When I used to play D+D as a kid, there was a syndrome known as ‘LOM’. In D+D, you and your friends play a band of adventurers who then, well, have an adventure. The sign of a bad one was when a Little Old Man toddled up to your group in a tavern and said ‘Help me please, a group of bandits/orcs/politicians have stolen my sheep/daughter/haemorroid spoon, get them back for me please.’
Why is this bad? Mainly because there’s no thought been put into the story at all, and whether the audience (the players) would be remotely interested in it. The LOM is old and frail, entirely helpless and so only the hardest hearted adventurer would refuse. Its a catch-all premise. Also, he’ll turn up no matter where you go – tavern, marketplace, temple – where ever you chose to go, utrn left or right, he’d be there cap in hand to ask for help. At this point you either had to give in, or not play the game.
Any story, whether its on Film, TV, computer game or God forbid, in a book, has to do the same thing, and how often have you been expected to swallow a dodgy premise intended to make you carry on with the story? ‘The Neutrinos Have Mutated!’ is one of the best, (meaning the worst) from ‘2012’. Why have they? Who knows, and certainly ‘2012’ never tries to explain it. Accept it and move on, just like the LOM. Even porn movies put more effort into a story than this. Or so I’m told. Its why Dr Who often has a companion, its so he can explain the story to someone without seeming odd. Until recently, I thought LOM and its kin was the lowest point for a movie, one you could only watch with booze on board. I was wrong.
I just watched ‘Hemlock Grove’ Season 3. So you don’t have to. This show takes the concept of LOM and goes one step further – it just doesn’t bother having a story of any real meaning at all. There’s a vague nod to previous seasons, but not really. Characters just do things for no good reason, with no explanation, then next episode do the exact opposite. They can only do things when the situation needs them to – when its convenient for the writers to forget that one of the male leads can do mind control, well they just park that shit on the back-burner and don’t worry about it.
The characters meander about doing pointless things until at the end, they all die. Or some don’t. By then, no one is caring anymore.
The shame of it is, its not at all badly acted, but actors can only say the lines written for them. They might be able to add a blue rinse to the toilet flush, but its the writers deciding to put that toilet right in the front room that’s the problem.
I’m going to be writing a full length description of this awfulness over at Trashtalktv.com, when I do I’ll link it.