Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wednesday Wondering, aka Hump Day "Huh?"

You know what I'm wondering this fine Wednesday? I'm wondering why, in so many Network TV shows and not-quite-R-rated movies, whenever a man and woman are getting busy in bed, the woman keeps her bra on.*

(What? When's a better time than Hump Day to wonder about sex?)

So, does this strike anyone else as odd? A garment that's a little...I dunnoh, out of place?

Kind of like this:

Sure, it's fascinating in its own way, but it's not realistic, is it? It kind of tears down that fourth wall for me. Knocks me out of the story. Reminds me too much that I'm watching a TV show or movie, instead of letting me get truly caught up in the story. 

And while I'm bitching about breaching the fourth wall, here a few other things that make it impossible for me to suspend my disbelief:

  • laugh tracks
  •  over-whitened teeth (Especially in period pieces.)
  • special effects that don't pay attention to real physics (Like in the movie Pearl Harbor, when the planes did things real planes can't do, or that Hulk movie where the CGI Hulk seems to be as light as a parade balloon. It didn't bother me that he was big and green--I was more than willing to suspend my disbelief there--only that he didn't seem to have enough weight for his apparent bulk.)
  •  computers that work too well--that are lightning fast and never crash, or searches that take people to exactly the information they're looking for in about two two clicks, no matter how obscure the subject matter.
  •  costume dramas that are too clean (Shakespeare in Love and the BBC series Rome are examples of doing it right--they each had a believable amount of grubbiness for me.)
[Oddly, it doesn't bother me when an actor purposely breaks through the fourth wall by addressing the audience. It's an accepted convention, and quite entertaining when employed well. It's the stuff you know wasn't intended that bugs me.]
 How about y'all? What throws you out of the story when you're watching TV or a movie? (I'm saving books for another post.)

*Not literally. I mean, I know why--you can't show the boobies. No nipples allowed. The sweater puppies must remain in the kennel, or the censors will pounce. What I mean is, if these were real women, in actual passionate situations, why on earth would they keep those puppies penned?


Jessica Bell said...

hehehe. I love your posts they always make me giggle :o) Well, I hate it when they have neglected some consistency issue. I was watching a movie the other day, can't remember the title, but it was a Ricky Gervais latest, where a guy was walking in the street towards his house in a brown leather jacket. But when he came in the front door it was black! ARGH! Pisses me off, and so simple to catch.

Unknown said...

You lose me if you've made a mistake that could have been corrected with a little bit of research.

For example, if you are going to put a librarian in a movie or TV show, talk to one. Same with any other profession. People like to talk about what they do; in my opinion missing the little details ruins a movie or TV show for me.

Elizabeth Flora Ross said...

I hate when they focus so much on special effects that they forget they are supposed to tell a story. I don't care what you can do w/a computer. I'm a story gal.

Jessica Lemmon said...

The computer thing! URRRGH! That does bother me. They've typed in a name and a 4D grid of the city pops up and guides them to the killer's house while showing his photo in the corner with a blurb or his police record.

The other thing that bothers me? Movies that try to be funny. Like, try REALLY hard. And they're trying so hard, it makes me embarrassed from the sofa. See: When in Rome... actually, don't see it. that was just an example...

abby mumford said...

i LOVE that picture of the camel wearing the bra. perhaps that's just the thing we needed to eliminate camel toe.

err, ok, moving on. i too hate laugh tracks and lightning fast computers. but also? more movies have been having lacrosse in them and it's just so unbelievable, those scenes on the field. it really gets me.

Kelly Breakey said...

For me its something like a guy dropping a deadly toxin over the side of a stairwell and our good guy rushing over and throwing himself into the perfect arc to catch it at the very last second. Of course he gets a little bit on him, but his partner rushes in and saves the day. Did they miss the part where they said it was a deadly toxin. Oh yeah the experimental antidote just happened to work on him too. WTF? Really? Stuff like that drives me crazy.

Love the picture of the camel. You always come through for me.

Christine said...

Great post and like Abby before me, I love the camel - what an awesome picture.

Hmmm, most recently I have to say it was in the Transformers 2 movie, the female MC was wearing a shirt she really should have fallen out of at least five or six time sliding around in the sand and I kept thinking - "How are they keeping her in this thing - double sided tape? Nobody wears double sided tape in real life."

Totally threw me out of the movie and I laughed with hubby about it for weeks. :-)

Fun post thanks for the Wednesday grins.

Unknown said...

ahahaha! sweater puppies ahahaha! *snort* you make me laugh so freaking hard my sides start hurting. yeah, I find myself wondering the same things sometimes...I absolutely hate the pearly white teeth thing...especially when the show is about homeless peeps. i mean, come on! if they dont have the money to find food and shelter, how can they afford dental care?

Patty Blount said...

Good question. For me, it's too much explaining and exposition. I didn't like Angelology for this reason.

On TV, NCIS is a big offender. You've got a whole crew of people who take turns explaining how the crime was committed, one after the other. It's too scripted for my taste.

demery said...

I never thought about it with the bra thing - but you're absolutely right! It does take a person out of the story for a moment.

For me the 4th wall falls apart when a scene or action is inserted as a really obvious and unbelievable link to something that needs to happen next. Contrived is what you'd call it, I guess. Last night I was watching one of my favorite old movies - PIllow Talk with Rock Hudson and Doris Day. In order to get the main characters in the same place at the same time, it plays out this way: Doris agrees to have a drink with a Harvard boy who'd basically tried to attack her while driving her home. The only way he would agree to keep his hands off her was if she promised to go to this dance place with him. In real life I'm sure the woman might agree - but then get to the bar and call the police or at least kick him in the badoobies. But she goes and has the drink - and then you realize that Rock just happens to be hanging out at the same club that night. Just a little too contrived for me - though I love the film and will forgive it all of its little mishaps.

I think from now on when I hear the phrase Hump Day I'll be reminded of your brassiere wearing camel :)

Linda G. said...

Jessica B. -- Always happy to provide a laugh. :) I hate problems with continuity, too! It almost makes me feel like they think their viewers are too dumb to notice.

Jennnie -- So true. It's like they figure 90% of the audience won't know any better, so why bother to get it right. Grrr.

Elizabeth -- Story is the most important thing, IMO. Not that I don't appreciate some well-produced special effects, but if that's all there is, it strikes me as hollow.

Jessica L.-- Urgh. I know what you mean. I good, natural laugh can't be beat, but if you have to try that hard...well, it makes it feel like laughter is your homework assignment. No thanks.

Abby -- Cute, huh? But I think you might need a different kind of undergarment to totally eliminate the camel toe. ;)

Kelly -- Or what about the heroes who fall from buildings and get hit by cars, and yet somehow manage not to break a bone? Sheesh. Come on.

Christine -- I'm rather fond of that camel too. :) And I'll have to take your word for it about Transformers 2--my son warned us off it, so we never went to see it. (LOL-ing about the double-sided tape.)

Karla -- Exactly! Not only does it look unnatural, but totally unrealistic in certain situations. Ridiculous.

Patty -- Over-explanation is a pet peeve of mine, too, as a rule. Have to 'fess up, though--I'll forgive Leroy Jethro Gibbs just about anything. Ducky, too. Just let me look at them. ;)

Demery -- Oh, I love Pillow Talk, too! But I do see what you mean about it being contrived. Actually, that sort of contrivance bothers me more in modern movies. I'm pretty forgiving of the older ones. I figure that's just how they made movies back then. Glad you like the camel. :)

Candyland said...

Oh you just hit a nerve! Like on Side the Science Kid when the mom looks something up on the computer and finds the exact pictures IMMEDIATELY. Come on, silly cartoon.

A. S. Boudreau said...

I always wonder about the bra thing too!
It always throws me. I have even said, "What are her tits hideous or something that he doesn't want to see them?" lmao.

I hate laugh tracks. Like I need to be cued when to laugh.

Plus the long pause after the punchline before the laugh track plays.. ugh.

