Realism in Medieval Fantasy Movies and TV Shows

Every genre of movie makes mistakes and spreads historical misconceptions whether intentional or not. So for me to nit-pick medieval movies and TV shows specifically is kind of bias, but I’m doing it anyway because medieval stuff is awesome and I’d love to see more realism in this genre of film.

I’ve been following a lot of other bloggers who specialize in this and they all seem to have similar things to say. They wonder why medieval movies and TV shows are still so inaccurate when we have medievalists and HEMA practitioners spreading truth about the subject. The average person couldn’t care less and even TV show producers have their excuses, but I still have mine, too, and won’t stop complaining because this is what I do best. After all, I’m the Complaining About TV Expert here to make TV klickable again!

So here’s a list of six things I’d love to see more of in medieval-esque and pseudo-medieval drama across all boards:

  1. Castles that are plastered and painted.
  2. Armor that actually works against arrows and swords.
  3. Kings who have hundreds of officials doing the work for them.
  4. Historical farming and village structure.
  5. More dukes and counts with their own heraldic devises and not just kings ruling everything.
  6. medieval diet and customs expressed accurately.

So What’s Wrong With Historical Accuracy and Realism in Movies and TV Shows So Far?

First of all, I could have made that list hundreds of points longer but no one would read that. I could go into the architecture and clothing of medieval people and how they changed across time and place, but we need to focus on the basics first. Even such simple things as proper sword technique are highly disregarded in almost all medieval themed entertainment. It’s a shame that people who love to produce entertainment that’s trying to be medieval don’t actually do proper due diligence and research. Of course the same goes for every field where experts exist, but in historical TV shows especially it seems no one cares if what they’re watching is accurate and even worse other people actually think what they’re watching is true!

So let’s make more noise about this. On my blog I like to rant about all fields, but this is special to me because I find the medieval fascinating for whatever reason. If you find medieval stuff fascinating, too, and would like to see more realism in your entertainment then I suggest you start a blog of your own and rant your head off. The only other option besides trying to get across to the people who make this entertainment is producing entertainment of your own and most people can’t afford to do that unless they dedicate their whole lives to it. So join me in this quest to see more medieval realism on TV and let’s make a difference!

3 Tips for Writing Your Own Script for a TV Show (Do’s and Don’ts)

This is an area I’m no expert in, but I will be eventually. Over the years of being a mega TV nerd and critic, I’ve learned a lot about what makes a good script and what doesn’t. For today, I want to give 1 piece of advice for starting your own TV show script and 2 things you should avoid.

The best piece of advice you’ll ever get from a non-expert blogger when it comes to becoming a TV script writer is, GO TO SCHOOL!

It’s never too late to become a university student, no matter your age, and there are courses in almost every university in the Writing faculties and departments for writing scripts. Although most of these courses will focus on movie scripts, you can still apply what you learn to TV shows. Everything from themes in creative writing to how to technically lay out the formatting of your script will be covered by professional teachers and so you don’t have to worry about learning all this on your own.

That was my one piece of advice, which was given to me by a pro and I plan to use it myself. Now it’s time for the don’ts!

  1. Don’t write haphazardly and expect your script to be accepted! Once you have your first script finished, put it aside and write your next one. This will ensure that you get better and eventually you’ll have a great script on your hands. But if you’re like me and have this one idea you’ve had for so long that you just know it’s good when you write it for the first time, listen to your heart. Get feedback from friends before you spend time submitting it to places because there’s nothing worse than finding out you just wasted a bunch of time.
  2. Don’t use your head if your heart isn’t in the game! I recently learned this lesson from watching the movie Jerry Maguire and I think it applies greatly here. If your heart isn’t in the game, your head is useless. In order to write a great script that surpasses the millions of mediocre scripts being submitted to places every year, your’s must show heart and passion. Of course it’s not impossible to succeed without this factor, but it’ll be much harder. In other words, you don’t need to be a genius if your heart is driving your work. So if you know your heart isn’t in the game, get it in the game before you start writing!

Thank you for visiting! We’re making TV Klickable again, one complaint at a time!

Showing Home Appliance Repair Technicians on TV Accurately

Welcome to yet another post complaining about TV. We’re the complaining about TV experts!

