Friday, November 30, 2018

A Helpful Glossary

The following is a glossary of terms I will occasionally use in my posts, but don't want to have to explain the meaning of every time. That's why I'm writing a glossary.

Poke in the coconut: To affectionately touch another person's head with something in between a tap and a poke. Can also mean to bother.

Family programming sweet spot: Wednesday night before Thanksgiving to the night of Christmas Day, when TV sets special time aside to cater to the family.

Supplements: Gross pills I pop every day before I eat.

And You Were There: When a story that's set mainly in two general locations has the same actors who play characters in one location also play characters in the other. Named after a line at the end of The Wizard of Oz, in which Dorothy acknowledges that all the people she met in Oz looked and acted exactly like people she knew back home in Kansas (and were played by the same actors).

Christmas Special Types: Five categories I divide Christmas specials and movies into, depending on what they present the "true meaning of Christmas" as.
  • Type One Christmas Special: presents the TMoC (True Meaning of Christmas) as the Biblical TMoC (the birth of Jesus)
  • Type Two Christmas Special: presents the TMoC as generosity, the fact that it's better to give than to receive, and that the kindhearted actions of one person can have a positive impact on the lives of another
  • Type Three Christmas Special: presents the TMoC as believing and/or always being a child at heart and/or enjoying and then later remembering your childhood
  • Type Four Christmas Special: presents the TMoC as accepting people no matter how different from you they might be
  • Type Five Christmas Special: presents the TMoC as spending and enjoying time with your family and other loved ones
BHAG: Big hairy audacious goal. Coined by the 1990s business book Built to Last.

The peacock: NBC.

Rehash: An adaptation of a previously existing story that is not done for comedy (as a parody is) or as plagiarism, rather, it's simply meant to be a retelling with a twist (or more than one twist, occasionally).

Car crash song: A song, usually a centuries-old song, that has recently had its lyrics changed officially or unofficially for reasons tied to political correctness or a changed cultural perspective.

Banned book points: The American Library Association discerns the most censored books of each year by giving a book 1 point for an unsuccessful challenge and 3 if the challenge results in the book being removed.

Femvertisement: Any TV commercial that is, at least by intention, celebrating women and girls. Usually will hardly even mention the product.

Holamonizing: Taking songs from an existing yet forgotten or outdated musical and changing the lyrics to fit them for a new story with little or nothing to do with the one they were originally written for. Name comes from Ken Holamon, a director of children's musicals who frequently does this.

The Sound of Music Effect: When a movie that has very little or nothing to do with Christmas is aired on network television during the family programming sweet spot simply because families are looking for things to do together at that time of year and networks are looking for cash. Named for The Sound of Music (1965), the most famous example of this concept. To qualify as a Sound of Music Effect movie, a movie must:
1) Be rated G or PG.
2) Have been shown during the family programming sweet spot for at least two years in a row.
3) Have had at least half of its network TV appearances during the sweet spot.

Colbert Bump: When one event causes a burst in popularity and/or fame for a previously existing yet previously lesser-known phenomenon.

TV Redemption: When a movie that did poorly in its original theatrical release becomes better-known through network telecasts. The Wizard of Oz, It's a Wonderful Life and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory all achieved TV Redemption.

Edie Not-Youmans: When a character (usually a child character) in one of my scripts is named after the actor I picture playing the role in first name only, but receives a new last name. The name of the term is derived from Edie Jurgens in Christmas in Charlotte, who was named for Edie Youmans, Xfinity "spokeskid" and the actor I pictured in the role.

Narrative Lost in Toyland: When a story is retold in many different ways, none of which even remotely follow the plot of the original, because the original was dated and/or mediocre. Named for the 1903 operetta Babes in Toyland, to which this has happened.

It's a Jolly Holiday with Mary Number: A rousing duet in a musical between the musical's male and female leads. Name references the number in Mary Poppins that is this.

Villain Song: A song in a musical sung by the villain about their evil ways.

Test monkey: A person being used as a test subject against their will.

Zingdak: A comical insult that I directed at a frequenter of this blog, who I will not name, back in 2012. Defined as "a monkey who cannot write poetry".

MacGuffin: An object that is not always front and center in a film, but moves the story along perhaps more than any character does.

Adaptation Via Song: When a song in a musical is heavily based on another song in another musical. For example, in Christmas in Charlotte, "Charlotte" is modeled on "Toyland" from Babes in Toyland, and "I'm So Spry" is modeled on "I Gotta Crow" from Peter Pan.

And I Was There: A variation on And You Were There, in which a character hearing a story told to them imagines themselves as the main character of that story.

Charity Single: A song that donates all the money from its sales to helping a cause and has lyrics about that cause, such as "Light It Up Blue", "Do They Know It's Christmas?" or "We Are the World".

Nureyeving: Creating a fictitious person and/or situation in your head to deal with a problem in your real-world life. Named for Rudolf Nureyev, whose ballet heroes would often do this.

The Parisian Conk: Referring to an incident that happened in Paris, France, on April 2, 2018, this is  when I fall asleep in an uncomfortable place in the middle of the day.

Narrative commercial: A TV commercial that tells a story.

Very special episode: An episode of a normally lighthearted television show that deals with more serious topics.

Page count is running time: The idea that one page of a script equals one minute of screen time.

Jumanji Double: A variation on And You Were There, in which two characters who may or may not each correspond to a different location in the story are both played by the same actor for symbolic purposes. The name refers to Jumanji (1996), in which Robin Williams's character's father and the hunter that is an obstacle in the Jumanji game are played by the same actor to symbolize that he views these two characters with equal and similar fear.

Leitmotif: A theme in the musical score of a movie associated with a particular character.

Whole Plot Reference: When the entire plot of a work is deliberately meant to reference, for comic effect or not, the plot of another work that is more famous. This is a trope, and twelve Whole Plot References (WPRs) are so common that they are their own tropes:
  • As the Good Book Says (WPR to any Bible story)
  • The Bard on Board (WPR to any Shakespeare play)
  • Fractured Fairytale (WPR to any fairytale)
  • Yet Another Christmas Carol (WPR to A Christmas Carol)
  • Off to See the Wizard (WPR to The Wizard of Oz)
  • It's a Wonderful Plot (WPR to It's a Wonderful Life)
  • How the Character Stole Christmas (WPR to How the Grinch Stole Christmas)
  • Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Plot (WPR to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory)
  • May the Farce Be With You (WPR to Star Wars)
  • Raiders of the Lost Plot (WPR to any of the four Indiana Jones movies)
  • W.P. the Whole Plot (WPR to E.T. the Extraterrestrial)
  • Ripped from the Headlines (WPR to a historical event or past or present news story)
Trope: An oft-used plot device.

Writer's Block: When no new scripts appear on my site for a long time.

The Bechtel Test: A movie passes this test if two or more women converse about something other than a male character or a relationship.

The New Dakota Principle: With no relation to any fictional U.S. state, the New Dakota Principle, named after my February 2018 endeavors in revising Fearless Girl, specifically Dakota's climactic monologue, refers to criticism over stories and media that portray girls whose interests and tastes are in traditionally masculine things as superior to and more worthy of celebration than girls whose interests and tastes are in traditionally feminine things. In other words, stories that say male = female yet still say masculinity > femininity.

Hutt Bucks: Money that my street-performing one-man band the Notable Hutts earns. I am currently out, so the Notable Hutts must get another gig.




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