Thursday, April 10, 2014

Three random and totally awful moments from three different shows.

Even though this is a blog about television writing, I don't think that I watch that much tv compared to many other 'critics'. Most of the time I avoid watching tv, because most shows simply aren't any good.

Now, during the last few months I've watched television 'randomly' three times, meaning that I just opened the tv and decided to give the show that was on that particular channel a chance. So let's see:

I saw a moment from an episode in which Dexter's wife (?) is found dead. That made me sad because I had watched the first season of the show and I thought the show was pretty good.

What was so bad about this particular episode was the moment when Dexter tells 'his' kids that their mom is dead. It was so badly written that I could not believe my eyes.

Yes, the scene was awkward, but there's a difference between intentional awkwardness and the writer simply being clueless about what should be done and how the scene should be written.

I bet the writer tried to be ambitious here, but the problem is that when the kids show up and have no idea that something bad has happened and Dexter just says "your mom is dead", I was like noo...

This is the reason why off-screen revelations are so important. Some things you just can't show on tv.

My second example comes from the show 'Southland'. It seems that it was a rather gritty show. There's a lot of action where the cops are in bad situations. I'm fine with that of course.

The premise in this particular episode, that I managed to watch: Some supposedly suspicious guy is arrested and is put in the backseat of the squad car.

Later one cop says that he found drugs in the backseat. The other cop says he already searched the guy before putting him in the car and that he had nothing on him. He says the other cop planted the evidence.

Seemed good to me, but it's revealed that some other guy had already accidentally left those drugs in the backseat. The problem: the supposed 'dirty' cop _never_ defended his position that he found them. 1. Paint him as the bad guy 2. Reverse without any explanation.

It got worse of course. In the end the supposed dirty cop is mad at the good cop because he didn't  believe him. Well, duh, perhaps you should have convinced him you didn't plant the drugs.

Nevertheless, if you're not convinced that those two were bad, the last one is easily the worst. (As a side note, Ken Levine calls The Good Wife the best drama on tv.)

The premise: The court is in session. It's revealed that the defendant is posting her opinions to twitter which is against the court rules. The judge gets mad and they go to the chambers.

There's nothing wrong with that. A conflict and a complication. But what happens in the next scene is that the judge almost apologizes (!) about the whole thing and that if those tweets just stop, the case can go on. (I almost never laugh out loud but I did here)

But it gets even worse. Later on the defendant keeps tweeting and the judge gets mad again. An automatic mistrial and the defendant goes to jail for contempt? No, in chambers the judge again 'apologizes' and there are no consequences..

What I'm saying is that this is what happens when clowns that have no talent and no sense of drama  get hired to write for television. I honestly doubt it can get any worse than this. Three random moments, and all of them were awful.

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