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”?