Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > Entertainment Discussions > TV Talk
Reload this Page >

Characters Getting Dumber by the Season

TV Talk Talk about Shows on TV

Characters Getting Dumber by the Season

Old 12-26-08, 11:47 AM
  #1  
DVD Talk Legend
Thread Starter
 
Goat3001's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 17,095
Received 20 Likes on 8 Posts
Characters Getting Dumber by the Season

Yesterday I went back to watch some Season 1 episodes of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and I was surprised at how different the characters were then compared to now. While the show has remained consistently funny throughout its 4 seasons, I've noticed that the characters have gotten more and more retarded as the seasons pass.

I've also noticed this with JD on Scrubs. Let's also not forget to mention how his and Turks relationship has also gotten more gay as seasons go on.

I think the biggest offender of this is Michael Scott on The Office. Although his retardedness was terrible in season one, it got better in season 2 and 3 but he's back to being a real dimwit lately.

Randy in My Name is Earl is another offender. His journey into the mentally challenged only serves as an annoyance to me and IMO is a reason why the shows quality has declined.

Any one notice this phenomena with other shows? Is this a new trend or does this go back in sitcom history?
Old 12-26-08, 11:54 AM
  #2  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
JohnSlider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Detroit, Michigan PSN: JohnSlider
Posts: 3,507
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yesterday I went back to watch some Season 1 episodes of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and I was surprised at how different the characters were then compared to now. While the show has remained consistently funny throughout its 4 seasons, I've noticed that the characters have gotten more and more retarded as the seasons pass.
I noticed that at the beginning of season 4, I think the show is suffering because of it.

Joey on Friends also got more and more dumb as the series went on, though he never was the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree.
Old 12-26-08, 01:00 PM
  #3  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
JuryDuty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Lost in Texas
Posts: 6,509
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Chrissy on Three's Company got WAY dumber after Season 1.
Old 12-26-08, 01:17 PM
  #4  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: SnogBox
Posts: 7,423
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Eric on Boy Meets World
Ross on Friends
Old 12-26-08, 01:18 PM
  #5  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: West Central Georgia
Posts: 3,508
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Kelly Bundy on Married With Children is the best example I can think of.
Old 12-26-08, 01:25 PM
  #6  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 3,777
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm surprised no one brought up Homer Simpson. Hell, even the Simpsons writers have brought up this fact on one of the clip shows. Both George Costanza and Kosmo Kramer became dumber as well especially from they way they were portrayed in season 1.

Last edited by Michael Ballack; 12-26-08 at 01:27 PM.
Old 12-26-08, 01:39 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Texas
Posts: 509
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Michael Ballack View Post
I'm surprised no one brought up Homer Simpson.
Yep! I think I remember on one of the early season DVD commentaries where they said they lowered his IQ 5 points every seasons.

As for IASIP, they always wrote Charlie as mentally challenged. I am disappointed how the rest of the cast as regressed in intelligence over this current season as the plots have gotten more outrageous.

