Click here for Done Deal Pro home page

Done Deal Pro Home Page


Go Back   Done Deal Pro Forums > About the Craft > Basics
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-29-2005, 06:22 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 253
Default Drama vs melodrama

What's the generally accepted difference between drama and melodrama? In common usage, someone who's melodramatic is overly dramatic. But I've never found a clear definition for scripts. In coverage, one reader called one of my scripts a drama, while another called the same script a melodrama.

ReoA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2005, 07:53 PM   #2
velysai's Avatar
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Delaware -- not in Canada, not just a river, & aka the big a$$ traffic jam between MD & NJ.
Posts: 1,124
Default Re: Drama vs melodrama

Ask TNT; they know drama. At least they did last season.

Just kidding.

Drama is an extremely broad category or genre of story. It's really difficult to nail down a perfect definition of "drama". Some may say that drama is when a serious story is being told. It could be considered just conflict. I should hope that all scripts would have an element of drama in their stories.

Melodrama is a genre of drama, characterized by exaggerated emotions, stereotypical characters, and interpersonal conflicts. (But if you have more than one person in your script, you're going to have interpersonal conflicts, so the focus has to be on these.) It's basically like over-the-top drama. Not completely realistic. Then again, I know lots of people who are very melodramatic in life. Soap operas are considered melodramas. Sometimes it's the story itself and sometimes the acting can make a script even more melodramatic.

I don't really think it's a good thing to have one's writing called "melodramatic" in general (unless that's what one is going for, then yay!), but it also depends on how the person critiquing your script defines his/her terms. Was it meant as just an observation or as a criticism? Can you figure this out from the rest of the notes? Do you have a bunch of people being emotional and talking about or expressing (in other ways, like punching a wall) their feelings? Obviously, one person's melodrama is another's drama.

Hope this helps.

"We're all immigrants now, man."
- Zia (Patrick Fugit), "Wristcutters: A Love Story"

Last edited by velysai : 07-30-2005 at 07:54 PM.
velysai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2005, 11:07 PM   #3
odriftwood's Avatar
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,522
Default Re: Drama vs melodrama

Drama = Cinderella Man

Melodrama = Any networkd soap
odriftwood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2005, 12:17 AM   #4
whistlelock's Avatar
Join Date: May 2005
Location: 26 miles south.
Posts: 2,180
Default Re: Drama vs melodrama

From the OED:
Melodrama: any sensational incident, series of events, story, etc.; sensationalist or emotionally exaggerated behaviour or language; lurid excitement.
so, 90% of what Hollywood puts out.

Drama is real things happening to real people.

whistlelock is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:05 AM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.6.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Done Deal Pro

eXTReMe Tracker