This time we’re coming at things with a different approach. We’re going to challenge the system by suggesting a solution to the problem of representing realistic and accurate appliance repairmen on TV shows. This is a post very similar to a previous post we did about tow truck drivers.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed that the problem here is very similar, too. Why are all appliance repair mechanics and refrigerator technicians on TV, whether Canadian or American, always balding men with overalls? In my experience ordering appliance services over the years to fix my stove and fridge, I’ve seen a lot of different kinds of repairmen and repairwomen. Most of them were well-groomed, ordinary people who spoke politely. But on TV, appliance repair service providers are always rude, wearing dirty clothes and seem like they’re on the lower rungs of society.

washing machine repair

Often plumbers and electricians go hand in hand with appliance repairmen and you could very well call an appliance repairman a plumber combined with an electrician combined with a general handyman.

When I got a heavy duty microwave oven fixed after calling for home appliance repair Vancouver services when I was visiting my uncle last summer, the technician that came to our location in North Vancouver BC was a young, prim and polite Chinese fellow who spoke fluent English. Despite his youth, he had already been doing appliance repair Vancouver services for nearly 8 years and he really opened my eyes to how to challenge the system on TV when it comes to appliance technicians.

Whether it’s domestic washer and dryer repair or industrial dishwasher repair, the best way to apply an appliance repairman into a TV script realistically is to show the appliance repairman or woman being sincerely interested in accomplishing his job to please the customer. And so long as we step away from the blue overalls trope, he can look like anything. Often appliance repairmen wear normal clothes and just keep a tool-belt or a toolbox with them. It’s not like their working with a lot of grease and need a mechanic’s garb, although a lot of them do dress like mechanics because their employers make them because it looks professional.

An appliance repairman working in the background of any scene fixing a fridge or oven can add a high level of realism to any TV show and if done right it can really make the show better. I love seeing everyday things in the background, where extras are working as if life in this TV world is actually moving along normally. Seeing these kinds of accurate depictions of reality make a big difference in how many stars I choose to give to a TV show. In some TV worlds, you’d never see something like a fridge malfunctioning or a coffee maker breaking because everything is written simply and orderly which for me takes away from realism and makes the story rather childish and dull.

To complain onward, I’d like to point out 3 reasons why seeing an appliance repairman fixing a commercial or home kitchen appliance in the background of a TV scene can be very beneficial for the viewer:

  1. Seeing everyday workers doing their thing makes the world seem real and relate-able which makes the story and everything about the show more engaging.
  2. Seeing appliance like stoves and washing machines breaking down reminds the viewer that things can go wrong in this world and makes everything else more suspenseful as a result, because the viewer knows that this is a realistic script where things can suddenly go wrong, unlike some shows where everything is perfect and nothing goes wrong.
  3. Showing how important the appliance repair industry is to everyday life can really teach young viewers about the real world whom might have a misconception about appliance mechanics due to watching too much unrealistic TV.

To conclude on this idea I just want to challenge the system one more time by suggesting that if there’s a TV show producer reading this and you get the chance to make a TV show where the main character is a full-time appliance repair technician, do it! 

Reality vs. What Hollywood Thinks We Expect

The reasons why historical movies and TV shows are very unrealistic is because there is a big difference between reality and what producers expect we think is reality. They don’t want to show us what’s real. They want to show us what we expect to see in order to give us comfort. After all, if we saw true reality it might be uncomfortable.

But I want to argue this is backwards thinking and has been going on for too long. I demand more reality in my movies and TV shows because I desire to learn more about the real world. When I watch a TV show about cops in NY I don’t want to be fed a bunch of BS. I want to learn cool facts!

The reality might show real historical cases being solved accurately, but TV, of course,w ill show us some CSI: Miami-type nonsense that would make no sense in the real world.

So the more we expect to see actual facts in our visual entertainment, the more it will appear. Let’s help this go along faster by telling all our friends about this issue. So long as the masses continue to expect to see BS in their entertainment because it makes them comfortable, the more people like me will have less to watch. I’m really sick of seeing unrealistic stuff in my movies and TV shows and it’s about time for change!

The first post we did talks more about this if you’re curious.

