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Jul 26, 2017 | Commentary, Movies

…just words and a tuune! This is me channeling Elton John today — and creating an SEO nightmare in the process HA!

Anyway, I should be working on my WIP, but I’m feeling a bit sad (read: depressed). And dealing with Lucifer in hell is NOT fun when I’m feeling this way. It may be authentic, but SO not helpful.

But in order to feel even the tiniest bit productive, here we are.

Garden Gnomes has been updated. I know it’s been AGES, and I admit, it’s easier to watch movies than it is to watch them AND write about them. Good news though — I finally have enough for it to fulfill its intended purpose: “GN says I’ve seen it, but I don’t remember it. Oh, 2 gnomes — that’s why I don’t remember it!” Score! Question: should I give GN its own Twitter page? Hit me up and let me know what you think.

I was discussing movie tropes with a friend not long ago and I came to an interesting conclusion: I don’t hate all tropes, movie or otherwise. I thought I did, it’s why I started writing in the first place. I was tired of all the tropes – but I actually like some of them. That surprised me.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Tropes are cultural shorthand – remember that ST:TNG episode where Picard is stranded with that alien who only spoke in cultural anecdotes (tropes)? I love that episode. I know I started using more trope-y pop culture references in my speech because of it. It’s shorthand, if you know what I’m referencing, you understand my meaning and can then apply it to whatever I’m talking about.

It might be lazy, but I don’t care.

I had to acknowledge that I was throwing all tropes out with the bath water. It’s the cliches that make me nuts — those need to die in a fire. (Heh, see what I did there?)


  • The poc that dies first in a horror movie. In 2017, if the entire cast of your horror movie is NOT made of people of color, then having them be the first to die is stupid, cliched & racist. I wanted to see Life, but after seeing the trailer – no thanks.
  • 99.99999% of romantic comedies. Spin the wheel, pick one, it will be a trope-y mess. (It is possible that I just hate romantic comedies.)
  • Mentor recruits newbie and dies before newbie is even marginally trained, but somehow newbie survives & kicks ass. (Yes I know, hero’s journey, blah blah blah. Star Wars blah blah blah.) I love Kingsman, but it still irks me that Eggsy is like a super spy in less than 2 hours.
  • Screaming women.
  • Running women who trip. (Apparently, we ladies are unable to run w/o falling flat on our faces.)
  • Pseudo-masturbatory shower scenes. (Apparently, we ladies just can’t help feeling ourselves up when we shower.)

Notice how the last three aren’t even story conventions but just stupid shit that gets thrown in for no reason? I hate those the most. Screen time is valuable, maybe with a tiny bit more thought, we can alter our tropes to make them interesting? Maybe rotate out some of the nonsense? Just a thought. Are there some tropes that you love or hate? Pop on down to the comments and tell us about it!

Speaking of interesting use of tropes: I went to see Wish Upon a few weeks ago, and I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed it because it took the standard monkey-paw-genie-wishing trope and altered it enough that it was fresh and interesting: Your wishes are granted, but people you love die because of it. It’s not that the wishes are somehow fucked up or that they end up being twisted to teach you a lesson. Nope. You knowingly sacrifice your loved ones to satisfy your every desire. And when you find this out — do you stop? It gives me chills just thinking about it. So, if you like movies of the horror variety, check it out, you might like it as much as I did.


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