The Chihuahua’s Rule of Synopses

This has probably been said somewhere else, with greater clarity and more corollaries, than it is here.  Oh well, you’ll just have to live.

A friend (Becca) and I were lamenting about how it’s very difficult to explain to an outsider what Doctor Who is about without triggering some sort of flight mechanism.

Even if you get past the 900-year-old-alien-who-flys-around-in-a-combination-spaceship/time-machine bit, and the section with the he-regenerate-whenever-he-dies-so-he-gets-a-new-body-and-personality, they’ll be sure to run screaming once you get to the and-he-invites-young-women-he’s-just-met-to-take-a-ride-in-his-Police-Box part.

And I realized that pretty much any synopsis of a popular entertainment series requires a little (or a lot) of belief to be suspended.

House?  A brilliant, sadistic, bastard of a doctor solves medical cases which no one else can with the help of three or four underlings, all of whom have at least one quirky quirk which the Lord Doctor is sure to find out and then bug them mercilessly about.  He has the hots for his boss who shows improbable amounts of cleavage and puts up with his harmful and unprofessional shenanigans because he is frelling brilliant and/or she returns his twisted affections.

Ok, ok, I didn’t take that one seriously.

Bones?  A brilliant but socially challenged doctor of forensic anthropology is retained by the Jeffersonian Museum to solve crimes by looking at bones.  Wait, that’s probably not why she’s at the museum.  Then again, the museum gave her a gigantic lab made completely out of stainless steel and potted plants which is filled with other brilliant (and pulchritudinous) minds who also help solve crimes using their own areas of expertise, so maybe that is all they’re there for.

Also, she’s named Temperance and her FBI partner is named Seely Booth and if you didn’t know the meaning of UST before watching this series, you sure do now.

Damn.  I’m not even trying, am I?

Farscape?  Astronaut John Crichton is doing some experiment in a shuttle above Earth when he runs into a wormhole which transports him to a completely different part of the universe which is filled to the brim with ALIENS (and not just the Star Trek kind).  He runs afoul of the Peacekeepers (which, surprise, surprise, have a rather euphemistic bent to their name) who look like humans but are actually Sebaceans and ends up helping to hijack a prison ship with some former prisoners (who, if I haven’t mentioned this before, are ALIENS).  There’s a blue woman who’s actually a plant and toad-guy with eyebrows and a hover chair who’s actually a Muppet and did I mention that the ship’s ALIVE?

And also, UST.  Though Aryn and one of the Johns (there’s two of them for a while) do resolve the UST briefly before that version dies from radiation poisoning and then it just goes back to being UST between Aryn and the surviving John.

Erm.  Spoilers!

Which brings me to The Chihuahua’s Rule of Synopses:

There exists an inverse relationship between a synopses’ similarity to our concept Real Life and its apparent ridiculousness.


The less similar a text is to Real Life, the more awesome it actually is.  (Where “text” refers to any forms of entertainment, whether it is a book, TV show, movie, or something else.)

I think I’m on to something, here.


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