Leverage — The Future Job
In the often-depressing genre of books promising to teach aspiring airport writers How to Write Bestselling Fiction there is an impressive body of work that forbids people from doing the exact expository tricks upon which TV procedurals are increasingly reliant. Much of the advice to be found in eighty year-old books that explain how to write fiction for the Slick periodicals is probably no longer valid—the slush pile address of the Saturday Evening Post, at least, can be removed from the aspiring writer’s rolodex—but for everyone except the writers of any TV show produced or influenced by Jerry Bruckheimer the following maxim remains as fresh today as it’s ever been: Don’t shove expository dialogue where it doesn’t belong. Just don’t!
This rule is so old it was originally aimed at the perennially well-informed chambermaid of British theater, the one who is always willing, in conversation with other chambermaids, to use full names and proper nouns for people and events they’ve both been familiar with for years. (“Why, the Parson’s own wife is coming today? After having left us twenty years ago, on the young master John’s fifth birthday?”) But if the people who write Leverage have heard it, it was ironically enough, not explained very well.