Search This Blog

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

The Most Easily-Thwarted Pointlessly Elaborate Trap to Ever Appear in a TV Show (Text)

I have a confession to make: I have never watched Lost.

Well, ok, one of my ex-girlfriends forced me to watch the first 20 minutes of the pilot episode with her one morning - suffice to say, we weren’t together long... she dumped me (See what I did there? That’s classic comedy, that is! But sadly true…) – and a friend of mine made me watch one scene after making an observation that all but one of the girls I’d dated had freckles (2 now), and he fancied the girl on the show with freckles and presumably thought I would be the most likely person he knew that would agree she was hot, thus validating his attraction for her while at the same time basking in the glory of being the one to introduce me to a girl I would think was hot for years to come, or something? (I really don’t understand people, I’m afraid...)

In his defence...

But whatever – my point is I’ve never PROPERLY watched Lost before, but Flashforward is EXACTLY what people always make Lost out to be (note to self: possibly because it’s made by the same people, Genius?) – poorly written, completely retarded, but oh so addictive!

It even stars that MILF guy from American Pie!

I’ve been watching the show since it first aired in September, and despite often thinking “Wow, that was dumb” or “man, that was done poorly”, I can’t help but look forward to the next episode – for the whole 3 months the show was on hiatus, I couldn’t wait to hear when it would be back on, and since it came back a few weeks ago, I’ve been watching every episode religiously on Demand 5.

This image of Dean Carlson came up when I typed in "Demand 5" on Google images. Am I the only one who thinks he looks like a stoned version of my Criminology Professor, Dan Silverstone?

Incidentally, this image was taken from a BBC article on gun crime in Britain - so this guy definitely knows more about guns than the creators of Flashforward - more on that in a sec...

This week, however, there was a scene so plain ridiculous that even I had to wonder what the writers were snorting (Prozac cut with drain cleaner, my banoffee cheesecake informs me. Hmm… I must not be quite over that whole 4/20 debacle just yet…). The set up was simple:

John Cho was being held in a pressure sensitive chair with a gun pointing at him. If he tried to stand up, or shifted his weight by too much, the gun would fire.

"Pressure sensitive chairs! My one weakness! How did you know?"
"Duh. You're KOREAN. Hello????"

At the same time, there was a timer on the device holding the gun, which would cause the gun to fire when the time ran out. Whilst this sort of thing may sound pointlessly elaborate to those of you not familiar with either Flashforward or the Saw series, I actually thought it was pretty cool at first, and was interested in seeing how he would get out of the trap.

I've highlighted the most important part of the design. You're welcome.

This is, until Joseph Fiennes arrived, with 2 minutes left to disarm the weapon. Now, just a quick test – look at the following picture, and tell me how you would go about stopping the gun from firing:

If you said “put the safety on” then congratulations – you’re too smart to work for American TV. That’s right – despite the ridiculously over-the-top, high-tech nature of the trap, the gun’s safety is completely free to be put on should an individual so desire:

Joseph Fiennes’ character is not only an FBI agent in the show, but it’s HIS GUN which was stolen earlier in the series – How does he not know how to put on the damn safety?

Look at him, the confused Bastard. Ralph would never have had this problem...

But let’s assume that the safety was glued in place, or the gun had been taken apart, had the safety removed, and was then reassembled before being put into the device. Then you would be forced to remember a clue given to you by the guy who set the trap from earlier on in the show, remove the wires in the correct order, following what was said in the clue, and then point the barrel of the gun upwards above Harold’s head because removing the wires in the correct order didn’t stop the timer, just allowed you to move the gun without it going off, right? Want to take another look at that picture?

That’s right – the Goddamn hammer is exposed on the back of the gun! You know what would stop this thing from going off? A thumb. That’s it – if Fiennes had put his thumb on the hammer, the trap would have been thwarted with ease.

Now, it’s fair enough that the writers may not know about guns (or are only familiar with some guns – Glocks, for example, have internal hammers, unlike the Sig Sauer used in the show, and are also used by law enforcement), but you’d think they would at least have someone on set who could point these things out. Given the guys involved are meant to be highly trained FBI agents, this is about on a par with the guy from the razor wire room in ‘Saw’ being left fully clothed – with a leather jacket… and wire-cutters.

Saw would probably have been a PG if every character had a pair of these...

What is it with TV writers not bothering to make TV even vaguely intelligent these days? Flashforward, like so many shows of the modern age, is ridiculously predictable, and often very poorly thought out. Lie to Me, as well, is so incredibly predictable that I have never once been surprised when the killer/criminal is revealed, and can usually guess who it is before the first advert break (unlike back in the good old days of “Inspector Morse”, where you were amazed if you managed to get it right). Hell, even House (one of my favourite shows at the moment) uses the exact same formula for every episode. The only show I’ve watched recently that actually struck me as being well thought-out, original, and intelligent was The Wire, but since it ended nothing has managed to fill its shoes. On another note: Why do all 4 shows I just listed have British leads? Do America really not have any decent actors left? The fact that if you type "American Actor" into Google images, Zac Efron appears before Johnny Depp does probably answers this question (don't scroll down to the picture of Justin Long if you have safe search off. Unless you're into that kind of thing. Hell, beats looking at Taylor Lautner's ugly mug, that's for sure...)

Nevertheless, I shall be tuning in to Flashforward again next week, because despite how unintelligent the show is, it is still surprisingly engaging and enjoyable – especially the scenes with Dominic Monaghan, who plays a delightfully psychotic scientist, in a role that couldn’t be further from his turn in “Lord of the Rings”. So much so that it actually took me until about episode 10 to realize it was him (apparently he was in Lost, too). John Cho’s always worth watching, too (saw the Harold and Kumar films at the weekend – Good Times…).

And that’s the problem: Producers realise they don’t need to hire writers to make an intelligent show, because people will watch it regardless. As Wayne Gale would say “do you think that those nitwits in Zombieland actually remember anything? It’s filler, it’s fodder – it’s junk food for the brain!” how true…

Man, I love junk food…


No comments:

Post a Comment