Monday, February 21, 2011

"My life is such a dramedy."

Raise your hand if you've said that. Raise your other hand if you've heard someone else say that.

I hate to burst your bubble, but that statement is the single most annoying statement to me.

(By the way, you can put your hands down now.) The fact that someone thinks it's cute and clever to say "dramedy" feels sort of immature. Life is what it is. If you're life is a "dramedy" then so is mine, and my nieces', and my nephew's, and my sisters', and my brothers', and my professors', and the man down the road's, and the old lady next door's. Life has it's ups and it's down, therefore, your life is like my life in that sense. We all live in what you call a "dramedy."

Secondly (yes, I know there wasn't a "firstly"), "dramedy" is what marketers call a romantic comedy. Which is not a comedy at all. Essentially, there are three types of movies in the film industry: comedy, melodrama, and tragedy. A comedy is not always funny. A melodrama is not always dramatic. A tragedy is always tragic. Every movie can be divided up into one of those three categories. EVERY MOVIE.

Comedies are defined by no change in the main character. The main character will be given every opportunity to change, but won't. The first comedy I saw, and knew it was a comedy, was Cat Ballou. A more popular example of this is True Grit. Seinfeld is another example. The main characters are hit with opportunity after opportunity to change, but do not. In the end, they are the same as at the beginning. In True Grit, Jeff Bridges character is still a crazy lazy shooter, despite what he went through. These don't have to be funny. Comedy does not mean funny. True Grit had funny parts, but you weren't falling out of your seat with laughter.

In a melodrama, the main character changes. "Romantic Comedies" tend to fall into this category. Melodramas don't always have to be dramatic. They can be silly and fun or even serious and dark. Melodramas are a lot more popular than comedies. Tron Legacy was a melodrama. As was A Few Good Men.

Tragedies are even more rare than comedies. Tragedies happen when the main character doesn't change until it's too late. In a melodrama, the main character changes right before it's too late. In a tragedy, they don't change and then it becomes too late. The Man Who Would Be King is a perfect example of that.

Given the explanations, a "dramedy" is a contradiction within itself. Life can go through stages. Sometimes your life might be a comedy, if you never shape up at school or work. Once in a while, it's a tragedy, if you lose that guy because you just couldn't stop partying. Most of the time, it's a melodrama, you realize you're controlling and apologize right before she walks out on you.

Most of you won't care about these explanations. The marketing departments have you all well trained to understand that "comedy = funny." You won't ever think twice about which category a movie falls into. Heck, I doubt you'll remember this after you shut the window. But I do. I think about it every single time I watch a show or movie or see the word "dramedy." I wrote this mostly for myself because I really dislike it when people say things like "dramedy." I want to say I dislike it when people are immature, but then again I have moments like that, I just don't flaunt them.

All in all, if you say your life is a "dramedy" I would bet my car that you're life is going to soon become a tragedy.

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