So, I rewatched the finale of due South again last night because Nick hadn't seen it. I've already written about it here. Upon doing so I think I discovered what infuriates me about Paul's (and his colleague's) writing.
He's a lazy writer. He doesn't try and craft a plot which makes sense, he crafts an absurd plot and uses humour to get through it. He makes it obvious that the plot doesn't make sense and justifies it by doing so. For instance, Benton sticks a wire from the plane with gum on the end in his ear, diverts a binary transmission and can decode it to tell them their location. And how? By having Ray bring up how ridiculous this is, but having this not be important. He needed Benton and Ray to know where they were to continue the story so he had something highly improbable occur. Now it's funny, it really is. It's absurd. But the same thing happens later in the episode, several times.
Now in due South there's a precedent for that kind of thing, admittedly. This is a show where reality is magical to say the least. It is a ghost story, after all. However, Paul has done this in several of the screenplays I've watched that he's co-written. He's very much into the deus ex machina approach to writing. Stack up the blocks for one thing to happen and then, if this won't resolve effectively, bring in an outside device to make it work. Or maybe I just don't get his vision. He prefers to use fantasy to tell a deeper truth, and despite what it may seem like, I am more firmly rooted in reality. He could tell a similar story whilst having a modicum of realness, but he prefers to go for other-worldliness. This doesn't necessarily negate lazy writing when it comes to plotting, however.
Perhaps the reason this annoys me so much is that I am guilty of the same vice. I can analyse someone else's well crafted plot, I appreciate foreshadowing, repetition and balancing, but I have difficulty working out the same thing in my own writing. This is why I write 200 -1500 word pieces more often than any other, because in that space you have to get your point across with a few carefully chosen words and there isn't any time for an epic story arc. I'm a great big fan of throwing you into a scene in medias res and closing with a few loose ends, which is why I write fan fiction - you know, because the world exists independent of my writing and I don't have to internally justify as much as if they were original pieces.
I write more about writing than I actually write.