Monday, 26 March 2012

Respect the Genre

This picture will not make you transform into a werewolf


One of my favourite TV shows, Being Human about a werewolf, vampire and ghost living together has left me feeling disappointed this series.

Why? Because they haven't respected the genre.

Episode one of the new series, a werewolf uses a picture of a moon and not a full moon to transform. Werewolves need the real thing to transform.

Last episode of the season, a vampire gets into a house without being invited. Sure he burns but he still gets into the house thus breaking another genre rule. You need to invite a vampire in.

Despite the good writing and acting, these episodes left me deflated. Why? Because as a fan of the genre I hate it when they mess with them.  When they break the rules.

Sure they can be innovative – think True Blood that’s turned the vampire genre on its head. Be thought provoking. Do things that have never been done before. But never blatantly break the rules.

Not just in TV writing, but in novel writing too. Because if you don’t like it when writers of TV shows break the rules, chances are readers of your work won’t like it if you do the same.


2 comments:

  1. It's worth noting that the author selects what parts of a legend (if any) he chooses to use. Some legends have vampires reluctant to cross barley. Bram Stoker's vampire couldn't cross running water, but didn't have any issues with sunlight. The Vampire myths have been used and over used, mixed melded and mushed for games, books, online fanfic and so on. Werewolves... A creature born from man sentanced as outlaw for his crime. Banished from his village he would be brought out by the brighter light found on a full moon/clear night making it easier to spot travellers. But, staying true to the genre as you say, one novel had the werewolf transform more easily the older he became, no longer requiring the moonlight - merely a progression of character.

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  2. I haven't seen much of this season of BH, but one of the things I did like about it, was the rule breaking. For one thing, if there are set rules for Vampires and Werewolves and everyone one had to abide by them, it severely limits the story telling aspects.
    Given that I reference these rules when I use Vampires and Werewolves in stories, but don't necessarily abide by them, allows me to twist expectations, so the reader doesn't know what to expect.
    I do tend to find, with a lot of TV series, Movies and books, where they stick to the rules, the story can become predictable and stale unless some rule-breaking is allowed.

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