Monday, 23 September 2013

TV Inspiration

As autumn draws in, I love nothing more than to settle down for the evening, curtains closed against the dark, ready to watch the latest TV drama. I also find some of the programmes and story lines quite inspiring to a writer. Apart from the return of Strictly Dancing, which I watch for pure pleasure, here are my other favourite programmes of the last two weeks.

The Guilty

I adore watching Tamsin Greig in anything and it was great to see her play such a powerful dramatic part (the detective), rather than her usual comedy. Like Broadchurch before it, The Guilty dealt with the disappearance and death of a young boy, some of which was very upsetting to watch. From a drama point of  view, however, it was interesting to see how the various characters interacted and behaved after the discovery of the body. I guessed the outcome, although not exactly how it happened, and I enjoyed the added element of angst for Greig and her husband over the worry about their own young boy's possible autism/Asperger's. It was a satisfying drama that thankfully only took three episodes to deliver a good story.

The Young Montalbano

As a huge fan of the Sicilian series, Montalbano, I was wary of the new series portraying the detective as a young man in the early 1990s. After all, it's partly the characters and actors that make the original programme so watchable. However, Young Montalbano didn't take long to hook me and keep me wanting more. I love the actor playing the main character (Michelle Riondino) and find it very easy to imagine him as the younger version of the mature Montalbano. Add to that all the other characters, setting, and enjoyable storylines, making it one of my favourite programmes. It even inspired me to write a letter to the Radio Times, which was published in the current issue!

Downton Abbey

Although it has its critics, I was pleased to see the return of Downton last night. The storylines vary in quality but for me it's a visual delight. What better way to enjoy research of the early 1920s than to watch the interplay of servants and masters, the introduction of 'modern' touches to the house and kitchen, and the gorgeous clothes adorning the ladies. It's also a fairly good reference for women's place in society at the time, from the highest born lady to the lowliest servant's expectations and opportunities.

I certainly won't feel guilty about enjoying TV this autumn and winter and can put many of the programmes to good use by seeking inspiration at the same time!

And now to inspire you to get writing and sending out your short stories, Words with Jam is running a new competition with three different lengths of short story. Closing date is 31st October and full details are on their website.

Over on my Flights of Imagination blog today, American YA author Chris Weigand tells us the inspiration behind her new book, Palace of the Three Crosses.

Happy writing and watching,


Teresa Ashby said...

I haven't seen any of those, Rosemary, but I must say I rather fancy watching the Young Montelbano :-) x

Patsy said...

I can see that TV could be good for research - and procrastination!

Wendy's Writing said...

II love Autumn tv and never feel guilty about watching it. Have got The Guilty recorded and looking forward to seeing it

Jean Bull said...

It's all about finding a balance, isn't it? Enough TV to help with research and inspiration, followed by quality time to write your story or novel the next day!

Joanna said...

Thank you, Rosemary, I am inspired by your choices and would love to put my feet up and watch. I must make more time for it. I agree with you that it really helps with research and sometimes, even just one snippet from a TV programme can spark off a new idea for an entire story. xx

Rosemary Gemmell said...

I think you'd enjoy it, Teresa, once you get used to the subtitles!

Definitely good for procrastination, Patsy!

Hope you enjoy it, Wendy - glad you don't feel guilty either!

You've got it spot on, Jean!

Apart from enjoying the relaxation, I'm a visual person, Joanna, so everything comes more alive for me on screen!