Unbelievable Stories in Fantasy and Science Fiction… Or… 3 Pills Lucy Found Hard to Swallow

This week I’ve invited my daughter Lucy Wright to take a swing for us in the fantasy and science fiction world.  Lucy revisits the topic of the pill to swallow in fantasy and science fiction.  In our first installment on this subject, I sited some examples where the pills went down easy and the stories came with great rewards.  Lucy comes from the contrasting side where she’s been thinking about unbelievable stories.  She’s written about three instances where the fantasy or science fiction premise doesn’t work.  These are examples of pills choked on, if you will.

These Ellenwood minds think on things like this.

unbelievable stories

Difficult Pills photo credit: Jim Bauer via photopin cc

Hello, I’m Lucy, your guest blogger for today.  A while ago Drew talked about how in the fantasy and sci-fi genre there are pills you must swallow to buy into the story and truly enjoy it.  Well, I’m here to give you three movies or shows where I was not able to swallow the pill.  I tried but gagged and threw them back up, ending the show or movie with frustration or laughter (when it wasn’t supposed to be funny).

1.  Lost

This was all the rage a few years ago and I finally succumbed to watching it while recovering from bad jetlag.  I really enjoyed the show!  It sucks you in and you’re constantly trying to figure out what the heck is going on, trying to link everything and figure out who or what is behind all the odd happenings on the island.

unbelievable stories

Lost Island photo credit: Ippei & Janine Naoi via photopin cc

You swallow a lot of pills in the show and I was willing to swallow every single one…

Except the very last one.

What was that pill?

The final episode!

Here I am, finally awaiting a long explanation on the meaning of all the weird stuff that happens on the island and what do I get?  I get some silly stuff about how it’s all about the island, and it’s alive, and then all the people die and go to some weird, boring heaven.

GAG!

I wanted a clever ending that showed how someone or something orchestrated all the island stuff for some evil reason.  I never got that.

Maybe I’m just dense and didn’t get it, maybe I just haven’t watched it recently enough, I don’t know.  All I know is that I ultimately didn’t swallow the pill because I think the writers didn’t know what the heck they were doing.

If a writer has written themselves in a corner and tries to shove some weird ending down my throat I’m not going to swallow the pill.

2.  2001:  A Space Odyssey

This movie started out great!  I loved the whole Al, the computer stuff, and the fact that they showed that there is no noise in space (Star Wars always got it wrong, sorry).

unbelievable stories

2001 photo credit: brtsergio via photopin cc

The pill I couldn’t swallow was the whole floating rectangle and him turning into a star baby

This I believe was due to poor explanation.  I have been told by fans of the book that it makes more sense in the book, but I’ve only seen the movie, so how was I supposed to know what the big rectangle was and why the heck he turned into a baby!

Even if a writer or director knows perfectly well what they’re trying to get at, and it’s great, but don’t explain it…

Well, sorry, not going to swallow it.

[Hey, this is Drew.  An editorial comment:  I have a friend who had heard that 2001:  A Space Odyssey made sense if you were tripping on acid.  Well, a lot makes sense then because you’re senseless.  Nothing is worth that.  Now back to Lucy.]

3.  Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

unbelievable stories

I Have Issues with Indiana Jones photo credit: RHiNO NEAL via photopin cc

I’m sorry, I love Indiana Jones as much as the next guy but this movie was horrible!

There were two main pills I couldn’t swallow in this.

First, that he survived a nuclear blast by getting in a refrigerator, not to mention BOUNCING across a field in it!

Second, the aliens.

In the past movies, Indiana dealt with many crazy things but never had they been extraterrestrial.  This was new territory for our character and, therefore, I did not buy it.

If it had been supernatural I would have bought it in a heartbeat because that’s what he had dealt with in the past.  If this had been the same plot but with different characters (like Captain Kirk or Ripley [Sigourney Weaver] in Alien), I would have bought it.

[Hey, it’s me, Drew, again.  Why didn’t George Lucas pick Atlantis for the fourth Indiana Jones?  Now that would have been cool!  Back to Lucy.]

These writers should keep their pills in the same genre.

Those are all the unswallowable (yes that’s a real word) pills I could think of.  I could think of plenty of bad movies but I could swallow the pills, just not the acting or lame storyline.

What are pills you can’t swallow?  Also, if anyone can redeem the ending of Lost for me, do it!

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Comments

  1. Debbie April 23, 2014 #

    Great stuff, Lucy! I’m with you on the Space Odyssey. The black floating countertop was strange. Saw it on the big screen when I was very young and was impressed by the cinematography. The first of it’s kind back in the day! I still don’t know the meaning of the floating countertop. Someone please tell me!

  2. Sheila April 23, 2014 #

    Great observations, Lucy……I am STILL lost about LOST…….

  3. Matt April 24, 2014 #

    Great job! The rectangle was an alien artifact. The premise was that an alien race was guiding human evolution (so much for natural selection) so that one day our race would take to the stars and find more alien artifacts up there and the aliens themselves. So our main character, Dave, became the (un)lucky one to discover the aliens by going through all the weird stuff. He becomes the starchild, thus transcending humanity and taking the next step in evolution (I think).

    • Drew Ellenwood April 24, 2014 #

      I’m with Lucy – I can’t swallow that. It’s dumb.

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