Wednesday, 29 June 2016

The Protagonist & Multi Protagonist Dilemma

We, as a society have been taken up by the innumerable TV series and movies grossing worldwide. What makes us feast upon these moving images? If we turn our eye to TV shows alone, we observe that either there is a group of characters who continually appear in the show to keep the audience on their feet. In such shows, each character seems to be attributed a certain set of ideals and weaponry that stays unchanged. Chandler with his junior defender mechanism and Sheldon with his eidetic memory just stand to confirm the faith in the directors and producers of the show. They get the show to run by saying those things the audience expect from them. But of course, there are many characters in Friends and The Big Bang Theory to make up for the lack of audience laughter if one of them fail to live up.

It is those shows with that main protagonist around whom the whole story revolves, that is of a higher level of fascination. The reason being, he/she alone has to draw the audience, a job attributed to a group in many sitcoms and even normal TV shows like CSI and so forth. It is shows like House M.D., Dexter, Da Vinci's Demons, Narcos that are of higher intrigue, because barring the plot, the main character/protagonist is of the essence. He/she is the strong frame that the audience looks forward to. The grossing of the show depends on whether the audience takes a liking to the particular etiquettes of the character. If we take the example of House, it is such a strong character, a character that induces thought while propagating slander for his own benefit. The side note being, he is a genius. The fact that he can be a pill popping miserable individual balanced by his genius medical skills and his intuitive methodology which save many people, patients and otherwise.

Like the aforementioned druggie genius doctor, there are many characters that have taken the Box Office by storm. Pablo Escobar, a person in real life was chosen for this as he led a life that had all the traits to impress and keep the audience on the edge of their seat. Whilst putting these strong characters in the set, even a soft-spoken individual can do enough to the same effect. A much famous example of that is Monk, a series which revolves around the life of a detective Monk, who with all his phobias, still takes the screen by storm. The audience were able to relate to his back story and the cringe life that he has to lead to survive. His survival through it becomes the gist of the series and the audience. The character is of such importance that the series are even named after them.

So one thing you guys out there can keep in mind is, to create a T.V. Series, first, you have to come up with a character, that elusive character, that back story, that aura which makes the other characters just his subordinates. This is the way many creators are going now. All said and done, this is a very risky endeavour as the show's success solely depends on the likeability of this character.

But well there is never a non-risky path to success!!!

Written by Adishesh Premkumar
An ardent believer in lethargy. An astute follower of all the good things in life.

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