Comedy Column: The Winning Formula

Ben Rees , Columnist

E=MC2; MV=PQ; sugar, spice, and everything nice (plus Chemical X); a2+b2=c2; the trilogy. Formulas are time-tested recipes for success and certainty. The most profitable formula, you ask? Trilogies. Without question, the trilogy leads to exceptional profits, especially when books hit the box office.

As of March 30, “Divergent” brought in about $95 million at the box office. Given that the book is just the beginning of a teen-drama trilogy, we can presume a good amount more revenue will end up with Lions Gate Entertainment.

If you could break down the trilogy into a formula with variables, it would look something like this: L+A-(ME). Let me preach some knowledge about what these terms represent.

The first is L. L is a complicated term symbolizing listlessness, lamentation, and lethargy within the protagonist. Every trilogy begins with a teenage boy or girl who feels out of place; they don’t understand their environment and the world treats them unfairly. They just can’t seem to behave well because nobody sees them for what they truly are. An overwhelming sense of pity and mystery stems from L.

The A hones in on the outrageous level of adolescence these teens deal with. I don’t just mean puberty by the term adolescence—no, no, no. In this case, adolescence encompasses the entire spectrum of acne, awkwardness, and adoration. These lonely teens project their desires for love and acknowledgement onto a distant mentor, crush, or celebrity only to be painfully rejected because of how clearly bizarre they are. After many complex calculations, the mathematical term A can be derived from tears, Coke Zero, and Totino’s Pizza Rolls.

M. Magic. Bam! Who knew this 12-year-old girl had super powers?! Where did they come from? Who cares?! She can lift dystopian robot police officers with the blink of an eye and teleport when she says her name backwards! Maybe if I emulate these actions after seeing the movie or write about them in my journal enough I can realize my true potential too … Oh, and that mentor, crush, or celebrity? Consider them wooed.

equals exacting revenge and changing the world as we know it. At this point, the protagonist sheds the skin of the awkward vessel seen in chapter one. All of a sudden, we recognize the tight musculature he developed while training dragons and the gorgeous hair she managed to keep safe from the hunters chasing her. The protagonist vanquishes all foes and comes face to recently-attractive-face with her arch nemesis. Of course, nobody dies. Instead, he saves the villain from a life of crime and finds himself with a father figure. Cue tension release and 360 degree camera rotation around a lengthy embrace.

I hope you all learned something. I also hope that you are decent enough people to send a royalty check my way once you have commoditized L+A-(ME) and made a trilogy that the masses devour.

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