Author Topic: Entertainment Pet Peeves  (Read 3897 times)

Vaal

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Entertainment Pet Peeves
« on: September 08, 2011, 11:36:42 PM »
Just injecting some general discussion into GD. This is a thread to post things that annoy you in various forms of entertainment.... mostly because I just read a piece of weblit (no names!) that set off a bunch of my buttons.

1) Calling eyes 'orbs'
Dear 'orb' writer: You are trying too hard. Extra points off if you use a color to describe them and then forget what color you used three sentences later. Azure is not 'ice-blue'! Nor is it 'aqua'!

2) The Amazing 50 Break-up Couple
Okay... look. I understand that a happy couple is a boring couple (thank you, Chris Rock) and not ever format can send them off to fight Jedi dragons on the slopes of Mount Doom to compensate. But there are other ways to make those characters interesting besides making them break up every three episodes/issues/books.

Once creates emotional impact. Twice makes it clear you're just screwing with me.

3) Pick a Tone, any Tone and stick to it.
If you're writing something episodic like a comic, or TV show, fine. Some episodes are more serious than others. Good. But if you're writing a goofy comedic fantasy romp, I didn't need to read a single, inexplicable paragraph about someone being eviscerated in loving detail and clear horror and then snap back to making jokes about a running gag. What. The Hell?

4) Footnotes exist for a reason
Terry Pratchett knows this. Learn from him. Don't put paragraph long blocks in the middle of your story explaining why this character was made this way.

Okay, that's not even a footnote. Dude, you have a website, you can blog that stuff. This is like if the director's commentary came on at random when you watch a movie, pausing the action to explain how Steve was hung over the night.

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En

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Re: Entertainment Pet Peeves
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2011, 08:27:47 AM »
3) Pick a Tone, any Tone and stick to it.
If you're writing something episodic like a comic, or TV show, fine. Some episodes are more serious than others. Good. But if you're writing a goofy comedic fantasy romp, I didn't need to read a single, inexplicable paragraph about someone being eviscerated in loving detail and clear horror and then snap back to making jokes about a running gag. What. The Hell?
He, I do like when the mood whiplashes back and forth. But yeah, a single squicky thing thrown in for no apparent reason is lame.

I'm pretty omnivorous, and frankly I do not care too much about style if the story is good. Besides I often try to read stuff in the original language they're written in, even if I do not understand it fully, so yeah.
I however have a few pet peeves of my own

1- the use of the words "pregnant" and "silence" in the same sentence. For some reason 1- it reminds me of horse husbandry 2- I hate it 3- I hate it
2- people using "gay" as an adjective for things in the correct form (e.g.: a gay dress means a brightly colored one) but in the wrong sense, using it as a pejorative. I stopped reading a very promising story after the third such usage in a single page. And no, I do not care if the character is a wannabe macho, get your grammar straight.
3- I have read way too much Pratchett and Schmitz. I hate a DamselInDistress played straight. And I hate even more a FauxActionGirl. Goes double for children characters.
4- LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters without any kind of good introduction first. I loose track of who's who after ten pages.
5- A random sex scene inserted just because there has to be one. (Expecially in movies) Usually it totally breaks the narrative, adds nothing, and can easily be done offscreen anyway.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2011, 08:49:30 AM by En »
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Vaal

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Re: Entertainment Pet Peeves
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2011, 11:44:09 AM »
I think a straight damsel can work if: a) it's someone who really has no business being in combat/on an adventure anyway. b) we aren't subjected to three pages of loving detail about how scared they are or poorly acted crying. c) The experience leads to character development, or a real relationship problem afterward.

Also, never, ever look at the number of character tags Descendants has >_>

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En

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Re: Entertainment Pet Peeves
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2011, 02:42:39 PM »
I think a straight damsel can work if: a) it's someone who really has no business being in combat/on an adventure anyway. b) we aren't subjected to three pages of loving detail about how scared they are or poorly acted crying. c) The experience leads to character development, or a real relationship problem afterward.
Ok, I can see that. Kinda like Burrough's mars serie's girls.
Eh, I guess my RL dislike for weak/passive women colours my view too much :)

Also, never, ever look at the number of character tags Descendants has >_>
Nah, you create quite diverse characters and the reader always has time to absorb new ones. I've gone "wait, who was this one again?" only a couple of times so far, and with my terrible memory that's very good :)
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Vaal

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Re: Entertainment Pet Peeves
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2011, 03:10:21 AM »
The way I see it, it takes all kinds and not everyone gets to be awesome.  Also, it kind of ties your hands when you can't just get someone kidnapped once in a while without staging a capture-fight.

