Much of the TV I watch these days is through osmosis. While I am reading, Kelly will be watching something and some of what she watches seeps through.
Here are some things that annoy me about TV shows today:
- When the stars of a medical drama become patients in the hospital they work in.
- When the detectives/police in a police drama become suspects of a crime and their colleagues have to help prove them innocent.
- Whenever a new person comes in to “shake up” the team.
- Actors talking on telephones when you can only hear one side of the conversation.
- Characters explaining obvious parts about their job to coworkers for the benefit of the audience.
- Long title sequences on old shows.
- Any show that begins with some dramatic event (an explosion, an expected revelation) and then cuts to a blanks screen that reads: “24 hours earlier.” This is just plain lazy storytelling.
- Any computer code you see on screens in the show.
- When a show moves from network television to a streaming service (such as Netflix) and suddenly, characters that never swore are swearing every other word.
- Any show that ends in a cliff-hanger.
Here are a five things I don’t see enough of when I watch TV shows:
- Breaking the fourth wall.
- Hollywood in-jokes (there was a great episode of Millennium that did this).
- Product placement as a way of making fun of product placement.
- Clever ways of sneaking around network censors. (A lost art thanks to cable and streaming services.)
- Good variety shows.
I’m wracking my brain for an example of a book that I’ve read that annoys me in any of these ways. The closest I can come is a series book that ends in a big cliff-hanger. I can’t come up with an example of a book with a long title sequence, except perhaps Dave Eggers’s A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.