Why You Should Watch … Galavant

mv5bmjewndcymdk4of5bml5banbnxkftztgwndkymjm5mze40._v1_Today’s post doesn’t have much to do with reading. The title, admittedly, gives that away, but I’ve been around long enough to know that sometimes even I skim over a title in my haste to read the article (and surely, I can’t be the only one?) so … Yeah, today’s post isn’t about a book. Or a series of articles.

Today’s post is about a TV show.

Now look, I promise I won’t do this often. Mine is a site dedicated first and foremost to writing and fiction.

But … sands and storms did this show never get the credit it deserved. At all. Personally, I think it had somewhat to do with the medium. Premiering on a cable network that likely had no idea what to make of it, it seemed a hard sell on an audience that is shrinking by the year (cable TV). I suspect that had Galavant shown up on some other network, like Amazon or Netflix, right off of the bat, we might have seen three, four, or even five seasons rather than the meager two it ran on ABC.

Why? Well, personally, I’m not sure execs knew what to make of Galavant. Or the general television audience. It’s … not a normal show. It’s a show that would stand out perfectly on Netflix or Amazon as a show that’s made for an audience that’s always looking forward. But for a more traditional, status-quo seeking cable network audience? It’s kind of a hard sell.

Okay, enough beating around the bush. What is Galavant? Well … are you ready? Galavant, as I would describe, is:

*Inhales* A musical, meta, fourth-wall aware, fantasy comedy. And yes, I mean musical in the sense that everyone breaks out into song and dance with astonishing regularity. Several times per episode, actually. And they’re aware they do it (see the “meta” tag). Sometimes they’re even aware that there’s been a commercial break, or that most viewers only Tivo the show for later and aren’t watching it live (fourth-wall what?).

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Being a Better Writer: Comedy – Good, Not Cheap

Oh boy.

You know, I think if I were to sit down and list all the topic requests I’ve received since I started Being a Better Writer, and probably even some of the requests I received before starting it, comedy would likely be at the top of the heap. This is a constantly asked-after topic. And yet, for four-plus years, I’ve steadily declined. Why?

Simple: I don’t write comedy. Sure, I have funny moments here and there in my stories, and may write a short or a chapter every once in a while that prompts quite a bit of snickering, but I don’t see that as being a comedy writer. I write adventures, reflective pieces, etc, etc, but almost never have I sat down and told myself “I’m going to write a really funny story.” Those moments of comedy in my stories? Those are the characters being funny. And sure, the characters are an extension of myself and my intent, but at the same time, I don’t see that as “comedic writing.” That’s characters and situations I have taking advantage of the moment to be funny, rather than me writing a story with the express purpose of delivering laugh after laugh. This doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy writing characters or scenarios that produce a good laugh—to the contrary, I welcome it—but that the comedy is never the sole goal of the story … save perhaps with one exception, that being the short story Kitchen Creature from Unusual Events. Comedy is a side dish, yes, like fries to go with the burger, but it’s never the main course in my works.

Why? Well, I’ll go back and repeat the old adage once more: Dying is easy, comedy is hard. You might recognize that in variance from my post on tragedy, but the fact is that it keeps coming up because comedy is hard. Crud, Battletoads-slash-classic-Nintendo-hard.

Actually, let me rephrase that a bit as we finally begin to circle inwards towards today’s topic: Good comedy is hard. Cheap comedy? Fairly easy … but, well, cheap. Low-cost, really. And, on that note, fairly low-brow as well.

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Being a Better Writer: Sidekicks

The original concept for this post, or rather I should say request as that’s what it was, was for information regarding a comedic sidekick. But I’ve decided to expand on that a little for two reasons. First, dying is easy, but comedy is hard. Really hard. I envy those who can write comedy, like Adams, Prachett, Taylor, or Korman. It’s a serious talent. The art of regularly keeping a comedic tone, building things up for comedic beats not just every once and a while, but with a regular rhythm? That’s really hard to pull off, to start. It takes a lot of practice and understanding.

Second, because a comedic sidekick isn’t exactly a great point to cover. It’s like looking only at one side of a building. Sure, a comedic sidekick is great an all … but what about the other sides, those other types of sidekick? What about the foundations of having a sidekick at all? What makes a sidekick different from, say, a partner character?

See, I consider these questions just as valid and important to consider as the original question of a comedic sidekick. Also, I can answer many of them to my satsifaction, or at least give a much more concise, clear opinion on things. I can’t really do that with a comedic sidekick in more than a glancing manner. After all, comedy is not my specialty. I can give a few pointers, but that’s a pretty short post.

Sidekicks, however? I can talk a bit more about that. So, without further ado, let’s get started.

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