Thursday, December 17, 2015

Enough with the pop culture references already!

As I've written on this blog before, whenever you're making a pop culture reference, there's a good chance that it won't work as well as you intended. In too many cases it will not fit in well enough and will feel out of place.

One of the best examples of this can be found in Modern Family's episode S7E09 'White Christmas', that aired last week. It's rather safe to say that its references didn't work and that they pretty much bombed instead.

In this case we're talking about pop culture references that had to do with a rather well known - if not really that scary - horror movie called 'The Shining'. That film is supposed to be some sort of a classic when it comes to its genre.

The writers of the episode had decided to write in scenes that were meant to be some kind of homages to the film in question. They thought that we as an audience would think that they were really clever.

However, that's not how it turned out to be with the references. Instead of making us appreciate these supposedly memorable moments in film history, all I was able to think was that these writers were just clueless.

The biggest reason that these references didn't work well is that this episode should have had its priorities somewhere else. The writers should have paid way more attention to its storylines that actually mattered.

After all, this was the episode in which the whole family found out that their babysitter Andy was having an affair with Haley. This relationship was going on, even though Andy was already being engaged to another person.

The writers should have concentrated on this aspect - and this aspect only - but that's not what happened at all. Instead of handling the storyline like responsible human beings, the writers took the easiest way out.

They didn't give any credit to the audience and the whole season long story arc was resolved in like a minute with a total cheap-shot. After that they went back to those horrible pop culture references that shows like 'Community' are mostly known for.

In any case, if you haven't seen this episode yet and want to see a solid example on how not to write pop culture references into your show, watch 'White Christmas'. It could have been decent, but unfortunately, that's not how it went.

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