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Movie plot elements that are hard for you to watch?

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Poorly crafted stooges, straightmen, and villains. Every protagonist needs an obstacle. Every joke needs a butt. Every hero needs a villain.
But craft the villain to be too simple and the result is annoying.



Star Trek - Admiral or Commodore Dips**t only exists to demonstrate how competent the crew of the Enterprise really is.

Waterboy - They dress a guy up just like Colonel Sanders to set up a joke where our protagonist observes that the guy looks like Colonel Sanders.

The Super-Villainy Villain Guy who is really bad because he's the villain, even though he has no motivation or rational. Pretty much anyone ever played by Paul Gleeson. When things are played for a bit of camp, it's OK (e.g., Gleeson in Die Hard), but in a "serious" film, it's annoying AF.

On the other hand dignify and explain and humanize the Devil too much and everyone follows him to hell (e.g., Walter White).

A challenge of writing is to get the balance right.



Impossible for me to watch any scene that contains cruelty to animals. Or any sign of neglect for that matter. I just can’t do it.
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I’m here only on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays. That’s why I’m here now.



Poorly crafted stooges, straightmen, and villains. Every protagonist needs an obstacle. Every joke needs a butt. Every hero needs a villain.
But craft the villain to be too simple and the result is annoying.

Star Trek - Admiral or Commodore Dips**t only exists to demonstrate how competent the crew of the Enterprise really is.

Waterboy - They dress a guy up just like Colonel Sanders to set up a joke where our protagonist observes that the guy looks like Colonel Sanders.

The Super-Villainy Villain Guy who is really bad because he's the villain, even though he has no motivation or rational. Pretty much anyone ever played by Paul Gleeson. When things are played for a bit of camp, it's OK (e.g., Gleeson in Die Hard), but in a "serious" film, it's annoying AF.

On the other hand dignify and explain and humanize the Devil too much and everyone follows him to hell (e.g., Walter White).

A challenge of writing is to get the balance right.
I don't think the reason why some guys idolize Walter White is because the show humanized him too much (otherwise, they would empathize more with Skyler, when it's those same guys who are also making the garbage memes about her being the "true bad guy" of the show). I mean, the whole point of the show is that he's an average, everyday man who ends up becoming a tragic antihero, so if we don't feel any sympathy for him, or aren't aided in understanding the character flaws that lead to his moral downfall, then he might as well just be another one of the scumbags on Sons Of Anarchy. I think the real reason why those guys look up to him is that they're just looking for another "badass" alpha male to root for, while completely ignoring all the negative results of his toxic masculinity, just like so many other cautionary tales that came before him:




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I don't think the reason why some guys idolize Walter White is because the show humanized him too much (otherwise, they would empathize more with Skyler, when it's those same guys who are also making the garbage memes about her being the "true bad guy" of the show). I mean, the whole point of the show is that he's an average, everyday man who ends up becoming a tragic antihero, so if we don't feel any sympathy for him, or aren't aided in understanding the character flaws that lead to his moral downfall, then he might as well just be another one of the scumbags on Sons Of Anarchy. I think the real reason why those guys look up to him is that they're just looking for another "badass" alpha male to root for, while completely ignoring all the negative results of his toxic masculinity, just like so many other cautionary tales that came before him:


I dunno. Walt had an arc. We fell in love with him when he was a cowering dork. We felt his pain. We were with him in the car wash when his own students humiliated him. We were there with him when he was diagnosed. He wasn't an alpha male and his villainy was not sudden (no WWE heel-turn was the "White" named "Walter"). We got in his shoes and wore them. We felt for him and cheered for him as he surmounted challenges. He seemed like a good man in a bad time, that is, until Jane...



Skyler annoyed my wife and I don't think she's a misogynist -- she just found her character to be annoying (but well-acted). She's kind of a control freak and is in a running competition for attention/appreciation with Marie. She has a disturbing talent for lying (she's much better at it than Walt) and is ruthless in her own domain (poor Bogdan, poor Ted). In some ways, she is the perfect accomplice for Walt. He really needed her to make things work. I find myself loving and hating her in the same way that I love and hate Walt and Marie and Jessie and Hank. They're all very human. I think what is most annoying about Skyler is that she is stuck on the fence with Walt. She doesn't quite work up the muster to keep on driving when she reaches the 4 Corner's area and she never works up the nerve to call the cops, but she still moralizes as if she does not have a foot in both worlds.



If the story were told from Skyler's point of view, however, I'm certain that Walt would be viewed much less favorably. A lot depends on point of view, and we're riding with Mr. White. We're cooking with Walt. So, Skyler is, by necessity, a source of friction. We had too much fun with the devil.



I dunno. Walt had an arc. We fell in love with him when he was a cowering dork. We felt his pain. We were with him in the car wash when his own students humiliated him. We were there with him when he was diagnosed. He wasn't an alpha male and his villainy was not sudden (no WWE heel-turn was the "White" named "Walter"). We got in his shoes and wore them. We felt for him and cheered for him as he surmounted challenges. He seemed like a good man in a bad time, that is, until Jane...



Skyler annoyed my wife and I don't think she's a misogynist -- she just found her character to be annoying (but well-acted). She's kind of a control freak and is in a running competition for attention/appreciation with Marie. She has a disturbing talent for lying (she's much better at it than Walt) and is ruthless in her own domain (poor Bogdan, poor Ted). In some ways, she is the perfect accomplice for Walt. He really needed her to make things work. I find myself loving and hating her in the same way that I love and hate Walt and Marie and Jessie and Hank. They're all very human. I think what is most annoying about Skyler is that she is stuck on the fence with Walt. She doesn't quite work up the muster to keep on driving when she reaches the 4 Corner's area and she never works up the nerve to call the cops, but she still moralizes as if she does not have a foot in both worlds.



If the story were told from Skyler's point of view, however, I'm certain that Walt would be viewed much less favorably. A lot depends on point of view, and we're riding with Mr. White. We're cooking with Walt. So, Skyler is, by necessity, a source of friction. We had too much fun with the devil.
Totally agree. Whatever her plot function, she is incredibly irritating and has never instilled a drop of sympathy in me.

Anyone’s at liberty to think people rooting for antagonists/villains are “missing the point”, but I feel those who argue in that way are missing the point themselves. All these arcs can be seen as tragedies; even if it didn’t “end well”, the characters did what they felt they had to/wanted to do, and to me it’s perfectly reasonable. Find endings like The Stowaway much more ridiculous and feel that people rooting for self-sacrificing goodies are missing the point. Sacrifice yourself for greater good of society, jump off the cliff, spread communism… Animal Farm, anyone?

Art/entertainment would be so much more, well, entertaining if rooting for egoists like Walter was normalised, because that’s realistic human behaviour - seeking how to maximise one’s self-interest. Not jumping off the cliff in self-sacrifice.

The lesson is obviously that if you fail the evolutionary module of cooperation, you are likely to be ****ed in the end, like Walter - but at least it was a joyride.

But they are not all equivalent to each other. I always preferred Narrator to Tyler because the whole thing is obviously his project and his achievement, he has managed to change his own personality so as not to need an alter-ego anymore. It’s almost like A Beautiful Mind. Tyler is just a coping mechanism, so why would one idealise him? Same with Bateman, he’s just a stock broker who has too much time on his hands, it’s not like one would idealise an actual serial killer.



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I think we all cheered for Donald Draper's best pitches and that we hoped against hope that he would get it together and stop moping around and sleeping around. And when the alternative is Pete Campbell, it's easy to be on Team Don. As the show goes on, Don is less and less likeable, but to be perfectly honest, who is really likeable on that show? They're all rather tainted, toxic, and self-obsessed, aren't they? Brilliant show for about 3 seasons and then it rather wears out its welcome.



I made it only 8 episodes into Mad Men and bailed as Pete Campbell failed to get violently murdered by that point.



I made it only 8 episodes into Mad Men and bailed as Pete Campbell failed to get violently murdered by that point.

