I remember when I first saw The Muppets Take Manhattan. They had the wedding at the end and some of the cast of Sesame Street was there, and I was like, "Oh my gosh, it's the cast of my favorite show in this movie! This is the best thing EVER!" I was mega impressed.
Of course, I was five years old.
I find it really hard to believe anyone much over the age of five could be that impressed by these crossovers. I actually find them very irritating. Like when I'd be watching Empty Nest and all of a sudden, one of the Golden Girls would pop in for no apparent reason (other than to get a ratings boost).
In my opinion, the ONLY show that ever did it well was The Simpsons. They were self-conscious enough about the crossovers that it was actually funny.
The reason I'm whining about it now is that I've been noticing it more and more in books I've been reading. Emily Giffin did it in her last two novels, and it's beginning to really piss me off.
If you are writing a sequel to a book you wrote, then fine, you can use the same characters. Otherwise, it's obnoxious.
For example, if Rose from In Her Shoes is walking her dog in the park, I don't want her to run into Cannie from Good in Bed and have a little conversation, just for fun. This has nothing to do with the plot. It's as tacked on as Jennifer Hudson in the Sex and the City movie.
I don't even know why authors do that. It can't help sales the way it helps TV ratings. Frankly, I think it's a form of masturbation.
I actually liked the Mad About You cross over into Friends with the Phoebe/Ursula plot line. But I mostly agree - other than a short "cool" moment, the crossovers are usually useless. When I was much younger and followed the Buffy tv show with Sarah Michelle Gellar, I lived for Angel crossovers, because I wanted them back together. Now this just shows how addicted to popular tv I am. :)ReplyDelete
Actually, that wasn't that bad, I guess. It was slightly irritating, but it wasn't a typical crossover.Delete
I hate that too! It is actually kind of distracting to the whole suspension-of-disbelief thing required for watching a show. When you have to think, "wait, so now these characters all exist in the same fictional universe?" it calls your attention to the fact that the show has a fictional universe in the first place...ReplyDelete
how is that like masturbation??? how does that involve fondling your own penis or vagina??ReplyDelete
Uh, is this a serious question??Delete
hey, fizzy, this anon is not me.Delete
Michael Connelly is a crime writer and when he first did it in one of his books I didn't mind so much because one character is a police officer in LA and the other is a defense lawyer so them crossing paths wasn't too strange but then he made them related which was random. I hate it most of the time.ReplyDelete
A lot of historical romance novels have a fictional universe where the same characters appear. Usually it's something like three or four women who are all friends, and each has their own book with their story. Sometimes minor characters re-appear, but it's obvious that it's the same universe from the get-go, so it doesn't bother me. Some of the minor characters may get their own book or feature prominently in some books more than others, but especially if they're well-written characters, it's fun.ReplyDelete
I think sometimes it is pretty lazy, though, especially in books. In TV, it's just a way to improve ratings.
Wendy Holden does this very subtly in her books. Gail Carriger has written a YA series in the same universe as her adult series, which has good subtle nods to the adult series. Cant say I have noticed it in other books recently, but I will probably look for it now.ReplyDelete
I'll admit right up front that I have bad taste in movies and love Rob Schneider and Adam Sandler. So of course, I love it when they sneak characters from each others movies into their current movie.ReplyDelete
For some reason I seem to recall Steven King doing this in at least one of his books too, but can't remember which book or which characters!
I like it when it's a *wink wink* addition to see if you're paying attention, or enough of a fan to notice, but agree that it's ridiculous when it's more of, "WELL LOOK WHO'S HERE!" Those of you who love X show now have to see Y show to see your favorite character! Bleh...