Monday night was the season premiere of Castle. It’s right up there with The Walking Dead for me. They are interchangeable as my #1 and #2 favorite shows. Last night I couldn’t wait for the Season 7 premiere as Season 6 ended in a cliffhanger. After the show I was left questioning how one poorly constructed montage had completely destroyed the credibility of many of the relationships the main character had built with other central characters.
Note #2: You don’t need to be a fan of the show to read this post. What I’m going to get into will go beyond the reach of the show and I’m merely using it as an example.
I won’t dive too much into backstory but you do need some. Essentially there is the main character, Richard Castle (who is known as Castle). His fiancé and NYPD detective who he works with is Kate Beckett. There are Detectives Javier Esposito and Kevin Ryan who are Castle’s close friends. There is also Castle’s mom, Martha, and daughter, Alexis.
For the past few seasons all of them have relationships working in relative harmony with each other. All is right in the World of Castle.
At the end of season 6, Castle gets into a fiery car wreck on the way to his wedding with Kate.
Enter Season 7.
Castle isn’t in the car when Kate and rescue crews arrive. Then Kate and the two other detectives discover evidence that appears to show that Castle set up his disappearance (which any regular viewer would know that he didn’t). Tensions rise slightly between the three detectives. Javier seems to have already turned on Castle upon first arrival of evidence. Kate is skeptical. Kevin still has Castle’s back.
A 20-second montage takes place that shows Kate tirelessly working to try to find him and that two months have passed.
Then Castle turns up floating in a small boat unconscious.
Before he wakes up more evidence shows up that it looks like he set up his disappearance. He wakes up and doesn’t remember anything. He remembers the car wreck and waking up in the hospital. That’s it. And Kate and the two other detectives don’t believe him.
After everything they’ve been through, which is a ton, she doesn’t believe him. THIS. DOES. NOT. MAKE. SENSE. And you know why?
It was executed poorly. Not enough agony was shown. Not enough hardship. Not enough of anything to remotely make you think that Castle had anything to do with his disappearance. But Kate and the other detectives don’t believe him. And this does not make sense to a regular viewer.
The montage did its job in showing that time has passed but it did not set us up emotionally.
The lesson? Do a better job at the 20-second montage if you are going to disintegrate the rock-solid relationships between characters you have built over several season. Add more. Show more. Do something more. More acting. More tears. More mystery. Add doubt to the main character if that’s what you’re trying to do. Otherwise we will resent Kate, Javier and Kevin when we don’t want to. We have come to love these characters and the writers are making us not like them.
A Selfish Section
I love Castle. I will always watch it as long as it’s on. The only other shows I’ve ever watched as religiously as Castle are 24 and The Walking Dead. BTW, The Walking Dead premiere is on October 12th and yes, it’s scheduled in my calendar. I will move on. I will keep watching. I understand what the writers were trying to do and will accept the new dynamics of the show but I don’t like how it was done.
Moral of the Story
I have never worked on a TV show. The content I’ve created did not build character relationships over many seasons. However, as a storyteller, I know that you cannot destroy the credibility you built with your audience. If your audience trusts you, you only have a few chances to force a storyline.
This new storyline was forced. I’m angry as a viewer but I’ve invested so much time into the show I’ll keep watching.
A solution to this problem wasn’t too difficult. Show more reasons why we should at least somewhat understand where Kate, Javier and Kevin are coming from. Otherwise this doesn’t make sense.
This post didn’t have too much to do with editing video faster but I hope you found my thoughts on editing theory helpful. Did you like this style of post? I can do more of them in the future – let me know what you thought in the comments section.
Has a poor editing decision in a show let you down recently? What was it?
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