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    Things you want to see more of in your entertainment

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    Rohelf

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    Things you want to see more of in your entertainment

    Post  Rohelf on November 16th 2017, 5:24 pm

    What things do you wish we had more of in modern geek entertainment?  This could be anything from minor character elements to whole genres- anything you think is currently lacking and which you'd like to see rise from obscurity (or make a comeback).

    Some things on my list:

    Female characters who aren't traditionally attractive (and as a subset, action heroines with the mass to generate serious force behind a punch)
    Humility as a heroic virtue (this seems to have gone out of fashion, with most who display it presented as deliberate throwbacks, like Captain America)
    Characters who succeed through cleverness, rather than luck, "heart," divine favor, or possessing the Doohickey of Ultimate Power
    Characters for whom sex/romance is not a major concern (yes, actual humans like this do exist)

    Curious to see what other people have on their lists.
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    Re: Things you want to see more of in your entertainment

    Post  mindspike on November 16th 2017, 8:08 pm

    I want to see more optimism in my heroes. Thor: Ragnarok is a great example of this in action, as Thor perseveres through the movie in the face of crushing opposition. He is not naive. He does not denigrate the losses and suffering of himself and others. He does maintain a positive attitude regarding his hope for the future.


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    Re: Things you want to see more of in your entertainment

    Post  Paeter on November 17th 2017, 9:52 am

    Rohelf wrote:
    Female characters who aren't traditionally attractive

    I'll piggy-back off this and add the same for men. This has been one I've been thinking about for years for both men and women in visual fiction.

    What a cool world of storytelling we could be living in if attractiveness was not a criteria for casting. Those who genuinely look and act the part best would rise to the top and our storytelling experiences, I think, could be so much more powerful and convincing. There are so many fantastic actors who are almost always only cast in "character roles" who would be amazing leads if sex appeal wasn't so effective at selling tickets.



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    Re: Things you want to see more of in your entertainment

    Post  Nathan James Norman on November 18th 2017, 9:23 am

    Paeter wrote:
    Rohelf wrote:
    Female characters who aren't traditionally attractive

    I'll piggy-back off this and add the same for men. This has been one I've been thinking about for years for both men and women in visual fiction.

    What a cool world of storytelling we could be living in if attractiveness was not a criteria for casting. Those who genuinely look and act the part best would rise to the top and our storytelling experiences, I think, could be so much more powerful and convincing. There are so many fantastic actors who are almost always only cast in "character roles" who would be amazing leads if sex appeal wasn't so effective at selling tickets.


    I second this.
    One of my favorite parts of the movie "Risen" was how plain and unattractive Jesus was.

    On a similar note, it is interesting what pop culture considers attractive versus unattractive.
    I am preaching a dramatic sermon next weekend on David and Bathsheba. I was looking at art throughout the centuries based on the text and was shocked at the wide range of Bathshebas I saw.

    I have to imagine most artists portraying Bathsheba are painting the portrait of a super-attractive woman David was willing to risk his kingdom for. The range of body types (mostly nudes) is broad. Small, Large, Tall, Short. Several Bathsheba paintings portrayed cellulite, and double chins!

    All of this to say...
    I think if we put conventionally unattractive people into more of our media and ads, our understanding of visual beauty would actually expand!
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    Re: Things you want to see more of in your entertainment

    Post  Rohelf on November 18th 2017, 9:32 am

    I hear you, Paeter. I don't think this problem is quite as intense or pervasive for men as it is for women, but it's just as wrong, and just as detrimental to storytelling.

    That reminds me, though, of something that I have seen pretty equally applied to both genders: the concept that the other gender is some sort of great mystery, completely alien and incomprehensible. Supposedly, there's no point in trying to understand men/women, but hey, if you want a heterosexual relationship, you just have to learn to shrug and tolerate their insane behavior, because that's just how they all are, you know. Ugh.
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    Re: Things you want to see more of in your entertainment

    Post  mindspike on November 18th 2017, 2:21 pm

    Rohelf wrote:That reminds me, though, of something that I have seen pretty equally applied to both genders: the concept that the other gender is some sort of great mystery, completely alien and incomprehensible.  Supposedly, there's no point in trying to understand men/women, but hey, if you want a heterosexual relationship, you just have to learn to shrug and tolerate their insane behavior, because that's just how they all are, you know.  Ugh.

    I understand why you might find this kind of advice or portrayal unhelpful. It lumps people into a single category and generalizes motivation. Let me offer a view of this kind of advice's usefulness and storytelling function.

