By Bernie on 11 Jun 2012
Nikki Cox, of TV's Las Vegas
Photo Credit: Rupert Holmes Website
In my article 13 Things that tick me off in the Movies I complained about screen writers that do everything right in regard to plot, characters, and scenery but ruin the verisimilitude by inserting absurdities into the script.
For example, I must have seen dozens of movies where someone lights a match under a fire sprinkler which sets off all the sprinklers. This is nonsense. Only the sprinkler directly above a flame actually shoots out any water. I have seen a film where smoke and not heat actually sets off the entire sprinkler system. Then there's the really idiotic TV episode where simply pulling a fire alarm sets off all the sprinklers.
These absurdities always grate on my nerves. How stupid do they think we are?
Don't get me wrong - I can accept warp speed in Star Trek or instantaneous communication over millions of miles. It wouldn't be fun waiting light years for an interstellar conversation to finish. Nonetheless, certain mistakes are just plain stupid.
I missed it when it was first aired but lately I started watching reruns of the TV series Las Vegas on TNT. However this evening a number of silly things disrupted my enjoyment of the show.
In Episode 3 of Season 5 "The Glass Is Always Cleaner" a lawyer announces to one of the characters that a 1905 Morgan Silver Dollar was left to her in a will. OK, I let that slide, there were no Morgan silver dollars minted in 1905. Then the lawyer announced that it was worth at least $120,000. Now I'm starting to get annoyed. Let's assume for the moment that the US mint actually produced a few thousand 1905 Morgans. Since none have ever surfaced all these years a genuine 1905 would be worth millions, if not tens of millions of dollars.
[Update: In a subsequent episode I heard them mention 1895 so I went back and re-viewed this episode - it seems I misheard - it was actually an 1895 Morgan which I should have realized when the lawyer said that 12,000 were minted. That will teach me to watch TV while my grandchild is playing with his toys.]
After a while I calmed down. But not for long. This time the fault may not be with the script writer but rather the special audio effects team.
In the episode the lawyer, after pretending the Morgan silver dollar was stolen, drops it on the casino floor as he's checking out. The sound it makes when it hits the floor is completely wrong. It's the dull, lifeless sound of tin thwacking the floor; certainly not the vibrant, resonance of silver.
Silver when it hits the ground makes a warm, loving, lingering sound not unlike flicking a finger against fine crystal. It rings the air. I don't understand - I would think that any decent sound effects library would contain the sound of a silver coin dropping as opposed to one made out of some base metal.
No professionalism anymore. Very sad.
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