Discussion in 'Arts & Entertainment' started by Mouthwash, May 24, 2019.
@Zkribbler is right. I tried the rowboat thing, and it totally didn't work.
The thing I hate above all in fiction are fakeout endings. As in those endings where everyone returns home and it's as if nothing happens, the whole story was a dream, everyone forgets it happened etc. Basically endings that undo the story. There just is no excuse for this.
Second to that, and this one grows as I grow older, I hate sad endings, especially those that involve heroic sacrifice by major characters. Especially when they come out of the blue. I get why authors may want to do things that way but for me it just leaves a bitterness in my mouth and completely makes it impossible for me to enjoy the victory. The exception being deaths that both make sense in context and the overall arc of that character. Like Darth Vader dying at the end of ESB is a good example of it being done right as it is the obvious end of his character arc. But lately I've seen many examples of it being done wrong where a character just has to sacrifice them self for no reason other than to cover an emergency that just happened in that episode. That **** can die in a fire.
Another thing I hate are message shows. I don't care if he message is political, social, environmental or even moral if I can see it and recognize that the plot is contriving it self in order to serve the message tat just ruins things for me entirely. This is true even with, no especially with messages I agree with. It's fine for your work to inspire thought on issues, even difficult ones. And it's perfectly fine and indeed unavoidable for your personal view on those issues to shine through. But once things become preachy it's time to stop and reconsider what you are doing.
I am sure I can think of more stuff but this will do for now.
I hate mysteries that never resolve with the exception being the Annihilation Series (and movie) due to how fantastic they are. Even then, the author gave enough details for you to fill the in the blanks and create a whole backstory or extrapolate forward after the books end. The kind of mystery that frustrate me are enigmas wrapped in mysteries inside black holes of nonsense. There's a fine line between good mystery and polar bears or smoke monsters, if anyone gets the reference. I find I lose interest when a work of fiction ventures into the latter.
I just saw this. Part of the training for my old job in the mental hospital was to be able to take down a 250 lb violent man. I have, on occasion, used this particular skill. Does that destroy your immersion?
On topic: I dislike it when I have to wade through some weird alternate language that a sci-fi writer comes up with to make his alien race seem more alien. I get that they are speaking another language, but just describe what they are saying in English please. No need to invent another alphabet and language just to get the point across.
Fantasy is far more guilty of that.
Have you seen Quest for Fire?
Link to video.
I have not, thanks.
"I have probable cause!" shouted by so many cops. "I don't need a warrant!" You lead-brained idiot--probable cause is what gets you a warrant! What you mean to say is "exigent circumstance," e.g.: if the cops hear a woman screaming "Help! Help! He's killing me!" or it they chase an escaping murdering into a residence, there's no need to stop and get a warrant.
This error happens time and again in cop shows. You'd think they'd have some legal expert on staff.
The topper was on this morning's show. A judge shouts at a prosecutor, "you don't have probable cause, so you want me to issue a search warrant so you can get probable cause!' WTF? If the police have a search warrant, there's no more need for probable cause.
Just because they have a consultant, it doesn't mean they're obligated to follow the consultant's notes.
The best TV show that does what the consultant says is Downton Abbey. They have an expert who is basically a walking encyclopedia on the Edwardian aristocracy - everything from accents to costumes to body language to how to handle props to what facial expressions to use.
He's talking to you, John Carter of Mars.
E.g. Iin the original Poseidon Adventure:
Captain: Turn left! Hard left!
I think he meant: Hard aport!
The actual rudder commands (okay, on US Navy ships at least) are left and right rudder.
But more broadly, and others have already said this, I'm willing to suspend my disbelief when an author tells me about aliens or different physics/chemistry or magic or evolution of species or whatever. But if they don't tell me, I'm going to expect real-world accuracy, be it military operations, operation (and infiltration) of computers, martial arts, or other things I apparently know more than the author about and they haven't seen fit to get any technical advice about.
