The Night Manager, a BBC-AMC co-production based on the John Le Carre novel, directed by Susanne Bier and stars Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie and Olivia Colman (who, to be honest, was the main reason why I started watching this); and
Both have excellent casts, are slickly directed and written, jet set around the Continent, and are absorbing thrillers with compelling and flawed characters.
So why have I forgotten most of one while still mulling over the contents of the other?
It was the endings that sorted these two out — I was fully invested in each of them through the first five eps. In one show, the final ep was a stomach churner of suspense that followed the main players to inescapable and sometimes bitter resolutions. In the other, what began as a tense finale went limp partway through as it copped out with an ending where good triumphs over evil.
Who am I to say that it copped out? Well… what was I supposed to expect after five eps of betrayals and reversals and sacrifices? It certainly wasn’t what I got, I can tell you.
And what the heck do I know about inescapable and sometimes bitter resolutions? We’re all doing life, aren’t we? And, like it or lump it, betrayals, reversals and sacrifices come at a price.
By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=43487416
What possessed me to try this show with The Goddess six years ago? Was it recommended to her and I was humouring her? Was it a weak/apologetic/fawning moment on my part? Was there channel-surfing and we got hooked like I did once upon a Wire?
At first I swore to merely be in the same room with her as she watched it — I’d be doing something (anything) else like knitting, taijutsu or practicing quick-draws — yet as every episode unfolded, I found myself sitting with my beloved as we were pulled into the world of a thirtysomething obstetrician and her family and friends.
Shit ain’t bad, yo.
When it wasn’t renewed after its fifth season we were both a bit bummed at the unfairness of it all.
But ooh, look — and just in time for an anniversary with the Better Half: a sixth season is playing right now.
I suppose the wool, gi and gun leather will have to wait.
You’ve already been introduced to our resident rooster, Ghost Dog. He does a pretty good job of looking after his girls: he points out food that he finds (whereupon he’s winged aside by his female companions), and now that we’re out in the country, he keeps an eye out for trouble.
There was something familiar about him and his harem that nagged at the back of my brain for some time.
No problem, I tell myself. I’ve no idea specifically what happens between the beginning and ending I’ve written but all I need do is reread what I have a few times to get a sense of the direction my subconscious is heading in, then catch the Narrative Momentum Train that’s due just as that last “CUT TO” hits.
I begin with high spirits —
EXT. THE PLANET MARS -- TIMELESS
— then have second thoughts about the direction —
INT. HOME -- NIGHT
— until I find myself staring at something like this:
INT. PHUCKNOSE H.Q. -- I-HAVE-STOPPED-CARING TIME
... shit happens.
No hay problema, I tell myself. I’ve got a vague idea of how things got to the ending that I’ve written — all I have to do is work backwards from there because some kind of inevitable logic has led to the ending I’ve written, and hallelujah, all the clues are in the first act.
I get cracking, determined to fill this:
— with action, character and plot.
Alas, after some amount of time has elapsed, all I have to show is this:
... something interesting should lead up to this point.
I have no idea what.
I hate this script.
Right, then, I grimace to myself, time to break out the big guns.
But first, a little time out with some youtubing.
(For ages I thought the Hyundai Atoz was pronounced “Aye-tozz”. Until I saw a London A-Z map book and went, Duh!)