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Melodrama

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by chrissy n
2.15.00

Today I watched the denizens of Harmony try to free Charity from the frozen pond. I found the sequence thrilling, exciting, particularly, seeing the performers serve more ham than the deli clerk at Safeway.

The story was riveting, and with Miguel in the water, tomorrow's installment holds the promise of more excitement. But viewers shouldn't hold their breath, because tomorrow will be a rerun of sorts. Same scenario; different face. And repeats rarely pack the same wallop as the original.

For my money, melodrama has no consequences, nothing that will make viewers hang around after the heroine has been removed from the train tracks, and taken to safety.

Stories about the human condition always keep viewers enthralled. For example, the sex starved Ivy has spent the last few days trying to seduce good guy, Sam.

Iv pulled out all the stops, drugging Grace, presenting herself to Sam au naturel, scratching the man's back, pulling down his drawstring pants. And for all her efforts, she got spurned.

For now, I am cheering, "Yeaaa." Sam proves that there are some good guys in the world. But this is sudsy television, so the weather vane may shift directions, and Sam could become involved in a stormy affair with Ivy.

Viewers will have to stay tune.

But the Sam/Ivy story has consequences, foresight, questions.

Somewhere down the road, Sam and Grace, and Grace and Ivy will verbally slug it out about the fateful skiing junket. Sam threatened to expose Ivy's perfidy, but he won't.

Grace will tearfully lambaste Sam for keeping it a secret. She will demand to know why Sam never told her about Ivy's misdeeds. "Sam, that crazy woman drugged me. What if I had had an allergic reaction to whatever it was she gave me? Why didn't you tell me?"

For spite, Ivy could lie and viciously say, "Sam and I made passionate love while you slept in the next room. Sam was ravenous. I think having you so nearby heightened his excitement."

Grace could haul off and punch her. The dramatic possibilities are endless.

A writer can get considerable mileage out of non melodramatic tales.

Melodrama is like a gin and tonic. It can make the viewer high, get their adrenaline going. Flush them, but the next day, it's gone.

As a writer in training, I have always been ambivalent about kidnappings and hostage situations--though I have written them. Perils of Pauline type stories are devoid of any long term consequences.

A writer needs stories that are like the Energizer Bunny.

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