I finished "One Man's Pirate" this week -- a short story of adventure and intrigue flying miles above the surface of the ocean. The first draft came in at 8500 words. Trimmed down to 6700. It's amazing how much you can cut and keep the story. In your own head.
First reader thought it was flat. She kept "waiting for the interesting part." It's an adventure with heavy emphasis on the action side and low emphasis on the character development side. She compared it to the TV show "Leverage." It's a fair comparison.
"Leverage" is the TV version of "The Italian Job" and attempts to capture that same fun and hip vibe for the small screen. And do it week after week. We've watched a few episodes and I like it, but she doesn't. Discussing the short story helped us to figure out the difference in opinion.
The show focuses on the heist element. There's a lot of tradecraft and running around and fusion jazz on the soundtrack. The cinematography is about "cool" and acts almost as another character, certainly like a voice over narrator. It's reminiscent of “Mission: Impossible" only the characters are thieves instead of agents. And that's why she doesn't like it. The cast is shallow and we have no reason to like them coming in because they're crooks. I actually think that the first few episodes would not pass the anonymous script test -- any of the characters could say any of the lines.
There are a lot of episodes so I know the show succeeded and I expect that as we go on the personalities will develop. However, the engine of the show is not one that she enjoys so, much like the story, it really doesn't have a chance.