The Martian, Sherlock Holmes, and why we love competence porn | Ars Technica #skills #fiction #characters #film #TV #storytelling #competence


My adds are Olivia Benson from Law & Order: SVU and Annalise Keating from How to Get Away with Murder. MacGyver is a classic! I need to binge-watch…

We’re rooting for the smartest, most rational characters in the room. The best part of The Martian isn’t the breathtaking rescue, nor the awe-inspiring dust storm. It’s watching Mark Watney grow potatoes. Instead of freaking out over his imminent doom, Mark calmly figures how to grow plants in the Martian regolith by fertilizing them with his own poop, and watering them with a DIY device that makes water by heating hydrogen from his leftover rocket fuel, and combining it with oxygen from the Hab environment.

Mark makes The Martian a classic of competence porn by always coming up with a hackerish solution to every problem, just like James Bond or Ellen Ripley with her exoskeleton in Aliens. And he’s not the only competence porn star burning up our monitors right now. From Sherlock to The Americans, competence porn is filling us with the satisfaction that comes from watching people attack problems with brains and cunning rather than fists. Well, OK, there are some fists, too. READ MORE: The Martian, Sherlock Holmes, and why we love competence porn | Ars Technica

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