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Training Day (2001)
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Training Day (2001)

The Nine Plots TV Shows Need To Stop Doing

by Theta1138   June 17, 2011 at 10:00AM  |  Views: 4,277
It's a common complaint: television is unoriginal. This is a complicated problem, created by a mixture of the conservative nature of big media conglomerates and the overwhelming desire of the viewers for comfort food-type TV instead of real, challenging writing. What isn't complicated is when TV writers can't even be bothered to write a plot, instead just taking one wholesale, especially, for some reason, around Christmas.



9. Die Hard on a TV Show

Source: 20th Century Fox

Don't get us wrong, we love Die Hard. In fact, Die Hard is one of the best action movies ever made. It's a perfect action movie. We just wish people would stop ripping it off all the time.

One man, alone, in a building full of terrorists is awesome when he's John McClane. Less awesome when it's Ash from Evil Dead and that guy who had his head stuck in a bull statue's rectum from Burn Notice. The worst offender, though, has to be the various Stargate TV shows, which have ripped off Die Hard no less than nine times, although at least once they did bother to turn it around: it was the crew trying to do something heroic and one security guard who turned out to be a John McClane type messing them up.

8. We're Off To See The Wizard...Again

Source: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

The Wizard of Oz is a movie beloved by children, gay men, and stoners, all for wildly different reasons, across the world, and it has penetrated our collective psyche. You know this by the fact that 70 years after it came out, there are still grown women going around in "Sexy Dorothy" costumes. The "Bloated and Incoherent From Years of Pill Abuse Judy Garland" costume just never caught on, for some reason.

Still, if a show is on the air long enough, it'll tackle the trip to Oz eventually. Stargate (yes, them again) featured an Oz episode. Scrubs, because Scrubs is required by law to reference everything in pop culture, did an episode. And, of course, kid's cartoons beat this one into the floor: it's so common that Scooby Doo did an Oz episode.

They also did a crossover with HBO's prison drama Oz, but for some reason, that was never aired.

7. The Regift of the Magi

Source: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

"The Gift of the Magi" is a story written by O. Henry. If the name sounds familiar, it's because he was the master of writing nasty, ironic endings. His idea of a Christmas story was about a man who sells his watch to buy his girlfriend some combs, and she sells her hair to buy him a watchfob. So everybody gets a useless gift and feels like kind of an ass. Yeah, we bet Christmas was really fun at the O. Henry household.

Needless to say, treacly family shows absolutely love this, because then somebody can show up and make it all better, which is the entire idea of Christmas episodes. Also contrary to the point of the story but what's O. Henry going to do, sue? 7th Heaven (or as I like to call it Jessica Biel's Jailbait Wonder Years) pulled this one, and they even used it on Barney, to teach children a valuable lesson about how life is disappointing, but it's such a chestnut it goes all the way back to the beginnings of TV: The Honeymooners pulled this stunt. Yeah, that show even your grandmother is tired of. That's how stale this plot is.

6. Robinson Crusoe

Source: MPI/Archive Photos/Getty Images

Come on, do we really need to explain this one to you? Dude stranded on a desert island, finds some stuff, builds some stuff, escapes.

We could go into all the shows that have stolen this, but we'll just skip all that and go to the most perfect example: Star Trek. Star Trek has been stranding its crew on isolated planets for decades. Kirk and company got stranded on a planet in the original series, and then stranded Khan on another planet. The Next Generation managed to combine the stranding plotline with one about hidden twins when Riker got cloned by accident and the clone got stranded on a deserted planet. Star Trek: Voyager stranded an entire ship light years from known space and apparently that just wasn't enough stranding, so they stranded the crew on some isolated planets for good measure. And turned them into space iguanas and made them have an orgy once, but the less said about that, the better (if you were wondering, it's called "Threshhold", and even the guy who wrote it thinks it stinks. There, now you will never be able to forget that. Told you you didn't want to know).

5. The Seven Magnificent Guys

Source: AFP/Getty Images

The Seven Samurai is a rare thing: a serious, long, foreign film that actually kicks a lot of ass, with a remake that sounds terrible (the same thing but made into a Western) that also kicks a lot of ass. Seriously, if you haven't seen either, you're missing out.

Not that you won't be able to follow the plot, because you've seen it in Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, Firefly, Merlin, Battlestar Galactica, The Magnificent Seven (obviously), and Star Trek. Twice.

Maybe it should be the magnificent fourteen? Hell, we don't even understand why seven guys stick around in the future to do this, just show the beaten down villagers you're defending the movie. They'll get the idea.

THE DAILY FOUR

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