Friday, November 04, 2011

Movie/TV tropes that irritate me

I am big fan of movies, and watch a lot of TV. I see many, many plots and plot devices that get used over and over. Those don't bother me, for the most part; I accept that there are only so many stories that can be told, and that the art is in how you tell them.

What will irritate the bejeesus out of me is the little details.

I studied law enforcement in college, and learned a lot about crime scene investigation. I love a good mystery or police procedural show, but the way they handle crime scenes just pains me. I know that they don't have the time to show how it's actually done, but it still just irks me. It's a wonder that my wife will sit down and watch Castle with me every week, because inevitably I cringe at the way the murder scene is handled.

But the topic of today's post is (mostly) about even smaller details in movies and TV shows that drive me nuts. Here are some examples:

1. "Call me" - The awkward but lovable boy has just met the rebellious outsider chick who is new in school (and who has the body of a supermodel despite being a nerd), and they have awkward banter. She walks away, or goes to her dad's car, and says, "Call me." But she never gives him a phone number. In the next scene, Mr. Awkward is calling her, and she answers on her cell phone. Really?
This also happens with addresses - "Swing by my place at 7pm" she'll say, despite the fact that he would have no way to know where she lives.

2. "The suspect's name is Geoffrey Blomkamphisburgh" - The cop/spy/whatever has found the driver's license, passport, or scrap of paper with the suspect's name on it, and is on the phone with the trusty cohort back at the station, and gives the cohort the suspect's name, which is one or more of the following:

  • able to be spelled multiple ways
  • in a foreign language
  • generally difficult to spell
But, the cohort types it out perfectly (usually into the Magic Database that has Every Detail About Everyone, Everywhere). I'm not saying the show should make us sit through the hero spelling it out - it's just one of those things that momentarily damages the suspension of disbelief.

3. Doing anything that I've seen busted on Mythbusters - I mean,'s on TV too. There's just no excuse.

And one big one that I just can't resist complaining about:

4. The Spy Who's Been Everywhere, Done Everything, and has Mastered Every Skill - You've seen him in dozens of movies (*cough* Jason Bourne *cough*). The CIA's former top operative/assassin, he knows off the top of his head the details of the war crimes (from 2 decades ago) of the Serbian bad guy that nobody else has ever heard of; speaks perfect French, Farsi, Russian, and Tagalog (look it up); knows what the symbols of some secret society from 1200 A.D. mean and how they relate to the murderer in the story; and he can kick the asses of 10 Navy SEALs with his right hand tied to his left ankle.

There are many more, I just can't think of them right this second. Seriously, if you ever have to sit next to me through a movie or show where there's a crime scene investigation, I apologize in advance. And no, I do not watch CSI, of any flavor. I tried once, and I nearly had an aneurism.