Touch: [1-1] Seams

07 Feb 2012

Andy Greenwald for Grantland:

What is television writing, really, other than the art of manufacturing coincidence?

We want to be made to believe that these coincidences are anything but; that serendipity on screen is possible. We want writers so skilled at their craft that we forget that they were ever involved in the process. We want perfection.

Touch fails, not because of the ineptitudes of Kiefer Sutherland or the sheer ridiculousness of Danny Glover, but because it does not permit us the coming together illusion of incident and accident. Every instance of happenstance feels carefully constructed as the premise of the show demands it must be and we, as viewers, are supposed to marvel at the skill with which the writers have crafted this story.

And perhaps we do watch agape at these machinations, but the cost of cleverness is too high. We writers are not meant to be seen. If the seams of our stories are exposed, we have failed in our craft.