Sunday, May 18, 2008

Seen It, Done That, Been There (Thoughts on Getting Older)

It's interesting how age adds wisdom but also boredom. We all know the formula for a good romantic comedy.

1) Boy meets girl.
2) Boy gets girl.
3) Boy loses girl.
4) Boy gets girl back again.

(Yes, I know it sounds very one-sided, but that's the formula, folks!).

So how many romantic comedies can you see before they start to seem like movies you've seen before? How many TV situation comedies can I see before I start to recognize plots from I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners?

More and more, I love originality but it's harder and harder to find because there are only so many ways that people relate to each other and even fewer ways to write about them in ways that are unique. So...horror movies seem less horrifying, comedies are less comedic, and so on. When I happen upon something new and different, wow, I love it!

The same thing happens with music. I have lost count of the number of times that my kids heard a song on the radio played by a modern band and commented what a great new song it was. Except...the song is older and has already been covered by other bands. Tonight my son and I saw Smash Mouth in concert. Remember them from 10 years ago? More on them in my next blog entry. Of course they have many of their own songs but one of the most popular on the night, very well played and sung, was I'm a Believer. It was written by Neil Diamond. Since 1966, these are the bands and singers that have recorded the song, starting with The Monkees:

Does this make it a good song? YES! It has been very popular for 42 years and counting. It has not been unique since The Monkees first sang it, but it's still very good! Of course, it's a 4-minute song and we all know how we can listen to the same song over and over, but if it's a novel or movie it's disappointing when we recognize the plot because of the time it takes to digest the novel and even the movie. We've all heard and probably uttered the phrase, "There go two hours of my life I won't get back!"