You mean, the best character in the whole show?



You mean, the best character in the whole show?
Did he get violently murdered in episode 9? If not, no interest in continuing.



Did he get violently murdered in episode 9? If not, no interest in continuing.

I'm pretty sure he gets punched in the face at least once. Worth the three or four seasons it takes to get there.


So many great Pete moments.


Also, (in regards to that meme above) I don't think there is any 'missing the point' in rooting for Don Draper's character. Unlike Walter White, who was deliberately morphed into the shows villain, Draper is simply a deeply flawed man. The design of Mad Men is not to have the audience align against him. We still wish for him to rise from his moral quagmire. Rooting for this is not a fault in the viewer.



What it often feels like is that general culture can't distinguish between having empathy for anti-heroic characters, and 'rooting' for their anti-heroic behavior. Travis Bickle's charcter arc in Taxi Driver is kind of emblematic of this. Whether it is his obsession with a Presidential candidate, or the pimp of a child prostitute, the pathology that guides his behavior in both situations is virtually identical. But the general public interprets it completely differently, depending on his target. But in both cases, as an audience, we should not be rooting for violence. Yet, we are still permitted to empathize with the tragedy of his life. His criminal behavior shouldn't forbid this.



Also, does anyone actually 'idolize' Patrick Bateman?


I suppose I shouldn't be surprised if some do, but that feels like a particularly weird one since he is essentially a satirical construct we aren't really even meant to humanize.



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I'm pretty sure he gets punched in the face at least once. Worth the three or four seasons it takes to get there.


So many great Pete moments.


Also, (in regards to that meme above) I don't think there is any 'missing the point' in rooting for Don Draper's character. Unlike Walter White, who was deliberately morphed into the shows villain, Draper is simply a deeply flawed man. The design of Mad Men is not to have the audience align against him. We still wish for him to rise from his moral quagmire. Rooting for this is not a fault in the viewer.



What it often feels like is that general culture can't distinguish between having empathy for anti-heroic characters, and 'rooting' for their anti-heroic behavior. Travis Bickle's charcter arc in Taxi Driver is kind of emblematic of this. Whether it is his obsession with a Presidential candidate, or the pimp of a child prostitute, the pathology that guides his behavior in both situations is virtually identical. But the general public interprets it completely differently, depending on his target. But in both cases, as an audience, we should not be rooting for violence. Yet, we are still permitted to empathize with the tragedy of his life. His criminal behavior shouldn't forbid this.

Don is not just flawed, he is a scoundrel. He steals a name, he is a gobsmackingly flagrant philanderer, he is an absentee father and husband, and he's a rather petty with subordinates. He's fun to watch, but I wouldn't pick him to be a friend.



I think you're right on the money in the audience conflating their allegiance with a character with an allegiance with their character (traits) and actions.




Waterboy - They dress a guy up just like Colonel Sanders to set up a joke where our protagonist observes that the guy looks like Colonel Sanders.
This worked so well for Adam that he repeated it in the ****ty remake "The Longest Yard".



animal cruelty, cannibalism



Don is not just flawed, he is a scoundrel. He steals a name, he is a gobsmackingly flagrant philanderer, he is an absentee father and husband, and he's a rather petty with subordinates. He's fun to watch, but I wouldn't pick him to be a friend.

I think you're right on the money in the audience conflating their allegiance with a character with an allegiance with their character (traits) and actions.
As someone who more or less started their career in advertising and remains on the outskirts of the industry, I think it’s more complicated than that. Don’s quality of being a “scoundrel” is part of his rule-breaking approach, which makes him a creative genius. Now, there’s a much-debated circular question of whether it’s even beneficial for a creative agency to have “a Don” on the team. He will intimídate and discourage and dispirit his colleagues by his sheer brilliance and virtue of always saving the day when it comes to creative briefs. This is in fact extremely realistic and is inherently related to his unlikeable personality. This is a bit like the Bond discussion - experience tells me that if Don were nice, he wouldn’t think out of the box like he does, and that’s his value, right?

