Thursday, September 1, 2011

Surprised...Not So Much

Ok, I enjoy a good book/movie/TV show. Heck, I even enjoy the bad ones (although I have yet to see an episode of "Jersey Shore," and I intend on keeping it that way). But one of the problems with being a writer, and even a theatre person, is that it's really hard for a plot to surprise me.

I know what you're probably thinking. "Oh, great. Another person who thinks they know everything." Trust me, I know I don't know everything (quantum physics is really confusing!). And I'm fully aware that I'm very much to blame on figuring out plot twists, and book/film endings. It's just that I've studied the formula for how a script should unfold so many times. In college I had to take Script Analysis, and I also took Playwrighting I & II. Plus, I've watched a lot of TV, movies, and I've ready many books. I'm sure we can all figure out how things are going to end, and even if it's obvious we at least enjoy the ride.

In fact, I actually enjoy trying to figure out if this character is really a bad guy who has been deceiving us all along, or if he's actually the main character's long lost twin brother. Nowadays it's not hard to figure out that something is going to have a happy ending. That's usually a no-brainer, unless you're reading someone like George R.R. Martin, who apparently is notorious for killing off characters left and right. So it's really a shocker that I'm not really into the "Mystery" genre, but I think that mostly has to do with the fact that I hate how there's always such a high dead body count. Unless it's a child molester who winds up dead, then I'm not a fan of finding a dead body simply for the fact that it leads the main character to the killer.

And don't get me started on how annoying it is that the victim is very often a dead hooker on these crime shows. Seriously, if I had a dollar...

In fact, sometimes when I read a book, or watch a movie, I'll just tell my brain to turn itself off so I can be surprised for once. But I think one of the reasons why I enjoy figuring out plot twists and endings is because it just makes me feel smart in a way. I'll be honest, I was never the best student, so having this one thing that not everyone else does just makes me feel good about myself.

Also, I think I get a little bit of it from my dad. There have been times when we're watching a movie, and I've decided to just sit back and enjoy it, and he'll figure out a plot twist right before it's revealed. But I'm not one of those people who blames their parents for their problems. I'm also not one of those people who will give away a surprise once I've figured it out. I'm just the jerk at the end of the movie saying, "I knew it!"

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