I’m a Continuity Tyrant.
Let’s say that I happen to be watching a movie. I’m totally enraptured in the plot, the drama, the angst. Two characters – a man and a woman – are having an intense dialogue – you know, the type that explains the whole movie and makes everything come together in an “aha!” moment. I’m craning my neck…watching with acute intensity.
The camera pans to the man. He says something important.
The camera pans to the woman. She says something revelatory.
The camera pans back to the man. He responds with surprise and intrigue.
The camera pans back to the woman. She says — hey waitta minute!! Her hair was BEHIND her ear in the last shot! Now it’s out in front!
The camera pans back to the man. I have no idea what he is saying – all I can think about is her hair.
They pan back to the woman. Her hair is back to the original placement. MM hmm. They spliced two takes of this scene together and didn’t even bother to make sure her hair looked the same in both. THIS IS SUCH A SHODDY MOVIE.
They pan back to the man. I look at him in disgust – how could he agree to be in such a cheesefest of a low-budget made-for-television piece of excrement?
They pan back to the woman. Her hair back is in Take Two placement. I walk out of the room, disgusted by the ridiculousness of the entire thing. Chris looks on, curious and confused as to what catapulted me out of connection with the story.
“DIDN’T YOU SEE IT??? Her hair!! It was SO obvious!!”
It’s a disease I struggle to abide with. And Ali follows closely in my footsteps.
For instance, take Tinkerbell and the Great Fairy Rescue.
“Mommy, how is it that Tinkerbell can’t fly if her wings are wet, but yet she can sprinkle pixie dust on Lizzy, and Lizzy can fly in the rain? Why couldn’t Tinkerbell just sprinkle pixie dust on herself and float-fly like Lizzy and just not use her wings?”
“I KNOW, right???”
But even for people like us, there is a point when a bit of unexplained phenomena is okay. And perhaps even the best option.
Like, for instance, I can accept the fact that animals on Dora the Explorer can talk. Boots carrying on a conversation with Dora – fine. It’s a cartoon.
I can even accept the fact that some animals on Dora can only speak Spanish, some animals are bilingual, and some animals only speak English. A bit ridiculous, but I understand the concept of anthropomorphism, and you know what? Some people can speak Spanish, some people are bilingual, and some people only speak English. So why not animals, if indeed animals are already allowed to talk?
I appreciate this allowable bit of unexplained incontinuity most tangibly every Saturday morning when I first hear the intro song of Martha Speaks.
Besides the fact that Martha has perhaps the most irksome animal voice ever recorded and besides the fact that the theme song tune is beyond obnoxious in that catchy you’ll-never-erase-it-from-your-head kind of way…
The words to the song create a strong desire within my soul to yank my toenails out, one by one, just to distract myself from the pain.
If you dare, listen here:
If you don’t, simply read:
Martha was an average dog. She went —
Bark. And— Woof. And— Arrr.
But when she ate some alphabet soup, then what happened was bizarre.
On the way to Martha’s stomach, the letters lost their way. They traveled to her brain and now—
She’s got a lot to say. Now she speaks.
How now brown cow?
Martha Speaks. Yeah, she speaks and speaks and speaks and speaks and speaks…
What’s a caboose? When are we eating again?
Hey Joe, what d’ya know!
My name’s not Joe.
She’s not always right but still that Martha speaks.
She’s got a voice; she’s ready to shout. Martha will tell you what it’s all about. Sometimes wrong, but seldom in doubt. Martha will tell you what it’s all about. That dog’s unique…
Testing, one, two!
Hear her speak! Martha Speaks and speaks and speaks and speaks and…
Communicates, enumerates, elucidates, exaggerates, indicates, and explicates, bloviates, and overstates and (pant, pant, pant) hyperventilates!
Martha…to reiterate, Martha speaks!
She ate soup.
The letters got lost.
They accidentally roamed to her brain.
AND NOW SHE CAN TALK.
Can we not just accept the fact that Martha is like 90% of her cartoon animal colleagues and unexplainably good with words? Because….really.
Even I would prefer incontinuity over that.