kaigou: Toph says: hell yeah, meeting adjourned. (2 meeting adjourned)
[personal profile] kaigou
Per the poll in a previous post, I'm clearly not alone in being more likely to do the teeth-gnashing when it's a badly-written story with a theme I'm normally pretty invested in. And pursuant to that...

Dear screenwriter(s):

It's episode 14 of a 16-episode series, and I CANNOT TAKE IT ANYMORE. I get that you really wanted Miss Female Lead to be something other than a damsel in distress, and that's great. And I also get that you didn't want her being the usual thriller/action Action Girl, either, but just to be a relatively normal person stuck in a tangled web. That's fine. We could probably use more relatively normal people stuck in tangled thriller/action webs. But here's the problem: apparently in your dictionary, "agency" is spelled S-T-U-P-I-D-I-T-Y.

Let's review what Miss Female Lead knows to be the facts on the ground, shall we?

1. Her (biological) father is a Mafia boss in Thailand.
2. A guy, who works at some nameless IT corporation, likes her.
3. The guy has a brother (adopted) who works at the same company.
4. Adopted brother turns out to be her childhood sweetheart.
5. She likes Brother better than Guy.
6. Also, Father works at the same nameless IT company with his two sons.

What she doesn't know -- at first -- is that "nameless IT company" is really NIS (the kdrama's version of FBI/CIA/whatever, National Intelligence Security, I think it is). When Brother gets fired for mucking up his first mission, he realizes he now has time to actually, y'know, be a human being and possibly show some emotions (as opposed to continue being eaten up by the usual kdrama I Must Have Vengeance For My Parents' Deaths rigamarole). Anyway, somewhere in there, Miss Female Lead finds out that all three men in the family work for NIS. Then, tragically, Brother dies in Horrible Car Accident! Much grieving abounds.

...Three years later, Mafia Boss Dad comes to Korea, and in tow, is a guy -- we'll call Undercover Guy -- who looks exactly like her dead boyfriend! I'd say it's a kind of coincidence that only happens in kdrama land, except that I've seen the same thing in animanga, Hollywood, and probably one or two Brazilian soap operas. ANYWAY. So she briefly lampshades that this bizarre coincidence could only happen in dramas, but what does she do now?

According to LOGIC, Mr Screenwriters, she probably has THREE CHOICES.

1. It's someone who looks awfully like her dead boyfriend, but it's not really him. This guy is someone who works for, and supports, the Thai mafia. He's probably a pretty nasty piece of work. Best to avoid him, because his career is a pretty good sign he's Not A Good Guy.


2. Somehow, dead boyfriend survived the crash, or staged it, or something... and now he appears to be working for, and supporting, the Thai mafia. However he survived or planned or whatever, still, pick your own adventure, but let's be logical:

A. He WANTS to be working for the mafia, and ENJOYS being a bad guy. In which case, he's revealed himself to be a nasty piece of work, and someone you wouldn't want to be around even if he is your dead boyfriend. He's still freaking drug-running, sex-trade-managing, pretty nasty MAFIA GUY.

B. He's UNDERCOVER. In which case, he's determined to LOOK LIKE he wants to be in the mafia and enjoying it, and you hanging around causing trouble for him just makes his job THAT MUCH TOUGHER. Furthermore, if you keep insisting on calling him by his REAL NAME and thus BLOW HIS COVER, you will GET HIM KILLED.

For crying out loud. NOT ROCKET SCIENCE.

Instead, Mr Screenwriters, you've got Miss Female Lead pushing her way into situations in which she's repeatedly told (Biological) Mafia Boss Dad that she wants nothing to do with, and over and over she's insisted she'll never see him again nor accept that he's her dad, blah blah blah. (I'll set aside the constant waffling, like some kind of freaking line-in-the-sand BS that gets old after the second time, let alone the ninth.) So she's ostensibly washed her hands of the mafia-family-ties, yet she shows up over and over for Mafia Boss Dad's second-in-command, acting all moony and turning on the waterworks every time Undercover Guy disses her.

Look, Miss Twit: the guy is UNDERCOVER. Could you please just LEAVE HIM ALONE.

Not to mention, Mr Screenwriters, you had a perfect set-up to explain just that, when -- of all things, honestly, are you people smoking the props or something? -- you have Miss Female Lead get the brilliant absolutely most insanely STUPID notion ever [/sarcasm] to tell Undercover Guy that if he doesn't quit (after three years now of deep cover, HELLO) -- and I am really not making this up, honestly -- Miss Female Lead will go to her (biological) Mafia Boss Dad and tell him EVERYTHING.

As in, she's threatening to BLOW HIS COVER. On purpose! Why? So he can quit what he's doing and live happily with her.

HELLO. What part of LOGIC just walked out the door? Oh, the part that's quit for lack of appreciation, to be replaced with INSANE FURY, the new employee who wants to duct-tape Miss Female Lead into a small pretzel and shove her INTO A CLOSET for the last three episodes. Meanwhile, I'm thinking if INSANE FURY had had its way somewhere around, oh, episode FOUR, this could've been a much better written story. Or at least, one with a great deal less INSANE FURY chomping at the plot line.


But this, this point where she threatens to tell all, it's a good opening! Finally, Undercover Guy can give her what-for! And what does he say? "I have a job to do."

