MANIFEST - Great Premise vs. Sustainable Series
- Know the answer to the overarching question.
- Have a plan.
- Don't answer questions with new rules that contradict rules that have already been established.
- Be aware of redundancies in dialogue because if the writers don't know the answers, the characters spend a lot of time asking why or how and answering with only theories. Should those theories now be rules?
- When dealing with science fiction or supernatural/fantasy elements, adding more because they are cool effects convolutes the rules.
- Solve the problem quickly (within the first season. If the season is more than 12 episodes long, solve it by mid-season). Then how does the series continue? By complicating the answer with new information or problems. By the time the series ends, we shouldn't still be solving/ convoluting the original problem. However, it should all be organically connected.
MANIFEST sets up then breaks rules, sets up rules that don't pay off, and becomes very formulaic in dialogue because it's obvious no one, not the characters or writers - no one knows WTF happened with flight 828.