Fact-Checkers Apparently Needed in Hollywood. BADLY. | Ninja Poodles Local

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Fact-Checkers Apparently Needed in Hollywood. BADLY.

Posted By on Sun, Sep 24, 2006 at 8:39 PM

I've written ranted about this topic before, most recently by publicly (and repeatedly) venting my frustration over Steve Oedekerk's idiotic premise that  BULLS have udders--seriously, the whole "Barnyard" thing really drove me bug-nuts.   So you can see how it's only natural that I now find myself totally sympathetic to the current frustration of my friend Erin, in Alaska.

Erin's issue is with the writers of the ABC dramedy "Men In Trees," a new Ann Heche vehicle set in the fictional town of "Elmo," Alaska.  Erin is a lifelong resident of Fairbanks, and as such has an appreciation for the natural beauty of her home state that shows plainly in her writing.  And I agree with her 100% that it's not too much to ask of writers--even television writers--that they devote at least some small amount of superficial research to anything that's going to be used as a significant plot device (like, say, which gender belongs to which secondary sexual organs--oh, sorry, I drifted back over to MY issue for a minute there, won't happen again).

In the case of "Men In Trees," the irritating inaccuracy involves a recurring character: an animal character important enough to the storyline, as Erin notes, to merit multiple mentions on the show's "about" page.  A wild raccoon.  A particularly pesky wild raccoon, who makes a nuisance of himself, for example, in Heche's character's hotel room.  Which would be bad enough, if Alaska even HAD raccoons.  Which they do not.  At all.  No raccoons (nor, interestingly enough, skunks) in  the entire state of Alaska!  Hence our Erin's very justifiable disappointment in the integrity of the show's writers/fact-checkers.  (And my not-slight case of jealousy at learning of Erin's raccoon-free status, which is something I've had occasion to wish for myself.)

Is there any detail in a book, movie, or T.V. show that just drives you to distraction due to its inaccuracy, misinterpretation, or just plain...wrongness? 

Belinda also blogs from her "home base" on the internet, NINJA POODLES! 

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