Friday, May 16, 2014

Plot errors...just like Gilligan's Island

I have to admit, television is really awful right now.  So, I've taken to watching Me TV (here: http://metvnetwork.com/).  Like TV Land (here: http://www.tvland.com/), they play old shows I grew up with (yeah, I'm old!).

One of my favorite shows is Gilligan's Island, believe it or not.  This show, in case you don't know, was a sitcom from the 1964-1967, described here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057751/.

Here's a clip of the opening credits, with the theme song (after season one, where they mention the Professor and Mary Ann):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cC6-E5XV_yE.  If you notice, they went on a three hour tour, got shipwrecked, and ended up on a deserted island.  Yes, other people visit the island during the show's episodes, but for some unknown (and plot exposition) reasons, they never seem to make it off the island.

Here are some clips, if you'd like to know more:
Radioactive vegetables clip:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3H2zZoxVFUY
The Honey Bees clip:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqp_Si4a10E

You can find more on youtube.com if you want to see more.

My son and I have watched a ton of these shows (my husband always finds something else to do--smart man).  We've decided that either audiences were stupid back then, or they just tolerated the show.  Why, you ask?  Plot holes!  Tons of them!

Here are a few examples.  The Professor (never has a name, nor do they tell us what the professor's degree is in) has a TON of books on the island.  Because of these books, he knows everything and can concoct any device known to man.  But can he fix the boat?  Nope.  Radio--piece of cake.  Raft--easy.  Boat fixing?  No-can-do.

The millionaire and his wife (Thurston Howell III, and Lovey) have a LOT of luggage, and money, like millions of dollars in cash.  The movie star (Ginger Grant) has only one dress with 'USS Minnow' from the boat on it in the first season, but every season after that, she seems to have many many dresses (I think she must've known about free delivery from the Internet or something, before the Internet was even around.)

If you notice, these people all brought a bunch of things on that teeny little boat, for a three hour tour (the weight of the items alone probably would've sunk the thing).  Three hours?  Would YOU take luggage, money, and research books along if you were going out for just three hours on a boat?  No way.  It might get wet.

Also, they have a way to make cakes (um...they have no flour, because they're on a tropical island), and always seem to have enough food.  I've watched enough Survivor to know you can't live on fruit and fish alone.  LOL!  Why don't they have some type of disease from lack of vitamins?  Would the professor just happen to find a cure for it, if they did?

The point is this.  Watch out for plot errors and holes when you write.  Your audiences are smarter, I think, than they were back in the day.

Here's another example--I also watch Emergency! from Me TV (I'm a Me TV junkie).  When someone has a bad car accident and passes out from a head injury, for example, they move the people without even putting them on a back brace.  I cringe when I see it, even though I'm not a medical person, because I've seen enough shows to know you don't do that.  You brace their necks if they're hurt.  They also tell the paramedics to give D5W or Ringer's Lactate no matter what.  Broken nail?  D5W.  Stuck in a girdle (remember that episode?)?  D5W.  Brain tumor?  D5W. I've slipped and called it WD40.  LOL!

Just remember, readers will remember plot errors or holes.

Smiles!
Markee

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