The one thing you always have to remember about characters in a movie is that they don't know they're characters in a movie. But sometimes they seem to forget things from one episode or scene to the next that makes us think they have some kind of brain injury that has ruined their short-term memory.
Not sure what we mean? Well, we're talking about things like...
The victims: Ghostbusters II, Stargate SG-1, Star Trek, Indiana Jones, X-Files, Fringe
It makes perfect sense for the characters in a vampire or zombie movie to need some time to adjust to the idea that they're being attacked by vampires or zombies. We don't even mind that there's always that one character who remains in denial until the second act (aka Carl Weathers in Predator insisting their nemesis was "just some guys in camouflage").
Death, courtesy of your local Army/Navy store.
But then you have a character in a series that deals exclusively with the supernatural, who completely forgets from one episode to the next that they are in fact characters in a series dealing with the supernatural. Take Indiana Jones, so quickly dismissing the idea of psychic alien skulls in the fourth movie, in spite of having witnessed firsthand the supernatural powers of the Ark of the Covenant, the Holy Grail and Indian spirit rocks. Pretty much every artifact the man digs up has magical powers, this should not be new territory for him.
But that's nothing compared to the X-files and Fringe, two shows with skeptical characters who seem to never manage to learn anything from their numerous encounters with Halloween beasts. Here's how basically every episode goes:
Agent 1: Wow! A thing/creature/occurrence/artifact from beyond the realm of science and nature!
Agent 2: No, that's probably just a weather balloon.
"That, or Duchovny's ego has finally assumed physical form."
How many aliens and lizard people did Agent Scully run across before she stopped rolling her eyes whenever Mulder suggested "monsters" as the solution to the next case? Fifty? A hundred? Scully, you get a nice paycheck and a robust government benefits plan to fight werewolves and vampires. Why are you embarrassed to have our dream job?
But nobody got screwed by this as badly as the Ghostbusters. As we've mentioned before in exhaustive detail, the entire city of New York sues the Ghostbusters for supposedly staging the ghost attack that destroyed several city blocks in the previous film, despite the fact that tens of thousands of witnesses saw it first hand. And where the hell did they think those hundreds of tons of melted marshmallow came from?
From left to right: swamp gas, LSD in the water supply, solar flare.
Then you have the selective skeptics, like in the show Medium, where everyone accepts the psychic detective's ability, but somehow still manages to second-guess her tips. Just to be clear, they believe she is communicating with ghosts but they question the reliability of the ghosts' testimony. That's like watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and believing everything but the "ninja" part.
"Karate? Isn't that the spicy shit Japanese people put on everything?"
This brings us to our next point...
The victims: House, X-files, Fringe, Monk, Psych, Medium
OK, so maybe we can forgive Scully for shaking her finger at Mulder every time he pins a murder on a banshee. Maybe it's just that she always hopes it's something mundane, so the goddamned report will be easy to fill out this time.
But then you have House, where even though Dr. House's co-workers and superiors give lip service to how brilliant he is, at least once an episode we need to hear him suggest some radical new and risky treatment for this week's patient only to have someone else (usually Foreman) say, "But that'll kill him!"
Maybe he'd be right more often he'd grow a real fucking goatee.
No, no it won't. House is right approximately 100 percent of the time. He may need multiple guesses but in the end he will be right and you will always, always be wrong.
Cuddy is usually wrong too, but her chest is infinitely more fun to stare at.
Likewise for the show Monk, which stars the comically depressed guy from Wings as an obsessive compulsive yet impossibly brilliant detective. The man could literally find a moldy pancake in a dumpster and use it to solve the Kennedy assassination, but for some reason a perfect prosecution record on the cases he handles doesn't stop the San Francisco PD from continually dismissing him (you know, because he's weird).
"We're sorry Mr. Monk, but your hilarious quirks clearly outweigh your years of experience and flawless investigative record."
Ironically, in one episode when he tried to persuade San Francisco's finest that an apparent traffic accident was actually an elaborately staged murder, they ignored the years of savant-like assistance he'd given them in the past because his theory didn't match up with... the testimony of a psychic. Dammit, these people need to trade detectives with Medium.
Honestly, the fact that they trust a blonde to solve cases strains our suspension of disbelief more than the whole "psychic" thing.
Which only takes us to the opposite problem, which is...
The victims: TMNT, Gilligan's Island, Lost in Space, any comedy with a wacky bumbling character.
Anyone who has ever sat through an episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has probably wondered why the Shredder keeps Bebop and Rocksteady around. By all accounts it doesn't make sense. Bebop and Rocksteady manage to thoroughly botch every single task they're given, yet the Shredder still insists on including them in his evil schemes episode after episode. It's almost like he hates success more than the Turtles.
We're pretty sure pigs are more intelligent than turtles, but we could be wrong.
But, hey, he's evil. Villains are known for relying on demonstrably unreliable henchmen. Hell, we're still baffled at how Megatron could go an entire series trusting Starscream, despite the latter arguably being the most treacherous and unreliable of all henchmen.
But decades earlier on Gilligan's Island, the band of castaways suffered from the same mental omission and allowed Gilligan to continually damn any chance they have of ever getting rescued. Crucial task after crucial task was placed in his hands--during the course of the show, Gilligan failed to signal a Navy vessel while flying a fucking jetpack; managed to find and lose a submarine in a single day; and wasted a magic wishing stone on goddamned ice cream.
Can we all just agree that no one wearing bell-bottoms should, under any circumstances, be allowed to man a jetpack?
After so many incidents, why didn't anyone remember to lock Gilligan in a cave whenever a chance to escape the island appeared? Their freaking lives were at stake.
Just hold him underwater until his eyes go dead.
Likewise on Lost in Space, what stopped the Robinson family from ganging up on Dr. Smith and jettisoning his stupid ass right out the airlock? Not counting the numerous times he endangered the entire crew with his cowardice, he had all the instinct of a monkey with a coke bottle lodged in its brain (as demonstrated when he once used their scarce water supply to take a fucking shower). Someone should've busted his head open with a moon rock.
Anyone with this as a Facebook profile picture would be reported to the FBI in a matter of seconds.