a pro script reader ponders movies, reading, writing and the occasional personal flashback

Monday, July 09, 2007

The Inexplicable

So last night, I was powering down by sitting on the couch watching Jackass 2 when my wife walked in.

She watched as a guy threw up in the glass helmet he was wearing, then she did a quick 180 and exitted upstairs, where she asked how a smart man like myself could be entertained by stuff like that.

I thought about an answer, and then realized that I really didn't have one.

It's funny, because I make my living analyzing what works and what doesn't work in screenplays, and a lot of it is logical -- it's easy to spot when stories don't come together, when characters wander around without much going on, when dialogue just sort of sits there.

But why I enjoy watching a guy get his testicles frozen to a block of ice is beyond me.



At 12:29 PM, Blogger Cathy Krasnianski said...

It's the whole "Stopping to watch a car accident" thing. People have always been/will always be fascinated with events that are disgusting and/or frightening. It's a way for them to "experience" it themselves, with out actually having to go through it.

At 1:36 PM, Blogger Brett said...

I think it's the male/female thing.

[note-- the following are very rough and hypergeneralized observations,

Women are bilogically empathic and supportive, while men are biologicaly competitive and aggressive.

Women hate to see another man suffer, while men laugh that some other schmuck is clearly below us on the great totem pole of being.

Or maybe not.

At 4:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know for myself I'm willing to watch just to see how far any one person will go -- and like Cathy K. said "experience it without actually going through it" or plain and simple: not having to end up being the Jackass

At 4:42 PM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

Brett -- I don't know, I tend to be fairly sensitive, and I can enjoy a woman's movie like The Joy Luck Club or In Her Shoes with no problem at all.

My wife and I actually have very similar tastes in movies, until it comes to something like this, where the gulf is wide.

At 8:31 PM, Blogger T.O. WRITRESS said...

Very good question, Scott. I can't stand movies like that, and I tend to enjoy most anything "a typical guy" enjoys. I guess we each just like what we like. I loved Studio 60 on TV, as flawed as it was. I'm still trying to figure that out. ;)

At 9:37 PM, Blogger M J Reid said...

(Sorry, broken link in the previous comment, so deleted)

In a word: Schadenfreude.

At 10:25 PM, Anonymous Michael said...

"Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die."

But, since few people are willing to die (intentionally) for the sake of a movie, they do the next best thing and freeze their testicles in ice.

At 12:19 AM, Blogger E.C. Henry said...

Broadcasting how much you loved "Jackass 2" isn't going to help boost your stock as a "professional" reader, Scott. BUT I think we all have an unpopular movie vice. When I'm real tired I LOVE to watch "The Three Stooges," but when I'm not tired I think it's stupid. Is that strange or what?

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

At 9:22 AM, Blogger Julie O. said...

I am so showing this thread to my husband. I laughed my ass off at both JACKASS MOVIES and I don't think he fully appreciates how magnificent a woman that makes me.

At 10:47 AM, Blogger amclpreston said...

Possibly.., "Glad that isn't me.." combined with something that precisely isn't sitting at home watching TV..


At 10:51 AM, Blogger amclpreston said...

On second thoughts perhaps your wife thinks that you, as with all men, are crazy.... and it doesn't, ah, really matter what you watch ..etc.

At 2:18 PM, Blogger citygirl said...

My theory? You're a man, plain and simple. My FI-ance is afflicted with the same diagnosis.

At 9:19 AM, Blogger Christian M. Howell said...

I think it's one of those "better you than me" things.
Though there's probably a bit of vicarious pleasure in watching someone do something totally outrageous.

At 10:38 AM, Blogger Thomas Crymes said...

It seems very obvious. You spend all of your time analyzing. Sometimes you will gravitate towards the antithesis of that.

No script to dissect. No story to hear of. No characters to care about, only stupid people doing stupid things.


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