Friday, January 7, 2011

The Power Rangers can save your plot

Let me start by saying that I've had a long time affair with the Power Rangers. You know, the original ones. The Mighty Morphin' ones. These ones:
These guys are the epitome of cool and you all know it's true
If there is one way to gauge the love a young child has for something like a tv show, it's how early that child will get up to watch said tv show. I'm talking six in the morning--hours before school starts. But that's not all. I have a hearty collection of Power Ranger paraphernalia including action figures, the video game on Super Nintendo, and the remnants of my first grade Yellow Ranger Halloween costume. Simply put, I loved the Power Rangers.

In the last week I've re-watched the first five episodes of the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. And holy crap are they terrible. Hilarious. But terrible. Yet, I could probably sit down and watch the rest of the episodes despite how bad they are.

Which begs the question: What makes bad things so good?

You could argue that, in this case, it's nostalgia. But at the same time, I really love watching the Sci-Fi Original Movies on Saturday. There was one called Mansquito, which should explain everything. Another example are the hoards of people who binge on Lifetime and Hallmark Original Movies. There are less mutant insects attacking people, but those movies are just as bad as the Sci-Fi ones. It's not a stretch to argue that people love bad movies.

Being a writer, I can only come to one conclusion: the plots are well-rounded. You're all moving your cursors to close the window, but hold on, hear me out!

As long as a story plays out to the fullest, people put up with a surprising amount of crap. Bad movies consistently do things that books sometimes fail at. Loose ends are always tied up, the villain is defeated, morals are reaffirmed, and the hero always gets the girl. Trust me, if these movies had unsatisfactory endings, no one would watch them.

When we write, it's easy to forget a plot sometimes. The only thing these bad movies have is a plot. So next time you're puttering around with your manuscript and you realize that nothing's really happening, go watch a bad movie. Take note of the story arc. It won't hurt! If nothing else, you'll get a good laugh in. Besides, I have faith in your ability to keep the quality of your manuscript, but to draw inspiration from the truly bad.

What bad movies do you love? Is there anything you can't stay away from, despite painful dialogue and questionable acting?


Kate said...

I remember you in your Yellow Ranger costume, you were so cute. I have watched my share of bad disaster films so there is something to what you are saying. I will have to look at another bad movie and view it with new eyes. Tomorrow is Saturday maybe SciFi will have one of those really bad ones on.

Annerb said...


Haha. You led me to believe this wasn't going to be a good post! I think it's hilarious! And you make an amazing point as well. You clever girl.

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