If I offered you $50,000 per episode...



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  • If I offered you $50,000 per episode...

    ...could you come up with some work of fiction as bizarre yet utterly riveting as the Tiger king?

    Please note I don't have 50K and am not offering this
    I heard the starting gun


  • #2
    Re: If I offered you $50ooo per episode...

    Bizarre? Yes.
    Riveting? No.

    The reason, I think, is that fiction and true-crime are fundamentally different genres that capture our attention in different ways (I'm using genre here in the semiotic sense not in the narrative fiction sense). True stories, journalism and documentaries, tell stories that are part of our reality. They're about real people and events. The more bizarre the person or the event the more it pushes our understanding of what humans are capable of. Like a car accident or murder scene it can be hard to look away because it's real life. It's true.

    Fiction on the other hand helps us understand human nature, helping us categorize and understand the people and events that make up our society and the world at large. Hamlet is based on a Norse legend; it's almost certainly not a completely true story but the play illustrates and explores the dangerous (tragic) nature of jealousy and revenge... and fratricide is bad, mmmkay. Fiction has to be constructed on a scaffolding of believable characters and situations to maintain the willing suspension of disbelief. True crime is under no such stricture. In fact the more outside the norms of society the more interesting (riveting) it is. I'm sure all of us have had the experience of witnessing an event or person that is so weird, horrific, or coincidental we thought that if we put it into a script that no one would believe it.

    Joe Exotic, Carole Baskin, and the whole Tiger King cast of characters are all the ore fascinating because they're real people walking around in the world. I doubt a fictional story with roughly the same characters and events, but lacking the real world component would penetrate the cultural consciousness the way the documentary has. I think the subject area of rivals in the world of zoology/animal husbandry where one is exploiting the animals for personal gain and the other is an altruistic protector of animals could make for good fiction. But in the Tiger King situation no one's hands are clean and everyone seems to be crossing the lines in multiple ways. True life is messy. Fiction likes to neatly tie everything up at the end.

    So I think your $50,000 (if you had it) would be safe because its an apples and oranges proposition.

    Just my 2 cents, your mileage may vary.

    -Steve Trautmann
    3rd & Fairfax: The WGAW Podcast


    • #3
      Re: If I offered you $50ooo per episode...

      I agree with Steve.

      I don't think anyone would believe it, if it WASN'T a true crime story. I know it's supposed to be very popular right now, but I just can't watch it. It's like a train wreck and I wasn't able to feel sympathy for any of them.

      I feel bad for the tigers.
      "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso