What Is Your Fiction Threshold?

How much fiction can you take before you think it is baloney?

Paid image from Canva.

My husband and I enjoy watching the Netflix series, Lucifer. I am somewhat in love with Tom Ellis who plays Lucifer. Who can help themselves from falling in love with the devil, eh?

It has been a long wait for the series to continue. Finally, Season 5 part 2 went on air and we settled down to watch. It lived up to expectations. Fun and full of all the clichés that make Lucifer the show it is!

To give you some context — Lucifer is a show about the devil, garnished with crime scenes and LAPD. But the devil is lovable. He runs a club in LA because he got tired of hell. After he comes down to earth, a whole bunch of his siblings follows him down. Oh, and there’s Maze, a demon.

Season 5 part 1 ended on a rather dramatic note. The brothers — Lucifer, Michael, and Amenadial are in a fight. Suddenly there is a flash of lightning and dad appears to stop the fight. Yup! God!

Part 2 opened with the family in conversation. Dad (God) was trying to sort the fight. How ordinary and mundane these celestial lives are!

Meanwhile, in a different thread, we see Maze asking God to give her a soul. Why? Everyone else has it. That’s why! Such a powerful argument. She goes on to show God her true demon-like face and asks for a soul, please. God refuses, of course, and tells her she is beautiful as she is.

At this point, my husband got a bit hassled. We hit the pause button and discussed what had just happened. He was irritated that the meaning of soul was not being conveyed properly. What is the connection between wanting a soul and her demon-face, he wondered. A soul is much deeper and above physical appearances, he argued.

I collapsed with laughter. My husband was ok that the devil was on earth running a club. He didn’t bat an eyelid when the devil’s mom came down to the earth for a few episodes. The angels and demons and devils with their wings and whatnots running around on earth didn’t faze him. A God-family dinner that rapidly escalated and fell apart just like it happens with human families didn’t seem out of place at all. Archangel Amenadiel fathering a child with a human was perfectly acceptable. God coming down and holding his grandchild and looking teary-eyed seemed normal.

And yet! When Maze asked for a soul and argued for it by showing her demon looks, my husband was concerned about misinterpretation!

We recalled the scene later and laughed a lot about why that particular part bothered him. We don’t know why. The rest of the storyline is not utterly logical either. Yet…

That’s when I wondered. How much fiction can any of us take before it becomes unbearable? Is there a threshold? We calmly read books that create entire fantasy worlds and in fact, we revel in them, become creatures of that world ourselves. Yet, there are moments, where we say, “Hey, that’s not acceptable.” Isn’t it?

What is the explanation for such a reaction? Is it that we have some built-in threshold? Is there something that separates fiction (which is itself unbelievable) from super fiction?

I’ve had such moments too. While watching TV shows like Lucifer or The Vampire Diaries, I am driving along enjoying the rich and beautifully fabricated storyline, and suddenly one aspect seems like a bump on the road. My mind rejects that particular twist in the tale.

Does this happen to you too? Points in fiction where you simply cannot accept one aspect, although every other concocted bit seemed perfectly valid and normal?

2 thoughts

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