Sunday, 24 October 2010

Again and Again and Again and Again and Again


There are only three things in the world that I hate, and here are five more of them.

At the risk of resembling a Cracked article, I'm going to explain the top 5 things in TV shows, and in some cases films, that are so overdone that they need to stop.

A lot of things from film and TV were so overused that they became clich├ęs, for example, the line whispered tearfully by a man to the girl he loves: "I have to let you go", and of course when the protagonist wakes up to discover it was all a dream. Things like that are generally now regarded as hackneyed and are universally avoided. Wait, weren't both of those examples used in Inception? Yes. But that's a blog for another time.

There are over-familiar devices that seemingly should have stopped by now, for example, the hero who doesn't play by the rules but by god he gets results. However this has been allowed to continue due to its successful execution in things like House and 24. Despite the best efforts of almost every Hollywood film.

But the ones I'm on about are more specific, so here, in reverse order, is my list of the top 5 most overused things in TV shows (and sometimes films) that really need to stop.

5. This one is mainly in films, horror films to be precise. You know in horror trailers, just after the name of the film comes up on the screen, ("The Occurrence" or "The Thing That Happened" etc.) the screen goes black, then a scary little girls voice whispers: "They are coming", before something jumps out and there's a scream, then its the end of the trailer? Well that's all overdone, all horror trailers are the same. But specifically, it's that "They are coming" bit. Sometimes its "We are coming" or "They're here" but its always there. It used to be creepy and effective, but now its so predictable that it really needs to stop. Especially because "We are coming" is a hilarious phrase, particularly when said by loads of kids, as in Torchwood: Children Of Earth. Despite that, I quite liked Children Of Earth, but that's mainly because of Peter Capaldi. Anyway, maybe they could replace these hack phrases with something like "We will be with you in 2 to 3 working days." For a film called "THE AMAZON. They're bringing your parcel but they won't specify a time, so you CANNOT LEAVE YOUR HOUSE. '5 stars' - Radio Times. 'Speedy delivery and very good condition' - Empire."

4. The joke where an old person says something 'outrageous.' It's normally in sitcoms, when maybe two young women are talking about a guy, and one says "he is gorgeous," and the other says "very good looking," and then an old woman says "I wouldn't say no." And there's a shocked pause and then they all laugh. HAHAHAHAHA. She's old, but made a sex joke! That shouldn't be allowed anymore. It's not funny, or shocking, it's just overdone and patronising to old people.

3. Psychiatrist scenes in dramas. Its normally good in comedy, for example that episode of Black Books is ace. But in dramas its normally just a device for externalising a characters' feelings. Good programmes will show a characters' feelings through dialogue and acting, but so many bad shows just cheat by getting a character to lie on a sofa and literally say how they feel. That's handy, no actual acting or proper writing required! It's lazy and used in so many shows, mostly American, when they refer to "seeing a shrink." It's a cop out, a lazy, tired plot device and needs to stop. Having said that, it works in Mad Men. Maybe I haven't thought this one through...

2. Gina McKee. She can fuck off. The BBC insist on putting her in every drama they do, always playing the same character (the anxious mum) who always delivers every line in a way that's as wooden and as empty as a door frame.

1. The line: (Angrily; Shouted; Man to his wife) "I work day and night to put food on this table!" Despite what almost every drama would have you believe, no one has ever, EVER, said that.

So that's the 5 most overdone things in TV shows and sometimes films. The sooner they stop, the sooner the quality of programming will rise. The title of this blog comes from one of my favourite songs of all time, Make It Wit Chu by Queens Of The Stone Age, with which I will leave you.

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