4 things that make suspension of disbelief a pain

Ah yes, suspension of belief. You know what it is, even if you don’t know it by name. It’s what you do when stuff in books or movies doesn’t make sense yet it has nothing to do with plot gaffes. It’s the logic-holes that can never be resolved. Like when multiple bad guys keep shooting at the hero and never hit while every shot the hero fires always hits. It’s the reason on which the entire professional wrestling industry is based, it’s why when a guy is left beaten and bloody in the ring, he waits till THE NEXT WEEK’S SHOW to extract his revenge rather than, you know, going to his enemy’s home and carving him up. And also why no matter how much shit gets out of hand, no one brings a fucking gun or calls the damn police. Simply put, there are so many unrealistic and unbelievable moments in fiction that in order to enjoy it fully, you need to let go of some of your reservations with the content. You turn a blind-eye over some of the less outrageous gaffes. Or in laymen’s terms, you stop nit-picking in order to be entertained. It’s not hard to do. Most times, you don’t even notice. Then there’s stuff that takes it too far, stuff that’s intelligence insulting. Stuff like:

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# 4 – LOOK AT THE TIME!

This is something that’s present only in TV shows, and mostly procedurals at that.

Something all of us wish we could say about this guy

Ever seen the show, House M.D? It’s about a misanthropic, unconventional and maverick doctor…..

 

Not him.

……who diagnoses patients no one else can diagnose by trying different diagnoses until he finally finds the one that’s correct, using methods that border on crazy at best and are batshit insane at worst. Seriously, this is a guy that once operated on his own leg without fucking anesthetics in the bathtub in his house! And he’s such a genius (and those around him are such diphits) that even when he goes to jail, the hospital tries to get him out because without him, they know they’re screwed. And yet for all his genius, he NEVER gets it right the first time and any diagnosis made during the first twenty minutes of the show will undoubtedly be incorrect. Why? Because there’s still 40 minutes to go! The patient deteriorates because of the incorrect treatment and barely hangs on to life until House miraculously figures out the treatment in the final five minutes and saves him. And it happens approximately….. let me calculate here for a sec, carry the one, times two, oh here it is: every. fuckin. time!

Here’s the reason why, in majority of the medical procedurals, the primarily storyline is always of the case being solved and since the leading characters are not in any sort of danger, the only way the show-runners can inject a little drama into the mix is by fucking with the poor patient. And that’s not just the case with medical procedurals, but with police procedurals too. Wanna be Hortatio? Here’s a tip, it’s never the guy who’s caught in the first act. NEVER. As long as there’s still time on the clock, the real baddie is still out there. And that screws up the suspension of disbelief big time. Because it’s not really easy to invest in the situation when we know that it’s not going to be the correct frickin’ diagnosis because it’s announced on minute nineteen of an hour long show!

And here you thought I was joking about the bathtub operation…..

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# 3 – IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE

Boy, leading characters in TV shows and movies have it made. They’re all supermen, have foes that are dumber than contestants on Living on the Edge, and are so lucky that they burp winning lottery numbers by mistake. Confused? Hang on, I’ll explain. The first time I noticed this was with this writer by the name of Ishtiaq Ahmed. See, he had this series in the late 70’s about a police officer called Inspector Jamshed, and his three kids who fought crime together. He wrote their adventures in novel form on a monthly basis. The stories themselves ranged from, “great” to “meh” to “I’d rather read Twilight”. Don’t judge, it’s still the closest we’ve ever gotten to comic books in our country’s 60 year existence.

PakiSTAN LEE

So all was fine and dandy for the first couple of years, but then suddenly, as the books took off in popularity, Inspector Jamshed became Superman. He could fight a 100 dudes at once, could change his appearance and voice to match ANYONE in the world regardless of gender or height, routinely stopped bullets fired at him by firing in the same direction so that both bullets collided and fell to the floor (I shit you not!), and never once in Ahmed’s 770+ novel run was gravely injured, got promoted despite saving his country regularly from the brink of doom or aged. And his kids remained school-goers throughout. That was it. They just kept fighting crime forever, 30 years and counting. And man, were his enemies dumb. Even when by some twist of fate, they had him and his kids surrounded and at their mercy, they never bothered to, you know, KILL THEM, but rather decided that this was a time to toy with him and explain their plans in elaborate detail which would inevitably lead to their downfall. Yes, it’s true the characters that are the focus of any kind of the story in any kind of medium just tend to have the best luck possible along with situations that awfully favor them.

