Brick Jokes

Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by bedfordfalls, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    [​IMG]

    I'm a little puzzled by Doug's insistence on using 'brick jokes' in every episode so far, especially as they mean every episode begins with a scene that seems unfunny and unrewarding, even when it eventually pays off later in the episode. Doing it once or twice is okay but it seems like these 'brick jokes' are going to become this series particular recurring trope.

    Strange that Doug who felt strongly about the need to move away from 'monster of the week' formula to stop the show becoming predictable seems to have decided to use a recurring trope throughout this series on the basis of the first three episodes.

    I like brick jokes when done well, as the Swedish moose joke was, but the payoffs in the other two episodes have been weaker, even though they did produce some wonderful facial reactions from Rimmer in Lemons.

    I actually now feel conditioned to watch the next episode expecting an unfunny opening sequence with a bit of seemingly abstract dialogue that will come back later in the show. I've been trying to think about whether Red Dwarf has done this kind of joke before, I'm sure it has, but I'm struggling to think of examples.
     
  2. simulant37

    simulant37 Science Officer

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    I agree, this structural formula for the show has become tiresome already. In Trojan it worked because it was the first time & we didn't realise it was going to happen again & again. . .:roll:
     
  3. TouchT1701

    TouchT1701 Third Technician

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    I kind of agree, only I don't need to have everything be funny, it just has to be rewarding. The moose thing kind of worked for me, especially on repeat views. The Chinese Whispers, not so much. And what was the one in Lemons? Um, the Jesus Judas Twin Thing? Eh. Forget it. :? If the next episode has a lame "brick" setup & pay off, I'll get aboard the drop this gimmick train too.
     
  4. DAN_JMC

    DAN_JMC Catering Officer

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    As long ad the initial set up is funny and has a point its ok. the stuff with Shakespeare was crap though.
     
  5. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    The brick jokes in Lemons were the Shakespeare references and the "Lister's organs" stuff.

    The references to 'in a pickle' and 'a dish fit for a king' are funny to me, mostly because of the hilarious annoyed facial expressions Rimmer pulls when they crop up.

    The organs part I don't think was as successful as I didn't even get the reference the first time I watched it.

    My real problem with these jokes though is that the establishing scenes simply haven't been funny for me. The cooking scene, the Shakespeare discussion and the book of facts scene from Trojan have all had a really forced feel about them.

    Oddly the only one that felt like a natural scene as the Chinese Whispers setup...but I've already said enough about how I feel about that whole thing.
     
  6. Fairfax

    Fairfax Catering Officer

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    I think in previous series the start of each episode was used much more successfully. During Rob and Doug`s time, on occasions, a subject might be introduced during the early comedy scene that was then used later in the episode and I think this was a stronger and smarter way to start things off. For example, in Meltdown we have Rimmer playing the military board game which ties in with what comes later. Even though this isn`t one of the more popular episodes, it was evident when I watched it the other day just how much and tighter the writing and plotting was than in the current series. Plus the opening scene was genuinely funny.

    The use of the `brick jokes` does feel very awkward as they are shoehorned in throughout each episode. This tactic of crowbarring jokes into scenes is one of my personal dislikes of Doug`s writing as I think it gets in the way of the plot (think Nostrilomo in BITR).
     

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