A few weeks ago I wrote a column about the cliché story lines on cop shows. But limiting my criticism to police dramas was a crime. Here’s what else drives me nuts in shows:
Doesn’t it seem like everyone you see on TV or in the movies is a whiz at typing on a computer keyboard? They use both hands, and keep their eyes on the screen. Can anyone really do that? I may be old school, but I grew up with typewriters and I took typing in high school. I’ve been sitting at a keyboard my entire life. But I don’t type. I hunt. Then I peck. Then I do a little more hunting and gathering … of mistakes. And I only use one hand, which sounds like I’m bragging, but I’m not.
I don’t understand it when on a TV show the boss says, “I’m not accepting your resignation.” On “House of Cards,” several staffers have tried to bail on Kevin Spacey, but he simply said “NO WAY: Resignation not accepted.” I wish this would have happened to me when I left previous jobs.
“I’m sorry, Dick, we do not accept your letter of resignation.”
“Okay, cool. But I’m still not coming to work. Please send my check to this address.”
If a character on TV complains of a headache, you can bet that by the middle of the program, he’s going to have a stroke or a mystery disease. Coughing also means trouble when a character does it. This is why we are a nation of hypochondriacs. By the way, you never see anyone sneezing on TV. You’ve never thought about that, have you?
On television, couples are always talking to each other while they are both brushing their teeth. They never use an electric toothbrush, which is preferred by three out of four dentists, but what’s worse is that nobody on television knows the proper technique. It’s north/south with the brush, not east and west. And what about flossing? You never see flossing in a TV drama. What a waste of a potential teaching moment.
Ever notice on TV and in movies that when a cop has just been through the most harrowing experience of his life, witnessing untold human tragedy, his captain always tells him the same thing: “Go home and get some rest”? This, to a man who has had eight cups of coffee and 10 sugar donuts in the last 24 hours, and witnessed four murders. “Sure, boss, whatever you say. I’m sure I’ll sleep like a baby.”
Oh, and where’s the snow? Half of all TV dramas are based somewhere really cold in the winter. But have you ever seen a New York, Chicago or Boston cop trudging through a blizzard? We know it’s cold – we can see their breath – but I don’t think we’ll ever see any snow. That’s my prediction.
Finally, have you ever noticed that no one ever laughs in sitcoms? People say the funniest things to each other. The studio audience laughs, and folks at home get the giggles, but no one in the show even cracks a smile. I have spent a great deal of time thinking about this and have come up with a detailed explanation. Lucky for you, there’s no room left in this column.