kilroy: (Default)
#324: As a rule, prostitutes do not offer performance-based refunds. (Supernatural)
kilroy: (Default)
#322: If you can't get the original actor back, don't do clones. (Smallville)
#323: Dead characters shouldn't come back in visions just to tell living characters things they already know. (Smallville; for a correct usage, see Star Wars)

Also, shout out to #298 and the ever-popular #287.
kilroy: (Default)
#317: The proper way to deal with surprise incest is not to say "Hey, we're related to each other. Oh well, back to screwing." (Code 46)
#318: Lingering close-ups of someone's face are no substitute for actual storytelling. (Code 46)
#319: The Scifi Saturation Rule: Technologies that profoundly impact social structure should be explored no more than two at a time. (Code 46)
#320: Open endings are not an excuse to avoid closure. (Code 46)

It's amazing how many people don't seem to understand that last one.

Cogitating

Sep. 23rd, 2010 09:06 am
kilroy: (Default)
I'm dancing around formulating a Rule of Drama for my friend's novel. Something along the lines of "Hey authors, we don't like it when the main characters are spineless whitebread morons," but more elegant.

ETA: Also, this author desperately needs a shot of "show, don't tell," or possibly Gaiman's classic "Never apologise, never explain." Also, every single instance of "would" or "should" should be stricken from the book.

Squick

May. 25th, 2010 08:43 am
kilroy: (Default)
#316: Mind control plus sex usually equals rape. If you're not willing to deal with it as such, don't combine the two. (Smallville)

Mind control in porn is debatably a different matter, but these are "rules of drama" not "rules of porno."

A suite

May. 25th, 2010 07:24 am
kilroy: (Default)
#314: If you need mind-control to break your characters out of their comfort zones and/or reveal hidden truths about them, you're doing it wrong. (Smallville)
#315: Possession stories only work if the possessing entity is interesting by itself; you get exactly zero mileage for just doing strange things with familiar faces. (Smallville)

There's also an expanded #297 floating around in my head about mind-control and sex in general, but I need to make sure I phrase it right before I add it.
kilroy: (Default)
#309: Slow motion doesn't make anything cool by itself. (Legend of the Seeker)
#310: Nudity doesn't make anything sexy by itself. (Legend of the Seeker)
#311: If you're going to reveal that the hero is secretly related to the villain, don't do it right after the hero kills the villain. (Legend of the Seeker)
#312: The Metaplot Micro-Saturation Rule: You cannot start, finish, and fully explore more than two metaplot developments in one episode. (Legend of the Seeker)
#313: The Metaplot Macro-Saturation Rule: Discrete season-long events only work if they are rare, especially Big Bads. (Doctor Who, Smallville)

Callouts to:
  • #294-- for the obvious "Luke, I am your father" moment.
  • The ever-popular #298: "Oh hey, you spent an entire season killing this guy. Let's have him back next season!"
kilroy: (Default)
Rules of Drama have SPN spoilers. )

As the season of Smallville (and Legend of the Seeker for that matter) is complete and I can go back and watch it all in a shot, I'm expecting more of these soon.
kilroy: (Default)
#304: Time travel is not an undo button. (Legend of the Seeker, Smallville)

Time travel that can actually change things is fine-- but you should never change things back, you should change things into new configurations (see Quantum Leap).


Looking back, that finale is about a half-step away from being Mystery Science Theater material. It hits just about all the bad time travel tropes (kills important character so they can be brought back to life, person makes decisions they would never make because they know they can put it back, future which is more terrible than you could possibly imagine, time travel which just sort of happens for no reason), has both the Good Guy Forced to Marry Bad Guy plot and the Betrayed By Evil Kid plot, introduces a major character badly and then writes them off entirely, and kills off a main villain essentially by accident rather than through any effort on the heroes' parts. Not to mention the weak mixed-message ending where the possibility of further evil is mentioned generically but not even a tiny hint of actual future evil is provided. There were a few good lines, but man. This was almost insulting.

Still, that's a wrap for that season. Moving on.
kilroy: (Default)
#303: Having amnesia doesn't automatically make you a gullible idiot. (Legend of the Seeker)

In other news, I spent this morning having my head scanned for radioactive particles. And I kept thinking to myself, "If they find something with this, I have cancer. If they don't find something with this, I'm still left hanging." This is entirely spurious, of course. The way the scan actually works means that there could be ALL SORTS of reasons for weird readings, and the few glances I caught of the glowing dot in my throat were probably just pictures of my thyroid and not a tumor, and the fact that the guy was very solicitous about making sure I was seeing a doctor to talk about the results is standard procedure and not an indication that he could tell from the scans that I'm going to die.

