Yes, for some reason storytellers simply can’t stand happy homes. Not enough drama, I guess.
Sure, there’s a place for situations like that—I use them myself. Seriously, though, it seems like it’s almost a rule judging by how prevalent it is. Does some Almighty Critic In The Sky scream in protest if characters didn’t grow up miserable and emotionally scarred?
This is especially true of TV shows. Characters on TV seem to be strictly forbidden from having happy relationships of any kind with anyone. If they ever start to be happy, don’t worry—it’ll all be ripped away from them soon enough.
Drama. It’s all about drama. It seems to me that when writers run out of interesting stuff to do they automatically fall back on this checklist of family-drama scenarios. They have their uses, but honestly, after so much of it the whole thing gets on my nerves. When I’m watching a cop show I couldn’t care less about all the characters’ failed relationships and screwed-up personal lives.
My main gripe with it is that it seems to be used simply as filler. It’s like people can’t come up with enough plot to fill a book or movie, so they pour in a bunch of family problems to take up space—because it’s easy, and it’s something that most readers (sadly) can relate to.
Well, that’s enough about that. It actually kind of leads into my next installment, which I’m sure you’ll await with breathless anticipation…right?