Monday, 22 September 2008

H Σταχτοπούτα redux

Long-time sufferers, er, I mean, readers, will no doubt remember my post in January about τη Σταχτοπούτα, or Cinderella.

I've just finished watching a Greek TV series called something like "If Only You Knew". It's about two policemen who are watching the office of a big-time criminal from a flat across the road. Which would be very boring, except for the fact that the in-laws of one of the policemen, Tasos, live two floors beneath this office, and that the father-in-law is insane (he thinks Greece is still run by a military dictatorship), and Tasos' wife is sort of not having an affair with the criminal, who can't get it up, and has got some viagra, except he dropped it and the insane father-in-law took it and spent a happy but unexpected afternoon pleasing the mother-in-law. Oh and did I mention that the criminal's brain-dead footballer son is engaged to the gorgeous sister-in-law (Katerina), with whom the other policeman falls in love with, except that he's pretending to be a doctor treating the FIL, but... ?
The plot is slightly complicated. I've not mentioned Tasos' nymphomaniac neighbour who pretends to be his wife at a dinner party that should have been hosted by his chain-smoking, constantly swearing origami-obsessed boss, except his wife has chucked him out...

All this and more in only 26 episodes. Your average soap opera would take years to cover this amount of material. What's great for me is that I now know the Greek for "Fuck", "Shit", "Wanker", etc. It's very educational.

Anyway, in one episode, the footballer son of the master criminal was sitting in the hospital chatting to Antoni's ex-girlfriend Natasa, and they got talking about Cinderella.
The wonderful mezzo soprano
Conchita Supervia, who played
La Cenerentola in the 1920s


He said that he'd always had a problem with this particular fairytale. At midnight, all the magic stuff changes back to normal - the chariot becomes a pumpkin, the footmen become mice, etc, etc.

So...

Why don't the glass slippers change back???

This observation makes Natasa think that the thick footballer is really a genius, which in turn means that he won't be spending the night alone, which in turn means that he doesn't end up marrying Katerina, and...

Sorry, I got carried away there. Back to Cinderella. What's really puzzling me, is not so much the fact that the fairytale has a plot hole big enough to drive a JCB through, but...

How come none of the pedantic children we tell this story to have noticed???

15 comments:

BEE said...

FIRST!!

Bee said...

Hmmm... why do people try to read too much into fairy tales?

If we’re going to start doing that, why not question how a mouse can be converted into a man?? If a child asks me that question I’ll say “What? You question that but now how mice are sewing up a dress or singing killer catchy tunes? No more stories for you!”

But that’s because I’m mean.

Bee said...

Psst! I think I;m being spied upon...

Brian o vretanos said...

Bee:

About time! I hope this means that you're regaining your firsting prowess - I'm starting to run out of ways to gloat when I'm first ;-)

Whatever magic happens in a story, there needs to be a logic and consistency to it.

Psst! Who do you think is spying on you? Is it a bat? Or the Brown's Chicken Psycho?

Meg said...

Kids don't notice these things because at a young age imagination trumps logic.

Sadly that changes. Present company excluded. Which is good. ;)

Chris Wood said...

A plot hole in Cinderella? You bastard! Think of all the happy childhood memories you could be shattering ...

Personally I could never stand the story & so couldn't give a bugger.

Brian o vretanos said...

Meg:

Children are very literal-minded, and have fewer concerns to clutter their heads with, so you might expect them to pick up on these things...

Chris:

There's no need to be so concerned - if you, I mean if people are worried about this, they should watch Rossini's Cenerentola - the operatic version has absolutely no magic or fairy godmothers in it whatsoever - mainly because they couldn't afford the special effects in the theatre.

Jean Knee said...

good lord they got that story all wrong. In the real world cinderella would be empregnated young man in a high position who liked how she bent over whilst scrubbing the floor boards. Cinderella would be banished and the young man forced to marry one of the ugly step sisters.

Pretty woman wouldn't have worked either--who would ever marry a practicing prostitute

don't get me started on Gulliver's travels

Dan said...

kids don't notice because they're stupid.
Are there any hidden sex messages in $taxtorrouta like in the Lion King?

Kat said...

Yeah you gotta wonder! I'm gonna take out the book tonight to check if I can find potholes in other fairytales

Brian o vretanos said...

Jean Knee:

You should write a modern fairytale book.

Dan:

I'm sure if you try hard enough you should be able to find something.

Kat:

Great. Let us know how you get on.

Anndi said...

There's a perfectly logical explanation... The slippers were created from nothing and all the other things were "transformed" hence had to return to their natural state. :)

or...

The slipper, depending on the version of the story isn't even consistently a slipper. In "La Cenerentola" the slipper is a double bracelet.

And in an even more cynical view, the slipper that the Prince "tries on" every maiden in the land represents sex... he is enjoying the rights of sexual possession over the female subjects.

Too much information? Regret asking yet?

Brian o vretanos said...

Anndi:

That's an interesting idea. Of course the answer is to just have the Prince give her something, say a ring or a necklace, as a token of his love. A family heirloom, or half a sixpence, perhaps...

You're right - if she was so special, then there should have been something about her that he could have checked out, or "tried out" in some way.

Jean Knee said...

where's wordy wednesday?

Brian o vretanos said...

It'll be here soon, never fear - I've only just finished watching Aimilia...