    1) Personally, as a dad relating to his daughter through the years, I have many times had to just shrug and accept her behavior and desires when both I and my son utterly and completely fail to understand them. Usually her mother shares the same reaction with her. I don't just mean dramatic things like the time "You spilled soup on your shirt, go change" resulted in a burst of tears and a wailing "You think I'm ugly and clumsy!" and my wife's admonition to be more sensitive, but also things like crying at movies or fawning over small animals and babies. Accepting the apparently insane behavior keeps the peace and reduces hurt feelings.

    2) In storytelling, it condenses months and years of real world relationship building into a single scene that provides both a point of connection for both character and audience and a moment of levity. I think we are unlikely to see this change.

    Or to paraphrase J.K. Rowling, boys have the emotional range of a teaspoon.



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    Re: Things you want to see more of in your entertainment

    Post  Reed Benson on November 18th 2017, 7:03 pm

    All of the above!

    Plus, I'd like to see a big-budget superhero movie climax with something other than a fight. I know that kind of goes against type, but it'd be interesting to see something besides "might makes right."
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    Re: Things you want to see more of in your entertainment

    Post  Rohelf on November 19th 2017, 2:15 pm

    A wild explanation appears!

    Thanks for that, Mindspike. I didn’t need it, but maybe it will prove helpful to someone else reading.

    I understand why this and other gender stereotype tropes exist in fiction. I still don’t care for them. Even aside from how I feel about such things in everyday life, I think reliance on said stereotypes in fiction is usually a symptom of lazy writing.

    I know you have some very firm ideas about masculinity and femininity, at least as concerns how they are expressed in fiction. We’ve talked about this before (remember the female Thor thread?) and come to an impasse, and I don’t see the point in repeating that. Clearly neither of us finds the other’s arguments at all convincing, so we are just going to have to continue to agree to disagree.

    If this particular trope of the incomprehensible other gender is something you want to keep seeing, or even see more of, then by all means vote for it with your entertainment dollars and enjoy, dude. I’ll keep going the opposite way.

    Reed- absolutely! (Although dropping the need for the big climactic fight scene might also reduce the need for the big budget... maybe that's the argument the screenwriter should use to pitch the idea?)
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    Re: Things you want to see more of in your entertainment

    Post  Reed Benson on November 19th 2017, 7:56 pm

    Rohelf wrote:Reed- absolutely!  (Although dropping the need for the big climactic fight scene might also reduce the need for the big budget... maybe that's the argument the screenwriter should use to pitch the idea?)

    Good point. Maybe I should say "a big-name superhero movie."
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    Re: Things you want to see more of in your entertainment

    Post  mindspike on November 19th 2017, 9:29 pm

    Rohelf wrote:A wild explanation appears! Thanks for that, Mindspike.  I didn’t need it, but maybe it will prove helpful to someone else reading.

    Forgive me, I did go off-topic there. Let me try again.

    I'd like to see more movies like Moana, and I think it meets several other points. The resolution comes from something other than a big fight scene. The character models are not especially attractive. The heroine succeeds through gaining wisdom (not quite "being clever" but close). The hero must replace his pride, the source of conflict, with humility. Romance is not a primary concern.

    Additionally, I like the consistent pacing and topicality of the music. I like that the stakes are heavy and clear. I like that they champion conformity to community peace as a primary virtue and that Moana accepts her role and responsibility as a societal leader. I like that her decision to leave the island in defiance of her father is not prompted by rebellion and selfishness (eg. Brave) but born of necessity and divine appointment. Most of all I like that when Moana returns in triumph and vindication, her first act is to ask for her father's forgiveness for defying him.

    I'd like to see more heroes like John Rambo in First Blood, where he had the strongest development. He was strong and self-sufficient, able to overlook many personal offenses because he was satisfied with his own virtue. Conflict in the film comes from the failings of others, with Rambo transforming from an object of persecution that highlights other people's character flaws into a depiction of the extremes to which those flaws leave.


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    Re: Things you want to see more of in your entertainment

    Post  Paeter on November 20th 2017, 10:57 am

    Rohelf wrote:I hear you, Paeter.  I don't think this problem is quite as intense or pervasive for men as it is for women, but it's just as wrong, and just as detrimental to storytelling.

    That reminds me, though, of something that I have seen pretty equally applied to both genders: the concept that the other gender is some sort of great mystery, completely alien and incomprehensible.  Supposedly, there's no point in trying to understand men/women, but hey, if you want a heterosexual relationship, you just have to learn to shrug and tolerate their insane behavior, because that's just how they all are, you know.  Ugh.

    Yeah, I would go further and say it's not NEAR as pervasive a problem for men. (I will now refrain from going on a tear about how over-sexualization of women in media has fed into an increasingly broken perception of what human sexuality is meant to be and continues to create challenges for many of us Christian men who "just want to watch the movie, dangit!")

