Creating is not just a personal joy. It’s an honor of an obligation. In Amy Poehler’s book Yes Please they talk about creating to make you truly feel. Not to manipulate you though. They create with respect.
(Warning, very, very minor spoilers for the very last episode of Parks & Rec.)
The Honour and Obligation of Creating
And they did that. They had the guts to do what other shoes didn’t. They wrote a future for the characters who had become your family. They placed them in your hearts so they can stay with you.
They respected the bonds you make with the characters.
I don’t feel like people discuss respect for their audiences much. And I think that is a side effect of audiences being seen primarily as consumers of advertising, rather than consumers of art. Because consuming advertising is viewed as a higher value, or something that has a dollar value, while consuming art may not have this dollar value.
Why I adored the ending of Parks and Recreation is because they showed you the future. I don’t like it when TV shows end with a flip of a coin (JAG, literally) or when they leave it open and “let the audience decide” what will happen (Home Improvement). I think that it is really disrespectful and lazy writing. If you have gone to the effort of crafting characters and stories for many years, and have engaged fans (because if they weren’t engaged, the shows wouldn’t have lasted that long) …then the least you can do is end it with a direction. The fans didn’t get a “say” during the show, why leave it up in the air at the end?
How do you feel about audiences being art consumers vs advertising consumers? Do you think it’s lazy writing to leave endings “up in the air”?
7 Replies to “The Honour and Obligation of Creating”
isn’t this why ” offspring” keeps running? because people are so invested in the future of the characters? And why serials like ” home and away” work so well.
You’re right, leaving it as the flip of a coin is lazy writing. I actually quite liked the ending of the Harry Potter movies because you didn’t get left hanging, you saw the next generation moving through…
I haven’t seen it but I am interested now.
It’s true of long running TV serials , you do develop virtual bonds with characters.
I don’t watch parks and rec, but I’ve heard good things. I don’t like things being left up in the air. I like closure 🙂
We all need endings and ones that make sense. I have become addicted to Downton Abbey and am re-watching (shhh!) for the 3rd time as we own all the DVDs now. I am a late-comer. This series finale suggested it was over and it was great but fans around the world are crying out for a movie so I may still get to feed the addiction.
I hate it when shows end and they don’t show you want happens. It drives me insane. I watched a movie on Netflix this week and it just ended like mid plot and didn’t resolve anything, like what the hell. I just ended up being so annoyed I’d wasted 2hrs and still didn’t know what happened. #teamIBOT
I think there are many shows that have ended in ‘up in the air scenarios’ because they have been cancelled and hope to get picked up again. Nashville, for example. But then there are others that just have crap endings fully intended like Seinfeld.
I hate up in the air endings. Last year I got sucked into watching Glitch, a short series on the ABC. It was wonderful but at the end nothing was resolved – and as far as I know there is no second series being made. Kinda made it feel like watching it had been a waste of time 🙁