TMP69: Coincidences

TMP monday peeve kitty cat

Welcome to my refreshed Monday Peeve! Unburden yourself of an annoyance and you’ll feel better afterward. Or not. Complain in my comments or crab in your own post. Doesn’t have to be on a Monday. You do you.

I’ve complained about this before, but not on an official Monday Peeve, so it’s fair game. Writing is hard, no disagreement there, but I find it incredibly lazy when plots are continually driven by coincidences. I don’t mind a few sprinkled throughout, but when every twist and turn is due to a misplaced letter or an overheard conversation, it just gets on my nerves.

Currently, I’m watching Downton Abbey, which is a series on Prime about an aristocratic English family and their servants in the early part of the 20th century. I’m enjoying it overall and am on Season 3 out of 6, but sometimes I get annoyed with all the overheard convos and opportune glimpses. The main plot points are carried forward in this way, beginning with S1e1, and it’s too bad that the writer/s couldn’t have come up with more creative devices.

Romance novels are often the same, with our hero/heroine overhearing a snippet of chat as they wander in the gardens, then they leap to an incorrect conclusion, etc. It’s so irritating!

~*~
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16 responses to “TMP69: Coincidences

  1. I was just thinking the other day about how much comics rely on such things. The important new supporting character is almost ALWAYS the new villain.

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  2. Never thought about it that way. In real life, it’s simply a bunch of random crap thrown at us day after day and the only symmetry comes from the similar ways the character (each of us) deals with it. It seems like the story is always about the novel ways each of us solve the same old problems.
    Once in awhile random chance throws a real coincidence our way, but, yeah, probably even less than once a week. Trouble is, in a TV series, the writer doesn’t have the luxury of portraying the boring weeks on end between them.

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    • Good point. I’m not sure how to get around the constant coincidences in fiction, but they bothers me. I guess some writers are better at folding them in so I don’t notice as much…

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      • On one hand, if something is worthy of being retold, as a story, (or a made-up story) there would usually be something unusual or note-worthy–otherwise, why bother? So we accept coincidences and rare events to a certain degree.
        Maybe a series of interesting and problematic events with maybe ONE coincidence thrown in. Or not.
        I am finding this an interesting facet of story telling.

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  3. Since this show was so removed from reality that I didn’t mind the coincidences. I loved it and also watched the two movies

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  4. Sitcoms, too. Which is why I can’t stand most. When everything for the next 25 minutes depends on a misunderstanding that a simple question would immediately clear up, I’m out.

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  5. Agreed

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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  6. I notice this in tv shows a lot. To me it’s just funny, and pretty much they wouldn’t even have a show if not for that. Something else I’ve noticed is everyone’s wardrobe is color coordinated. Kind of annoying, but I imagine planned that way.
    I’m still peeving over not being able to just like or comment with out logging in every single time. It takes so much time to find ways to find a post and how to do that. 🙂

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  7. Mary and I thought that the first season of Downton Abbey was the only season until the cliffhanger at the end. By then, we’d decided we had invested all the time we had to into it.

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