This article in today’s Australian talks about one of the key problems with Australian drama.
I didn’t know that most Australian TV dramas weren’t written by the same people every week. It explains a lot, really. And it really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Why on earth would they get different people every week? What kind of series are they going to end up with, if half the writers have no idea what direction the show is heading? Shouldn’t the goal be a mesh between the weekly storyline, and the season’s story arc? It’d be the writers who’d incorporate all the little details into each script that add to the big storyline; why on earth wouldn’t you want them to do this?
Say what you will about TV in the US, for all the rubbish it puts out, they’re making some good, solid dramas at the moment. And I don’t know about you, but the best shows, the ones you can tell are really well-scripted, are constantly balancing the storytelling needs of each episode with the need to work up to a grand finale.
Apart from anything else, that finale feels all the more satisfying when there have been subtle clues throughout the season, and the characters have been tweaked in all the right ways in the preceding episodes. It makes it feel inevitable. Not expected, but inevitable in that good way that means none of the characters are acting out-of-character, and you can think back over the events of the season and trace it all up to the climax. That’s usually what makes me want to come back for the next season, and I think it’s something Australian drama needs to work on.