Hollywood’s Secret Sauce of Slow-Burn Storytelling

Excerpted from InquaMag.com

What is the secret sauce that great shows like HBO’s Game of Thrones and Amazon’s The Expanse have in common with cinematic juggernauts like Marvel and Quentin Tarantino? What is the common thread that runs through shows as delightfully silly as Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe and films as powerful as The Shawshank Redemption? It is my argument that the secret sauce they all share is slow-burn storytelling.

What exactly is slow-burn storytelling? Here’s an example: the first scene of Game of Thrones sets up the conflict between humans and White Walkers. But it isn’t until season 8 that this conflict will ever reach its conclusion. Usually taking eight seasons to deliver on the promise made in the first minutes of the show is an indication that the showrunners don’t know what they’re doing. However, there is a subtle difference between being aimless and burning slowly.

white walker kids
The emaciated forms of Game of Thrones fans waiting for Season 8

An aimless story meanders through its narrative with no end goal. While they may set up and deliver on minor promises, there is no narrative end goal the show is working towards. There have been many TV shows like this that have been met with as much success as Game of Thrones. I would say most crimes dramas and comedies fit this bill.

Full article at InquaMag.com


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