Lazy Writers on the TV Leave Viewers in Dire Straits

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Whuddayuhkiddinme? The final episode of HBO‘s hit series, “The Sopranosracked up 15 Emmy nominations.That final scene ticked off plenty of viewers who complained of lazy scriptwriting. Maybe come up with something more definitive. Tony gets whacked or he gets out of the mob or he takes over someone else’s territory. Something, ok?

I’m not sure where to identify the genesis of lazy writing. Perhaps the Seinfeld finale. For years this show was rooted in reality. If you have ever lived and owned a car in New York City and argued with someone about a parking space, please raise your hand.

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Thank you. Hands down.

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Yes, some of the plots were a bit contrived, like George stumbling into a job with the Yankees or Elaine bumping into Teri Hatcher to see if her boobs are real. But most of theplos were about everyday mundane stuff that many of us experience. Then, in the last episode, it’s a totally surreal piece about them being sentenced for “crimes” they committed. The last scene is the group just sitting in a jail cell. Huh?

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Some writers have forgotten the concept of closure. Let the viewer know where the characters are going from here. The best example I can think of is the M.A.S.H. swan song of 1983. All of the characters told what their plans were once the war ended. Friends showed everyone moving out of the building. They also told what they were going to do.

Anyone can come up with a sudden ending that leaves viewers scratching their heads. Truly gifted scriptwriters can write endings that are emotional, maybe even humorous, and above all, conclusive.

Tuesday, July 24 (probably late): Analyzing the July 23 CNN-YouTube debates.

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