Why We Need More Black & White Television Shows

I’m not an expert on early 20th century film, but I have watched enough black and white movies to know why more black and white shows today would be freaking awesome!

There are many things color films can do better than black and white films, like showing the flowers in a meadow for instance, but black and white films can also do things that color films can’t do!

My three favorite things that black and white films can do that color films can’t do are:

  1. Maximize the expression of hardcore, rugged faces.
  2. Add a level of coolness you can’t get another way.
  3. Make shadows pop like physical objects.

I’ve thought of some crazy ideas for black and white television shows over the years. But the people making it have to do it right. The people watching for the first time have to see all those cool things mentioned above that only black and white films can do. In other words, if a black and white show was to be successful today, it would need to be “optimized” to provide outlets for all the awesome aspects of black and white film. It would need to show a lot of shadows, a lot of grim faces with a range of expressions. Scruffy eyebrows and misty alleys. Lightning, mist and rain. Show only what looks good in black and white, like gargoyles on gnarly walls as mist drifts by, and swords clanging. Sparks flying. Black and white does that the best!

One of my favorite black and white films is Citizen Kane. The beginning scene opens up so beautifully! You could have a whole movie with that kind of grim cinematography you see in the first two minutes of Citizen Kane. Go and watch it and tell me it ain’t the most beautiful two minutes ever. Seeing the old building covered in mist behind the chain-link fence made me think of what an old castle covered in mist behind an epic, personal 1 vs. 1 sword duel would like look filmed the same way. If done right, a black and white film can be the dankest thing you’ve ever seen. The dank is good!

So who wants to start a petition and complain with me: “Why isn’t there more black and white TV shows, huh?”

Let’s complain in all the forums till we see a change! Until TV is Klickable again!

Why are Tow Truck Drivers on TV Always Balding, Fat, wearing Overalls?

The complaining about TV experts have really found a strange subconscious trope in television here. When is the last time you remember a tow truck driver on TV being a normal skinny dude with nice cloths and a polite voice? Why do they always need to sound gruff with their belly button somehow showing even though they’re wearing overalls? This is a major science problem the masses need to handle at once for the benefit of the future of mankind!

It doesn’t cease to amaze me the kind of bizarre subconscious labels we can put onto a profession as a species. Most of the people who drive tow trucks that I’ve met didn’t wear overalls and chew on a rod of wheat. Maybe I’m thinking mostly of old black and white TV shows but even modern ones always have tow truck drivers looking like ex convicts who couldn’t fit in at the motorcycle club. A friend of mine from high school became a tow truck driver and she’s a normal skinny Asian lady. I’m so proud of her. She’s 4 feet tall and going around hauling the cars of real wheat chewing hicks out on the country roads of inner British Columbia, Canada. Why can’t TV tow truck people be more interesting like her? She also plays field hockey!

I swear, the next time I see a guy with half his hair missing and a stained set of overalls hanging loosely on his body swagger out of a tow truck on TV I’m going to eat another piece of pizza and laugh at how ridiculous this whole situation is. Can you really blame me for complaining about this on a blog? I’m mean, like … come on!

If you want to see what real tow truck people look like go find a random tow truck website. I did this for an hour before deciding to write on this serious topic, and almost died laughing. I found a bunch of good ones, but my favorite is: https://towtruckkamloops.com/

You know, there’s just something I like about it. But back to the topic here. I mean, what are script writers dotting down when they come up with their stories. Do they just know that a scene wouldn’t make sense without a tow truck driver in it so they just close their eyes and every single one of them envisions the same exact thing–a balding, large, middle-aged gruff man who doesn’t speak all that well and likes to chew on things? What’s wrong with the world?

I always say this, but “when I write” about a tow truck driver, I’m going to do us true complainers a big favor and make the person female, dressed smartly, using an educated vocabulary, smells good, wears glasses, likes to collect delicate wine, reads at night, and confuse every single human in the universe by doing so! TV watchers will look at this tow truck driver and they just won’t be able to wrap their heads around it. Their heads might even explode. Only you, my lovely readers, will understand and your lives will be saved.

Once again thank you for tuning into a wacky night of complaining about TV. We’re the complaining about TV experts, signing off! Until next time, we’ll be working to make TV klickable again!

