September 16, 2007 Jill

My objection to a lot of the pilots we’re going to watch over the next few weeks is that many of them front load their series premise. You’ll see soon enough; shows in which there’s a voice over to tell you how things came to be this way or the teaser is a vignette that sets up the series premise.

Can you remember all the way back to the Beverly Hillbillies and the theme song that set up the series premise? This is a very old-fashioned storytelling technique.

Beverly Hillbillies Theme Song

I think the most successful pilots of the new season don’t front load the premise. Instead, they slowly reveal it through the episode. The characters and their world emerge bit by bit with twists and surprises along the way. Most of the pilots I’ve chosen to discuss over the next couple of months do that. Many of the ones I’m not going to write about are front-loaders.

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