The Stories We Seek

similar stories

I mentioned recently that I’m in the middle of rewatching Mad Men and, though it started as an episode before bed kind of thing, the show has really been working its way into my brainspace. Between Etsy searches for Mad Men prints to add to our gallery wall and trips back through Tom + Lorenzo’s Mad Style archives, I’ve been thinking a ton about what makes the show stand out for me. Strangely enough, I keep coming back to books.

While I loved Mad Men when it aired, and watched it weekly from the first episode, it’s really made for binge watching. With a week long gap between episodes, the plot could sometimes feel painfully slow (which was often highlighted by Matthew Weiner’s ridiculous “Next Week on Mad Men” teasers). Watching episodes back-to-back has shown me just how brilliant the show’s writing and storytelling was, particularly over the arc of the series, despite the fact that the “action” was minimal.

And that’s also what I seek in my reading. Style and character drive my book choice much more than plot ever does, so perhaps it makes sense that the same would be true for all stories. When I consider my other favorite TV shows, many of them are fairly similar—meticulous writing, overarching plots, and well-developed characters. Though there are certainly exceptions to the rule (hello, Broad City), it seems I know and stick to what I love.

Have you noticed overlap in the type of storytelling you seek out? Are the TV shows you watch similar to the books you read or wildly different?