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29 August 2010 @ 07:48 pm
Fellow Slytherclaw, reporting for duty.  
Day 07 - Least favorite plot device employed by way too many books you actually enjoyed otherwise

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? *_________*
 
 
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
 
 
 
secret_hotel on August 30th, 2010 03:23 am (UTC)
All the stuff about Slytherin (general and Harry): YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES IA 100%
Renée: Sierra. Incognito.rogueslayer452 on August 30th, 2010 06:42 am (UTC)
It's something I wished could have been further explored in the books, even though I know there was a lot going on plot-wise it would have been nice to see something of redemption or seeing another side of the Slytherins. And hey, an AU where Harry being sorted into Slytherin would have been even more awesome just to see the different outcomes of different experiences.

I like thinking outside the box with these things.
just a small town girl: [supernatural] mary winchestercarameltrap on August 30th, 2010 03:58 am (UTC)
On the HP stuff, YES. I would have love to see things from the Slytherin's sides instead of the other side. It's so black and white that if you're Slytherin, you're automatically in league with Voldermort or Death Eaters or just evil.
Renée: Harry Potter. Hogwarts.rogueslayer452 on August 30th, 2010 06:38 am (UTC)
Precisely, and the whole discussion was talking about the Houses and how they were portrayed in the books, what was wrong with the sorting at such a young age, the stereotypes and double standards and whatnot. Which all are presented with the Hogwarts Housing situation, and Slyterhin definitely gets the short end of the stick even towards the end of the book when we seen characters like the Malfoys and Snape being brought into a sympathizing light.

Nothing is black and white in that world, that's what the stereotypes create and that's the backlash of the Wizarding community as a whole, and for someone to not understand that and say "lol Slytherin is bad because that's how JKR wrote it" isn't a valid reason for there not to be good students in Slytherin, either. And there were, just morally challenged in a certain way, like Draco Malfoy who wasn't bad, just a bully who grew up in the end.
Filomena: pink smile pinkaubade_saudade on August 30th, 2010 04:31 am (UTC)
i saw your comments and they were all ♥ :)

i'm getting slaughtered because i said it was bigoted for the Gryffindors to think that ALL Slytherins are evil.

it somehow turned into how i was comparing racial oppression to house rivalry (WHAT?!) idk. wtf ever. *shrugs*

Renée: Kahlan. BAMC.rogueslayer452 on August 30th, 2010 06:31 am (UTC)
Awww, thanks bb! ♥

It's kinda hard trying to debate with people who refuse to understand the point you're making, isn't it? Especially people who come off as condescending in suggesting that they know canon because they've read the books, therefore what I (and many others) say is meaningless. Like, what exactly does that have to do with anything? Just because JKR didn't represent something in the books doesn't mean it's not open for discussion. They refuse to see below the surface, and it's just sad. :(

I'm reminded about all the wanking back in the day because that. And really, I like discussion and I like debating, but having someone talking you down because of it is not how civil debates are formed at all.
Chrissaodysseedesreves on August 30th, 2010 05:05 am (UTC)
It would have been interesting to see Harry in Slytherin. I'm not sure it would have worked just because of certain plot points (such as Harry using Gryffindor's sword to defeat the basilisk in book 2) but to have had someone good inside of Slytherin would have been interesting, someone who wasn't against Harry from the start. I've thought about that, though. People in Slytherin are supposed to be able to go either way so why wasn't that represented more in the book?
Renée: BSG. ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER.rogueslayer452 on August 30th, 2010 06:24 am (UTC)
I've thought about that, though. People in Slytherin are supposed to be able to go either way so why wasn't that represented more in the book?

I honestly don't know. I wish it had been addressed and given a little something about how Slytherins aren't always bad, hence why I think that alternate direction of Harry being in Slytherin would have nice to explore that more thoroughly. Obviously there would have been changes to the plot, like you said, and the overall perception of Slytherin...but it would have made the message about inter-House unity much stronger if Harry would have still been friends with Ron and Hermione despite all of that, you know?

