Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tolerance for bullshit falling...

I've watched a lot of shows that required some pretty serious suspension of disbelief over the years.  Full House, Home Improvement, Sliders, Quantum Leap, Knight Rider (or anything else with the Hoff), all require that you check your brain at the door.  24 falls squarely into that category.  How else can you explain these  guys running all over LA without spending entire episodes stuck in traffic.  And a black man getting elected president? What the hell is that?

Yet, in the interest of enjoying myself, we all do that whole "suspension of disbelief" thing.  That's where you ignore that Rambo has been shot 357 times and still charges into the enemy, or laugh even though you know that Will Ferrell isn't actually funny.  It lets us enjoy things that our brain says we shouldn't.  

Somewhere along the line, I stopped being able to do that.  Instead of blithely accepting this crap like I used to, now I smack my forehead and yell about it.  Kt can attest to this.  My head is actually getting kind of sore.

The two shows I've noticed this in lately are Heroes and 24, with Heroes taking the cake.  I decided I couldn't stand it anymore when I realized that I was smacking my head every five minutes.  24 has almost as frequent head smacks, but it also has frequent gunfights, torture, and general action movie manliness, while Heroes turned into The Days of Our Super-lives somewhere.

What I'm still trying to figure out is whether the shows have changed, or if my bullshit tolerance is falling.  My head says that a bunch of dudes with scuba gear and a hand drill shouldn't be able to open up a 5' hole in the roof of an underwater tunnel through 6-8" of solid rock in under five minutes without using explosives.  But is that any worse than some of the things that went on in the earlier seasons of 24? 

I feel like the writers have either run out of clever ways to geting things done, or realized that we as an audience are just really willing to accept whatever crap they put in front of us.  Either way, I find myself less and less willing to watch it.  I've got many other things that I could do with my time, things that don't ask me to swallow this kind of lazy writing.  Or maybe I'm just turning into a cranky old man.  That's entirely possible.  Hopefully I go senile soon so I can go back to enjoying TV again.

1 comment:

Gaby said...

ahh no hang on to your disbelief! at least until after may. Other wise warp speed will piss you off. :-) I'm willing to suspend my disbelief to incredibly ridiculous levels but I gave up on Heroes this season.

Your post reminded me about Laurell K Hamilton. she writes books about a world where vampires and werewolves are real and her heroine is a vampire hunter. (they started out pretty ok and now they are kinda trashy but its like crack and I'm hooked) anyways on her blog she writes about being upset at movies when they are unrealistic and I just shout "YOU WRITE ABOUT FREAKING VAMPIRES, SHUT THE HELL UP" /endrant