The trouble is, honestly, what is there left to celebrate? Once you’ve opened the presents, sung the songs, decorated the tree, eaten the ham, watched A CHRISTMAS STORY and LICENSE TO KILL, and suffered through a day of your relatives you’re pretty much done for the year. Monday is spent returning crap or looking for things to do. Hardly a gala celebration.
This is very reminiscent of whenever we have to write a two-parter on a sitcom. Usually what happens is this: We come up with an idea for an episode. As we start to break the story we find there are too many scenes for one episode. Sometimes we can find a way to pare things down so it fits. But more often when this occurs we’ll think, “Great! Two-parter! One less story to dream up!” And we’ll continue plotting.
But here’s the unfortunate truth that we ignore every time. With rare exceptions what you have is enough story for a show-and-a-half. Too much for one, not enough for two. So we find ways to pad to fill up part two. Not the best storytelling, but the lure of not having to come up with another story is too enticing.
So the next time you see a two-parter, be on the lookout for this. Where are scenes stretched? Where does the narrative start to drag? Where so they go off on tangents for no apparent reason?
What am I saying “the next time you see a two-parter”? What else have you got to do today? Go to Netflix. Check out your favorite sitcoms and screen two-parters all day. The first Christmas celebration day tradition is born!
It sure beats working. Or more caroling.