Monday, January 12, 2015

Recharging the Creative Brain: TV and Movies

I will sing the praises of Netflix forever, and ever, and ever. Just meet a deadline? Binging on your favorite show is the perfect reward. In the middle of a deadline and your brain’s locked up and if you stare at that screen one more minute YOU WILL SCREAM? Please, just turn on Netflix. Please.

But. Is it possible that watching TV or movies is actually good for your creativity? I’m in the “yes” camp. As writers, reading refills the creativity well in an irreplaceable way (in my opinion). But actually seeing a story play out on screen brings its own form of magic. And it’s not always about the actual plot or premise of the show—sometimes it’s the relationships, or the settings, or the pacing, or the style of storytelling.

Examples, you ask? Gladly.

How to Get Away with Murder (ABC) quickly became one of my favorite new shows this past fall. The show used a unique style of storytelling, weaving flashbacks with present day events in order to keep us in suspense, while also building up to the big Whodunit reveal.

Supernatural is about demons and angels and monsters under the bed (literally), but what drew me into an auto-obsession was the relationship between Sam and Dean. The show also does an amazing job at showing that family isn’t always about blood.

And that brings me to Friday Night Lights. If you’ve ever asked me for a show recommendation, there’s a solid chance I mentioned this one. FNL is my go-to when I’m working on a Lewis Creek book, because it showcases so many things I hope to accomplish: the friends who become family. The teammates who always have your back. The mom who sits on the floor with her daughter, who's crying after her boyfriend leaves town. The beauty, and sometimes-ugly-side of small town life. And if you’re looking for parental inspiration for your YA family, Coach and Tami Taylor are quite possibly my favorite couple in TV history.

(“Will you take me to Philadelphia with you, please?” <-- This line. Watch the show and wait for this line. Trust me.)

Those are just a few of my favorites. Are there any shows or movies that recharge your creativity? Let us know!


  1. Ooh, I am so with you on Supernatural! Other favorites are X-Files, Battlestar Galactica (Sci-fi channel version), Arrow and Star Trek: Next Gen (along with Marlana!). I love the adventure and colorful characters.

    I agree, I find watching these shows can get me back in the zone. :)

  2. I entirely approve of this post. Andplusalso, How To Get Away With Murder is made of Awesome! :)

  3. Oh how I love it when I watch TV to recharge! Some of my favorites are The Walking Dead and Once Upon A Time. I'm going to have to check out HTGAWM, Arrow, and Supernatural. :)