Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I know I already have a post about the lack of imagination in Hollywood, but this one really got to me.

I don't watch the series "Castle," but I was recently at my father's house and they were watching it, so had the opportunity to experience the episode, "To Love and Die in LA" (a rip-off of the 1985 movie name To Live and Die in LA). Granted, the movie To Live and Die in LA is the story of a cop whose partner is killed by organized crime, and the episode of "Castle" is about an ex-partner of Beckett, killed in New York, and her quest to LA to find the killer.

Interestingly, as I paid half attention to the episode, I could not help but think someone took 1984's hit Beverly Hills Cop and changed the names (I assume to protect the innocent [for those who don't know, that's a reference to the 1951 serial police drama "Dragnet"]):
  • Axel Foley/Kate Beckett's friend is killed when visiting Detroit/New York
  • Foley/Beckett's wants to investigate, but his/her boss says, "No! You're too close to the case!"
  • Foley/Beckett says, "You're right. I have some vacation time...I think I need to take it to recover from this horrible tragedy"
  • The boss in both cases says, "Don't you think about going to LA to investigate!"
  • Foley/Beckett immediately jump a plane to LA
  • On arriving in LA, Foley/Beckett run afoul of the local police and are dragged "downtown," where the local commanding officer calls Foley/Beckett's commanding officer, who promptly threatens Foley/Beckett with being fired
  • Foley/Beckett insist they are just in town on vacation and will not be investigating
  • Foley/Beckett continue to investigate
  • Foley/Beckett find the case is more complicated than they thought, involving a much more nefarious crime with much more dangerous and organized criminals
  • Foley/Beckett again run afoul of the local authorities, who continue to apply pressure to get them to 'go home'
  • Foley/Beckett ignore the locals and continue to investigate
  • Foley/Beckett finally crack the case
  • There is a dramatic bust, in which Foley/Beckett have to be 'tough cop,' but in which they are also proven to have been right since the beginning, thus winning the support of the local cops while saving their jobs back home
I know that there are only 3 (7, 10, 21) story lines in the whole world. I would never expect any movie or TV show to be completely original or innovative. But I think that it's totally unacceptable to take an older work, change the names, and present it as original. That's called plagiarism.

Or, as I like to say, "Castle Shannara-ed my ass." It's a new verb, and I'm going to get everyone I know to start using it. If you don't get the reference, read this. Shannara almost got me to stop reading. Castle, and other similar products, makes me want to quit watching movies and television.

Just say no to Shannara-ing.

1 comment:

  1. Love it! And thanks for the reference link. I had no idea what shannara meant. This whole time I thought it was a reference to Shamalamadingdong. Don't ask me why, I have no idea :)