Monday, August 10, 2020

The Final Solution: An American Family

An American Family
People tell each other stories to ward off fears and also to pass the time during pandemics and storms. That’s the substance of Boccaccio’s Decameron, a series of l00 tales told by a group of Italians who have recused themselves in the town of Fiesole outside Florence during the plague. Another kind of story telling is taking place in series like Fauda, Babylon Berlin, Mrs. Meisel, Ozark and A French Village which are shown on services like Netflix and Amazon. These tales are not like movies or plays which are one shot affairs. They’re episodes which go on over time and actually mimic life which can sometimes feel like a set of installments. Hopefully an overview emerges in which the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Back in l973 An American Family took a real family’s life and turned it into a television series. The Louds, who were the subject, had a good deal of drama, but it’s not clear how diverting it would be if someone invented an app which allowed people to see their own life as a TV series. Let’s say someone came up with a device made especially for pandemics, an elaborate selfie that produced a series of seasons. What conventions would it possess and how would the story be wrapped up when say it came to the final episode?

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