We Need HEMA in Medieval Movies and Shows!

If you enjoy medieval-esque movies then you’re probably familiar with Hollywood swordplay choreography and how awesome it looks. I must admit it can look pretty cool. But here I’m going to argue that that fancy swordplay doesn’t belong in a medieval movies. Sure, keep it in movies that aren’t medieval and have swords like Kill Bill and Deadpool, but medieval shows should sport HEMA if they wish to stay relevant in the future! Why? Because there is a “renaissance” in Medieval Studies and people are crying out loud for realism, authenticity, historical accuracy and lack of anachronistic multivalence. People want more verisimilitude, not hokey-pokey fake stuff, especially in medieval movies!

What’s being done about this? I did some research and found out that a lot is actually being done to see more HEMA in movies and shows. And in case you don’t know what HEMA is, it stands for historical European martial arts. It’s a rather new phenomenon, as students and practitioners look up translated copies of real medieval treatises on sword fighting and other forms of fighting like wrestling and axe-play. In forums you can catch the dumbfounded tone of inquisitors as they wonder out loud why in the world there isn’t a medieval movie with HEMA in it yet. After all, HEMA done right looks a lot better than fake Hollywood swordplay.

movies with HEMA

One of my favorite movements in this regard that I discovered quite recently is LitHEMA (fictional literature with historical European martial arts). I couldn’t find any LitHEMA books, but the blogger I found that talks about it hopes it will become a norm in popular media, and he makes good points about how it’s needed and why. But LitHEMA isn’t enough to settle this problem.

We need HEMA practitioners to be more outspoken if they wish to see their beloved art represented in movies and shows. I believe Game of Thrones would be a lot more popular among the academic type if it had HEMA. Hollywood swordplay is very unrealistic as it sacrifices function for artistic appeal by implementing big heavy telegraphed sword cuts and fancy spin moves. Real swordplay is very conservative, but it looks awesome when people use the real sword techniques like the squinting cut and various historical stances and guards.

As an expert about complaining about TV, I have to say this here is one of my biggest annoyances. Why isn’t there any HEMA in shows yet? I have two major answers to that question:

  1. HEMA is still fairly young and unheard of for most people. Since movie makers are older and still have yet to be replaced by younger generations for the most part, they’re used to doing things the way they’ve always been done. Movie makers don’t care as much about being historically accurate as they do about giving their audience what they believe they want. That’s why we need more people who WANT realistic swordplay in movies to raise their voices more often.
  2. The way things have always been done since the first black and white sword movie is using 19th-century fencing techniques in lieu of HEMA because at that time HEMA didn’t exist yet. Scholars were aware of medieval combat treatises but this sports culture centered around them hadn’t been established yet, and many scholars had yet to translate these Old German manuscripts into the vernacular, which meant they weren’t accessible by the average person or even a dedicated movie producer. 19th-century fencing was and still is an Olympic sport, and so it’s not strange that they would use what they know rather than what they didn’t know to represent swordplay. As movies developed, 19th-century fencing techniques merged with the art of creative choreographers and Hollywood swordplay, akin to a dance, was invented.

I hope things like LitHEMA and HEMA in general as a popular sport “take off” so to speak, because together they could raise an awareness of not only what medieval swordplay really looked like but Medieval Studies as a whole. I hope you learned something by reading this, and if you’re still unsure of what HEMA is I’d recommend typing it into YouTube and watching some videos. It’s rather quite extraordinary to watch. Tournaments like Swordfish capture the techniques in a competitive context. After learning more about it, you, too, will agree it would be amazing in movies!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more from the complaining about TV experts! We’re here to make TV klickable again!

 

Are You Worried About Super Computer A.I.? Well, Star Wars Isn’t!

Super computer AI (artificial intelligence) is one of the biggest science fiction tropes on TV today. But it wasn’t so in the ’70s when Star Wars was created so it’s understandable that super computer AI isn’t in the Star Wars movies. I also don’t remember seeing it prevalent in Star Trek, but I’m going to complain about this anyways because we still don’t see super AI in the new Star Wars and Star Trek movies.

