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 The ASJ Pilot

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Ghislaine Emrys

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PostSubject: The ASJ Pilot   Tue May 01, 2012 6:35 pm

Here's a synopsis of the seven types of plots as postulated by Aristotle. I thought it might be helpful to list not just the names but also the characteristics of the plot types at the beginning of the discussion. I have paraphrased the information from this website:

The Quest

The Quest story centers on a protagonist who is trying to achieve an all-important and often distant goal. The hero can't rest until the task is finished. Along this journey the hero will encounter problems and forces attempting to stop him from reaching his objective.

Voyage and Return

This plot is similar to the Quest and is based around a journey. Here, the hero travels to another world and then returns. On this trip, the main character learns things that give him a better understanding of himself and the world around him.


With this plot type, the protagonist has frequently come under some dark spell initiated by either himself or by some other force. The hero's escape from his predicament can only occur through the actions of other positive forces. In this plot, the healing power of love can be a liberating force. What is notable about the Rebirth plot is that the main character's imprisonment is the result of something in his own psyche.


Aristotle explained that comedy depicts people as worse than they are and tragedy shows people to be better than they are. In the traditional definition of Comedy, the characters are thrown into states of confusion, darkness and bewilderment and the resolution occurs only when those limiting circumstances have been played out to their extremes.


Here, the main character is a person (usually of high status) who goes through a succession of actions and decisions that unintentionally brings about his own undoing. This is supposed to create feelings of pity and fear on the part of the viewer and end in an emotional release.

Overcoming the Monster
In this type of story, the hero has to conquer a dark and evil creature or person or entity that has some sort of evil and/or destructive power over a place or people.

Rags to Riches

In Rags to Riches plots the main character appears to go from nothing to greatness; for example, he becomes very rich and acquires high status. In this plot type, the hero very often obtains quick success which is just as quickly taken away. In order for him to reach to this “rich” state again, the main character frequently must defeat an antagonist of some sort.

I agree with others who suggest that starting with the Pilot would be a good idea. So, clearly--or maybe it's not!--the first episode is a Quest. Would anyone care to elaborate? Are there any other plot types included? Please expound!

This is one of my schemes... ~ Hannibal Heyes
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PostSubject: Re: The ASJ Pilot   Wed May 02, 2012 12:12 am

Quest sure.

Also - in the final sections - I think we move into 'comedy proper' - even though 'comedy proper' usually has a 'marriage' or similar resolution at end. I'm thinking comedy proper because the DHG has no idea what HH & KC are up to bankwise, our boys have no idea what Wheat et al are up to bank-wise - both bewildered. Ditto our boys have no (real) idea what Lom is up to putting them in jail. Dear old Forrest Tucker is in dark all round. Heyes and Wheat are almost in 'Pseudelus' modes with all the plotting. We move into fast paced multi-stranded action building to - what the audience knows - will be a comic finale.
We're rooting for our boys. BUT - we're kinda half rooting for Wheat and the boys too. At any rate, we're not after a REAL downfall.
Everything is - kinda - resolved.
At any rate there are no real consequences to all the mayhem.
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PostSubject: Re: The ASJ Pilot   Wed May 02, 2012 6:22 am

When thinking about the kinds of stories that exist, I think of Joseph Campbell's seminal book and theory, "The Hero with a Thousand Faces". The monomyth, as Campbell called it, underlies many, many myths and stories, across different human civilizations. While I don't think Heyes and Curry experienced the stages of the monomyth in the same way that, say, Luke Skywalker did, a lot of the stories follow the structure of 1) a call to adventure; 2) a road of trials; and 3) the goal, which involves important self-knowledge gained.

The section below is from wikipedia; "The Hero With a Thousand Faces"


Campbell explores the theory that important myths from around the world which have survived for thousands of years all share a fundamental structure, which Campbell called the monomyth. In a well-known quote from the introduction to The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Campbell summarized the monomyth:

A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.[3]

In laying out the monomyth, Campbell describes a number of stages or steps along this journey. The hero starts in the ordinary world, and receives a call to enter an unusual world of strange powers and events (a call to adventure). If the hero accepts the call to enter this strange world, the hero must face tasks and trials (a road of trials), and may have to face these trials alone, or may have assistance. At its most intense, the hero must survive a severe challenge, often with help earned along the journey. If the hero survives, the hero may achieve a great gift (the goal or "boon"), which often results in the discovery of important self-knowledge. The hero must then decide whether to return with this boon (the return to the ordinary world), often facing challenges on the return journey. If the hero is successful in returning, the boon or gift may be used to improve the world (the application of the boon).

Very few myths contain all of these stages—some myths contain many of the stages, while others contain only a few; some myths may have as a focus only one of the stages, while other myths may deal with the stages in a somewhat different order. These stages may be organized in a number of ways, including division into three sections: Departure (sometimes called Separation), Initiation and Return. "Departure" deals with the hero venturing forth on the quest, "Initiation" deals with the hero's various adventures along the way, and "Return" deals with the hero's return home with knowledge and powers acquired on the journey.

"If it's worth doing, it's worth doing badly."

"The failure in doing something is stopping too soon."
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PostSubject: Re: The ASJ Pilot   Sun May 06, 2012 8:04 pm

This topic has sucked me in. bottle

It was fun reading the thoughts of others on this topic. I must agree with both Ghis and Max. The plot is clearly the start of a quest, but it does dissolve into comedy by the end of the pilot. All of the conflicts particular to the pilot resolve by the end of the 90 minutes, leaving our heroes ready to embark on their quest for amnesty.

I think that another plot type also peeks into the pilot and is further developed in later episodes. That is the plot of rebirth.

To quote Ghislaine's definitions of plot types: "With this plot type, the protagonist has frequently come under some dark spell initiated by either himself or by some other force. The hero's escape from his predicament can only occur through the actions of other positive forces. In this plot, the healing power of love can be a liberating force. What is notable about the Rebirth plot is that the main character's imprisonment is the result of something in his own psyche."

Our heroes are outlaws. Their own actions placed them in this predicament. They can only escape from their plight with the help of Lom and the governor. The place in the pilot where this plot lines peeks out is when Kid Curry is dealing with the cattlemen who challenge him in the saloon. He can't deal with the 'walk-offs' as he would have in the past and is forced to back down. Both characters are changed by their quest. Further incidents supporting this plot type appear later in the series.
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