No Whimsy, Sugar (taste_is_sweet) wrote,
No Whimsy, Sugar
taste_is_sweet

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And an hour ago, I was eating lunch.

Tuesday night I watched Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. with my darling husband. The episode started with a Big Climatic Fight Scene, only to immediately switch to Coulson and Skye discussing job perks over the subtitle of "19 Hours Earlier".

I hate that trope, but what made me really notice it in MAoS was that I'd already seen the time-jump twice already. The week before, DH and I had watched a CSI ep that started with a funeral, then jumped back two days to show us who died. And the week before that, the season premier of Revolution started with the main characters in the midst of personal vendettas, before jumping back six months to show where they'd been.

(I don't actually watch CSI and Revolution, but my husband does and I like staying in the living room in the evenings. Yes, that was important to me to mention.)

And for some reason, this has been a thing for years. Hell, "Sunday" (otherwise known as The SGA Episode That Launched a Thousand Fix-its) used the time-jumping trope, though IIRC it was more original because it jumped back by increments, rather than just hauling ass to the very beginning.

I also remember a show called Fast Lane from 2002, which in no way capitalized on the Fast and Furious movies, but did use the "____ hours earlier" trope for every single show.

These completely logical poses are indicative of a typical episode.
 photo Fastlane.jpg

I didn't mind the jumping in Fastlane because it was their thing, like putting pretty boys in ridiculous circumstances. But I really, really mind it everywhere else. It reminds me a lot of some of the SGA fanfic back in the day, where it would start with Team Sheppard being chased by the requisite villagers with torches and pitchforks... And then the next scene would be how they got to that point. Which was inevitably boring and, given the nature of the show, completely unnecessary.

I don't like the back jumping because it feels cheap and lazy: Trying to hook the audience with the most exciting part first, in the assumption that they'll be willing to find out how the heroes got there. It seems to me that, if you only have one really good part in your story, the answer is to make the rest good too--not blow your wad and only then go for the foreplay.

Or, in the case of MAoS, blow something up and then make us go back 19 hours to find out why. Just begin at the beginning, guys; we'll get to the end if you take us with you.

Tags: fanfiction, please explain, rants, yes i watch television
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