Friday, November 06, 2009

TV No-No's

Chicago Tribune TV critic Maureen Ryan has begun to compile a List of Things TV Is Never Allowed to Do Again, Ever. She starts with:

  • No one is ever allowed to write a scene in which things go very badly and then characters say, "That went well."
  • No one is ever allowed to write a scene in which an African-American or Hispanic police lieutenant says, "Detective, you're out of line!"
  • No one is ever allowed to create a show in which Hispanic characters are only maids and gardeners. Come on!
  • No one is ever allowed to create a show in which the lead male character gets all the funny/charming lines and the lead female character is humorless and uptight. Not. Amusing. Ever.
  • No writer is allowed to let characters start talking about an interesting and complex issue or situation, and then end the scene abruptly with one character saying, "It's complicated." Yes, I know that. I'm not dumb. How about plumbing those complexities instead of tossing out those two words and having characters brood at each other for a second, then cut to commercial?
  • No one is allowed to create a show involving anyone named Gosselin.
  • No show is allowed to tease, very strongly, that two characters are attracted to each other and may get together and use that chemistry to get tons of press coverage from that relationship and then ... never actually get the characters together or get them together so late in the show's run that it's entirely unsatisfying. Call this the Rule of Gilmore.