1. The only thing I felt the TV show and the movie had in common is that they were both dramatic. The movie was dramatic because of the mother's craziness and the effect it had on her family. The TV show was dramatic because it was a mystery/detective show and I wanted to know who was going to do what to whom. This reminded me of clue: Ms. Scarlett in the library with a candelstick. The TV show was plotted out like this, as any detective show would be. The movie however unfolded slowly and I was not quite sure what she or her husband was going to do next.
2. To have a detective show, you have to follow a formula. I'm not too sure if it would be successful if you did not. Events have to happen in order to create something that needs to be found out so a formula makes perfect sense.
I think Cassavetes tried to break away from a formula in his movie so that he could leave people in a little bit of supsense as to what she was going to do next or what was going to happen to her next. Watching the events un-fold slowly was interesting and kept me waiting for the next thing to happen.