Saturday, June 27, 2009

Primeval and the Evolving Happily Ever After


I'm a romance writer. I cut my teeth on the Happily Ever After premise and have come to expect one in all forms of entertainment. Sometimes I have a hard time watching a television show if they kill off my favorite character, or two or three. Which has been happening on a pretty regular basis on one of my favorite shows. So why don't I quit watching Primeval? Why am I showered and shiny-faced every Friday night watching my latest guilty pleasure, served up by the BBC?

Because they keep promising me with every little plot twist that everyone they kill off, might actually be existing in an alternate universe. Well hell, why didn't I think of that? It is by far, one of the most clever plot devices and one they don't actually have to follow through on because each new character they bring on board is so wonderful that you get caught up in their story.

The premise of the show is that evolution takes a nasty turn in the future and we're treated to a glimpse because they keep appearing out of anomalies. Lots of sparkly lights and the next thing you know, creatures from the very scary future come running through, smashing, slurping humans and creating mayhem. Lovely. The writers even brought one woman back that is a ringer for one lost in an anomaly as someone that no one but my favorite character, Professor Nick Cutter remembers as being someone else, someone they all knew. They bumped his cute Welsh fanny off too, but I have high hopes.

The lynch-pin in this whole piece, so far, is an off-beat wannabe couple. Both are brains but she's a Keds-wearing, kickass brain and he's managed to make nerdy, sexy. Trust me, it works. Did I mention the flying prehistoric lizard she keeps as a pet?

What makes this work for me is hoping that these characters are going to be able to save the world from a possible future that keeps popping through these anomalies like a grotesque chorus line and get their happily ever after. They have all the elements: an ex-cop, a rakishly handsome soldier, a lady archaeologist, and the above mentioned couple who aren't really a couple. Did I mention the uptight boss that I'm starting to think is adorable? I know, it's called character development. At least one of these couples is going to get a damn happy ending. I just know it! I watch for signs every Friday night.

They just keep dangling the possibility of another juicy relationship and I'm hooked. The story itself, save the world and fall in love is romantic. And there is that unspoken promise that the ones they've bumped off are living happily ever after in another universe, just the other side of an anomaly.

Maybe I'm just a hopeless romantic who devises a way for people to get a HEA, no matter what. It's the curse of being a romance writer but I think I can live with it. What's your favorite guilty pleasure? Come on, 'fess up.

15 comments:

Serena Shay said...

Ooh, I watched Primeval for a while, back when I had cable, it was really good. As for guilty pleasures, well I used to watch Charmed religiously...new and reruns! LOL As for now, well I've been told it's a GP to watch Supernatural...but honestly that feeling I get when I watch, it's sooo not guilt! ;)

Ashlyn Chase said...

I lost interest in Primeval, and I think the killing off of characters I liked and bringing on others I wasn't crazy about (yet) did it a disservice, but that's just me.

I was told by an author/critque partner of mine to never 'kill off' a character if you can help it. You never know when you might use them again. Give them a beach house to move to, or a new job in Instanbul, or some other reason to fade away.

SInce I'm writing my first series, I recently relocated a character instead of having him 'go into the light' as I had planned.

Ash

Anny Cook said...

Killing off characters was a soap opera staple back when I actually watched soap operas... I suspect that a characters could be resurrected with some clever plot devices if the author found that necessary.

Francesca Hawley said...

I had to kill off a character in Seeking Truth and it was the HARDEST thing I've had to do with my writing cause I really liked her. Sometimes you just gotta, but I don't think I'd ever kill off a potential future hero or heroine. Villains of course, I will kill with impunity. They are a joy to kill. :-)

Kim Rees / Kim Knox said...

I sat open mouthed when they killed off Cutter - but he wanted to go and simply phoned in the first few episodes of the third series *sigh* I also hated the way they exorcised everything to do with him from the programme too as the whole premise of the first two series revolved around him :( Danny, just doesn't do it for me, sorry ITV1 ;-)

Stargate Atlantis is my other guilty pleasure. John Sheppard... *drool*

Savanna Kougar said...

Primeval sounds fascinating... I'm in a no-cable area...

One of my guilty pleasures was definitely CHARMED... such rich witchy stories that were mostly character driven.

HEROES was another TV-watching pleasure of mine. Yep, I do adore the right superheroes and superheroines... after all, what would you do with all that power?

However, with DTV, my tv watching days are apparently over... unless I want to cut down all my trees, or get ripped off by Dish TV.

Paris said...

Serena, I catch the re-runs of Charmed! I didn't discover it until they started running it early in the morning but now that's when I work;-(. So I would have to do "guilt" to watch it now!

Paris said...

Ashlyn, I tried to kill off a character in my last shifter book and I just couldn't do it. Glad I listened to gut instinct because I needed him in the end;-)

Paris said...

Anny, I'd forgotten all about that. I got so used to them "returning from the dead" that the device lost its appeal when I started to expect it.

Paris said...

Francesca, I remember the "angst"! Our characters become so real, it is sooooo hard to kill one off! You did a great job though;-)Fabulous book!

Paris said...

Kim, I actually like the Danny character--give me a guy who thinks on his feet and isn't afraid to lasso a giant prehistoric bird and I'm there;-) But I'm weird that way!

Paris said...

Savanna, Ohhh, I love "Heroes". Hard to say which one is my favorite because they all have such great storylines!

Paris said...

Thanks for stopping by everyone!

Sandy said...

Paris,

I finally made it. Great post. I love my heroes and heroines equally. lol

Paris said...

Thanks Sandy! Nice to see you;-)