On Facebook this morning, I complained about a YouTube account called CinemaSins. The account profiles the “sins” found in popular movies. There are times when I quite agree with his assessment of logic issues in stories but oftentimes he calls things cliche which I think are just universal human truths. For example, he critiqued the Disney film Brave. One “sin” was when the mother takes Merida’s bow and, in a fit of anger and exasperation, tosses it in the fire. After Merida storms out, Queen Elinor comes to her senses and pulls the bow from the fire astonished and dismayed at her actions. He called it a cliche. Um, he obviously doesn’t have children. Or possibly any family or friends. I’ve felt that way countless times after ill thought out actions and words. To me, that’s a very human emotion–not a cliche. It’s a universal experience most people can sympathize with.
It got me thinking, however, about cliches.
The other night my husband found Netflix original series called The Ranch and I swear that show is one giant cliche. I know everything before it’s said or done. For example, last night we watched the season finale. In the second the show’s main protagonist, aging school football star has been Colt Bennett that has returned home after fleeing fifteen years earlier, runs into his old high school girlfriend and it’s clear he has feelings for her still. In the subsequent episodes, you see them deal with their continued attraction despite attempting relationships with others. In the episode before this one, Abby became engaged to her long-time boyfriend. Naturally, the closing scene of the finale has her showing up at Colt’s and admitting a “shocking” truth. She doesn’t think she should marry Kenny.
To me, the whole show is full of groan-worthy cliches. But maybe it’s just because I don’t know 35-year-olds that are still acting like teenagers. It stars Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson. Exchange Kurtwood Smith for Sam Elliott and it’s That ’70s Show for 30 somethings and on a ranch. I can’t relate to it at all. It feels artificial and contrived. They’re dealing with experiences that should have happened 20 years ago.
So, my question this Tuesday is what do you find cliche and do you think it’s built mostly on a lack of personal experience with the situation?