And this is a problem that plagues EVERYTHING. Most commonly, the James Bond franchise: the villains will yap and yap and yap when they had Bond cornered and ready to be killed thus giving him an opportunity to turn the tables on them, any gadget Bond received at the start of the movie would always come in handy later on and never be mentioned again, and in the bedroom scenes, they would always, ALWAYS, cut away before we could see “the good stuff”.

Granted, that part has nothing to do with suspension of disbelief.

And it’s not just guys being men of steel or villains being idiots, it’s the insurmountable good fortune that’s always with the leads. Think of Superman, the most iconic superhero there is in comics and his big mind-blowing idea to protect his secret identity is: wearing glasses. One measly pair of spectacles and the ENTIRE world for some reason can’t tell that it’s the same frickin’ dude! I got the idea of writing this piece watching an episode of Supernatural when the lead character, Dean receives a call on a phone that’s not his, and he answers pretending to be the owner of said phone, without bothering to change his voice and the person on the other side just accepts him as is. Funnily enough, that never works for me when I try to call the traffic police and pretend to be the commissioner (we still have those, right?) to get my friends off traffic tickets. Still, this pi**es me off not only because it’s unrealistic as Twilight not being crappy and also because it gives the impression that nobody gives a crap what anyone sounds like anymore, imagine what a world that would be like!

 

And it’s not limited to voices on the phone or secret identities, you want vehicular transportation? Not a problem, as everyone leaves the keys of their cars IN THE FUCKING CARS themselves. Want to infiltrate an army? Just get hold of one of the soldiers, wear his clothes and you’re good to go and no one will ever be the wiser. You want revenge on the guys who murdered your family? No worries, their bullets will never hit. And YOU my friends will kill them all no matter how many of them there are with your one revolver that holds only six bullets.

“DEAL!”

Man, characters in fiction have it made….except for the family sometimes getting killed part. That sorta sucks. Anyways, that’s just how I feel about this from my position.

Which is, crouching in the corner of a jail cell.

Typing this on a stolen laptop.

Turns out them police kinda take this identity theft deal sorta seriously.

Help me!

Please!

*ahem*

Moving on.

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# 2 – YOU AGAIN?!?!

Quick, what’s the plot of the first Transformers movie from 2007? The evil bad guy robots are planning something that would destroy the Earth and only the good guy robots can save it along with their human friend, Sam Witwicky, you say? Okay, what’s the plot for the second one? Pretty much the same, no? And for the third? Ditto. It’s a necessary ill in movies, TV shows and comic books to keep recycling the same damn characters and situations over and over again and not just that, the events and circumstances just have to happen to a select few people, because let’s face it, it’s easier using the same character than having to come up with new ones.

 

“Saving the world? Again? Didn’t we do it, like, last week?”

The TV show LOST was based on the premise of a plan crash on a mysterious island and focused on the survivors’ attempts to survive it and get home. Other than nobody knowing exactly what the fuck was going on throughout its six years run, It was famous for having a huge ensemble cast of characters which was diverse and had an international flavor, so much so that in the later seasons there were episodes that used only one or two season one characters. But despite that, they only used a fraction of what was available as out of the 72 survivors, NOTHING EVER HAPPENED to the folks other than the 14 characters that had speaking roles. They didn’t speak, didn’t get into the trouble that the regulars did and if one of the other 58 people ever suddenly got introduced in an episode where a dangerous mission into the jungle was being planned, it was a surefire bet that there would be a casualty in that mission and who that casualty would be.

Jee, I wonder if this character that got introduced last week will survive the trek into the dreaded jungle

The Spider-man movie series, other than being known for using essentially the same climax for three different movies, is also known for taking this to mythically stupid proportions. As the main villains for all three movies not only had ties to Spider-man’s real identity. The villain for the first movie, the Green Goblin, was Peter Parker’s best friend’s father; the villain for the second one was Peter’s favorite science professor and the person who he idolized; and by movie three, the film makers just realized that they could throw anything at us and we’d gobble it down hungrily while asking for seconds, so they had three, count ‘em, three villains with connections to Peter; the first villain was Peter’s very same best friend whose father Peter fought in movie one, the second was the guy who accidentally killed Peter’s uncle and the third was a person from Peter’s office who just hated Peter Parker.

 

“Oh noes, another person who I know as Peter Parker has become a villain! What a shocking turn of events!”

At this point it would be better to haul off anyone Peter and anyone he’s ever come into contact with on a rocket and send them off to the moon.

And, why does it happen, you ask? Well to make it resonate more with the viewers as they’re more likely to think that the stakes are higher if the villains are people who already have connections to the lead character. Because we know that movies where the title character doesn’t have a connection to the villain somehow, will undoubtedly and undeniably suck, right?

Shittiest. Movie. Ever.

