April 18th, 2019

Winter Sunlight

Is there a TV Trope for this?

Why is it so common for so many series (TV shows, books, movies) to have a strong opening installment and then put their most dismal one as the second one? Whether it's merely bland and boring, or actively offputting in some specific way, I can think of so many that do this.

I expect some of it is narrative drop from the usually higher-budget and more action-filled opening installment, and some of it is the writers wanting to try something a little more daring after a crowd-pleasing opener. BUT STILL. Maybe you might want to wait a little while before dropping the book in which everyone dies gruesomely of yellow fever (Ben January) or the episode in which your only female character is sold into sex slavery (SG-1) or the episode that is every 80s mental hospital cliche ever (Iron Fist) or just the most comparatively generic and boring episode in the entire season (White Collar and so many others).

(This post brought to you by me getting so bored with the second episode of the show I'm watching as background-arting-TV on Hulu that I went and found an episode guide and skipped ahead to the next one that looked interesting. So far it's a lot better.)

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Winter Sunlight

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I have the sort of completely bonkers writing question that is incredibly hard to google for: would cell towers in 2001 or 2002 work with a modern smartphone? Assuming you went back in time to 2002. Which is what has happened to this character in the thing I'm writing. That is, would your modern smartphone have bars and be able to place calls, or would it just act like there were no cell towers around?

Or would it depend on whether your service provider was compatible with the local companies providing towers?

Or is that a total "WTF, just make something up" kind of question?

Ideally, I would prefer it to not work, but this character is in New York City, so if it's going to work at all, it would probably work here.

ETA: I have a number of great answers and I think I'm set; see comments for details! General consensus seems to be that the phone would technically be able to use the network but wouldn't be able to authenticate without a local SIM card/service plan, which sounds good to me and I'm going with it.

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