I think you get the idea of my mental state this morning.

Cue work. After a rough patch I get into my groove, get everything I'm supposed to do done, nail a bunch of Amber stuff I'd been meaning to get around to, and leave work feeling a little tired and fragile but much better than this morning.

I stop at the grocery store to get dinner and run into my education professor from ten years ago, who I idolized. And she a) calls me Dan b) says she's "very proud of me" when I tell her what I'm doing and obviously doesn't mean it and c) tells me about how awesome things are going for my classmates. I feel like a completely useless twat again in thirty seconds flat.

In my mind I've been building a list of things to do When I Get My Life Back. Right now I'm alternating between being angry and depressed because of the existence of this list, because people keep reminding me why I have it, and because there's a non-zero possibility that I might not live long enough to do most of it.
kilroy: (Default)
#302: Nobody ever listens to justifications after you hurt their family. (Legend of the Seeker)


This one I've seen before, but it still gets me. Making the bad guys seem like the good guys is a fine tactic, but it seems like three times out of four the person they're trying to convince is someone whose brother they've imprisoned or parents they've killed.

There is a point at which the victim should have stopped listening, but usually they're still going "Oh, really? I guess you guys are okay then!"
kilroy: (Default)
#301: There are disguise options for women other than "sex object." Use them. (Legend of the Seeker)

You know, for a series with a Strong Female Lead, they spend a lot of their time tripping over basic stumbling blocks of woman-respect. I am not by any means surprised, but I am regularly disappointed.

She's a Confessor! Part of a long line of powerful women who mete out justice and kick ass! Of course her first thought for a costume would be Skank in Chains!
kilroy: (Default)
#300: Pulling back to say "This is wrong!" after you've already been kissing doesn't increase dramatic tension, it just makes your characters look weak. (Legend of the Seeker)

On the other hand, saying "This is wrong" first and then going at it with a vengeance afterwards usually works.


ETA: Oh, gods damn it. There was a possession storyline that was actually working and then they had to add a gratuitous sex scene. ARGH.

Deja view

Jun. 11th, 2009 10:22 pm
kilroy: (Default)
#299: Thou shalt not have a clip show in the first season. If possible, thou shalt not have a clip show ever. (Legend of the Seeker)
kilroy: (Default)
#297: Mind control with dominatrixes is always lame. (Legend of the Seeker)

#298: Resurrection should never, ever be easy. (Legend of the Seeker, Supernatural)


And in other news, one of the mega-spammers has started spoofing my gmail address! Whee!

ETA: Also, my spam folder on gmail finally broke 10,000!
kilroy: (Default)
Reworded #294 to 'You are allowed one "Hey, this is kinda like Star Wars!" Only one, and only "kinda."'

As [personal profile] tzikeh notes, there will probably be an equivalent rule for the Bible when I actually see it again. :-)

Now, a suite:

#296: Mixed-gender heterosexual groups generally tell each other when they're going to go bathe, thus avoiding surprise nudity 99% of the time. (Legend of the Seeker)

#296a: If you threw in a waterfall just to have someone bathing in it, you're doing it wrong. (Legend of the Seeker)

#296b: When bathing, it is important to actually be submerged in water. (Legend of the Seeker)
kilroy: (Default)
#295: There's never anything a telepathic child can do for your plot that a normal child couldn't do just as well. (Legend of the Seeker, Smallville)
kilroy: (Default)
#292: Never strike people with lightning as a plot point without including an extended over-the-top special-effects sequence. (Legend of the Seeker-- for "correct" uses, see He-Man and Highlander)

#293: If it's from a time beyond remembering, you shouldn't be talking about it. (Legend of the Seeker)

#294: The Campbellian Saturation Rule: You are allowed one "Hey, this is kinda like Star Wars!" Only one, and only "kinda." (Legend of the Seeker, Eragon)
kilroy: (Default)
#291: "Because I love you" is never enough reason to kill someone in and of itself. Neither is "so we could be together." (Birds of Prey)
kilroy: (Default)
#290: Don't end every single episode on the same shot, especially if that shot is a closing homily. (Birds of Prey)

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