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Overused Plots in Movies and TV

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by D'Snowth, Jan 22, 2010.

  1. Gelfling Girl

    Gelfling Girl Active Member

    How about this one?

    A shy, smart girl falls for the popular boy, gets her heart broken, and then over the course of the movie (usually through several song numbers) they finally are together again.

    Yep, Grease did it, High School Musical (otherwise known by one of the working titles as Grease 3. Yes, seriously) did it, etc.
  2. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Well, I guess my life is cliche ... the problem is, no one's qualified for that happy ending yet, LOL.
  3. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    A similar plot was used over and over and over and over and over again in Chipmunk fanfics for the longest time - Jeanette falls for Simon, Simon seems to fall for someone else, Jeanette's heartbroken, someone else helps her with her confidences, they end up together. It got old after a while.

    Which reminds of yet ANOTHER overused plot, and even though this gave us a good ep of the cartoon, it's still overused - a beauty pageant is held, a bet is made that someone can turn anyone else into beauty pageant material, the girl chosen is usually the nerdy/dorky type who doesn't really want to go through with this (so in this case, Alvin chooses Jeanette), that someone goes to work not only to change the girl's outer appearance, but her personality and her talents as well, the girl fails miserably, and right when she's about to go through with the memorized "I wish for peace and happiness" speech, she reveals that she isn't as she appears on stage, and in the end, she wins anyway simply for being herself.

    Matter of fact, I remember Recess doing a similar episode in which Vince (LMAO) tries to transform Spinelli into beauty pageant material to beat this Ashleys.
  4. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    At least they "cleverly" tried to hide it. The Daphne thing was downright atrocious.

    "I just thought of something! It took 3 Cranes to pick you up."

    And of course...

    "I bought a box of pecan clusters. They're Jumbos."
    "I thought so"

  5. dwmckim

    dwmckim Well-Known Member

    Ohmygosh - the Moonlighting memories are flooding back now (i haven't watched the show since it originally aired) - not only did they do the whole, pillows over the belly, shots-from-chest-up, have her frequently blocked behind desks, couches, and furniture bit with Cybil Shephard - but AT THE SAME TIME, Alyce Beasley (Ms. Dipesto, the wacky secretary) was also pregnant and they took the OPPOSITE approach, just ignoring it! I remember one of her first scenes that season after the summer hiatus, she comes bounding in the room, coming through the door, obviously pregnant saying "I have some wonderful news" and you're just waiting for her or someone else to say she's pregnant but it never happens! It was hilarious seeing the two extremes the show took with the two actresses! Then there was the episode where Maddie (Cybil) appeared as a Claymation figure (animated by the California Raisins team)! The show had a history of the backstage drama affecting what happened onscreen, but the dual pregnancies was the height of it!
  6. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Overused parodies:

    1. Wizrad of Oz
    2. Star Wars
    3. Indiana Jones (1980's cartoons specifically)
    4. Alice in Wonderland
    5. James Bond (especially the dialogue)
    6. A Christmas Carol

    I'm dying for a kid's show to try a Rocky Horror parody. :search:
  7. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    That'd be a little hard to do, wouldn't it? A kid's show paroding a movie that's so kid-unfriendly?
  8. dwmckim

    dwmckim Well-Known Member

    Not that it can't be done though...remember The Count's date with Susan Sarandon?
  9. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    ANYthing can be parodied. You just have to change things up a lot.

    Heck, Ghostbusters was made into a cartoon series... and we all know what that was about. As was the Not rated, but very violent cult movie series Toxic Avenger.
  10. Super Scooter

    Super Scooter New Member

    As was mentioned, Sesame Street has parodied numerous "kid-unfriendly" films. Pirates of the Caribbean certainly wasn't a kids movie (though not as bad as Rocky Horror), but it became the Pirates of the Care-to-be-Readin'.

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was R-rated, but became a Sesame Street skit. Taxi Driver was also parodied on Sesame Street... And on Elmo's World!

    It really wouldn't be that hard. Just have to be clever about it.
  11. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    Maybe a play that Zoe is putting on, "Rocko Horror Picture Show"?
  12. Super Scooter

    Super Scooter New Member

    HA! nice.

