x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Life isn't like what's on television? Think again

One can derive interesting life comparisons from the TV series format.

We are told life is not the same as it is on television and nothing can be gleaned from hours spent in front of the tube.

After watching hundreds of episodes of television dramas, comedies and soap operas (even at one point writing a university essay on the latter) I tend to disagree with that notion.

One can derive interesting life comparisons from the television series format. Consider my theory that life is best viewed as one big television series. You are the star of your own show and each day is one episode.

Each decent episode needs certain incidents to occur in order to create the tension that propels the plot. Whatever you go through in the day, be it joys or disappointments, is all part of the script you follow until the episode's final credits, which is when you fall asleep at the end of the night.

As in every series, there are supporting characters, love interests and villains. They all must play their roles in order to make the show watchable.

Now some of these characters may not last the series and may be downgraded to cameo appearances before being fully axed.

When a supporting character close to you is written off or a love interest breaks your heart, console yourself with the knowledge they were bringing your ratings down and your audiences wanted someone better.

When you suffer tragedy you can also view it as important for your character development.

There are going to be times when you wonder whether your career is going according to plan. You could be miserable that instead of being in a ground-breaking Emmy Award-winning prime-time drama you are instead languishing in a mundane soap-opera shown at 4am. In that case, it is best to follow the lead of all the great actors and walk away. Consider a genre change or create a new show with a better plot line.

Then sit down and review your previous show with a focus group of friends and analyse what made audiences tune out. More than likely, you will find the show was a failure because your character wasn't likeable enough to keep audiences hooked. If used wisely, this brutal feedback system could prove the cornerstone for a new show that could land you a new audience and bring back the faithful.

When you are basking in your hard-earned success, there might be some troublesome journalist who would like to remind you of your of past failures.

And when that happens, remember to shrug it off and say: "that was so last season."

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