Tag Archives: drama

Hyppo and Critter: Ejaculations

h-and-c155

The Episodic Table of Plot Elements

sitcomIf you have ever watched commercial programming on television you may already be aware of this, but sometimes the shows repeat plot points. Surprising but true. It generally works something like the instructions on a shampoo bottle:

  • Hire a core troupe of actors and put them in a setting, like a meat packing plant or a sewer treatment facility
  • Go through the episodic table of plot elements
  • After a certain period of time, usually 3-7 years, replace the actors and the setting, like the actuarial tables dept. at an insurance company
  • Rinse and repeat

When watching a show with my wife, within the first 30 seconds I’ll shout out the plot variation as soon as it is recognized. Trust me, she really loves this. “Oh, god, no!! It’s plot #42. Wacky birthing episode ending with a touching isn’t-that-thing-cute moment. I’ll be on the computer. Let me know when it’s over.”

Here’s a few excerpts from the episodic table:

  • A previously unknown family member of a main character comes to visit for a short time (father, mother, brother, sister, child, etc.)
  • A main character is extremely distressed because an extended family member gets engaged, married, divorced, is involved in adultery or illicit love affair and/or dies
  • Two main characters are involved in a marriage proposal, wedding, break-up, divorce, adoption, pregnancy and/or birthing

Even with those three limited examples from the table the possibilities are almost endless. I bet they could be used to generate over 500 specific plots. Mother and cousin come to visit. Father and sister die. Brother and niece get engaged. Mother pregnant, father having an affair. Father pregnant, mother having an affair. Yep, the permutations are practically unlimited.

When watchingĀ Northern Exposure the other day I noticed one of the rarer elements. “Looks like #138 coming our way,” I shouted. A mute traveling performer had been courting one of the main characters for several episodes. Sagely, I predicted, “I’ll bet the mute guy is moved to speak in a moment that will be especially poignant.” It was so touching, that I nailed it, I mean. My wife couldn’t have been more pleased.

The episodic table easily applies to movies, too. George Lucas, for example, often calls crap like this “notes” that are repeated across films, again and again and again and again and again. Did I mention again? To make this point I’ll now transport you from one galaxy far away to a make-believe land of medieval sex, violence and political intrigue. It won’t require that much suspension of disbelief.

Or, as I like to call it, “A Note Ripped From Star Wars By Game Of Thrones.” Introducing element #78: The Fake Greeting.
Continue reading →

Phoney Services: The Movie

answering-serviceINT. SMALL ROOM – DAY

FADE IN GRAPHIC: PRESENT DAY, 9:37 AM.

FADE IN to reveal two plain, white walls. The wall on the right contains a window with blinds, drawn up, revealing a fence, trees and a grass lawn. The sky is blue and the sun shines. The sound of a lawn mower can be heard in the distance. Birds chirp. In front of the other wall is a computer desk and chair. A computer, Apple, is turned on and displaying the INTERNET.

In the chair in front of the computer sits a man, HERO. A small cell phone is in his hand and held to his ear. His other hand is holding a piece of paper, previously folded, which has now been opened up.

HERO LOOKS AT piece of paper.
Continue reading →

Bad Things, Gerbil Sings, Awful Wings

urlSometimes bad things happen to awful people. Sometimes awful things happen to bad people. Which is worse? Which is better? Which is more entertaining? It really comes down to a judgement call. We all see things in our own way. Vive la difference!

Gerbil trama is no laughing matter. Until it happens to people you don’t like. Then it’s popcorn time.

What’s the point of living through extreme circumstances unless it is to gain valuable perspective that will come in handy when the shit rains down on someone else?

This is a story about some awful people I know and some brief exploits of their gerbil. Grab some shredded newspaper and get comfortable. It’s story time.
Continue reading →

Master Debater

The first presidential debate. The tie situation is secure.

Right after watching the third and final presidential debate I turned to my wife and said, “Just you wait. Both sides will claim victory.”

And that was before I’d heard even a single pundit tell me how to think. Yeah, I did it all by my own self.

That establishes my cred. You may now read the rest of this post with confidence. I have dubbed myself the Master Debater and I’m going to share it all with you. You’ll see.

This is my insightful analysis of the debates and I promise it will be my own style of unique coverage. I’ll cover the angles that the rest of the so-called “experts” somehow missed. Let’s get right to it.

I’d like to thank WordPress for hosting this post and myself for inviting me. The Abyss is a lovely place. It’s a pleasure to be here.
Continue reading →

I venture hither and yon

Today I venture forth from my flat for the first time since naked pictures of me were released on the internet. And, even though he’sĀ embarrassed, I’m bring Mr. Tallywacker with me. Jolly good and all that! Tally ho!

That is to say, wow, isn’t my tally a ho?

Being royal isn’t easy. No, not that I’m blue-blooded, but I am royal in so many ways. Royally screwed. Royally flushed. Well, you get the idea.
Continue reading →

Blog Post coming soon

At last, a new phone that does all the dumb ass shit that current phones can do. Only in a suckier way. What a twist!

Microsoft has inspired me. I am pleased to release the following bit of hype about big plans here on the blog. These are exciting heady times. Be sure to stay tuned!