Thursday, July 21, 2011

Be Original

I'm finally getting around to clearing out my DVR after our vacation, and just made it to the "Syfy original series" Alphas. Now, I know that by "original series" they mean that it's a new show created by their network. But in this case I couldn't help thinking that the term could only be applied if by "original" you mean "has been done hundreds of times before."

Basically, group of people with extraordinary abilities goes around trying to use their powers for the good of humanity. Sound familiar? Yeah, we've all seen it. And this one had all of the classic elements, right down to the "No. I don't believe you." "Yes, it's true. You're special. But you're not alone. And we can help you... if you help us" conversation between the new guy and the old mentor.

And of course there are all of the quirky personality traits to make things "interesting." This one is angry and has boundary issues. This one has no social skills and needs to be looked after like a 10-year-old. This one has a dark secret that still haunts her, but she doesn't want to talk about it.

I was determined to give it at least one episode, just to see if it looked like it had any potential. So I managed to make it to the end of the pilot... but I'm fairly certain that will be the last of it for me. It just all seemed too tired, with nothing new to offer. (I'm sure there are people out there that did like it, and that's great - we all have different tastes. So please don't be offended if you're a fan. It just wasn't for me.)

But it did give me something to think about. I couldn't let that hour and a half be a total waste (and I couldn't let the only bright side to the situation be that at least it wasn't quite an hour and a half because I could fast-forward through commercials.)

As a writer (and reader, and watcher of tv and movies) I know that there are always formulas to follow. That's no secret. And it's not necessarily a bad thing. But it doesn't mean that everything has to look, sound, or be the exact same. Follow the formula, sure, but add something of yourself into it and make it fresh.

The same can be said for life in general. There are always rules to follow, and necessary conformity to deal with. But that doesn't mean that we have to stop being original. Do what you have to do, but do it as yourself, from your own perspective. Don't just regurgitate. Don't just do the same thing because that's what's always been done. Rethink. Reimagine. Life will be all the better for it.

No comments:

Post a Comment