gwalla (gwalla) wrote,

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TV Tropes

Just came across this site the other day: the TV Tropes Wiki (a bit of a misnomer at this point; it also covers movies, anime, video games...pretty much the gamut of pop fiction). It's opinionated, sure (how could a site written by fans to document their jargon not be?), but also pretty fun to read and occasionally educational. At the very least, the terminology it provides is handy.

For example, here's a few articles on the various common ways TV, movies, etc. reveal the creators' cluelessness, and snippets from them:
  • Sci Fi Writers Have No Sense Of Scale
    - "Probably the most spectacular example is in the first segment of the Doctor Who story "The Trial of a Timelord", where Earth was apparently hidden by moving its entire solar system several million miles, which is the celestial equivalent of hiding from your date in an empty movie theater by leaning an inch to the left."
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe - "Be it set in 1300s Scotland or 1880s Wales, a TV writer's idea of "medieval English" is based on the archaic King James Bible- Add "eth" to some words, throw in the word "thee," reverse noun-verb order every other time, and presto, you sound exotic!"
  • Dinosaurs are Dragons - "People just can't get over how similar dinosaurs are to dragons. Both big lizardy things, right? I mean, they're already so similar, why not give them the ability to breathe fire? It'd be a shame not to, right?"
  • Do Not Touch the Funnel Cloud - "only the visible funnel cloud is actually capable of damaging anything, and then, they usually don't even stir up any debris. Never mind that in real life the funnel cloud is only the center of the tornado, with 200+ MPH winds circling it in a huge radius"
  • Gretzky Has the Ball - "Many Sitcoms use the gimmick of the sports episode, usually setting the man up to be humiliated by a woman. When this happens, the actors will use the most basic terminology available, and most of the time not even get that right."
  • Law of Inverse Recoil - "No matter what type of small arms are used in fiction -- even fully-automatic, high caliber ordnance and heavy gauge shotguns -- the shooter will not so much as flinch.... On the flip side, shoulder fired rocket and grenade launchers have very little recoil at all due to the comparatively low velocity at which the projectile leaves the weapon (rockets reach top speed long after leaving the barrel). Yet, when used by a fictitious character, they somehow pack enough force to violently push back the wielder."
  • Pac Man Fever - "For whatever reason, video games seen on TV never evolved past a very primitive state. Classic 8-bit games (such as Pac Man), 2D graphics, synthetic sound and music, and pixelated graphics are bleeding-edge technology."
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