Things that drive me crazy
There are many things that drive me crazy. Other people in grocery stores. The willingness of everyone to divide themselves into left vs. right — can’t we all be ambidextrous? Netflix Canada vs. Netflix USA. But one of the things that drives me craziest is stories ignoring reality just to lazily advance a plot point.
I’m not talking fantasy stories here a la Game of Thrones. I’m talking stories that are supposed to be more or less realistic. Usually TV shows. TV shows are serial offenders.
Last night I was watching a show that I started out enjoying but am slowly growing grumpy about because of this. I like the characters a lot, I love the setting, I find it a good mix of humour and action (and no, I won’t mention the name here as it’s beside the point). But it’s increasingly presenting simply unbelievable scenes to reveal some plot point, get the character from A to B, etc. Last night’s episode involved a police officer helping a suspect in a major crime escape because… well, because the character needed to be somewhere else. That was really the only explanation the script offered. There were no real considerations of the impact of this on the officer’s career, why the other dozen officers at the scene didn’t notice, and so on. It was so completely unbelievable that it threw me out of the show. I skimmed the rest of it and seriously considered giving it up, as I do with most TV shows after a few episodes. Don’t even get me started on the bad guy hiding out of frame in an otherwise empty room, ready to throw a sucker punch….
I know TV writing is hard. There are crazy deadlines you have to meet, you’re always making up the story on the fly, and so on. But is it really worth taking a shortcut if you know it’s going to cost you viewers?
Or maybe I’m just turning into a grumpy old man, like one of those TV characters.