC may be hope -> It is not, there is no hope -> Life is hope

Positives:

  • Nothing comes easy – The biggest example that comes to mind is the guns. When Rick and gang go for the guns that they left in the street, you’re thinking that they’re going to face walkers to get them. Then, the Vatos show up. It’s unexpected and a big problem right away. The excitement is exactly what you want.
  • Pilot – Ooh baby this is a fun one. The intro is pretty much just Rick for 20 minutes, but it’s riveting. Information is introduced as needed, which allows the show to stay active.
  • Flow – Each episode builds off the one before it. The consequences of a solution become the conflict of the next episode. Leaving Merle on the roof becomes the catalyst for a wild journey. They are forced to leave the camp, which is a planted problem, to go back. Of course there are new problems there to get through. And once you get back, you have to deal with the shit that you set yourself up for, which is an attack on an unprotected camp. The attack spurs finding help for Jim and the rest, which leads to the CDC for the finale.
  • Nobody is safe – The body count is much higher here, likely because they don’t have to pay much for anyone on a 6 episode season. Even a strong supporting character in the group could be offed at a lower rate than in future seasons. The original group obviously needed to be shrunk to establish both the danger and the core cast that we care about.
  • Movement – This is a bit redundant, but the short season allows for constant movement. Things progress quickly and don’t need to be drawn out. It makes the pace of the season more to my liking.

Negatives:

  • Episode 5 – This is really the only thing I could think of that I really didn’t like. It’s an episode where the movement kind of stops. There is a lot of recovering from the events of the previous episode and it hurts the push. The CDC conflict is presented, but the argument is all talk. Without action, it becomes boring.

Lessons:

  • ABC (Always Be Conflicting) – Whenever somebody needs something, put something in the way of them getting it. And then another thing. And make those things seem impossible to overcome until the hero overcomes them.
  • Fake Left, Drive Right – When you hint at a problem, the audience will pick up on it. Use that to your advantage. The gun bag was surrounded by walkers, so the easy story is that they have to face walkers to get the guns. It’s definitely a conflict, but it’s expected. Instead, the Vatos show up. Who saw that coming? Nobody. That’s who.
  • Lick Your Wounds – Don’t dwell on the aftermath of an event unless you’re showing what conflicts the aftermath caused.

A Bad Haiku:

Rick and the walkers

Sitting in a tree. K-I-

L-L-I-N-G