Jul. 29th, 2008

POV on TV

Jul. 29th, 2008 06:38 pm
lyore: (Default)
I've was watching The Dresden Files (TV show, not books) recently (Why was it cancelled? Why? *sob*) and in a brief break between episodes I got a random spurt of inspiration for a in-progress fic. I scribbled off the phrases before I lost my train of thought and then realised Huh. Wrong POV. The rest of the fic is 3rd person limited, and I'd written this in 1st. No biggie, easy to change.

But it started me thinking... why did I default to writing it in first person? There was nothing in the fic itself that required it. Then it dawned on me - I wrote it in the first person because I was watching a TV that is in the first person. Mystery solved.

Except The Dresden Files isn't written in the first person, since it's a TV show. I'm not sure it even makes sense to think about a first-person POV TV show, barring 'Blair Witch' gimmicks. But it does have a narrator.

I'm not sure when I started to equate the idea of a narrator in a show with first person narration in a book. On one hand, it makes sense; the narrator is (generally) talking directly to the audience using the first person. It (can) give the same direct insight into the main character's thoughts. I'm also tempted to say that shows with narrators also tend to be tightly linked to the storylines of the narrator, (versus, say, an ensemble show) but I'm making this assumption from a sample size of two (The Dresden Files and The Invisible Man). Not exactly a huge statistical pool. On the other hand, the show freely uses scenes where the protagonist is not present, although only when required for dramatic purposes (by which I mean it is usual for Harry to be present, unless there is a pressing, plot-related reason for him being there - having been kidnapped, for instance, and the show needing to show to audience how Murphy found him).

Regardless, I've found that watching shows with narration has the same effect on my writing as reading things in the first person - it shunts my brain directly into 'first person' mode.

What do you guys think? Is there an equivalent to (written) POV in TV shows, and is it a function of direction, camera-work, writing, or something else?

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