Linda Maye Adams

People Do Notice


I like to revisit old TV shows that I watched as a kid.  Even some of those were old when I watched them, in reruns locally.  Some shows age well, some don’t, and some look entirely different now.  There’s two where I can’t help feeling like the producers said, “Don’t worry about that.  No one will notice” so they could bypass basic good writing.

The first is a cartoon, Jem and the Holograms.  For a cartoon, the animation is pretty decent, and the stories are generally well-written.  I don’t mind the secret identity of a rock star (though admittedly I wonder what the point is), and Synergy the computer is also fine.  I can suspend disbelief with that, too.  The part that’s driving me crazy is the timeline.  Now I’m not good with time because it’s sequential, but I keep running into time issues with this particular show.  This is from of the stories:  The Holograms have an album coming out tomorrow, so they need to get the cover done today.  Or a character is getting married tomorrow, so we need to buy the wedding gown today.  I think my eyes are crossing.

The other show, as I was reminded of by the recent airing of the Pioneers of Television, was produced by Irwin Allen.  He’s well-known for doing disaster movies, and also Lost in Space.  Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea is the show I watched.  Lots of action, excitement, fun, cool monsters.  According to PoT, he wanted to duplicate the excitement of being in a roller coaster in his shoes.  That’s great for me, because I like fun action.  Where I run into problems is the “No one will notice” attitude that turns up, especially as the show went into the color years.  A lot of it is things that don’t make sense in the story in the first place, but I’ve also seen an extra killed turn in the very next scene.

I’m not one who particularly cares about a big plot hole.  If the story works, and the author tells me a good story (especially with lots of action), I’m happy.  But it’s dumb things like ignoring realistic timelines or throwing in a character into a scene who shouldn’t be there that distracts from the great story.  People do notice.  They just don’t come back to complain.

2 Comments

  1. It’s funny you should mention cartoons, because some online friends and I are very much into the original Transformers cartoon and yet those are… well, to be charitable I’ll say “so bad they’re good”. Things like ’80s cartoons, though, have their age to balance out their flaws. We may (and do) laugh and make snarky comments, but we also watch through nostalgia-colored glasses. More recent shows and books don’t have that protection when it comes to mistakes.

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    • I don’t think time has anything to do with the issue of something being bad. Yes, we can certainly see flaws as our tastes change. However, I’ve run into many TV shows that have aged well and are still good today. An example is Jonny Quest. I wasn’t sure what to expect with that cartoon, especially since it was pulled off the market for an extended period. But when it was released on DVD, I watched it and was pleasantly surprised. The stories are really good and stand up to time — and there isn’t that aspect of the “audience will never know” to it. They took the time to do the writing right.

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