Sunday, October 28, 2012

There's A Trope For That - Week Of October 28th

Two very special related tropes this week!

"Weather in TV Land is weird. It strikes with no warning or buildup, and can stop just as suddenly. The most common example is a loud thunderclap, followed instantly by a drenching downpour (sometimes a single raindrop in between them). No wind, no sprinkling rain, nothing beforehand to warn our unsuspecting characters that they need to get indoors. Nor does it ever thunder without an accompanying downpour."

And second: Instant Thunder.

"FLASH! Lightning streaks across the sky! A few seconds later, the thunder arrives. BOOM!

In Real Life, thunder is the sound caused by a lightning strike. It has a delay because sound travels slower than light, and so the farther away the lightning strikes, the longer it takes for the thunder to arrive. If you hear thunder at the same time of a lightning strike, it probably means that you're inside the eye of storm.

Not so in fiction. Here, lightning almost always arrives with the sound of thunder, no matter where the lightning is. This happens so often that it is remarkable when thunder does have a delay. Expect quite a few aversions to mention counting the seconds to see how far away the lightning struck, especially if the target audience is children."

* * * 

I will start by saying this: I get annoyed when I see movies and shows use these tropes because ugh, they're so cheesy. But they don't bother me as much as, say, Every Car Is A Pinto, and maybe that is because these two are not tropes that kill. It's just a light/sound effect oversight. When in real life does it ever just start raining, thundering, and lightning-ing at the same time? 

Well, apparently... in Austria.

Ah, The Sound of Music. Lots of fond memories of watching this film... but boy, does it have its issues. Especially with weather. First we get a triple-threat weather combo when Leisl and Naziboy are out in the garden, and then later, when Maria is in her room and all the rugrats come running in for protection from the storm. Perfectly coordinated thunder, lightning, and rain.

Not only does the thunder and lightning start off (and continue) simultaneously, but sometimes the little von Trapp kids seem to know they're going to happen before they happen and can duck appropriately. And the best part of all is that when Captain von Trapp comes in Maria's room, the storm just stops. It's like it knows the Captain means business. You tell em, Georg! Forget all that crap about singing your fears away, all you need is to give mother nature a stern glare. Duh!

Granted, The Sound of Music IS a musical, and musicals sort of have the license to defy things like science and logic, and there are far weirder things in that film, BUT... it still annoys me.

So to make myself feel better about the overused tropes in The Sound Of Music, I will sing a song about my favorite things.


Soft gooey brownies
and yummy potatoes
Pizza and nachos and
Bright red tomatoes
Cold cherry Pepsi
Oh, of thee I sing
These are a few of my favorite things

Coconut sunscreen and meat on a hot grill
Cookies are baking, oh my heart do be still
Carving a pumpkin
The smell that it brings
These are a few of my favorite things

Warm fuzzy blankets
And baths with some bubbles
Dear furry kitties
Make me forget troubles
Reading a book by the fire gives me wings
These are a few of my favorite things

When work sucks
When my head aches
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel
So bad.


Okay, yeah.

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