Steal This: A week of notes

I’ve been reading the book Steal Like An Artist.

It’s a great work for any creative person, but one of its core suggestions is that artists shouldn’t let the pressure of trying to explore completely original ideas suffocate their creativity. Better to recognize (and even celebrate) influences, and let them inform your work.

Daytime is hardly a place where originality is an issue. Shows steal from other shows, and have for ages.

Anyone watching General Hospital in the Luke and Laura era will remember that, within a year or so of their romance, nearly every other show had a scruffy antihero male lead and a strong-but-soft love interest.

(On Search for Tomorrow, they weren’t even subtle about trying to make Travis Sentell, played by Rod Arrants, look just like Anthony Geary’s Luke Spencer, perm and all.)

Is it live, or is it Memorex?  (From left, Genie Francis, Anthony Geary, Rod Arrants, and Sherry Mathis

Is it live, or is it Memorex?
(From left: Genie Francis, Anthony Geary, Rod Arrants, and Sherry Mathis)

I’ve been talking about What Comes Next – what I’d love to see in a 21st century serial, or a reboot of a classic show.

Some of the shows I’ll be talking about really capture story, or character, in a way that is engaging – writers and creators should take note.

So throughout this week, I’ll be sharing some notes about current or recent shows – what serial writers and creators should steal from them, and what they should avoid. So pop some popcorn and pull up a chair…..

 

EDITED TO ADD: Links for the week’s suggested thievery:

Mad Men

Transparent

Downton Abbey

Call the Midwife

Grace and Frankie 

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