Tuesday, April 19, 2005

[How to: TV] Using backstory to good effect.

Just thinking about a couple of examples of where backstory has been used to really good effect.

There’s the graphic novel, Preacher – where many of its more powerful story-arcs rely on things that happened to the characters over 20 years ago (and I feel like author Garth Ennis had this all planned out before he began writing). Halfway through Season 2 of Buffy there’s a revelation about Angel that not only explains his withdrawn mopiness but turns him into a character worthy of a spin-off series. And – although I haven’t watched much of it yet – backstory seems to be a defining feature of Lost; so much so that I wonder what they’re going to do with their format in Season 2 once they’ve played out most of the secrets about the characters’ pasts.


Jenni said...

Wanted to say something about Lost and then wondered if it was spoilerific by implication so didn't.

Backstory is very important but I think there will still be secrets to reveal. Is that spoilerific too? ARGH!

Watch Lost Damn you!

hix said...

No, that ain't spoilerific ... and you know what, tell me. Obviously keep it out of specifics, but if you can say what you want to say at a general level (especially how it affects the structure of the show). Like, for instance, do you think the flashbacks we've seen are real?

Tell me Damn you!