I don't really do telly or films. I've also been finding fiction more difficult to read, although I'm better able to immerse myself in a good book (or audiobook). Trouble is, I can't switch off the knowledge that what I'm watching *is* just made up.
Only certain sequences of chords or notes make coherent songs. Take a 1-4-5 chord sequence, like A major to D major to E major, and you've got Hot Love by T Rex, Silver Machine, by Hawkwind, Any song ever written by Status Quo, and a zillion others.
This is not a bad thing. Without the coherent structure, you're in Stockhausen and freeform jazz territory. This too is not a bad thing. The point here is not a value judgement about the merits of structured and unstructured music, but that a series of culturally developed rules have evolved that mean that certain things fit our expectations of what music actually is.
I think a similar thing applies to fiction. Substitute "story arc" for "melody line" and you'll see what I mean.
Kurt Vonnegut wrote about these. You can read his entire essay, HERE
I've tried to duplicate the graphs.
This is your basic story. Someone who was doing OK got into some trouble, and somehow got back out of it. Everyone loves a happy ending!
This is the boy meets girl storyline. Boy meets girl. They fall in love. All is good. Then boy loses girl. Things aren't good. Then somehow, after many trials and tribulations, boy and girl finally get together. Hooray!
This one is Cinderella. At the beginning of the tale, her life is pretty grim, then along comes fairy godmother and makes things good, but then the clock strikes twelve and the shit hits the fan, big time, but finally, she finds her prince and they live happily ever after.
This one is Kafka. Or put the downslope at the end, and you have noir.
Anyway, I really struggle with stories on the telly, from soaps to sitcoms. I can't switch off the analysing part of me and simply enjoy it for what it is.
And it's not just fictions either. I see the same arcs everywhere. For example, every week, Sarah Beeny meets a couple who's house is about to collapse around them. Each week it follows exactly the same formula:
Couple have house that has XYZ wrong with it.
But then, local builder and part time explosives expert, Barry "the bomb" Bloggs steps in and does most of the work for next to nothing, and what they thought was a broken sewer pipe turns out to be a slightly leaky joint that is fixed by simply banging it with a hammer. A quick plastering job, and a visit from the house makover team later and the couple's slum is transformed into a bright and airy palace.
Smiles all round. It's the basic story, witha slightly modified lower start point, every single episode.