Friday, September 16, 2016

Bizarre Decisions and Implausible Situations


So, this rather excellent post from Tumblr prodded some of the more annoying nonsenses that appear over and over which we just have to totally agree to (especially slicing the palm of your hand - ye gods guys you can slice a tendon that way! Stop!). And those people playing high-wire artist on those teeny thin bridges? Who are you trying to impress?

Of course, we definitely have our own to add - because this genre may be about the fantastic but there is a limit to the suspension of disbelief. Add in the comments either things that don’t make sense you keep seeing - or dubious decisions characters always make

Someone is shot, they’re injured and need medical attention. Time to leap into action and rip that bullet out - no time for sterilisation, that bullet is going to kill them! Somehow?

Once a bullet has stopped moving it’s pretty much done all the damage it’s going to do. Now if you’re supernatural is, say, a werewolf shot with silver or a vampire shot with holy water or a Trump supporter shot with common sense then I guess the bullet needs removing (or not, depending on how terrible the monster is). But if not rooting around in the wound in amateur surgery is definitely not good for anyone; even when in a nice sterile hospital with a nice sterile surgeon bullets still get left in bodies because they’re not dangerous and cutting into people when it isn’t necessary is generally considered a less than ideal thing. Staunch the blood and stop poking bullet wounds.

So you need a near death experience for some reason - maybe you need to wander around the underworld and avoid pomegranates. Maybe you need to pretend to be brain dead. The simplest solution is to use technology/poison/magic to die… after all, a little CPR and they corpse will spring back to life, right?

Except it hardly ever works… it’s not actually supposed to. CPR keeps oxygenated blood flowing to the brain so emergency help can arrive and do the actual reincarnation/resurrection/zombie bit. So if you’re going to use your death juju and hope someone will CPR you back to the land of the living, you better hope they also hook up a defibrillator and call emergency services. Actually skip the defibrillators - they actually don’t work on a heart that has actually stopped. Damn, none of these miracle cures work?!

Some characters are assassins, connected to crime cartels, the police, military and who knows what else. As such you expect them to have the nicest toys

But when your YA protagonist or nice-normal-person-dropped-in-weird-situation can somehow get their hands on illegal firearms, explosives, endangered exotic animals, drugs or small children I do have to question how they know this? Exactly who does Originalnamee, orphaned (always orphaned) girl in a nice middle class high school know how to get her hands on several lumps of C4?

I’m amazed sometimes by how characters can cross borders with an ease that would make a xenophobic Brexiter have conniption fits and start screaming obscenities. I’m amazed how characters who have never left their home country before quickly have passports, visas and other necessities to hand - and it’s absolutely amazing what they can sneak through customs when small bottles of drink are now considered a threat to life and limb (and that’s aside from being supernatural beings that may not do well with the scanners)

Of course when we get the really “epic” shows and books, it’s just amazing the damage and mayhem a group of Americans can do with apparently zero impunity and they buzz around the world.

Time and time again, characters are placed into a situation where they need the bad guy to be unconscious for a time to facilitate an escape or some grand plan.  There are many ways that this can be accomplished but far and away the most often used device is to simply grab a vase and slam it over the bad guy’s head thus knocking him unconscious.  No one stops to worry that they may have killed someone because the worse that ever happens is a bad ache. Try that in real life however and you can not only potentially kill someone, you can give them a concussion, or even paralyse them.

Anyone who has seen an action flick can totally relate to this.  For whatever reason, we have a sole protagonist who for some reason must always go up against a gang (it’s written somewhere). Anyway, said good girl/guy manages to either over power and out shoot everyone they come up against.  The bad people fall like flies, even though they have a AK47 and the good person with six bullets in their gun shoots accurately killing everyone no matter what is going on.  Can we not do that please?  No one is that good and no one ever really wins a gun battle no matter what side they are on. I also want to see the servant following in their wake carrying the many sacks full of ammunition/arrows/pointy rocks they seem to get through.