CHEKHOV AND LOADED GUNS. I have been a member of Facebook for a while but haven’t known how to use it. I recently managed to post the following: “We saw the new Ayckbourn play in New York. Good, but unusual because he set up sight gags and then chose not to pull the trigger.” Annalisa’s learned comment: “As long as he didn’t literally have a gun on stage I guess Chekhov could forgive him.”

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  1. Nick says:

    I wonder if continually setting up and never following through is an indicator of a lack of talent. The “Sons of Anarchy” season finale demonstrated an inability to close a storyline, or give any amount of payoff, presumably for fear of losing a go-to subplot. This is, of course, all done under the guise of being unpredictable and building to even further heights of suspense and drama, but really it reeks of cowardice and inability.

    I feel the same can be said of the Harry Potter series, and even individual songs on the last two Kings of Leon albums.

    Perhaps this is something I should just write about separately.

  2. Philip says:

    I agree that the ability to close a storyline or to give a payoff is important, and yet it is not often discussed. It is related to the ability to set up sight gags and the ability to set up curtain lines. Ayckbourn and Blake Edwards are the two best I’ve encountered at setting up sight gags. Ayckbourn was, I think, making choices. I’ll be thinking some more about this.

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