That Zombie article has got me back in the mood to continue my trawl through aspects of Television and Film that annoy me.
So far there are four parts to this article, which you can read from the following links…
Five parts in and you might think that my issues are making me seem autistic, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take.
See if you agree with me with these next five issues.
Look!!! Something’s About To Happen!!!
Doctor Who is dreadful for this.
Someone shouts “Doctor…look!!!” and then after they’ve said it, something happens, whether it be a building blowing up, an alien revealing itself or something materializing out of thin air.
Yes, it’s an unfortunate directorial problem that TV makers have to deal with, but surely it’d be a better idea to have the thing happen and then have the person say ‘Look’ rather than making out they have some form of second sight?
I’m Moving 5 Miles Away. You’ll Never See Me Again
It’s a common problem in soap operas more than anything else, but the idea that long-standing friendships can be destroyed forever by someone moving to across town or to a nearby village is preposterous.
I don’t watch Coronation Street, but I vaguely recall the character of Martin Platt moving from Manchester to Liverpool, and he’s never been seen since, despite having friendships that were bonded over many years. Oh, and he has two children as well.
But no, he’s in Liverpool now; to suggest that he comes back to see his family is just ridiculous.
And the same goes for weddings and funerals. Yes, we get that a character has left the show, but why not simply not mention them rather than coming up with some crappy excuse like “Jim-Bob sends his regrets. He can’t come to his own son’s funeral because he’s got a shift at work he can’t get out of”.
At least when Jim Robinson died in Neighbours they just had his funeral take place off screen, rather than come up with convoluted excuses for why none of his sons, daughters or friends could make it.
Evil Foreigners Who Drift In And Out of English
Whether it’s Homeland, 24 or any other post 9/11 drama about terrorism, it always annoys me to see characters speaking half a conversation in one language and the other half in English.
What’s the point? To show us that these nasty people don’t speak ‘our language’ and are therefore the enemy?
With incidents like this, my attitude is shit or get off the pot. Either they speak a different language all the time to each other, or never.
Oh, and as a sub-point to this, how come all ‘evil middle eastern terrorists’ have posh English accents? Must they all have gone to Oxford because that’s where Bin Laden went for a bit?
The Way People Name Each Other
I recently addressed this in my review of the Doctor Who story, The Sunmakers.
A sign of bad writing is when someone uses someone’s name unnaturally.
By that I mean they use someone’s name in a line of conversation when you just wouldn’t in normal conversation. The reason it’s done is to clumsily establish that character’s name so the viewer knows who the person is, but it’s as subtle as a sledgehammer to the testicles.
How would you ‘naturally’ use someone’s name, I hear you ask?
Well for me, I’ll generally only use someone’s name when getting their attention or referencing them.
But if I was in a room with only one other person, I wouldn’t need to name them because I already have their attention.
And so a line like “Tell me Bisham, how do they spread the PCM through the atmosphere” where the character’s name is used in the same way as a comma is lazy writing in the same vein as the infamous exposition line “Happy Wedding Day, Sis”
After all, would it not be simpler to take five seconds for the character to introduce him or herself?
“Oh and Stuart…thanks”
On the subject of things people just wouldn’t say, what about this line used over the years in so many TV shows and films.
When have you ever had someone get your attention and say “Oh and ____….thanks”?
It doesn’t happen.
Writers…stop using that in your crappy scripts.