I read once that you watch tv (or in this case movies) with the same part of your brain that you use to worry, so watching tv is indeed therapeutic.
I don't know if it is true; it feels true, and that passes for truth these days all too often.
But I digress.
Last night Netflix offered up The Stand at Paxton County.
Horses, lady heroes, cowboys.
You bet, I'm in.
And yes, I enjoyed it.
Not enough horses, not enough cowboys, but still interesting.
In a nutshell:
A military veteran comes home to find her father harassed by a sheriff intent to confiscate the livestock on their ranch under shady pretenses.
But overall, disappointing.
The question then is why?
I thought about this because why something doesn't work is often the best guide for making sure things do work.
**Spoiler Alerts follow**
1. The antagonist is the county vet, and she's costumed like Anna Wintour. When was the last time you saw a vet in anything other than heavy duty work clothes? Large animal vet I mean. It was instantly jarring.
2. The county vet is so one dimensional she might as well be named Snidely Whiplash and have "hiss" in the captions when she comes on screen.
3. No real resolution to the plot. Yes, the vet is stymied, and her henchmen in crime are killed but she herself is not carted off to the hoosegow.
4. The deputy sheriff, who has been carefully portrayed as a bit of a dimwit (a piece of business about not understanding how to make change is pretty funny, and pretty brilliant) gets promoted to sheriff. That's violating the world building of the piece, and for that I want to smack the writers (or whomever) around.
Have you found a book with problems to be useful in "what not to do" in your own writing?