Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Rise Of Empty Trash

Since I am limited in what I can do for entertainment, or to pass the time when all energy has drained,  I turn to Netflix or Hulu for a little diversion. Much of the stuff there is useless or mind numbing but they do have a good movie occasionally and TV shows I don't mind watching.

I have always liked police procedurals, but so many of the new ones want to dwell on some psychological flaw of the main character, his/her struggle with personal issues. That gets old, and sometimes just flat boring and depressing. I was really sorry that Law and Order ended and I have watched them as reruns so many times that they're useless now. I wish they would have episodes of The Closer, which ended a few years back, but so far they aren't available. Monk is another one I enjoyed, but again have seen too many times and I don't think it is available any more anyway.

I also like a good mystery, one where the antagonist is not patently obvious in the first ten minutes of the show. Then there are several Sci-Fi shows and movies that have been pretty entertaining and well written. And the more cerebral shows such as Madame Secretary keep my attention as well.

Which brings me to my complaint about the content that many movies carry. If you don't like the F-word, or having courage described as a part of a man's anatomy (even for women), then there are slim pickings. That F-word is ubiquitous.  Now, I can understand certain situations where it can be a productive part of the plot, in scenes which are highly dangerous or defining. But honestly, does it need to be every other word in a script? Did the screenwriters not take a Creative Writing course at some point in their life? One of the first things you learn is not to overuse a word so it doesn't lose its impact. It's as if the writers take the easy way out, rather than take time to be creative or pick up a dictionary. They use the word because they can, and because they can they rub your face in it. And no matter what the plot is about, they will make money. And honestly, it wouldn't matter what word it was, if it was repeated so frequently you would get tired of hearing it!

"What the pig do you think you're doing?"

"None of your pigging business, you pigging idiot!"

"Pig you! Those are my pigging medals and I don't want you pigging touching them!"

"Pig, pig, pig! I've given you pigging everything and this is how you pigging treat me? Pig you!"

"Pig! There are some pigging things I don't share, and you should pigging know that. Pig you!"

Ad nauseam.

Anther frustration is the plot line. A lot of movies depend so heavily on CGI (computer generated image), there is not much of a story. Recently I watched Dr. Strange on Netflix. It was OK, it was predictable but nonetheless entertaining in a way. Today I clicked on Thor:Ragnaruk, because I knew it was a big deal when it first came out. Twenty six minutes into the movie, I hit the exit button. Really? What a boring film! And big name stars such as Anthony Hopkins and Benedict Cumberbatch are involved. My guess is that it's an easy paycheck for them. It's rather disappointing!

I don't think it's my age, a good story is timeless. Screenwriters used to be much more creative than they are now, it seems. Presently many movies are remakes of earlier films (that never works!); Ben Hur is a good example. I actually read the book a few years back and even though the original film was 4 hours long, they still had to leave things out. The recent Ben Hur was a crashing bore with the only similarities being the title and the name of the characters. And of course the chariot race, otherwise how could they convince themselves they were making another great movie?

The other genre is comic books. A few of them were good, I really enjoyed Ironman, and Captain America, although I had to laugh at the computer generated main character before he was changed to the hero. No one looks that scrawny and gets into the Army! Now films are constantly being made based on comics. Most of them are so poor they aren't worth watching.

Can't anyone tell a good story anymore?

Live your life one day at a time!


  1. This is one of the reasons I feel extra appreciative of the Fantastic Beasts series, since JK Rowling is writing them all as original screenplays! Also, the "pigging" part made me laugh! :D

  2. Some excellent points! Creative writing has lost its creativity, and has descended to a new level of banality and mediocrity.


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