Also, I think the Drew Carey show had an odd change as the seasons progressed. One of his male sidekicks got dumber while the other got smarter.
Old 12-26-08, 01:39 PM
  #8  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Larryville, GA
Posts: 2,157
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Everyone on Heroes.
Old 12-26-08, 01:56 PM
  #9  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Vipper II's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Abingdon, MD
Posts: 3,198
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
Randy Disher on Monk.
Old 12-26-08, 02:03 PM
  #10  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 9,446
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I was going to say Pheobe on Friends, but now I may just go with "Everyone" on Friends.
Old 12-26-08, 03:02 PM
  #11  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
Michael Corvin's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 58,557
Received 67 Likes on 49 Posts
I think Phoebe actually got smarter. Not a whole lot, but a little.
Old 12-26-08, 03:36 PM
  #12  
DRG
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: ND
Posts: 13,421
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally Posted by Michael Corvin View Post
I think Phoebe actually got smarter. Not a whole lot, but a little.
I'd agree with this. Early in the show she was just a quirky airhead, but the character developed a sharp sarcastic wit in later seasons. Joey, on the other hand, transitioned from your typical meathead to a cartoonish buffoon.
Old 12-26-08, 03:41 PM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Bellport, NY
Posts: 751
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Cartload View Post
Everyone on Heroes.
Especially Peter, Claire and Mohinder.
Old 12-26-08, 04:09 PM
  #14  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 9,446
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Michael Corvin View Post
I think Phoebe actually got smarter. Not a whole lot, but a little.
I think she got more "realistic" as time went on (she was like... a cartoon the first couple of seasons), maybe that's why I thought she seemed dumber.
Old 12-26-08, 04:55 PM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
leacha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Colorado
Posts: 525
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I do not know if he became "dumber". But I never liked the transition Fraiser went through in his series. His character was a shadow of his former self on Cheers.
Old 12-26-08, 05:58 PM
  #16  
Cool New Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 32
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Mallory on Family Ties
Old 12-26-08, 06:00 PM
  #17  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: PDX Metro
Posts: 8,953
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by lordwow View Post
I think she got more "realistic" as time went on (she was like... a cartoon the first couple of seasons), maybe that's why I thought she seemed dumber.
I always thought they should have revealed that she worked for the CIA in the last episode.
Old 12-26-08, 07:38 PM
  #18  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 4,472
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Peter Griffin from Family Guy was never a bright guy, but lately they've turned him from stupid and absurd into a complete retard with the brain of a child (like when he's invited to see Disney on Ice).
Old 12-26-08, 09:10 PM
  #19  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,594
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Kelly from The Office. 1st season, she hadnt developed her ditzy-ness. Then, the 2nd and 3rd season she is a complete dummy. She's actually not quite as ditzy this season though.

Am I spelling ditzy right?
Old 12-26-08, 09:28 PM
  #20  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
DJariya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: La Palma, CA
Posts: 58,017
Received 91 Likes on 73 Posts
Easy answer:

Meredith Grey and Izzie Stevens from Grey's Anatomy.

Honarable Mention:

Mohinder Suresh from Heroes.
Old 12-27-08, 04:30 AM
  #21  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Josh-da-man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Bible Belt
Posts: 32,169
Received 66 Likes on 49 Posts
This is actually fairly common on sitcoms. Take a character, who initially isn't very bright, like Joey (Friends), Kelly Bundy, or Chrissie (Three's Company), and as time goes, the writers make them dumber and dumber in order to make them the butt of jokes or foils for the other characters. You start out with someone who isn't terribly sharp to begin with, and by the time the show is near its end, they're borderline retarded.

This also applies to other character traits as well, for expample, a person shown to be lazy will get lazier and lazier as time goes on.

Just use "Friends" as an example, notice how Monica got more OCD as the show dragged on. Ross got creepier. Chandler got more awkward. Joey got dumber. Rachel and Phoebe, on the other hand, seemed to actually grow as people and become more mature as the years went by.
Old 12-27-08, 08:02 AM
  #22  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Australia
Posts: 324
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Samuel "Screech" Powers.

He went from being a misunderstood, geeky smart kid in junior high/early high school to a complete and total moron by the time he graduated.

You could almost say he was a complex character through the episode where he tutors Kelly Kapowski (contrasting his understanding and ability to communicate the complexities of science with his geeky love of insect rodeos). Later we just got voice cracking idiocy. What a tragic fall to a character that had great potential.
Old 12-27-08, 10:17 AM
  #23  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Formerly known as Groucho AND Bandoman/Death Moans, Iowa
Posts: 17,194
Received 24 Likes on 13 Posts
Originally Posted by BJacks View Post
Peter Griffin from Family Guy was never a bright guy, but lately they've turned him from stupid and absurd into a complete retard with the brain of a child (like when he's invited to see Disney on Ice).
Yeah, but they literally made him retarded and actually stuck with it (he mentions he's technically retarded when they move to Texas). It's one of the few examples of consistency on the show
Old 12-27-08, 11:39 AM
  #24  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Earth
Posts: 5,865
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Reminds me of the Simpsons clip show where Troy McClure did the montage of Homer getting dumber each season.
Old 12-27-08, 12:18 PM
  #25  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
mwbmis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Land of Lincoln
Posts: 5,746
Likes: 0
Received 6 Likes on 5 Posts
As MASH went along Radar got much more innocent and naive. This is a character that was mailing home a jeep piece by piece in season one.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.