I miss the real dramas.
I miss the dramas that are simply character driven, without any supernatural creatures, time traveling, motorcycle gangs, or case files. I want more characters that we, as an audience, can follow, grow with and be loyal to. I want to feel like I’m part of the clique. What happened to all that?
I’ve reminisced on 3 TV Dramas that were character-based to the core (and personal favorites):
ONE TREE HILL (2003-2012)
THE high school drama of its time, Tree Hill was a borderline phenomenon. It was all about the characters; their lives, their relationships, their struggles, their victories. These characters became your friends. You felt like you knew them. You felt like you went through it all with them, from high school to those early adult years. This show is about moments – of strength and weakness. It inspires you to recognize the best moments of your life while you are living them. Every character is striving to find their way, and are just trying to be the best versions of themselves. Aren’t we all?
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS (2006-2011)
It’s so mother-flipping moving. If you need a sense of community, you can get it here. The whole show is nostalgic. The atmosphere these show runners created feels like home. When you are observing these families in their small town establishments, these teens in the booth at the local diner, and these boys on the football field – it’s as if you’ve been there before. If you haven’t been there, you’ve always wanted to go. The characters are familiar, even at first introduction. They are humbling and not at all fabricated. It’s a raw TV experience like no other, having the ability to exemplify what truly matters.
Tissues needed. It’s impossible to experience these characters and not picture your own family tree. The losses, and the gains, are already part of you. Even the most trivial story lines are exactly what you didn’t know you wanted. Because of the honest plot that is tediously balanced with familial heartbreak and joy, it’s a believable portrayal that most are extremely comfortable with. It’s a reminder that our best will always be enough to those who love us, and that our blood bonds are part of the consistency that we search for. It’s also further evidence that even conventional families have imperfections.
I’m optimistic that this genre of television will resurface.
Audiences are ready to feel again. It’s the perfect time to dive back into fictional lives that still, technically, reside in the “same” world. We want tales of the fallen. We want to see them rise. We want hope.
NBC has already started the conversation with their new HIT series This Is Us, which is a family drama focusing entirely on the characters and their journeys. It exceeded the network’s expectations when the first official trailer went viral online. To no surprise, it seems that people have been waiting for another show such as this.
Have I mentioned that we miss the characters?
And none of us need another soap opera.