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1. MY, MY, AREN’T YOU THE FINEST LOOKING SCUMBAG I’VE EVER SEEN?

Everyone knows that the good guys are supposed to be good-looking, be it books, movies, TV shows or comic books. Now why exactly is that? It isn’t realistic (downright supremacist, actually), and most times, it’s not even really relevant to the plot. It’s a stereotype, but one we readily accept. Knight in shining armor, riding a white horse and stuff, it’s the only thing fairy tales have taught us (apart from the fact that it’s totally okay to live with seven old men as their bitch), that good people are pretty.  But still, it’s okay. There’s a simple explanation for it, the masses would much rather see a pretty face than someone who isn’t that good looking. Where it starts to go a little crazy is when everybody shown is equally breathtaking, the heroes the villains, the supporting cast, the henchmen, EVERYONE.

Now I don’t want anyone to misunderstand me that I’m against people being portrayed as being pretty, far from it. All I’m saying is that it’s pretty darn unrealistic when it carries on to such ludicrous extents as those that follow in form of the horrors the comics industry is responsible for. There’s a reason comic book fan-boys are known sweat-pant wearing, acne-ridden, basement dwelling (the basements of course being a part of their parents’ home since they naturally have to live with them, being unemployed and all) virgins. Just look at the titles that flooded the market during the whole Bad Girls fad of the 90’s:

*Insert random joke about how these clothes were made from handkerchiefs*

The names of these classy not-at-all-semi-pornographic comic books, in order, are Witchblade, Vampirella and Lady Death. And their comics were among the highest selling titles throughout the 90’s. And it’s a fair assumption that the T&A had a “huge” part in it. Get it? Huge? As in, boobs! Heh. I’m SO CLEVER! Anyways, I’m not saying that these characters and books weren’t written well (spoiler alert: they weren’t), I’m just saying that there is absolutely no justification for drawing breasts and a face and calling it a character and is about as creative as the average youtube username.

You think this just plagues the comic titles of the lower tier? Try Spider-Man. One of the three most recognizable superhero characters in the world, and most of his supporting cast at all times during his 60+ years of publication has consisted of the hottest women ever. Heck, they even had an in-house dig at the fact when Chameleon, when he’s disguised as Peter Parker in Amazing Spider-Man # 603, remarks that for an ordinary meek photographer, Peter sure seems to be surrounded with hotties 24/7.

Going back to that Supernatural episode I mentioned, here are the two protagonists for the show played by Jensen “Hands in pockets are cool” Ackles and Jared “No, touching the wall behind with one leg is even cooler” Padalecki:

And here’s the antagonist for the episode played by Laura “let the photoshopping begin!” Cohen.

And not only is she extremely hot, she also has a thick British accent, which as has been proven countless times, has the tendency to make people approximately 23.64% hotter, only 11% less than beer’s. And that carries on for the rest of the season where most of the villains the two boys encounter are hot model-types. Because that’s how life works, kids. Everyone you meet in real life that’s antagonistic to you just happens to be drop-dead gorgeous too….. well, seems as they finally got one right. Whaddaya say we give them this one, eh?

——

So that seems to be about it for the things that bother me while I’m trying to suspend my disbelief. Now I’m not big on ending stuff and I always have trouble trying to find a suitable ending. But I’ve heard being funny is the key to a good concluding para. And since this is my debut post, I’ll try to hold true to that saying. Here goes:

There. That seems to have gotten the job done.

I’m Umar Ahmed. And I’ll be in my jail cell if you need me.

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Umar Ahmed is a student of Chartered Accountancy who is through almost two years of his CA articleship. He still doesn’t know how to ride a bicycle despite being 20 years old. His passions include comic books (Alan Moore!), Professional Wrestling (WWF,er,WWE,er… the Punchy Mcstomping guy show!), classical music (Beatles!) and kicking the crap out of people who use text speak (Arrest Warrants!). He is oddly fascinated by his sharpener and eraser and claims that “they” talk to him. He has also cured stickittothemanneosis.

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3 Comments on “4 things that make suspension of disbelief a pain”

  1. Sarcasm's An Awesome Thing
    April 24, 2012 at 11:12 pm #

    How much time did it take you to write this piece of shit? It just drags itself from line number 4 right to the end…. booooooooooring……… get a nerve, a**hole.

  2. Chikni Chameli
    April 1, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

    Hey there hotty! I love douche bags like u…what are u doing tonight? wanna party? y don’t we go for a long drive.

  3. April 1, 2012 at 7:54 pm #

    And if you thought this wasn’t a complete waste of time, you can follow me on Twitter or something.

    Yes, I’m an attention-whore. Sue me.

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