Computer power around the world is doubling frequently and it isn’t long before we have computers that will be smarter than a single human. This worries people because a super computer with mega AI might decide to exterminate the human race. Despite this popular fear we don’t see computers like this in a lot of futuristic movies. Some did like Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and The Matrix. But why not in the new Star Wars movies?

In my previous blog post I talked about why laptops and other electronics always seem to function optimally on TV without difficulties, even those belonging to lazy people who never clean their closet let alone their desktop recycling bin. That theme fits well into this discussion because mayhaps even a super computer with AI might need a computer repair service every now and then, unless they have robots to do it for them under their own control. But then I ask “How would the super computer still be able to control external robots if it was malfunctioning?” Perhaps that’s another fear we should consider–super AI malfunctioning! That would be like the equivalent of a human going mentally insane or something.

I’m not an expert in computers and technology science, but my super nerdy geek friend who does computer repair victoria fixing broken computers all day is. She came to a powerful revelation yesterday after reading my post. I already warned you she’s a super nerd, so don’t be surprised if her revelation isn’t as powerful for you as it was for us. I’m a geek, too, but not when it comes to electronics and software like her.

Her revelation was “What if Jar Jar Binks is a robot with super AI?” In order to understand the power of this you need to know the secret unspoken lore of Jar Jar Binks’ mysterious manipulation of events in the movies. I think there’s a YouTube video about it worth checking out.

Now we do see some fairly intelligent robots with AI in Star Wars like R2D2 but they’re not quite the super intelligent computers we’re talking about here. We’re talking about the kind of intelligence that can run whole empires more efficiently than the senate ran ancient Rome! I’m sure R2D2 would make a great leader, but I think the little cute robot is far too nice to make the kind of harsh decisions required to keep an empire afloat.

It would be interesting if Jar Jar Binks, the clever genius who uses goofiness to hide his true intentions, was a robot with AI and that would make a lot of sense. But I did more thinking about this and wondered what would happen in the Star Wars universe if we took this theme one step further… “Uh oh” is right!

R2D2 robot

Here me when I ask what if the evil Sith Lord, in desperation to keep the evil empire afloat, was replaced by mega-super AI? What would the consequences be? If the evil empire was controlled by a computer that was so smart it could conceive of the most genius ways to take over the universe, the Rebel Alliance would be doomed! This is a scary thought because we all love the rebels for a good reason.

I dream of becoming a script writer one day and maybe I’ll pitch this idea to Disney, but not if one of you precious readers beat me to it. If you could run with this idea, would it even be possible for the rebels to combat this AI? Because, of course, the good guys would still need to win or else it wouldn’t be a Hollywood movie. Maybe we could take a new approach and just let the bad guys win. Or can you think of a way some rebels could defeat a super AI? It would be a lot more difficult than just doing what they did to the Death Star, because the AI would be so smart it would predict every possible threat and immediately work to prevent them.

I was thinking maybe someone on the inside could blow up the super AI, but even this would be predicted. But then, hmmmm, what if “the force” is the answer? That’s it! A good guy working for the evil empire could use the force somehow to hide his thoughts and behavior in a way that even the super AI computer would not be able to see it coming.

Oh yes! There we go folks. I just gave you the blue print for the best Star Wars movie ever!

It’s completely normal for us to be scared of super AI because evil is a very real force in the world and it’s not too hard to conceive of even computers being evil. If collective technology suddenly decided to band together and destroy us because we’re a plague upon the universe, would they even be wrong in doing so? I think the answer to that is “yes they would be wrong” because what I can’t conceive of is robots being able to make music and art better than we can. And if humans were gone would they even have the need to create artwork? After all, only humans appreciate such things. Maybe they’ll find art so boring they’ll just kill us all to get out of the chore of making it for us.

Well, that was my thought for the day. Shout out to my awesome Canadian computer nerd friend for giving me the inspiration to write this. I hope you found it interesting. And feel free to pitch my idea to Disney. There’s a good chance I’ll never get around to it. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to keep complaining about everything wrong with TV!

Computers On TV Always Run Perfectly – Why?