    I think you're on to something in your follow-up comment, too. I've seen "communication" at least verbally valued among a few pop-culture media commentators (when going off topic into personal life stuff), so it's becoming a more commonly recognized virtue. Hopefully that will make its way into fiction. Starting with ROMANTIC COMEDIES PLEASE! (Good gravy, can't these two people just open up and TALK about it??!)


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    Re: Things you want to see more of in your entertainment

    Post  Paeter on November 20th 2017, 11:00 am

    Reed Benson wrote:All of the above!

    Plus, I'd like to see a big-budget superhero movie climax with something other than a fight. I know that kind of goes against type, but it'd be interesting to see something besides "might makes right."


    Mmm. Watchmen comes close. There is a big fight, but I feel like the climax happens in the dialogue and the big reveal of what the villain did and then the final scene with Rorshach(sp?).

    This is a good one! I'd be interested to see a movie take a crack at this and pull it off well!


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    Re: Things you want to see more of in your entertainment

    Post  Paeter on November 20th 2017, 11:10 am

    Rohelf wrote:

    Reed- absolutely!  (Although dropping the need for the big climactic fight scene might also reduce the need for the big budget... maybe that's the argument the screenwriter should use to pitch the idea?)

    lol!


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    Re: Things you want to see more of in your entertainment

    Post  mindspike on November 22nd 2017, 10:34 am

    Paeter wrote:I've seen "communication" at least verbally valued among a few pop-culture media commentators (when going off topic into personal life stuff), so it's becoming a more commonly recognized virtue. Hopefully that will make its way into fiction. Starting with ROMANTIC COMEDIES PLEASE! (Good gravy, can't these two people just open up and TALK about it??!)

    I can see the "Good Communication Edition" of When Harry Met Sally or Sleepless in Seattle or As You Like It.....
    New runtime: 10 minutes! Come to think of it, I'm in favor of that!


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    Re: Things you want to see more of in your entertainment

    Post  Paeter on November 22nd 2017, 12:31 pm

    mindspike wrote:

    I can see the "Good Communication Edition" of When Harry Met Sally or Sleepless in Seattle or As You Like It.....
    New runtime: 10 minutes! Come to think of it, I'm in favor of that!

    LOL!

    Can't think of one now, but I feel like I've seen a couple Rom Coms that DON'T lean on bad communication as the source of conflict. I also like it, when doing the "choice between two guys plot", when both are genuinely good guys instead of one being the obvious "bad" choice.



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    Re: Things you want to see more of in your entertainment

    Post  Tim on December 11th 2017, 9:47 am

    I'd like to see more epic/dark fantasy (as in swords and magic and magical creatures) with actual budgets (so they can show the actual magic). Something more than just LOTR or GOT.

    I'd like to see stories where the hero who lives in a dark and downtrodden world isn't so dark and mopy. I want to see heroes who have hope in spite.

    I want to see romantic relationships with actual depth, where they aren't just together because that's what the story dictates or they are forced together by some contrivance or just raw passion and attraction that audiences are supposed to believe they maintain at all times and when they don't they break up.

    I'll second the desire to see a hero win out with cleverness rather than brute strength or luck or some MacGuffin.

    I want to see real darkness and evil in movies but not just where the heroes survive or trick the monster or use human tools to combat otherworldly threats. I want to see darkness defeated by light. If you are going to have these symbols of evil and dark, why not have someone who is the symbol of light and good. Why in shows like Stranger Things can't there be a character with some good power rather than using its own power against itself?

    I want to see healthy and real marriages portrayed where the drama and conflict don't mean that the relationship is in danger.


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    Re: Things you want to see more of in your entertainment

    Post  jorowi on December 11th 2017, 12:26 pm

    More explosions! Wait…we have plenty of those.
    More CGI! Wait…plenty of that too.

    Honestly, I want some original stories. Disney owns so many geek properties right now and I'm frustrated that nearly everything has the same beats and plot points. I'm expecting to see The Empires Strikes Back rehashed this weekend.


    Last edited by jorowi on December 12th 2017, 9:09 am; edited 1 time in total


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    Re: Things you want to see more of in your entertainment

    Post  Paeter on December 12th 2017, 8:01 am

    Tim wrote:

    I'd like to see stories where the hero who lives in a dark and downtrodden world isn't so dark and mopy. I want to see heroes who have hope in spite.


    Side note: If you haven't seen the movie "Defendor", I'd recommend giving it a shot. The world is as grounded and bleak as it gets (basically some of the worst elements of the real world) but the hero is so endearingly sweet and pure in his sense of right and wrong. Marketed as a dark comedy, but I actually find it far more moving than funny. (It might still be free to watch on vudu or crackle or something.)


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