I found my new favorite website: tvtropes.org. If you like watching TV, movies, anime or comic books and you enjoy discussion plot devices and storytelling techniques they use don’t click that link, unless you have few spare hours. It will eat up hours upon hours of your time, in a classic wikipedia browsing scenario – “I’ll just look up this one term here, and I’ll stop!”. Oh and it will ruin your life forever.
The aim of that website seems to be listing, listing, categorizing, naming and explaining every single cliché moment, plot device and/or mechanic ever used on TV, in the movies, anime, comic books, literature and other media. Just to give you some examples, these range from the much hated All Just a Dream (don’t you just hate that one?), or the typical Karmic Death of a villain. It also explains peculiar character types ranging from the classic Adventurer Archaeologist (cue in Indians Jones, Lara Croft and hundreds of others) to the more obscure, but not really less prevalent Faux Action Girl – a female character who is said to posses some serious ass kicking skills by virtue or superpowers or intense combat training but never shows it, spends most time being kidnapped by the bad guys and must constantly be rescued by the male lead.
And who can forget such classics as A-Team Firing, the Imperial Stormtrooper Aim or the Dramatic Gun Cock. My personal favorite trope is probably the Enhance Button beautifully illustrated by this Bigger than Cheeses comic:
I spend last few days catching myself reading the TV Tropes wiki at various times. And every single time it turns into a click-feast 5 or 6 new tabs getting opened in the background for each page I read. These things are serioulsy like building blocks. You can take any given show, movie or story and carefully de-construct it by identifying it’s components on the TV Tropes index until nothing is left. I’m planning to link the hell out of this page during my future movie and anime reviews. :)
In addition to all of the above, the page can serve as a great list of entertainment titles to avoid or check out. Each trope or plot device comes with a list of examples which either use it or subvert it by putting a twist on it. The works that are perpetually listed under the silly, laughable and cliché tropes are probably total rubbish. Ones that subvert them in clever ways, might be something to put on your “to watch/read” list. Oh, and they are very good with spoilers blanking them out, and giving you a fair warning every time.
[tags]tv tropes, tropes, plot devices, cliché, enhance it, faux action girl, dramatic gun cock, a-team firing, stormtrooper aim[/tags]