Here at klickable.tv we’re trying to make TV klickable again by bringing attention to the thousands of things that are killing TV everyday. No wonder people are switching to YouTube and Netflix. It’s not just the commercials. The people who produce our beloved TV shows have a philosophy that says us viewers are too stupid to notice or care if nearly everything is incredibly unrealistic. Therefore they pump their content with misconceptions about life that viewers who’re too lazy to do their own research take for granted and consider practical truth. Another perfect example of this, which I’ll be complaining about today, is the fact that computers, laptops and other electronic devices never seem to have problems.

What do I mean by this? Well, how many times have you had to get your computer repaired in real life? How many times have you been annoyed by slow internet or a slow computer because of a virus or other bug? Now after answering this, answer this next question: How many times have you seen a character in a CSI show trying to solve a case get pissed off by his or her slow computer? When we see scenes of college kids studying we should see them sighing with annoyance as their research page takes too long to load up. Instead we see flawless, perfect computers because, lo and behold, Hollywood is full of lies!

And there’s this argument that these annoying misconceptions make TV better and more entertaining! FOR WHO? MORONS? Yup, that’s the only reason I can think of that these TV shows being so sloppy and unconvincing is that they are only trying to satisfy morons and everyone who is smart enough to notice and complain shouldn’t be wasting their intellectual time watching TV anyways. Well, I just happen to be smart AND and fan of TV, so…

If by some rare chance you’ve seen a TV show I’m unaware of that shows a character having a problem with their computer and needing some PC and laptop service then by all means enlighten me in the comments below. I look forward to television entertainment in the future where respect is given to realism because for me it’s not only more interesting than fake made-up nonsense but also educational as we get to see insights into what life is like for others.

The scene that annoys me the most is when there’s a lazy kid in a messy apartment who has everything in his life in disorder; his closet is unorganized and stuffed to the lintel with junk; his sink is full of dishes and moldy; his clothes are wrinkled and covering the floor by his bed; but miraculously his laptop runs smoothly like a charm as if his junk folder and hard drive isn’t in the same condition as his closet!

I think it would be quite realistic and entertaining if this said lazy character tries to do a Google search and finds that his computer is so slow he yells in anger and throws his coffee mug across the room. At least have it so he has to look out the window while he waits for it to load. It might be a way to introduce a new character or show something funny like a cat farting on a dog. Or maybe you could come up with something funnier.

I’m far too busy to ever consider writing TV scripts but I know if I did they would be the most realistic shows on television. That’s because I can’t stand seeing these misconceptions any longer. Someone has to do something about this though so you might as well check back here in the future. Maybe I’ll announce my great success hit in ten years. Who knows, eh?

Hit like and share if you agree computers and laptops should occasionally reveal some truth about the universe. Because we all know they’re not perfect! Thanks for reading and expect more complaining soon.

What Is Your Biggest Pet Peeve On TV? Mine Is Black Leather!

There is always something to complain about on TV. Whether it’s cheesy romance, unrealistic action or just plain stupidity, it’s good to get it out of the system. As a fan of TV and someone intelligent enough to spot out everything stupid, I feel obliged to inform my readers.

Today I pose a question: what is your biggest pet peeve on TV?

Maybe you don’t know the answer to this question yet and so you need to think about it. If you love TV as much as I do you might be glad to know that deciding what you don’t like about TV and complaining about it has the potential to reach abroad and effect television in the future forever. What do I mean by this?

I mean that if you can spot a trope that is so stupid and complain about it enough, say on a YouTube video or a blog of your own, it can catch on and other people might start complaining about it too. If enough of this happens there’s a good chance that someone in the power to fix this stupid trope in TV may agree with you and eventually your actions result in a real change. Isn’t that cool?

This works even better if you write into the television station and get your family to write in too. TV is my passion and I want to see it grow and prosper, and so while some people write to politicians complaining about oil spills I complain about stupid tropes and why they should be replaced with sensible solutions and I can’t begin to comprehend the effect my complaining has had on TV over the years.

Perhaps you do know what your pet peeve is. Maybe you’re tired of seeing dirty clothes on medieval peasants or slick leather suits on action girls who know how to fight like I am. Why can’t a girl who knows how to fight dress like any other girl? Why do they always have to wear black leather? Faugh, good question!

So think about this and share your pet peeve in the comments below. Together with our complaining powers we may be able to do something about it!