No, you nitwit, that is NOT what you say to Selfish Naive Female Lead. You say: "Are you TRYING to get me KILLED? Because I WILL NOT LIVE to see the next fucking SUNRISE if you pull that stunt." But does he? Nooooo. He just serves up the "job to do" and "have to see this through" line as though truth, justice, and small puppies should be enough to explain why he's been in deep undercover and putting his life at risk (repeatedly) to bring down the mafia. But truth, justice, and small puppies aren't good enough for Miss Female Lead! Basically, she wants him to hand in his resignation, as though one can freaking QUIT the damn mafia. Why? Because she's asking so nicely (assuming blackmail, when said sweetly, counts as "nicely").

The stupid, it freaking BURNS. Mr Screenwriters, a simple object lesson: this is NOT called "raising the stakes". This is called "making your Female Lead SO FREAKING STUPID that the audience will rise up EN MASSE and SLAP HER." Or failing that, put her on MUTE, skip the scenes she's in, or furiously RETCON like crazy to write her existence out of their collective audience awareness. I could take the amnesia. I could take the shot-twice-and-still-lives. But this is where my suspension of disbelief TAKES A FUCKING HIKE. Someone that stupid could NOT have survived high school, let alone two minutes in as a mafia child.

It's bad enough that most dramas insist on eye-popping manipulation, of the likes of Whotsherface in My Girlfriend is a Gumiho or even the really transparent and ham-handed Second Female Lead shenanigans in Down With Love. Compared to your story's Female Lead, Mr Screenwriters, suddenly those Female Leads don't look so bad after all. At least those Female Leads had smarts. They used them for selfish reasons, yeah, but they weren't stupid, and they sure didn't go around trying to convince anyone that "protecting the person you love" is the same as "getting that person killed".

I mean, maybe it is the same. In some land where I would really RATHER NOT LIVE. Because, me, I like my partners kinda in the whole LIVING thing. Which means: if partner/lover is Undercover Guy and pretending to be nasty piece of Mafia work, I pretend to NOT KNOW HIM. He's trying to convince everyone that he is what he is, and I wouldn't want to know someone like that, so I pretend to be convinced to help him keep cover. There's plenty of angst there, Mr Screenwriters! It would be horrible, to be Undercover Guy's significant other, knowing what he's doing is soul-killing, having to be around nasty pieces of work and convince them that he likes them and wants to be like them, himself. And the fact that he can't call or write except very rarely, and the rest of the time must act towards me like, well, nasty piece of work! Maybe I might even start to think he's enjoying it, the being a nasty piece towards me, and then, more angst!

And I could do all this angsting WITHOUT BLOWING HIS COVER.

The final nail in Miss Female Lead's absolutely butchered agency stupidity? The fact that we're on episode 14, and only two to go, and she STILL CALLS THE GUY BY HIS REAL NAME. And she does it IN EARSHOT of other (real) mafia guys.

Oh, hell, Miss Female Lead, why not just send out engraved invitations to your boyfriend's funeral? Oh, wait, that's pretty much exactly what you're doing. This is supposed to be the way she shows her LOVE? Bloody hell, if I were Undercover Guy, I'd break up with her immediately, be all: please, STOP LOVING ME. REALLY.

But since he's apparently too stupid, or too cowed, or just is stuck with a REALLY PATHETIC SCRIPT that won't let him call her on her insanely selfish and naive agency stupidity, then the breaking-up is gonna have to be between ME and the SHOW.

Sorry, show, I know I stuck it out with you for this long, but I can't take it anymore. Stop loving me. REALLY.


Date: 8 Feb 2011 11:14 pm (UTC)
kathmandu: Close-up of pussywillow catkins. (Default)
From: [personal profile] kathmandu
Yeeech. Government spy organizations and organized crime are both, famously, careers you can only leave feet-first. As in, dead and in a coffin. And yes, if Mafia Dad had any brains at all, then no later than the second time she called 'Dead' Boyfriend by his real name, he would become really dead.

Date: 9 Feb 2011 12:10 am (UTC)
dragonhand: (Default)
From: [personal profile] dragonhand
Some Female Leads need to be slapped. Repeatedly.

When I was younger than I am now, but not old enough to stop watching bad cartoons, I was highly irritated at one show where the Good Guy's son and his annoying (and very unique looking) robot showed up EVERYwhere, and screwed things up for the bad guy. And the bad guy NEVER figured out there was a reason that kid was everywhere. Or even that it was the same kid somehow. It irritated me worse than his stupid robot. And then, there was one episode where the baddies found out who the Good Guy was using an Inca crystal skull (I did say it was a bad cartoon). They immediately kidnapped the famous millionaire's kid and the robot and held them for ransom. Of course, the Good Guys broke the skull and all the knowledge gained just disappeared right out of their brain cells. So sad. They were so close. *sigh*

Date: 9 Feb 2011 01:58 am (UTC)
maat_seshat: Winged Maat sitting (Default)
From: [personal profile] maat_seshat
I know that show! That's the show that I watched two episodes of then skipped to the final episode because I wanted so badly to like the lead couple, and every time they interacted they were stupid. Plus it had irritating daddy issues. Yes, yes, that would be precisely a show in which stupid writing burns, because it has a potentially good plot and very high production values.

Date: 9 Feb 2011 04:46 am (UTC)
maat_seshat: Winged Maat sitting (Default)
From: [personal profile] maat_seshat
Oh, no, give them the benefit of the doubt. While I'm sure an idiotic lead couple is perfectly common, Mafia dad from Thailand is probably distinctive to Dog and Wolf.

I hope.


kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
锴 angry fishtrap 狗

to remember

"When you make the finding yourself— even if you're the last person on Earth to see the light— you'll never forget it." —Carl Sagan

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