Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Reel Science (Yes, I do think that pun is hilarious): Comas

Disclaimer: If you or a loved one is in a coma, I hope you are not offended by this post. That is not my intention.

I don't know if you know this, but I took a film class last semester and am therefore an expert on all things cinematic. As it turns out, a mandate was issued in 1980 that stated that in addition to characters and plot, each movie and television show that is produced must have at least one person in a coma. The more comatose people you have, the better (see Awakenings, Days of Our Lives). Filmmakers also get bonus points for the following: person coming out of coma has amnesia, special powers, or heightened aggression, person coming out of coma is pregnant (I say "person" and not "woman" because I'm still holding out for Junior 2: I'll Be Back), and finally, person comes out of coma and realizes he is still Jamie Kennedy, but now has a weird fascination with the 1980's.

Now I know that real-life long-term comas are absolute tragedies that involve heartbreaking moral issues. But if people slipped in and out of comas as often as they do in movies and on tv, there would be chaos. First, the hospitals would be overflowing with comatose patients, aka anyone who has hit their head, been in a car accident, or been shot by assassins in the past 20 years. That's a lot of people. On the upside, people would be falling in love in hospitals all over the world. You know, visiting their loved ones in comas, being comforted by the person who also has a loved one in a coma down the hall, and so on and so on. (Now these friends and relatives of the comatose would obviously be rife with guilt because they're messing around, at least emotionally, with someone else, but they really shouldn't be...cause the comatose probably have doppelgangers that are currently hanging out with Mark Ruffalo).

Back to the point. So there's the hospital overflow. Then there's a general expansion of the universe, because most of these people, while in their vegetative states, are also in parallel realities, working out their subconscious issues, getting the courage to follow their dreams, and realizing what they really care about. It's actually a good plan in theory. In practice, the world explodes, and I know this because I once took a physics class. Although the fact that it just took me five minute to spell physics correctly doesn't say much about my knowledge on the subject.

All of this information has led me to believe that this mandate was created by the Surgeon General to delay the coming of the Rapture and to provide the sole cure for writer's block. So thank you, Surgeon General, for keeping my lungs healthy and my imagination subdued.

For more information on doppelgangers, watch the episode of So Weird entitled "Eddie's Desk," but don't expect much because it's one of the episodes with Annie and not Fi, and the show went downhill after Fi left, when it became a vehicle for the musical career of the girl who played Annie and that panther that always followed her around.

I've created a list of television shows and films that include comas as a reference:
Essentially every soap opera and every medical show, Everwood, Veronica Mars, The Dead Zone (Anthony Michael Hall), 30 Rock, Samantha Who, Smallville, LOST, Friends, Arrested Development, One Tree Hill, The OC

Forever Love (This movie has Reba. This means you should watch it. Now.), Kill Bill: Vol. 1, 28 Days Later, Uptown Girls, Swimfan, Dave, The Dead Zone (Christopher Walken), Kickin' It Old Skool, Just Like Heaven, While You Were Sleeping, X-Men: The Last Stand, and duh, Coma

I didn't count Sleeper or Vanilla Sky because that was more cryogenic freezing than comas. I also didn't count some classics (Sleeping Beauty, Rip Van Winkle) because I'm not it counts as a coma if it was caused by magic spells or, if my memory of that Wishbone episode serves me correctly, magic root beer and forest bowling. I think that's really more of a deep slumber.


  1. President Obama and I have discussed this issue at length. Rest assured, I am an expert at sensationalizing serious medical conditions. In fact, that's how I beat out Dr. Phil for Surgeon General. BOO YAH!

  2. Since you're not counting all coma-referencing movies and shows due to technicalities, why isn't Arrested Development under "Fake Comas?"

  3. hell yea I'll watch So Weird! Erik von Detten is HOT.