Now a previously capable character getting chumped like that, I agree, especially if it's via 'standard female grab area'. But if, to take from the series, Mary Northbrooke got captured, I don't expect her to do much of anything. By the same token, Malcolm Bookman wouldn't fare any better.

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En

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Re: Entertainment Pet Peeves
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2011, 02:57:19 PM »
Yeah, I agree. I think that maybe I came out a bit too strong in my first post.
Let's put it this way: I'm ok with a character being passive to the kidnappers IF the monologue (or the big surprise) shows she was plotting escape all along. And/or she's somewhat in control of the situation. Sounds good?

I do get that everyone has a weakness. Hell, the easier girl to kidnap from the descendants would probably be Darkness herself if the kidnapper was either a CompleteMonster or very crafty.
Just stage a series of disposable gambits to get her alone, and when you face her produce a tied up kid and put a gun to his temple. You do not even need a real gun, or for that matter a real hostage, if the kid in question is a good enough actor. "Hey little brother, wanna play supervillains?"  ;D
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Fyrasha

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Re: Entertainment Pet Peeves
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2011, 10:41:05 PM »
1. Writers of a longer series that desperately need to hire a continuity editor.
Pay attention to the timeline, jeez! If every fanbrat with a wiki can manage this, you should, especially if it's your livelihood!  Also, even if it's a minor character, changing their name/appearance/age is NOTICED. (Appearance changes for 'had to hire a new actor' are permitted, it happens and I'll suspend disbelief there.)

2. Why can no one shoot that should be able to? Cops, military, stormtroopers, whatever - if it's not the hero it misses despite putting like a thousand bullets/laser blasts/whatever in the right direction and supposedly being trained to fire the thing.

3. Every romantic couple EVER seems to love leaping to the conclusion that their SO is cheating at the drop of a hat. Now, if there's reasonably plausible circumstantial evidence, I'll buy it. But 'he's been distracted lately, THERE MUST BE ANOTHER WOMAN' gets old.

4. This one is particular to tv shows, and is part of the reason I'd rather rent last season on DVD than watch what's currently running. Commercial breaks waste enough time, do we really have to do 'before the last break we saw <rehash of last segment's content>,' then <actual content>, then 'after the break we'll see <preview of next segment's content!>' as the standard setup between commercials? I have more than an infant's attention span, I know what I just watched ten minutes ago, and I'll likely keep watching without the teaser. Only a third of the 'content' is actual content, this turns a 20 minute show into an hour.

Fyrasha

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Re: Entertainment Pet Peeves
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2011, 10:44:00 PM »
Kinda like Burrough's mars serie's girls.

Off topic, but that reminds me OH MY GOD THEY'RE MAKING A JOHN CARTER OF MARS MOVIE *fangirl-squee*

I grew up on those books, along with my dad's old Heinlein and Asimov. :)

Vaal

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Re: Entertainment Pet Peeves
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2011, 11:28:43 PM »
1. Writers of a longer series that desperately need to hire a continuity editor.
Pay attention to the timeline, jeez! If every fanbrat with a wiki can manage this, you should, especially if it's your livelihood!  Also, even if it's a minor character, changing their name/appearance/age is NOTICED. (Appearance changes for 'had to hire a new actor' are permitted, it happens and I'll suspend disbelief there.)
Or, this being the internet, start your own wiki and let the fans do all your work.

Quote
2. Why can no one shoot that should be able to? Cops, military, stormtroopers, whatever - if it's not the hero it misses despite putting like a thousand bullets/laser blasts/whatever in the right direction and supposedly being trained to fire the thing.
This is actually a real thing! Most bullets fired in armed conflicts miss.

In fact, Cracked has an article on it.

Quote
3. Every romantic couple EVER seems to love leaping to the conclusion that their SO is cheating at the drop of a hat. Now, if there's reasonably plausible circumstantial evidence, I'll buy it. But 'he's been distracted lately, THERE MUST BE ANOTHER WOMAN' gets old.
God, I hate this too.

Also: A couple is very close to one another without being declared romantic. Someone ribs them about this. Cue "S/He's not my Girl/Boyfriend!" and the person in question takes this to mean that the other person hates them forever.

