The flaw in In/Spectre's conversations

March 7, 2020

Over on Twitter, I said:

I've realized that In/Spectre's fatal flaw is that these characters are explaining things to each other, rather than arguing back and forth, yelling past each other, or trying to pull fast ones. There's no conflict or drama in their conversations.

In/Spectre is by the same writer as Blast of Tempest, a show which I quite enjoyed (see my Winter 2013 retrospective). Both shows are full of talking and clever dialog (it's one of the writer's signature traits), but I'm not enjoying In/Spectre half as much as I did Tempest; in fact I'm increasingly finding In/Spectre kind of boring.

What I realized is that the two shows have different types of conversations. In Tempest, there was a conflict at the heart of most conversations; people were arguing with each other, trying to persuade each other or do deals, or at least trying to hoodwink and fool each other or hide information. In/Spectre is great when it's doing that sort of thing, when people are arguing or bickering or sniping at each other, but its most recent run of episodes has mostly involved people explaining things to each other or coming up with plans. There's no conflict, just talk.

(The few conversations that were not like this still have the spark to them, both in dialog and how they're staged.)

Written on 07 March 2020.
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Last modified: Sat Mar 7 15:16:10 2020
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