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.