Thursday, October 26, 2006

Attack of the TV Cliches

Alternate titles include: "TV Cliches That Must Die" or "My Semi-Complete Guide to Over-Used TV Crutches (and How They Must End)"
You get the point.
I watch a lot of TV. Me and the ole radiation box have enjoyed a healthy, warm and open relationship (I'm allowed to watch other TV's).
Still, like all relationships - there are the inevitable bumps in the road. So in the spirit or getting things back on track, I offer this list of TV Cliches that must immediately pack up and move out.
Feel free to add...

The Inconclusive Season Finale: Everyone loves a great cliffhanger, but how many people love watching 22 episodes just to be treated to more questions, more loose ends and the obligatory '[insert character] might be blown-up/shot/drowned/choked or otherwise dead!' As viewers, a season is an investment - and to have that investment end with no closure is like standing in line for a ride only to be told we have to come back next year when we're tall enough.
Recent Offenders: Smallville (Zod's coming, Zod's coming! He's here! To be continued) and Lost (Oh! Finally! We found the others! The hatch is about to blow and ... to be continued).


Finally! The answers we've been waiting for! ... Next season

The 'Now I'm Evil' Complex: Shows love toying with character loyalties. And, for the most part, this makes for superb drama. However, once a character turns to the dark side, don't prolong the inevitable. Once we as the viewers know that they're up to no good - every other scene that follows is us waiting for the shoe to drop. Hold off the actual betrayal for too long and a) we don't care or b) we begin to believe the good guys deserve if for being so damn oblivious.
Recent Offenders: Battlestar Galactica (Baltar), Alias (Everyone at one point), Desperate Housewives (Don't ask)

"Bwahaha - I'm Evil. Maybe. I'll let you know in 20 episodes."

"Sometimes They Come back": A personal pet peeve. If you're going to kill off a main character - commit to it, damnit! I hate seeing characters go as much as the next boob tuber, but it's a memorable and poignant turning point - a turning point that is rendered utterly useless when said character is ressurected just episodes later! It ruins the importance of the death. It ruins the credibility of the show. It just ruins everything. Unless its 'Mario Brothers, the TV Show', no one should have more than one life.
Recent Offenders: Buffy, Alias ("Oh no [character of the week] died...now everything has changed...wait, wait... there they are.") X-Files ("Mulder? You're dead? Wait. No. Now? No. How about now? Scully?)

"Noooooooooooo!!! Oh, hey...welcome back"

The Off-Camera Death: Related to both the above. Dear TV: you aren't fooling anyone. Now that we know characters most always come back, we also know that unless we actually see the brain matter splattered over the jail cell floor, its not a real death. We gotta see it to believe it.
Recent Offenders: Battlestar Galactica (A geek reference, nevermind), Every Single Dramatic TV Show - 24 included.

"Now you shall pay! Offscreen!"


Homework Required: Let's try to remember one thing; TV is our escape from work. It's our break from school and it's our time out from the daily upkeep of our lives. If we constantly have to read volumes of forums and show-created content on the web just to stay ahead, then it turns into work and at that point we might as well use the time for other things (family, friends, sleep). Likewise, a serial drama is an amazing ride for the devoted - but for the casual observer its a frustrating and alienating experience. If watching a show means freeze-framing the previous three, then you have a cult demographic - then you get cancelled in the third season and (maybe) a two-hour rushed series finale.

Recent Offenders: 24 (Miss an hour, miss a season), Deadwood - Anything HBO (Remember what Jimmy did from episode 2X03? Neither do we). Lost (sometimes I think even the writers forget where they've been). Note: I love serials, just wish I could get into others I've missed. 24


For more on Hurley's love interest, play the Lost Website game or sign up with American Express for special coded plot summaries.


I think that'll do for now. Stay tuned for future genre-specific beefs. And by stay tuned, I do mean please, please continue to read this blog.

12 comments:

Scribe of Dreams said...

Its so true, but its also what we keep coming back for.

your lucky there wer'nt any spoilers in here, otherwise..wrath

Scribe of Dreams said...

one more thing

the one that bugs me the most is the return of the dead character thing.

but it happnes in all medias

dont forget about Jason todd they finally get rid of him and then he's back and a bigger pain then ever. HA lets hope it doesnt happen again

Creative Freakin' Genius said...

Scribe of Dreams has a point. Perhaps if we wouldn't allow ourselves to get hooked they wouldn't keep doing it.

Then again, we can't help ourselves.

Then again, again, perhaps the three of us should get together and write something worth watching that doesn't subscribe to the norm or commit the above offenses.

BOO-YA!

Attention Whore said...

Mr. Bradford -
You soooo need to quey this little article for something like entertainment weekly or even the ED magazine in the Journal.
It's AWESOME.....
DOOOOOO IIIIITTTTTT.
Get 'ER DONE!
That's an order.
Do you get the feeling that I mean it?

Attention Whore said...

I meant 'QUERY'
But of course you knew that.

Anonymous said...

too much television doth a dull boy make. Get a life here guy. Who actually gives a whooping shit about what happens on that little 300 square inches of palpating inconsequence. Real life is a whole bunch nore interesting, fun and satisfyng....vic bickell

Anonymous said...

Hello !.
might , probably very interested to know how one can collect a huge starting capital .
There is no initial capital needed You may start earning with as small sum of money as 20-100 dollars.

AimTrust is what you need
AimTrust represents an offshore structure with advanced asset management technologies in production and delivery of pipes for oil and gas.

It is based in Panama with structures everywhere: In USA, Canada, Cyprus.
Do you want to become a happy investor?
That`s your chance That`s what you wish in the long run!

I`m happy and lucky, I began to get income with the help of this company,
and I invite you to do the same. If it gets down to choose a proper partner who uses your money in a right way - that`s it!.
I make 2G daily, and my first investment was 500 dollars only!
It`s easy to get involved , just click this link http://kaxumumoh.100megsfree5.com/hujasaw.html
and go! Let`s take this option together to feel the smell of real money

Anonymous said...

Hello !.
You may , probably curious to know how one can manage to receive high yields .
There is no need to invest much at first. You may begin to receive yields with as small sum of money as 20-100 dollars.

AimTrust is what you haven`t ever dreamt of such a chance to become rich
The firm incorporates an offshore structure with advanced asset management technologies in production and delivery of pipes for oil and gas.

It is based in Panama with offices around the world.
Do you want to become a happy investor?
That`s your chance That`s what you really need!

I feel good, I started to take up real money with the help of this company,
and I invite you to do the same. If it gets down to select a correct companion who uses your money in a right way - that`s the AimTrust!.
I take now up to 2G every day, and what I started with was a funny sum of 500 bucks!
It`s easy to join , just click this link http://acivemal.lookseekpages.com/epuzuba.html
and go! Let`s take our chance together to feel the smell of real money

Anonymous said...

I feel very sorry.

Anonymous said...

You don`t say so!
---------------------------------------------------------
Signature:buy levitra professional online oij

Anonymous said...

What day is it today?
---------------------------------------------------------
Signature:lipitor nowpy
buy lexapro tdtvg

Anonymous said...

Not sure where to post this but I wanted to ask if anyone has heard of National Clicks?

Can someone help me find it?

Overheard some co-workers talking about it all week but didn't have time to ask so I thought I would post it here to see if someone could help me out.

Seems to be getting alot of buzz right now.

Thanks