Quote
4. This one is particular to tv shows, and is part of the reason I'd rather rent last season on DVD than watch what's currently running. Commercial breaks waste enough time, do we really have to do 'before the last break we saw <rehash of last segment's content>,' then <actual content>, then 'after the break we'll see <preview of next segment's content!>' as the standard setup between commercials? I have more than an infant's attention span, I know what I just watched ten minutes ago, and I'll likely keep watching without the teaser. Only a third of the 'content' is actual content, this turns a 20 minute show into an hour.
Newspaper strips are more hilarious for this.

Panel 1: Recap, Panel 2: Action, Panel 3: Preview, Sunday: Unrelated gag, then Recap.

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En

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Re: Entertainment Pet Peeves
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2011, 03:32:40 AM »
Kinda like Burrough's mars serie's girls.
Off topic, but that reminds me OH MY GOD THEY'RE MAKING A JOHN CARTER OF MARS MOVIE *fangirl-squee*
  you have officially made my day  ;D

I grew up on those books, along with my dad's old Heinlein and Asimov. :)
Eh, add in Schmitz and you got my first books too.

(And Lovecraft, but the first time I tried to read it I was seriously scared. I had to wait some years before picking it up again)

Quote
3. Every romantic couple EVER seems to love leaping to the conclusion that their SO is cheating at the drop of a hat. Now, if there's reasonably plausible circumstantial evidence, I'll buy it. But 'he's been distracted lately, THERE MUST BE ANOTHER WOMAN' gets old.
God, I hate this too.

Also: A couple is very close to one another without being declared romantic. Someone ribs them about this. Cue "S/He's not my Girl/Boyfriend!" and the person in question takes this to mean that the other person hates them forever.
Well, tbh if it's a teenaged couple it is TruthInTelevision. Having someone you can trust implicitly is something you get much later. And love/not love status tends to be pretty black and white. Hell, it is difficult as adults to manage undefined relationships, with all the sentimental maturity you have at 16 it's likely impossible.
Oh, btw Fy: personally I would not, even with reasonably plausible circumstantial evidence  ;D
« Last Edit: September 14, 2011, 04:49:35 AM by En »
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Mazzon

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Re: Entertainment Pet Peeves
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2011, 02:29:36 PM »
1. Writers of a longer series that desperately need to hire a continuity editor.
At least many writers can manage. What's really depressing is major companies - be it tv studios or especially comic book publishers - who apparently don't even try. When a new writer picks up an ongoing story, nobody checks if they've read what came before or whether or not they even give a rat's ass.
And why should they? Everybody loves retcons, right? Besides, they have to reboot the continuities every few years anyway so no biggie.
Quote
3. Every romantic couple EVER seems to love leaping to the conclusion that their SO is cheating at the drop of a hat. Now, if there's reasonably plausible circumstantial evidence, I'll buy it. But 'he's been distracted lately, THERE MUST BE ANOTHER WOMAN' gets old.
Relating to this: Whenever a male who is in a relationship has had to cancel a date with their partner for completely innocent reasons, and during that time have completely innocently spent time with another woman (for example taken them to a hospital after an accident or simply happened to be on the same train), for some reason they always have to lie about it. Not only that, but of course they can't just make up a simple lie like the truth minus the other woman, they have to make up a highly unbelievable lie that's very easy to check (I was building a treehouse with your mother!).

About a John Carter of Mars movie, I'm inclined to fear the worst. As with Burrough's better-known hero Tarzan, Hollywood will probably butcher the work beyond recognition and much for the same reasons. After all, they have to get rid of the blatant racism, tone down the violence to make it family friendly, replace any outdated scifi with current bog standard stuff and elide the worst of the protagonist-centered morality, so what's left? A guy in a loincloth?

Fyrasha

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Re: Entertainment Pet Peeves
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2011, 09:25:04 AM »
They might not entirely butcher it, the director is the guy who did Wall-E. And yeah, the books have some outdated opinions and they're not great compared to a lot of modern plotting (helloooo deus ex machinas), but they were groundbreaking classics, and at the age of 10 or so I devoured these, so high sentimentality factor for me.

En

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Re: Entertainment Pet Peeves
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2011, 09:28:26 AM »
at the age of 10 or so I devoured these, so high sentimentality factor for me.
QFT  ;)
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