Saturday, May 05, 2007

Predictability and TV shows

Either TV shows are predictable or I'm damn sharp. (Let's not eliminate the option "both". :)

I rented the first disk of the TV Show "House", with Hugh Laurie. I knew nothing about it, only that it was respected and that I tend to like Mr. Laurie's work.
So I start the first episode... there is a good-looking young woman hurrying from a bus to get to work on time. I see the way it's filmed, and I think to myself: "Ah, she is dead. I give her two and a half minutes."

Exactly two and a half minutes later: bam! she hits the floor.

I have to admit though, that since it turns out to be a "medical drama" and not a crime show, she was not dead. The drama of the week is the doctors rushing to find out what's wrong with her, not the police rushing to find her killer before he kils again.


Gandalfe counters:
My wife the nurse and I luv this show. Not so much violence as more of a who done it. And there was a rather nice piece done on a jazz pianist losing his touch. To each his own I suppose.

OK, I admit I just tend not to like drama very much. Could be me.
Oooh, by the way, have you noticed that people never finish their drinks in films and TV shows? They get a lot of dialogue out of the way fixing the coffee or juice, and then they are done talking, and the guests leave without touching their drink. All the time. A very weird world they live in. :)

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Saturday, May 05, 2007   10 comments links to this post


At 5 May 2007, 23:12:00, Anonymous Gandalfe said...

My wife the nurse and I luv this show. Not so much violence as more of a who done it. And there was a rather nice piece done on a jazz pianist losing his touch. To each his own I suppose.

At 6 May 2007, 00:55:00, Anonymous ttl said...

"Oooh, by the way, have you noticed that people never finish their drinks in films and TV shows?"

In U.S. films and TV shows you mean?

In many Asian and European films these kinds of mundane activities are much more intelligently weaved into the story.

At 6 May 2007, 02:48:00, Anonymous Psychic Pascal said...

Never seen "Scream" (the first one) and the rules of horror movies?
If you leave the room saying "I'll be right back", you'll never be back, because you're about to get killed. Just shaddup and exit if you want to return!
Similarly, finishing your drink is bad luck, dude. Don't toy with Destiny when you're living in TV-World...

Besides, the cleaning staff of the studio have a living to earn, so be considerate: be a slob!

At 6 May 2007, 12:29:00, Blogger Magnetic Mary said...

"Oooh, by the way, have you noticed that people never finish their drinks in films and TV shows?"
Yessss!! And it's quite irritating and sort of rude! :-)

At 7 May 2007, 05:47:00, Anonymous Pascal said...

You're right, Mary, it IS rude.
Being afraid of bad luck is no reason to ignore etiquette. ;-)

At 7 May 2007, 09:38:00, Blogger eolake said...

It's bad luck to finish a drink?

At 7 May 2007, 22:38:00, Anonymous Pascal the barman said...

Let's put it this way: if you're shown finishing your drink in Teeveeland, chances are it's the last thing you'll be doing. Remember that guy in the Godfather who TRIED to eat his spaghetti.

Would you go take a leak out of sight if you knew you were a movie character?...

In fact, oddly, I'd say about the safest body function you can do in front of a camera is (suggested) sex. Which still isn't always good news.

I'd say this "trope" goes this way: you want to "die" somebody, first you make them look very human by doing something "ordinary" like drinking or eating, for no immediate scenaristic reason. So the public will feel closer to the poor sap, thanks to a familiar frameset that's shown for this unique purpose.

And if somebody, by some prodigy, has trouble finding a parking space, there will always be a very potent reason. For instance, they'll be getting late for work in the WTC on September 11th 2K1.

TV : the moron-making machine. The Decerebrizer. The Boob Toobe. It's getting boring because even on the unconscious level, anybody with brains will start to expect things. Even with half a brain, sometimes. "Once upon a time, there were very romantic people who has va ery miserable life or had somethingctastrophic but extraordinary happen to them. And they overcame the odds, found love, and lived happily ever after."
That is, until their perfectly happy marriage gets ruined by having to raise three, seven, a dozen or 13 bratty kids, who'll probably promptly get into another fine improbable mess for the sequel.

At 7 May 2007, 22:57:00, Blogger eolake said...

"In fact, oddly, I'd say about the safest body function you can do in front of a camera is (suggested) sex."

Only I heard that in teen-slasher movies, it is the girls who have sex who buy it.

At 7 May 2007, 23:06:00, Anonymous Thanking Wikipedia, Pascal quoted and then said...

A signature device, started in Scream and continued in Scream 2 and Scream 3, was the typical "rules" for that type of horror movie being stated by the characters.
*In Scream, those rules (as described by Randy) are:
-You may not survive the movie if you have sex.
-You may not survive the movie if you drink or do drugs.
-You may not survive the movie if you say "I'll be right back."
Additional rules (according to the killer):
-You may not survive the movie if you ask "Who's there?"
-You may not survive the movie if you go out to investigate a strange noise.
*In Scream 2, the rules for a sequel (as described by Randy) are:
-The body count is always bigger.
-The death scenes are always much more elaborate, with more blood and gore.
-Randy starts to describe the third rule: "If you want your films to become a successful franchise, never, ever...' before being interrupted by Dewey. (The joke is that the filmmakers are admitting there is no surefire way to ensure a film franchise is successful.) However, the film's original teaser trailer featured an extended version of the rules scene which reveals that originally the third rule was supposed to be "Never, ever, under any circumstances assume the killer is dead." This referenced Randy's last line in the original Scream which stated that a killer always comes back to life for one last scare.
*In Scream 3, Sidney, Dewey, Gale and Randy's sister (Heather Matarazzo), watch a video made by Randy (Jamie Kennedy, in a cameo role) before his death in Scream 2; he states that if the third movie is just another sequel, then the standard rules for a sequel (given in Scream 2) apply. However, "If you find yourself dealing with an unexpected backstory, and a preponderance of exposition, then the sequel rules do not apply. Because you are not dealing with a sequel, you are dealing with the concluding chapter of a trilogy." The rules for the final concluding chapter of a trilogy are different:
-"You've got a killer who’s gonna be super human. Stabbing him won’t work, shooting him won’t work, basically in the third one, you gotta cryogenically freeze his head, decapitate him, or blow him up."
-"Anyone, including the main character, can die. This means you Sid."
-"The past will come back to bite you in the ass. Whatever you think you know about the past, forget it. The past is not at rest, any sins you think were committed in the past are about to break out and destroy you."
-Basically in the third movie, all bets are off.
Later, Det. Mark Kincaid says "All I know about movie trilogies is in the third one, all bets are off." It is also worth mentioning that in Scream 2 Randy states that sequels have bigger body counts where as Scream 3 has the same amount of deaths as Scream 2. This is only true if you include the deaths of the killers along with their victims. If you don't, Scream 2 had 8 victims while Scream 3 had 9 and is the only Scream film to feature a 'double event' where two victims are killed within minutes of each other prior to the finale.

Some people love to count hairs after splitting them... ;-)
You were right about girls having sex. This is why I said that it's the safest, but it's not necessarily got news yet!

At 7 May 2007, 23:29:00, Blogger eolake said...

"You may not survive the movie if you ask "Who's there?""

I always wondered about this, in real life. If you suspect somebody is there who shouldn't be, why would you give them warning?


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