There's just plenty of things that could have shown, especially in the last book, the redemption of Slytherin House.
I need more fandoms like CKR needs more sexylove_jackianto on August 30th, 2010 02:08 pm (UTC)
'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.'
What a great article! I've never seen Heroes but I heard it turned into a really mess so was very interesting to see what one of the actors had to say about it. I love how he tried to go to bat for his character but it didn't work. A lot people seem to think that tv actors in particular have much more control over their characters than they actually do. As someone once said, 'actors are paid to say their lines, hit their marks and leave'.
Renée: Six. It's good to be a Cylon.rogueslayer452 on August 30th, 2010 08:38 pm (UTC)
Only rarely do actors get a say in what happens to their characters. On BSG the actors have mentioned time and again that they were blessed to have that kind of freedom that they could actually change dialogue on the day of filming. I remember Tricia Helfer when acting in one particular scene actually fought with the director about something she was clearly very passionate about changing because she didn't like the setup the director wanted and didn't believe it went well with what the character was experiencing.

So it's not uncommon, just very rare. But you'd think if the actors aren't pleased with what is happening to their characters that the writers/creator would take that into consideration instead of just brushing it off, you know? Hey, some actors may even understand their characters more than the writers do. It's a shame that they were all treated like that on Heroes. :(

But hey, if you do get a chance definitely watch the first season. That has been, and always will remain, the best season of Heroes without a doubt. :)
I need more fandoms like CKR needs more sexylove_jackianto on August 30th, 2010 08:52 pm (UTC)
'Hey, some actors may even understand their characters more than the writers do. It's a shame that they were all treated like that on Heroes. :('
True, a good actor really has to understand what makes their character tick, after all.

'But hey, if you do get a chance definitely watch the first season. That has been, and always will remain, the best season of Heroes without a doubt. :)'
I just might.
Renée: Blair Waldorf.rogueslayer452 on August 30th, 2010 10:00 pm (UTC)
True, a good actor really has to understand what makes their character tick, after all.

Exactly. There are some actors that really take their roles into heart, especially if they've been playing them for a few years they have a grasp about who these characters are. It really should be teamwork effort in deciding what a character should/shouldn't do especially when there's read-throughs of scripts, you know? It's sad when things go downhill and there are pressures in the business.
I need more fandoms like CKR needs more sexylove_jackianto on August 30th, 2010 10:17 pm (UTC)
'There are some actors that really take their roles into heart, especially if they've been playing them for a few years they have a grasp about who these characters are.'
I've always thought that's why Jensen and Jared are so good at playing Dean and Sam. And Misha really seems to 'get' Cas.

'It really should be teamwork effort in deciding what a character should/shouldn't do especially when there's read-throughs of scripts, you know? It's sad when things go downhill and there are pressures in the business.'
It is. I remember reading an interview with a soap opera actor who had played the same character for thirty years and he said one time he made the writers change a scene because it just wasn't something his character would do.
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cheerful_earl: Gaius and Sixcheerful_earl on September 1st, 2010 09:54 am (UTC)
*I* want to spend an evening with Tricia Helfer. So amazing. <3

I agree completely about Slytherin House. I really wish we'd been able to see more about them, more of what made them tick. There were parts of her dealings with Slytherin that intensely disappointed me, no matter how much I love those books.

Ugh, I am so with you on those overused plot devices. The deus ex machina kills me, especially. Aaaaand contrived romances are super annoying.
Renée: Harry Potter. Hogwarts.rogueslayer452 on September 1st, 2010 05:12 pm (UTC)
I think I would literally die if I ever got a chance to spend an entire evening with Tricia. I mean, hello, goddess! Granted I would love to meet her someday but that event sounds extremely fancy, like celebrity-fancy, I would have a heart attack. *____*

Yeah, and one of the arguments someone tried with me was that that's how JKR wrote the Slytherins, and if she wanted a "good Slytherin" she would have wrote one in, but since she didn't they are all bad no matter what. Which is absolutely ridiculous assumption and it's oversimplifying an incredibly complicated world JKR created. There are so many layers with characters and groups in individuals that we didn't further explore that I wished she had, whether or not it was important to the plot of the story. That's the amazing thing about the Harry Potter books is how rich the world is, but the downside is not exploring all of those aspects of that world and the characters in it, like the Slytherin House. They aren't all bad, they aren't all Death Eaters, and the disappointing thing is that I wished there could have been some examination to that side, especially in the later/the last book. I loved that she humanized the Malfoys, but there should have been more than just that, imo.