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TV convensions/cliches that annoy you?

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TV convensions/cliches that annoy you?

Old 12-10-07, 05:32 PM
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TV convensions/cliches that annoy you?

Reminded of how pissed off I was with the musical montage at the end of season four of 'The Wire', what with re-watching on DVD. For a show that's always been ultra-realistic and focusing on presenting events as they happen and letting the audience respond to then at will, it was an awkwardly manipulative change that seemed to only attempt to mimic what I've already grown tired of on shows like 'Grey's Anatomy' and 'House.'

1. montage over a musical number at the end of an episode to let the viewer know how to feel about what's just transpired.

And I can also do without showing some sort of alleged shocking cliffhanger right before the opening credits, only to have a "---- days earlier" subtitle to lead us into what what led up to it. 'Alias' practically lived on them, and they never once served any rational purpose. Heck, Even 'Angel' and 'Firefly' used the device (though, to be fair, 'Firefly' used it more for humorous purposes).

2. attention-grabbing shock moment out of sequence for no logical reason. If it ain't 'Memento', there's no reason to keep reminding us that the writers get to decide what order we see the scenes in.

Also, I could die happy if I never again have to see a scene where the actors stand still and the camera spins around them for no reason other than to make the audience nauseous whilst (and at the same time) taking us out of the realism of the moment. Used more in films than in TV shows, nowadays, but Joss Whedon DID do it in the 'Buffy' finale. (heck, Kevin Smith was even PROUD of it in the commentary for 'Clerks II'!) TV copying bad ideas from films isn't good either.

What bugs you?
Old 12-10-07, 05:46 PM
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I really hate it when scenes end with a character asking a surprising/shocking question or statement but we don't get to see what the other character's response was. I know writers are told to end a scene on a beat, but I think it is cheap exposition and lazy writing to just cut away to commercial and not show the reaction/response. Then once the show resumes, time has passed and the characters are just on to something else.
Old 12-10-07, 05:53 PM
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The last time a similar thread went around, I think people mentioned how nobody realistically paid for pizza (they either don't pay or just hand a wad of cash) and how nobody actually dials the telephone.
Old 12-10-07, 05:54 PM
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I can't stand the purposeful built-in suspense moments in newer game shows and reality shows. If I can, I fast forward through them on my Tivo, but often it's hard to know when they're going to let the suspense moment up. This act of creating suspense out of nothing is aggravating--so much so that I usually find myself not watching any shows that have them. They drive me...wait for it...wait for it...wait for it...wait for it...away!
Old 12-10-07, 06:00 PM
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I'm sick of the narrator thing.
Old 12-10-07, 06:04 PM
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I hate when the show ends on someone smiling or making a stupid smirk. If you have ever seen 'Diagnosis Murder" you know exactly what I mean.
Old 12-10-07, 06:06 PM
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The overheard 1/2 of a conversation that sets that particular character into a ridiculous series of events ala "Three's Company" and "Friends"
Old 12-10-07, 06:21 PM
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I hate how female characters whine on and on in their voice overs about how much their upper class life sucks.
Old 12-10-07, 06:42 PM
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I hate at the end of the commercial break on NBC sitcoms (My Name is Earl, The Office, 30 Rock to name a few), they say "More The Office When we come back." However, there is no more of the episode half of the time, just the credits! It's so so weak.

Sometimes there is a snippet when the come back, but not always. How about you say there is more when they are actually showing more, and not if you are just showing the credits.
Old 12-10-07, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Numes
I hate at the end of the commercial break on NBC sitcoms (My Name is Earl, The Office, 30 Rock to name a few), they say "More The Office When we come back." However, there is no more of the episode half of the time, just the credits! It's so so weak.

Sometimes there is a snippet when the come back, but not always. How about you say there is more when they are actually showing more, and not if you are just showing the credits.
Christ, I hate that! I can't stand the woman's voice, either.
Old 12-11-07, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by JuryDuty
They drive me...wait for it...wait for it...wait for it...wait for it...away!
Actually, shouldn't that be "They drive me...wait for it...wait for it...wait for it...wait for it...after the break!".

Now that's annoying.
Old 12-11-07, 06:15 AM
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When a show ends with a cliffhanger and then the next episode takes place weeks/months later.
Old 12-11-07, 06:18 AM
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Six month wait cliff hangers.

Last edited by Ayre; 12-11-07 at 06:22 AM.
Old 12-11-07, 07:07 AM
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I'm pretty sure we've had a thread like this already.

