Friday, March 22, 2013

The Other Woman

Last week, I was miserably sick. If you know anything at all about me, you know exactly what happened next:

I got addicted to a television show. 

Actually, I was already well into season 2 before I got sick. But my true addiction didn't begin until I was sick on the couch with my kitten curled on my chest.

I'm going to do my best to hide the main features of the show so that I don't spoil it for anyone. If you've seen it, you can probably guess what show I'm talking about. If you haven't--I don't want to spoil it for you when you finally discover it. You'll thank me later. J

For the season finale, our intrepid heroine wakes up in an alley in a foreign country. As she makes her way home, she realizes something dreadful has happened--she's been gone for two years, and she has no memory of those two years at all. Everyone thought she had died in a fire. They had already mourned her and moved on. Worst of all, she realized that her boyfriend had not only moved on--he was married.

What did I learn from this show?

First of all, you should review MaryAnn's seminal post about the love triangle and the love lambda here.

1. I was watching this show intensely. I would have noticed if anyone went out of character, and it would have ruined everything. Readers/watchers pay very close attention when they are harboring a secret desire for people to behave in an out of character way. You can't do it. People will stop watching.

2. I wanted that Other Woman to be evil. I wanted it desperately. But I would have been disappointed if she had been. I needed to be able to see what _____________ saw in her. I suppose this circles right back around to characterization. We'd already established that he had good taste in women, that he was observant and not easily manipulated. She had to be amazing enough to not only win his interest but to win his interest while he was mourning another woman.

3. Their love story had to have an arc that made sense. In this case, he met her at his lowest point--he'd begun drinking and was hearing voices in his head. He knew his only choices were moving on or insanity.

4. It can't go on forever. In a television show, you've got maybe one season. Probably less. In a book series, maybe one book, but probably less. You don't want your readers to be screaming "Just move on already!" at your book. Especially in public. They won't thank you for it. How long you've got seems to be based on intensity. The more intense the relationships, the less time you have to resolve it.

6. Something has to tip the balance one way or the other.

**Spoiler Alert**
Yup. A spoiler for this show whose name I haven't divulged. But IF you find it, this is how that storyline ends. You've been warned.

In this case, as soon as the audience had accepted the fact that the Other Woman was a pretty amazing gal, we found out she wasn't. She had her own agenda. The key is that the authors waited until WE BELIEVED in her before showing us her bad side. And I gasped, which caused a fit of coughing, and then I said, "Oh thank heavens." I had never been so honestly glad to realize someone was an evil hag in my life.
**Spoiler ends.**

It was as if I were on a rollercoaster, and that moment was when I finally stopped climbing and started the fun part. The climb was necessary, but it isn't the reason people ride the roller coaster.

The rest of the season was a lot of fun to watch. My moral dilemmas were all resolved, and I knew it would turn out fine eventually. I almost didn't want to get better. But I did. Now I'm taking a hiatus before I finish the show. It isn't easy. 


  1. LOL, I know what show you are talking about it. :)

    Excellent analysis. I too was relieved when the seemingly awesome other woman turned out to have her own not so noble agenda. :)

    1. Thanks MaryAnn. I was (un)surprised at how well your Love Lambda fit with this show, in spite of its being as different as you can get from This Means War. You are good!

  2. Um, tell me the name of the show so I can watch it.

    When I was really sick, I started streaming a tv show from Netflix. In fact, I watched a whole season. When I was better, I decided to watch the first episode of season two. At that point, I realized how truly sick I had been--the plot was mindless and the acting worse. Ack!

    1. I have done that before too! More than once, sadly. I'm hopping over to your blog (see what I did there, MaryAnn???) to leave a comment with the name of the show right now!

  3. Sounds like my kind of show. :)
    I watch way to much TV when I'm home sick, and I always end up watching something scandalous, or repetitive news. Can't focus on much else.
    Silvia (From A to Z Challenge).

  4. Great post:) Quirky, funny blog:)

  5. Once Upon a Time is doing the whole "Other Woman" thing right now...again. However, they let the audience know right away the girl is up to no good, banking on the fact that her ulterior motives will keep people vested in the show. And for now, that's true, but they've gotta stop killing my favorite characters off!

    And I'm pretty sure I know which show you're talking about. Back before Netflix, my roommate owned all the seasons on DVD. I had a week of vacation time I had to use up at work, but I didn't have enough money to go anywhere, so I spent a week on the couch watching the entire series. Talk about best pre-child vacation ever.

    1. You are a woman after my own heart. My husband is pretty anti-TV, so sometimes I forget there are other people out there in the world who find it relaxing. I'd love a week of vacation time to simply watch TV. :)


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