I know that people from within the industry have a completely different reading of Mad Men than outsiders, which is only fair. But the “Don paradox” is much discussed in advertising, even on LinkedIn to this day. He is the creative genius in any room, which creates an imbalance and an insurmountable tension that’s part of why he’s being perceived as a scoundrel.

What I’m trying to say is, as a creative (PR, advertising, marketing) agency boss, it’s the most natural and reasonable thing in the world to root for Don. He can drink and **** up all he likes, and if it gets our of hand, he’ll get reprimanded for it just like anyone else would, but the day when the Dons are replaced by the Peggies in creative powerhouses like Ogilvy is the day when these places lose half their power.

I’ve worked with many a Don and have one now on a sort of parallel plane from me hierarchy-wise. I admire the guy; yes, he may be a bit of a liability when drunk (that part was very accurate), but he’s a huge asset for the firm, and I dread the idea that people may seek to replace him with a virtuous teetotal female because they think him a scoundrel.

Now, on another note, does his stealing that name hurt anyone (except him)? I find his relationship with Anna by far the most moving and deep aspect of the show. They have an understanding and relationship that he doesn’t attain with anyone else, one she seems to cherish too, for what that’s worth. Yes, the lying torments him, but I don’t see how it makes him a “scoundrel” in the slightest. Everyone wears masks, some more elaborate than others.

I agree that few people would pick him for a “friend”, though I would, actually - could learn a few things along the way. And is us picking someone for a friend really the measure of someone’s worth? As a business asset he’s irreplaceable and I’d be (and have been) friendly with him/the type just for that. So as a professional, I definitely “root” for him to stay in the role & keep ““creating value”” (*marketing speak alert*, this was tongue in cheek.)



I’ve worked with many a Don and have one now on a sort of parallel plane from me hierarchy-wise. I admire the guy; yes, he may be a bit of a liability when drunk (that part was very accurate), but he’s a huge asset for the firm, and I dread the idea that people may seek to replace him with a virtuous teetotal female because they think him a scoundrel.
Don, obviously, is from an older era. I rather think the men as described above are far more prevalent in Europe (especially the UK) than they are here in America. Rascals abounded in the UK’s limited series Industry on HBO & I see not much has changed there since I lived in bibulous London.



Don, obviously, is from an older era. I rather think the men as described above are far more prevalent in Europe (especially the UK) than they are here in America. Rascals abounded in the UK’s limited series Industry on HBO & I see not much has changed there since I lived in bibulous London.
Yes, I think you are right. Then again, I have a very Don-like figure on my senior team now and he’s, what, 36? (He’s actually a Kiwi). 😃

I think there’s a huge arrogance about judging these people and their morals. Try creating an award-winning brief in 3 hours, then you can diss Don. Appreciate that’s massively coloured by my professional experience.

And “rascal” is harsh, no? No one’s forced to sleep with them if not to one’s taste.



Yes, I think you are right. Then again, I have a very Don-like figure on my senior team now and he’s, what, 36? (He’s actually a Kiwi). 😃

I think there’s a huge arrogance about judging these people and their morals. Try creating an award-winning brief in 3 hours, then you can diss Don. Appreciate that’s massively coloured by my professional experience.

And “rascal” is harsh, no? No one’s forced to sleep with them if not to one’s taste.
Kiwis can drink, no question. Almost as much as Aussies.

I liked Don Draper. (His voice is gorgeous.) Remember, he was the only one who didn’t want the big-breasted woman (forgot her name) to spend the night with that douche.

“Rascal” is not “harsh” at all. Too lazy to send a link, but check dictionary. It’s why we say “lovable rascals”.



Kiwis can drink, no question. Almost as much as Aussies.

I liked Don Draper. (His voice is gorgeous.) Remember, he was the only one who didn’t want the big-breasted woman (forgot her name) to spend the night with that douche.

“Rascal” is not “harsh” at all. Too lazy to send a link, but check dictionary. It’s why we say “lovable rascals”.
Right, I stand corrected, then. Can’t remember if I ever called anyone a rascal, but don’t think so.