What I do is pick a word-of-mouth recommended series available to watch instantly on Netflix and watch a few episodes a week while I eat General Tso's chicken, starting at the beginning and going to the end of a series.
It can take six months, a year or more, but I've watched The West Wing, The Sopranos, The Wire . . . and at 4:35 AM Saturday morning, I finished the series finale of Friday Night Lights.
For those of you who haven't watched this critically lauded series created by Brian Grazer and team, you won't know who Tim Riggins is.
But if you watched the series, you'll not only know who he is, but you probably wanted to hang out with him. You probably wanted to tell him that he's a great guy no matter what some people think. And now that the series is over, you're probably missing him.
I find myself missing all the characters in FNL . . . just like I missed the characters on The West Wing, The Sopranos, 24, The Wire, etc. . . . Just like I missed the characters in Les Miz, August Osage County, Speed The Plow, and so many other great plays and musicals after their final curtain came down.
Great characters are the key to great drama. They get under your skin and into your hearts. They become part of your family. And you can't forget them.
And when you can't forget someone, or something, you find yourself talking about . . . or, even blogging about it . . . which turns into a word-of-mouth recommendation . . . which is how great drama becomes successful drama.
Create characters that your audience can't get enough of, and they'll crave your work that much more.
Clear eyes, full hearts, Tim . . .
(Fun fact - FNL starred Scott Porter, the original Matthew in Altar Boyz)
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