In the first footnote to his Grantland article entitled “Regulation Wormholes: The Absurdity of the NBA Half-court Rule,” Chuck Klosterman described the science-fiction phrase “playing with the net down” as: “any narrative device that breaks an accepted, preexisting unreality. This is the reason critics who watched the first Superman movie could accept the existence of a superhuman from another planet, but they often had issues with that same superhuman reversing time by flying around the earth backwards. It’s also why Star Trek fans aren’t bothered by the idea of teleportation or English-speaking aliens who travel at seven times the speed of light, but they’ll get annoyed by the presence of explosions in outer space (where there’s no oxygen and therefore no combustion). We’re all willing to suspend some disbelief, but we also expect certain rules to be inflexible.”
I have particular disdain for films or series that play with the net down. To me, this is the equivalent of constructing a seemingly impossible maze, getting me to declare that I’m stumped and can’t wait to see how you solve it, and then drawing across the lines as the solution. Put simply, it’s viewer blueballs, and nobody likes a c*cktease.