I'm a fan of the show "Elementary." I like the characters, the premise, the writing. I get so absorbed, I don't try to text, check facebook, or do anything else while I'm watching.
I felt the same way about "Lost." Even though the last two seasons involved time travel and some wonky magnetism, the writing was riveting. I felt like I knew these people. They were multi-faceted and complicated. I cried when Sun and Jin drowned. I cried when Juliet died. I cried when the series ended. I still miss that show.
I felt the same way about "Home Improvement." I could relate to the character Jill, a frazzled mom with three boys, trying to work, then returning to school. Her POV was realistic, and she could have been my best friend.
I feel the same way about the movie "Mr. Holland's Opus." Richard Dreyfuss is stellar as the beleaguered music teacher who really wants to compose, but finances and family dictate that he maintains steady work. So he takes a "regular" job and writes when he has a minute (sound familiar?) I love this man. His dedication, his frustrations, his humor.
These are a few of the projects I think are well written. When I run across a piece of work that moves me, it often runs through my mind, I wish I'd written that. Quirky characters, tragic characters, sacrificial characters, funny characters...these are my favorites. I love realistic dialogue and surprise endings.
Most of the stuff on TV these days doesn't interest me. Most current movies don't interest me. Most of what I read is nonfiction. But, now and then, some wonderful and soul-stirring characters cross my path and stay with me. Like Jonny Lee Miller's Sherlock Holmes. Jack and Kate and John Locke. Jill and Tim Taylor. And Mr. Holland.
I'm so grateful for good writing. It keeps characters alive.
What do you wish you'd written?