And I said the same thing last time: starting the show with a shocking scene and then seeing "8 hours earlier". It's way overused.
Old 12-11-07, 08:01 AM
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Definitely musical montages at the end. While they didn't start them by any means, Without A Trace and Cold Case were usually top notch with their selections. Now it seems like every hour long show uses one at the end. And even though I love both songs, Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah and Gary Jules Mad World are overused.
Old 12-11-07, 08:05 AM
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Headlining characters don't die (or very rarely)
Men are not always stupid
Old 12-11-07, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Numes
I hate at the end of the commercial break on NBC sitcoms (My Name is Earl, The Office, 30 Rock to name a few), they say "More The Office When we come back." However, there is no more of the episode half of the time, just the credits! It's so so weak.
YES! While not technically a "convention", that bugs the CRAP out of me. And the Thursday night comedies on NBC are NOTORIOUS for that. The worst is Scrubs because you KNOW the episode is over before that break (due to what others may find an annoying convention, the narrator has summed everything up and wrapped the episode). I think that also happens on Chuck, Life and Journeyman. Occassionally The Office will have something tacked on the end, but that there is nothing additional (except previews) footage after that break is more of a rule than an exception.
Old 12-11-07, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by TallGuyMe
The overheard 1/2 of a conversation that sets that particular character into a ridiculous series of events ala "Three's Company" and "Friends"
What bugged me the most about those scenes is when said characters are talking loudly enough for others to hear them...and the others (right across the room) don't notice!
Old 12-11-07, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by TallGuyMe
The overheard 1/2 of a conversation that sets that particular character into a ridiculous series of events ala "Three's Company" and "Friends"
This is a convention that doesn't bother me on a show like Three's Company. The show comes off very similar to a play, and that half-of-a-conversation is the inciting incident for the basis of the episode's hilarity. Granted, if you don't like the show, I can see how this would be irritating, but for a fan, this is one of those necessary evils you're willing to forgive for the sake of a half hour of laughing your rear off.

(That said, it's VERY frustrating to have this in a show like Lost where it's NOT supposed to be like a play and where it's "supposed" to be founded in logic.)

Last edited by JuryDuty; 12-11-07 at 09:21 AM.
Old 12-11-07, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by JuryDuty
This is a convention that doesn't bother me on a show like Three's Company. The show comes off very similar to a play, and that half-of-a-conversation is the inciting incident for the basis of the episode's hilarity. Granted, if you don't like the show, I can see how this would be irritating, but for a fan, this is one of those necessary evils you're willing to forgive for the sake of a half hour of laughing your rear off.
I have to agree with this POV. I mean you specifically cited SITCOM. It is this situation that leads to the comedy so without that misunderstanding there is no comedy so...
Old 12-11-07, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Brian Shannon
Men are not always stupid
Yeah I think this is the one that drives me crazy the most... Sure we fuck up a lot, but we are not always bumbling, blathering idiots who couldnt get out of bed without our wives.

That and the 1/2 hour long recap of the previous episodes are really starting to piss me off as well.
Old 12-11-07, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by FantasticVSDoom
That and the 1/2 hour long recap of the previous episodes are really starting to piss me off as well.
Wait. Is this different than the "And now you're caught up on Friday Night Lights" that happens around the 30 min mark? That is kind of silly/annoying to me. Get back to the show!!!
Old 12-11-07, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by wergo
montage over a musical number at the end of an episode to let the viewer know how to feel about what's just transpired.
Scrubs does this in a large number of episodes very effectively.
Old 12-11-07, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by rfduncan
Wait. Is this different than the "And now you're caught up on Friday Night Lights" that happens around the 30 min mark? That is kind of silly/annoying to me. Get back to the show!!!
I was just going to mention this. Very annoying. Even worse when I'm fast forwarding past commercials and ALWAYS press play on this, thinking it's a new scene.

I actually don't think the musical montages are that bad, when done right, which I think The Wire does. They've traditionally used them in the finale to show the aftermath of the season and what is coming up for the characters, which isn't too bad when the show doesn't get huge ratings and might not be back for another season. It ties it up well.

Last edited by dvd182; 12-11-07 at 11:50 AM.
Old 12-11-07, 11:51 AM
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I've spent all morning trying to remember something that bugged me lately and it just came to me: hotel doors that aren't locked.

I've never been to a hotel that doesn't have automatically locking doors, but there have been numerous TV episodes that take place in hotels and someone will say "it's open" and people walk right in.

Is it just me? Are there open hotel doors everywhere and I'm just not aware?

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