It’s the lazy days of summer so I am reduced to my personal musings and gripes about books and movies. I am sure you have your own.
Please, authors, stop it with the “2 years earlier” or “5 months earlier” game plan. You may believe it is a neat literary device, but it is not. You just can’t hear the general public yelling oh s—t not again (to themselves). And if a “5 months ago” even once weren’t bad enough there are the books that jump from time frame to time frame -back and forth. God help us if our eyes slide over a chapter or section title and we are no longer in 2000 Germany but back in 1944 Norway. We are lost!
And yes, obviously I do like reading the Nordic crime writers, but it is getting really old trying to figure out the story time line as it bounces back and forth past to future.
As a side note — I certainly cannot critique names of people from foreign (to me) countries because the names are part of culture. However, it would be nice, if in translation, we were at least reminded who is male and who is female. I get mixed up during some chapters. Actually I have started to note and identify in my iPhone “Notes app” each character and who they are to keep up.
Like I am doing a genealogy chart of the book characters.
My personal hi-tech cheat sheets.
Speaking of hi-tech, isn’t 21st century life complicated enough? Do our leisure pursuits now need advanced degrees? And yes, I am especially mentioning those books (and movies) that involve technology.
How many times have we watched the computer nerd spending minutes explaining what he just did on his computer keyboard to the non -nerd main character who impatiently says something like move on. I’m getting old. Come on writers- that is so lazy, and we don ‘t care.
Unless you provide a tip on how to remember you are in a group chat before sending a personal text. You’ve done that before, too?
In regard to movies, I am beginning to get the feeling our filmmakers think all storyline problems and poor character development can be solved with special effects.
Hey filmmakers, we are not all age 16-25 males! (I vaguely apologize to the adolescent males reading this, but I understand yours is the demographic they play to).
At least we can fast forward on television through the passages that bore us. Like the car chase scenes that go on and on and on. Does it really excite the viewer if the car spins in the air 2 versus 3 times? We are jaded folks so maybe it is time for you to play to our human emotional brains rather than our adrenalin or sex drives.
Speaking of which, who is really interested in yet another sex scene that should embarrass the actors not because audiences are prudish (well some are) but because the acting is so, well, bad. As in so unrealistic we should not be surprised that our views on the issue are so warped. At my age, most of us save our gasping and moaning for our nocturnal leg cramps.
Should I even bring up background music that just about hurts your brain cells for the lack of any relationship to the story line? Have you ever asked someone to turn down their radio then realized it was coming from the TV program? I, like so many of my peers, have some hearing loss and the overpowering background noise overwhelms our understanding of the dialogue of the poor actors.
Unfortunately, the performers were never rewarded for elocution. So, to the viewer they are mumbling and we are forced to turn up the volume and/or add closed captioning to clearly understand their lines.
Frankly we keep cc on all the time. (British accents and Australian can be difficult) but it is somewhat fun to watch non-English- speaking actors dubbed into English so that their mouths work like untrained ventriloquist dummies.
During the isolation of the pandemic, we were introduced to some wonderful foreign films and series. Especially refreshing were the not so gorgeous main characters. I watched a crime series located in a small eastern European town for a while before I realized that the very average looking people were actually the leads. And there was romance. They didn’t start to rip their clothes off while they were still unlocking the apartment door.
Hollywood, your beautiful people are passe (except to impressionable teenagers). Of course, perhaps that is wishful thinking on my part.
But right now, I am thoroughly enjoying the Tasmanian series “Deadloch” in which the women are refreshingly average looking and vulgar. As are the men. To those of you who hold our skinny beautiful handsome actors up as role models for the rest of us you must know it is not going to happen. They don’t reflect our society any more than Ozzy and Harriet back in the old days.
I can whine and challenge till the cows come home but I don’t expect much will change in our viewing behavior. So, honey, start the dishwasher. It’s 9pm – what’s on Netflix?