I actually had to think about this for a while, because I haven't really encountered plot devices overused too much in the books I read, sans the books from the same author who uses similar devices in most of their works. The only thing that really comes to mind is contrived romances and unnecessary plot twists, especially if the reader can figure it out long before the supposed twist or red-herring is revealed. There's nothing that takes me out of a good story more than the former, because when you have naturally chemistry going between characters it shouldn't be forced in that "hey we like each other, let's get together/get married/have sex immediately!" Another thing with that is when two characters obviously have that perfect chemistry but nothing ever happens. It's like really, you have these characters click really well and then in the end nothing comes from it? What is up with that?
And obviously plot twists/red-herrings that can be seen from a mile away can get rather annoying, especially if it's meant as a deus ex machina device which, yeah, can definitely ruin a perfectly good story. I also think that wrapping up a story with a pretty little bow shouldn't always be the case, sometimes it's better to have that open ending, to leave a little cliffhanger that is just as satisfying as a conclusive ending.
There's a discussion going on right now over on hp_commonroom regarding the Hogwarts Houses, and topic of discussion that I have always been intrigued by because I have very strong opinions on the matter. As much fun as it is deciphering which House you'd belong to, there's an inherit flaw in the entire Housing system as a whole. Many people at the post believe, and agree, that Slytherin House has been massively sidelined at being given any kind of redeeming qualities in the books despite the lessons about inter-House unity instead of the blatant House segregation. This is something I still have problems with how that message was contradicted and how JKR didn't show both sides of Slytherin, aside from humanizing and sympathizing with Malfoys in the last two books and especially with Snape in the last book. Of course, there's loads of issues with the Wizarding World in general which is half of the reason for such an overgeneralization, but the problem still remain nonetheless. There's very interesting opinions over there if you want to take a look. Of course, I'm being reminded why debating with HP fans is so much fun, especially when opinionated thoughts get in the way. /sarcasm noted
I still maintain the belief that had the books not allowed Harry to know of the representation of the Houses and had he been sorted into Slytherin and fought against the stereotypes gone with it, the results would have been far more interesting, don'tcha think? As much as I love the series, I think that would have been fascinating to see that struggle with needing to break that mold.
Someone met Sendhil Ramamurthy in person at the FanExpo 2010 recently, which aside from Misha Collins I would end up becoming a bumbling idiot around him because asdflaskflsfdk gorgeous man. Anyway, the writeup of this person's encounter is perhaps the best writeup I've seen, because it shows how adorable Sendhil is and his polite honesty regarding Heroes and what went wrong, which is something I had been curious about since I know many of the actors weren't happy with what was happening on the show. But it's nice to hear him say things in his own words. Oh, and he signed an autograph to the community. D'awww. ♥
Oh, and who wants to spend an evening with Tricia Helfer? *_________*