The other annoyance to me is in a film when the actor can't even put on the proper accent for time or place. My example is going to be (don't shoot me ladies) Kevin Costner in Robin Hood. Come on Kev, you could have at least TRIED to put on a British accent!!!

Good actors put on accents for their parts!

Jeffe Kennedy said...

I hate the bra thing, too. And it reminds me of a funny story. Back in college I was in Equus. (Playing the well-loved role of the Nurse. I had something like three lines, one of them one word.) Anyway, the girl who played the female lead was given the role with the understanding that the director wanted the nude sex scene, well, nude. She waffled, the rehearsals went on. She wouldn't go past bra and panties. *I* as resident free-spirit was assigned to talk her into the delights of nudity for theater's sake. No dice. Eventually we performed with him naked and her, yes, in white bra and panties. And yes, it looked really stupid.

out of the wordwork said...

My pet peeve is sort of along the same lines as the bra thing (though not as funny as your description, Linda!) I really hate it when they do the morning after shot and the woman still has full make up on, not even a mascara smudge, no racoon eyes or smeared lipstick. Please. If you're going in for a night of debauchery at least look debauched the next day.

Tiffany Schmidt said...

I have two pet peeves (or at least two that immediately spring to mind):

1) Actors in their thirties portraying teenagers. If they need wrinkle cream they're too old to play high schoolers.

2) (And this is my teacher showing) Portrayals of schools where there are NO teachers or supervision AT ALL. I get the need to give the (30-year-old) teens agency, but there should be some adults in the building...


Some menfolk like the bra. And the high heels. I'm just sayin'.


Linda G. said...

Candyland -- Exactly. No way does that happen in real life.

A.S. -- The Kevin Costner Robin Hood? Ugh. I even kinda like the guy, but NOT in that movie.

Jeffe -- Obviously, YOU should have been cast in the lead role. :)

Nelsa -- YES! And it never rubs off on the pillowcase, either. Or on their love interest. ;)

Tiffany -- EXACTLY. I mean, who do they think they're fooling? Most of those supposed high school kids look older than even college students. Please. *rolls eyes* And, yeah, there should be at least a few responsible adults within a stone's throw.

Tawna -- LOL! Trust you to come up with that angle. But heels? OUCH. ;)

Trisha Leigh said...

The bra thing drives me nuts too. Aside from that, I hate when filmmakers dumb things down or assume the only reason we're watching is for sex or to see stuff explode. It is for this reason I do not watch HBO.

I checked out the Rome series, being an ancient history major. The army made its way back from one conquest or another, talking of how they would stop at the brothel once they got into town.

I'm not an idiot. I know what a brothel is and what goes on, even if you DON'T fill the next 7-8 minutes with grunting and legs in the air.

Wow. I totally sounded like a prude just then.

Seriously, though... It bugs me when sex, violence, etc is there only for shock value or to get people's attention. If it has an actual purpose, I don't mind.

Sorry - long comment from the girl with the Film degree. Don't get to use it very often ;)

Bess Weatherby said...

Ah, Linda, this is hilarious! Love that picture, btw.

I agree with you about the computers working too well. It's frustrating just to watch someone else get it that good!

I always thought it was really funny/ironic that in "Twilight" she buys a book literally so that she can open it to the first page and google one word. Can't remember if she does that in the book or not, but it seemed so fabricated in the movie. Really, all she wanted was to get chased by men and rescued by Edward. Which was awesome, btw. But a tad unrealistic.

Oh wait, I'm talking about "Twilight." Reality isn't the point. Anywho . . . great post!

Linda G. said...

Trisha -- Re Rome: yeah, it IS a trifle explicit. But, judging by what I've learned from watching the Discovery channel, ancient Rome WAS pretty, um, explicit. So maybe in that sense it was realistic. But I don't think I could have watched some of those scenes with anyone but TG in the room.

Bess -- I thought the same thing about that scene from Twilight. I mean, couldn't she have just looked at the book and remembered the word if all she was going to do was google it? But I suppose you're right--reality is hardly the point in that movie. :)