I can’t remember the first movie I saw with a big “romantic” finally-come-together-and-kiss-in-the-rain scene. There are the ones where one of the two run out the door to chase after the other and it’s pouring out…and there are the ones when it begins to rain after the couple is kissing. I’m sure I thought this was charming or romantic the first, maybe even the sixth, time I saw it….but come on people. It’s been like a million times. I’m over it.
The most recent one I saw was the rains-begin-post-kissing thing. It was in a horrible movie called Angel (currently streaming on Netflix) and the sun is totally out when she runs out the door to catch Michael Fassbender (the reason I watched the stupid thing in the first place)…they confess their love you stuff then kiss…then rain…ugh. If I had the slightest notion how to create a video montage of kissing in the rain scenes I would so do it….an incredibly exhaustive one that would blow through about ten songs playing over it…but…you’ll have to make do with this montage done by someone else…a mere 4 minutes of rain kissing …
So next time it rains I’ll have to chase my husband around the block and kiss him. (Not sure why he’d run so that I’d have to chase him? This needs further thought.) It rains so often here I’ll have plenty of chances. And I doubt we’ll throw up our arms and marvel at the rain pelting our faces. Maybe if you live in Arizona or somewhere it rarely rains then there would be some novelty about it. When I lived in AZ we were released from school early if it rained. It was that magical. And I totally missed my chance to kiss someone and throw my arms in the air, smiling at the heavens and acting caressed and giddy over water drops. Obviously I’m missing something …Oh well.
On to my next complaint: Homicide detectives.
Maybe you don’t really even need to see that much police procedural TV drama stuff to catch the biggest cliches. And as much as they irk me, I almost hate it even more when they try to be clever and change it up. They make the lead detective blind or paralyzed from the neck down or telepathic or psychic or zen or a master in Judo or a master of disguise or a vampire or a woman (oooo…nice twist…sad that is “putting a spin on it”). Once in a while these twist work and add something new to the show…but most often they seem put on …meant to get your attention…it’s like a giant billboard screaming at you…”Look at me! I’m NEW. I’m different! WATCH me because I’m doing something new here!” …and they’re not. The basic cliches still go on throughout the series. That aside, the basic homicide detective are usually:
1) male….not always of course…there’s a growing number of shows featuring a female lead detective and they play up the gender bias stuff which is cool. Wire in the Blood was a great one. Prime Suspect was GREAT. The Killing is good. Saving Grace was really good and had an interesting angle …
2) NEW to the department…either new to being a homicide detective or just new to the county, state, precinct or whatever…in some cases he’s returning to his hometown … The new detective is either a) ballsy and take charge and ready to shake things up or b) nervous and not accustom to crime scenes so he usually pukes or has to look away…but he’s clever and devoted so he adjust quickly, outsmarting his veteran colleagues in time….usually because he has new techniques or perspectives and they’re all just by the book types. He’s usually assigned a partner who really knows his stuff and is annoyed at the new “hotshot” but eventually he has to concede that the hot shot has good points (thinking Whitechapel).
3) The detective is usually either:
b) widowed, or
c) “married to his job.” ….in fact, he usually is obsessive about his work regardless of his marital status…so much so that “the job” is usually what led to the divorce (Luther)…sometimes the widowhood ….IF the detective has a wife and kids, there’s usually something wrong with them (Durham County…this show meets a lot of the cliches)..the kid or wife is sick or the killer is after little girls around age 14, of which the detective’s daughter just so happens to fit the bill… so it makes the work that much more meaningful…gives him purpose and drive….yawning yet?
3) On the verge of being fired for not following protocol. But hell…he knows who the bad guy is and by God he means to get him, rules and rights be damned. Of course his superior is always in his face, threatening to fire him. And there’s always some pairing in the pool of officers who dislike the lead and want to see him fired, usually because they want to be lead. The others just eat their doughnuts and laugh at his ambition because they’re just riding it out to retirement.
4) A “Watson.” Yep. Every detective since Holmes has had their own Watson…their own “right hand man,” partner etc, who assist the investigation and who marvels over the leads insight, drive, cunning, smarts etc….in the newbie scenario, this takes a little more time to develop. Speaking of smarts, there seems to be a growing trend (maybe it’s always been there) of the clever lead detective having his own expert in the wings. On Luther, he relies a lot on Alice much in the way Clarice Starling relied on Hannibal. On Whitechapel he relies on an expert in Jack the Ripper cases. On Ripper Street he relies on Captain Jackson, a former military surgeon.
5) Nearly loses his life at least once in the series….
6) smokes, drinks, and either hates God or doesn’t believe in any religion. He’s cynical, jaded, world weary. He’s seen it all. When it comes to religion, to quote the wise Sweet Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”
7) Probably one of the longest running, most abused cliche, is the detective who is about to retire (or called back from retirement) to do this ONE LAST CASE.
You want to see two shows that really busted out and did something new and amazing and not cliche in the police procedural/precinct show genre? You have to watch THE WIRE (probably the best show ever made) and THE SHIELD (fantastic show, specifically because of it’s overall arc more than a per episode bases…but each episode is awesome, don’t get me wrong). If there are cliches in these two shows, you don’t notice…they don’t scream at you…
Anyway….for more movie cliches, click here