cleaning up so well (jones_casey) wrote,
cleaning up so well

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authentic fiction (that's just crazy)

a topic near and dear to many of us is the purposes and mechanisms of fiction, and what audiences expect from fiction. fiction is more satisfying when it could have happened [utilitarian generalization] -- even if it takes place in a world other than our own, that world should have coherent rules which operate consistently. i've discussed with friends why this makes heroes (and the superhero genre itself, generally) so unsatisfying to mature thinkers. first, the rules are unknown until described, and second, the writers generally fail to take into account the application of the different rules once described. hiro can go to any point in time, yet he never uses this power the best way he could. etc. the question is what amount and kinds of inauthenticities will be taken in stride, and which will evoke audience disapproval. the boundaries are far from clear. witness:

rdm in his podcast discussing the cylons sending five raiders through space past galactica towards the algae planet against adama's wishes:

"there is a more fundamental logical question, of course, which is why the raiders don't just jump down to the planet's surface, the way that we see raiders jump in other circumstances. i don't have a good answer for that, except this worked better dramatically, and that's what we did."

yet less than a minute later he says, concerning helo & sharon's course of action to try to rescue their baby from a cylon base ship:

"i think as scripted, in the first drafts, this conversation was going to take place on a raptor, that sharon was going to try to steal a raptor, and go, fly out of galactica, and go to a base ship to get her baby. and i sort of called bullshit on that, and said, 'well...' i think one of the tropes about doing science fiction shows or shows about military life is that there's always this moment when the pilot or some pilot goes and steals a plane and flies it away or gets on a carrier deck and flies a stolen plane off and i just never believe that. it's just so unbelievable. we almost did it, and i just pulled back and said, 'no, she can't steal a raptor, that's just crazy.' so we opted not to go that route. and this is a more effective scene, i think, anyway."

and then:

"how does caprica six get sharon and hera off the base ship and back to galactica and into the raptor without anybody catching her? ... i don't know, and i didn't really care, i didn't think it really mattered, i think at that point you just gotta to go with the flow, and you just accept that she can get her off the ship because the dramatic end of that emotional line is ...[his wife interrupts]...they're cylons and it doesn't really matter."

so, when do you call bullshit, and when do you say 'just go with the flow'?

even writers attempting to maintain a high level of authenticity are going to make mistakes, so there will always be some amount of inauthenticity, and therefore it's a question that audience members are constantly answering for themselves.

why authentic fiction is more satisfying is beyond the scope of this entry. :p

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