And now for something completely different, and yet very much the same.
Kishōtenketsu, a concept of dramatic structure that is very much a part of the dramatic series and movies shown on Viki. It’s very much NOT the concept of dramatic structure I learned as an English Lit major in college, but when I read about Kishōtenketsu, suddenly the dramatic series and movies I saw/see on Viki made a lot more sense.
Trying to capture some aspect of human life in a script for a show of course means writers, directors, producers, actors, etc., have to focus on certain things and ignore other things and then refine what they focus on. There really is a difference between “Western” and “Eastern” ways of doing this.
In my opinion, “Western” concepts of dramatic structure tend to focus on individuals who have trouble because they haven’t “found” their true inner selves. They only find happiness when they throw off the physical, emotional, and spiritual chains that bind them.
In my opinion, “Eastern” concepts of dramatic structure tend to focus on groups who have trouble (or cause trouble) because one or more members has deviated from grand principles that make life good for everyone. Happiness for everyone comes when those who have problems are brought back into harmony with the grand principles.
Offerings on Viki of course include shows that are hybrid because in the 21st century, different cultures influence each other, especially when it comes to TV, movies, radio dramas, and other forms of entertainment. But when I learned about Kishōtenketsu, dramatic series and movies that seemed to drag for me and not make sense . . . suddenly became more alive, subtle, and interesting.
Sometimes a show seemed bad because it really was, but sometimes it seemed bad because I didn’t have the tools to make sense of it.
I used to watch certain shows, especially family dramas, and say, “I don’t get it. What am I missing?” Now I get it, at least a little bit.