See I'd love to monetize my walking space spam encyclopedia status by being a consultant for TV and movies. That'd be sweet.
Oh, you want me to tell you all about space stuff all day long? Yes please!
Usually I don't even care if they explicitly spell out the fictional rules of the universe for me, so long as they are just consistent.
Or that they've just ignored. Over 40 years later people are still talking about Starlost, a short-lived TV series where the producer (who knew nothing about science fiction or even science) hired Harlan Ellison to help develop the show and oversee the scripts, and then proceeded to ignore everything Ellison told them. So Ellison quit (his snit over this show was nearly as long and vitriolic as his feud with Gene Roddenberry over "City on the Edge of Forever") and had them change his name in the credits to "Cordwainer Bird" (if you ever see that in the credits on any show, you'll know that Harlan Ellison was involved and was Extremely Displeased about how something turned out).
So they tried to get other big-name SF authors, and finally ended up with Ben Bova, who ended up wishing he'd done more research on the project before signing on. He hated the show so much that he wrote a novel satirizing the whole experience (The Starcrossed).
It didn't matter what anyone tried to tell the producer of this show - they opted for simplistic, cheap crap for a show that could have been amazing (the concept itself was good, but the execution was terrible, and I'd bet Walter Koenig wishes he hadn't been in a couple of episodes, either - he played an alien named Oro, who wore a gold lame jumpsuit... ).
An egregious example of ignoring science in literature is the nuDune books by Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert. Leaving aside the dozens of ways they spat on the original six books with retconning everything that made the original series so good, they had space battles happen at sublight speed... yet time happened at the same pace for people in the spaceships and on every planet in the Imperium. Um, there's this thing called relativity...
And one of the dumbest mistakes? Apparently space battles only happen in two dimensions. And whole galaxies can be blockaded by surrounding it on one plane, rather than completely, in three dimensions. Who knew?
Just because they pay you, it doesn't mean they'd actually listen to you.
The TV series Reign (the travesty of a series about Mary, Queen of Scots) claims they had historical advisors. They must not have listened to any of them, because the vast majority of the "history" in that series was just plain wrong.
Even the other things in the series were ridiculous. The costumes didn't even try to be accurate, and as someone who learned medieval/Tudor dancing in the SCA, even I can tell that the court dances were too modern and the actors weren't even dancing in time to the music anyway.
I really have no issue with that.
What I'm getting at is that if I were a consultant or advisor on a show or movie and nobody listened and got everything wrong, I'd be at risk of being considered an idiot, because there will be people in the audience who actually understand this stuff and would be curious as to who the advisor was. Then they would say, "Wow, their advisor doesn't know much."
It's a professional reputation thing.
I've been a consultant on a few projects (not Hollywood movies, but smaller things like plays and writing projects). I always did my best to give the most accurate information I could, and was pleased to see that most of the time my advice was taken.
I do not have a professional reputation worth worrying about in Hollywood.
How about just plain respect?
Even Spock got frustrated in one of the Star Trek episodes when he said it was illogical for Kirk to ask his advice if he had no intention of taking it. (Or that's the gist of it)
Except, obviously, for when parallel dimensions and/or time travel are a main point of the show. See for example The Man in the High Castle, or Fringe.
Even the Tower of Joy scene from A Game of Thrones?
Superfluous and badly written sex scenes.
Now I'm not a prude and while I'm not personally very interested in reading detailed descriptions of other people having sex anymore (having been married for years and having four kids and stuff) I can understand the appeal of actual erotica, etc. There certainly is a time and place for that sort of thing.
However, in a work of fiction where the sex is not a main part of the point... just give me whatever details, if any, are actually relevant to the plot or character development. In most cases, that level of detail is somewhere between "none" and "then they slept together and felt good/bad/conflicted about it afterwards". Or else, it had better be written in an amusing and entertaining way. Unfortunately writers often fail here and the results are just embarrassing.
Separate names with a comma.