    "Look! See? Rocko's already got his dress picked out."
    newsmanfan likes this.
  13. StreetScenes

    StreetScenes Member

    ...or the alternative device, making that character the surrogate mother for someone else. they did that in law & order criminal intent and star trek deep space 9. good for sonia manzano for avoiding this by writing pregnancy into her character.

    and i don't think anyone's mentioned the jane austen plot of girl wants attractive guy, is just friends with shy guy. girl gets burned because attractive guy is an idiot, but shy guy is a good friend even though she rejected him, so they end up together. (note: shy guy must also be played by an attractive guy...like colin firth. put him in a bad sweater and pretend that means nobody notices his dashing good looks...)
  14. APRena

    APRena New Member

    I don't know if it's been mentioned, but TV Tropes has a lot of them listed and include examples of EVERYTHING in the universe to have used it. (plots, character types and pretty much everthing. Quite often hilarious.)
  15. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I'm sure someone already mentioned amnesia... but I think I should bring it up in case anyone forgets.

    AH SAY, That's a JOKE, son!
    newsmanfan likes this.
  16. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    If there's one excuse behind why amnesia episodes are done, it's because of "budget problems".

    "We ran out of money, and couldn't afford to shoot another complete episode, so we did an amnesia episode with flashbacks of previous episodes."
  17. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Clip shows don't ALWAYS need the amnesia excuse to stretch the budget farther. They can be watching home movies, or randomly recounting old events for no reason.

    I HATE clip shows with a passion. Only time someone actually did something fun with it was when they had to do 2 clip shows at the second season of Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures. This time, they redubbed clips and made Mighty Mouse look like a bad guy. Then there was the one where they actually were watching home movies and commenting on them, even leading to a hair to be stuck on the camera lens... to which they super imposed a live action silhouette of hands grabbing at the hair.

    You know what they had to do the previous season? Use actual clips of old Terrytoons. And 2 times they had to do very bad music videos that seemed alien to the whacked out humor of the show. But then they had one where the footage of old cartoons is cut up viciously, and Scrappy (not Scrappy Doo.. Mighty Mouse Scrappy... Good Scrappy) commented on them. My favorite line was "How come Farmer Al Falfa always looks so guilty?"

    If clip shows did something CLEVER like the MMTNA staff did, then I wouldn't complain. Even the Simpsons writers can't do anything that clever with the footage. Just redub the footage and MST3K the heck out of it. That would keep me from changing the channel.
  18. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Well, there's a difference between clip shows and amnesia episodes that feature flashbacks, but most of the time, budget problems ARE an excuse for that.
    Really? I like them myself, but then again, I like reflecting a lot.
  19. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Clip shows seem to be for people too lazy to see the reruns. All I can say. Do something clever with the clips if you're gonna make us sit through the same stuff we've already seen.

    I DO however like fake clip shows that have clips of episodes that didn't really happen. Powerpuff Girls and Sam and Max did a wonderful spin on this. That's something I wouldn't mind people using over and over.
  20. dwmckim

    dwmckim Well-Known Member

    Dinosaurs actually had intertaining clips shows...they actually were some of the series' highlights because of the fun ways they presented them.

    And One Life to Live typically does a clip show when they have a major anniversary or landmark (like episode 10,000) and they're always well done (daytime soaps are a little different since there are so many shows a year and are almost never reran while presenting a continuing story, older clips are often VERY appreciated by its viewers). My favorite would probably be a tie between the 25th anniversary when Megan was in the hospital dying of lupus and she asked her friends and family visited her in the hospital to tell them stories about their pasts (she grew up not knowing her mother's side of the family) and the 30th anniversary when the show's two historical rivals, Viki and Dorian accidentally get locked in a wine cellar and hash out the various parts of their decades long feud.

    Another great one was when the Buchanan patriarch, Asa was presumed dead (he wasn't at that time; the 10,000th episode was centered around his actual death). Asa Buchanan i believe holds the record for most marriages of any soap character so all his living ex-wives were at his funeral and sharing memories. Not only was that a great set-up for clips but the best one was Blair Cramer's flashback. The actress who originated the role was Mia Korf, a dark "dragon lady" type Eurasian (think of an Asian version of Nia Peeples) who was recast a few years later with a blond Caucasian (Kassie DePaive who's played the role for over 15 years since the recast). It was during Mia's tenure as Blair that she was married to Asa so that was the actress in the flashback. When the clip ended and we returned to the present, they showed Kassie's Blair looking at herself in her compact mirror with the most puzzled confused look on her face! Absolutely hysterical in-joke!

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