Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The well of lost plots

In a few recent critiques of Rescue Me, I've been reading about how they sometimes bring up plots and then never seem to go anywhere with them. Watching old episodes of Felicity has also brought this problem to mind. I think it's a fairly common practice for a show to bring up a plotline, tease viewers along with it for a few episodes, and then never decide how to resolve it, so they simply let it drop. I can think of a few examples offhand:

Felicity: Political activism seems to be an oft-used plot device that's brought up and quickly dropped. In her sophomore year, Felicity quickly became involved with the student health center and school presidential campaign. By junior year, her political side was nowhere to be seen. (See also Abbott, Amy on Everwood re brief entanglements with liberal activism.)

Dawson's Creek: Anyone remember Eve? She was the snake with the apple to poor virginal Dawson at the start of season three, promising a world of adventures and hedonism. Well, until she mysteriously disappeared without the audience ever finding out a resolution about how exactly she fit into the Lindley family.

Battlestar Galactica: Roslin is Pithia the prophet, who needs an arrow that will guide everyone to Earth. Seriously? There was a fair amount of religion and mysticism for a show that usually doesn't deal with such fuzzy motives. However, at this point they seem to have put it aside a bit.

Veronica Mars: Even the best shows can suffer from this problem. Spy pens and dead rats aside, there's also the case of Lucky's relationship to the Manning's or the child abuse at the Manning's. However, with a crew this continuity-focused, it's possible we'll see more information come to light in season three.

Can you think of any plotlines from your favorite shows that were dropped like a hot potato when the writers no longer knew what to do with them?

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