I’ve been thinking a lot about storytelling lately and how much I appreciate a good plot. In our modern world of technology, we are surrounded by stories in more places than ever. Books, movies, television, theater and the original medium, word of mouth, used to dominate the story corner, but now, stories are embedded in all sorts of new places.
Video games are loaded with stories and there are a lot of creative people writing them. If you want to know what I mean, check out “The 25 Best Video Game Stories Ever” published this month by Games Radar+.
Commercials tell stories and many tell great ones. In the Forbes article, “In A Year Of Great Storytelling, My Top 5 Ads Of 2016,” contributor Will Burns names as the number one ad story, the incredibly powerful message about how to stop gun violence in “Sandy Hook Promise ‘Evan.’” (Click here to view on YouTube.)
The sports media doesn’t just report on scores and standings anymore. There is a story behind every athlete and we love knowing what it is. Overcoming adversity, beating the odds, playing the big game for something much more meaningful than a title, that’s what drives both athletes and fans. And it doesn’t end there. There are the stories about coaches, rivalries, tension between teammates, injuries and arrests. It’s much more than news. Just watch one of ESPN’s 30 for 30 shows – these are terrific.
Audio books are hugely popular. It used to be a sure thing that anyone wearing headphones was listening to music. No more. Now commuters, walkers, runners, gardeners and everyone else are making good use of their time by listening to stories while they’re moving around. For busy listeners, this article from BDG Media, Inc., “9 Audiobook Hacks To Enhance Your Time Spent Listening To Books” can help you make the most of your listening time.
Now that we can access an entire season of shows, binge watching is the new normal way to enjoy a story. I admit, I am guilty of this practice. I’ve been on a binge-watching binge for the last couple weekends. Here’s what I’ve been watching:
Designated Survivor – the ABC drama starring Kiefer Sutherland. Finished Season 1 and it was excellent!
Kiefer Sutherland stars as Tom Kirkman, a lower-level cabinet member who is suddenly appointed President of the United States after a catastrophic attack on the US Capitol during the State of the Union. Kirkman will struggle to keep the country and his family from falling apart, while navigating the highly-volatile political arena and leading the search to find who is responsible for the attack.
The Affair – Lots of drama and many secrets swirl around a family and locals in Montauk, New York. Seasons 1 and 2 on Showtime. Could not stop watching this one – now I want more!
At once deeply observed and intriguingly elusive, The Affair explores the emotional effects of an extramarital relationship. Noah is a New York City schoolteacher and budding novelist with a wife of twenty years and four children. Alison is a young waitress and wife from Montauk at the end of Long Island, trying to piece her life back together in the wake of a tragedy. The provocative drama unfolds separately from multiple perspectives, using the distinct memory biases of each character to tell the story.”
I’m looking for some new shows and watched two excellent pilots:
Mad Dogs on Amazon Prime. A twisted and creepy plot makes we want to find out what’s going to happen. Great acting!
When a group of underachieving 40-something friends gather in Belize to celebrate the early retirement of an old friend, a series of wild events unfold, exposing dark secrets, deception and even murder. Starring Ben Chaplin (The Thin Red Line), Michael Imperioli (The Sopranos), Billy Zane (Twin Peaks), Steve Zahn (Dallas Buyers Club) and Romany Malco (Weeds). Executive produced by Cris Cole and Shawn Ryan (The Shield).
Good Behavior on TNT – Excellent story and conflict, definitely worth a look.
Letty Raines is a thief and con artist who is always one bad decision from implosion. Fresh out of prison, she’s attempting to stay afloat. But when she overhears a hit man being hired to kill a man’s wife, she sets out to derail the job, sending her on a wild collision course with the killer.
I tell myself I’m doing research so that one day I’ll be able to write my own great story. In the meantime, I’m just having a good time! What are your favorite new stories?
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