When the new season begins, I watch all my favorite series season premieres as well as all the series premieres that look promising. Already this year, I have some serious problems with the writing.
An ex-wife who is trying to regain control of her husband’s music empire goes to visit him in prison (and frankly, I forgot why she was there because of this outrageous error). The inmate ex-husband is sitting at a table, and the wife sits down opposite him and plunks her pretty gold handbag on the table in front of her. Really? They now allow visitors to carry in purses? Even if the bag is searched, there are simply way too many ways to hide something illegal or lethal in that bag.
A prosecutor drops by to visit an inmate, already a suspect situation because it’s usually only the defending attorney who confers with the accused. In this case, that prosecuting attorney is a female wearing a black suit with a very low cut neckline. She’s showing more cleavage than I’ve been able to show in my whole lifetime. I don’t know. Maybe it worked for the accused, but it sure didn’t work for me.
One of my all time favorites (the one where the writers killed off Dr. McDreamy last season) had a wonderful story for their season opener, but they ruined the whole thing by staging a giant lecture during surgery when, to be honest, one would expect the doctors to be focusing on the patient who was in very serious condition. The lecture was about bullying. The lecture destroyed the pacing of the story’s plot, and that plot was pretty darned good. I was annoyed because I don’t need to be lectured about bullying. I was there to be swept up in the drama of saving a life, to step away from my own anxieties about surgery to watch these amazing doctors work miracles. Now I wonder, what will the doctors be doing when I get my knee replaced? Having a debate about the presidential candidates, maybe? Or the price of a new Lamborghini? Let me tell you, one more lecture during surgery, folks, and I’ll be dropping one of my long-favorite TV shows.
(Note: This might be a spoiler!) I’ve also been binge watching Game of Thrones, which I have to admit, hooked me on DVD with season one and has kept me going through mid-season four. It was pretty graphic in the sex and nudity area. Whatever, I could always fast forward to the graphic violence bits or even the real meat of the story. Something happened mid-season four, however. Most of the sex and nudity disappeared, to be replaced by some of the most horrific and brutal and gory violence I’ve ever seen in a movie. I mean, seriously, bad enough to make me gag. What was happening at the time at HBO? Did the ratings drag? Is that what it took to keep the fans watching? Phew! I’m almost afraid to keep season five and six saved on my Netflix list.
I watched the first ten minutes of a new show called The Player. Gave it up. I can’t watch everything, you know? This one didn’t grab me.
If you’ve followed my blog over the years, you already know I like television and movies. They rank, as a pair, second to reading good books. This year you may hear more about the things that drive me crazy. Stay tuned.
Margot Kinberg says
I’m really sorry to be so late to the party on this one, Pat. I couldn’t agree more on the things that drive you crazy about certain TV shows. I know that those kinds of shows are fiction. Still, I like them to be at least credible. And when writers go off on tangents or create storylines that are not credible, I lose interest. Immediately.
Maybe it’s another part of the curse of being a writer, Margot. We edit when we read, and we edit when we watch TV and movies.
L. Diane Wolfe says
Sexy attorneys in low cut dresses are so the norm – not!
I think that’s why I don’t watch many TV shows.
And FBI agents on the run in high-heeled boots? When high drama makes us laugh out loud, one wonders just how far the media and the networks can dumb down their showings before we all stop watching. Unless….unless the TV audience really is that dumb? Gasp!
Carolyn Yalin says
Yes! This is how I feel with a lot of show, while they get the entertinaing bit they’ve lost the whole reality angle. And on that note, don’t even get me started on “Reality” shows…
LOL — I still love Survivor and Big Brother, Carolyn — sometimes I just have to indulge the ridiculous. I tried a couple more new shows after I wrote this post, but the plots and the actors just aren’t grabbing my attention. Maybe this will be the year I focus on the Hallmark Christmas season love stories! 😀
M. K. Theodoratus says
You make me glad I’ve been reading my book … or at least the book that’s holding on to my attention span.
Good choice. I eliminated another new show from the lineup last night. Quantico started out pretty good but lost me before the first episode ended.
Arlee Bird says
I don’t watch too many TV shows, but I know what you’re saying. It happens with movies as well though. I can go a long way with suspension of disbelief, but when the gaffes are obvious then I start looking for more. After a while I may give up when things get too stupid and lacking in good research.
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Tossing It Out
Suspension of disbelief is something I kept telling my husband he had to use when reading certain best-selling thriller series. He won’t even watch any of the TV shows — I think the last one he got hooked on with me was The Mentalist. Now he mostly sticks to football. (Great Broncos game last night! You know it’s a good game when I watch all four quarters.) 😀
Roland Yeomans says
Individual tastes vary, of course. I watched YouTube snippets of GOT… or tried to … Red Wedding, the Bear and the Maiden, raping a woman beside the corpse of her son — ah, not for me. It all smacked of torture porn — I even wrote a post on it on my blog.
Last season was a good one for me — now, not so much.
Like Madeline, I enjoyed Blindspot. I gave up on Zoo and the Last Ship midway through their new season.
Like you, I weary of pandering for sexiness at the expense of story or the semblance of reality. Low cut dresses worn by legal professionals while on duty really only shouts that this is just a fabricated tale.
Thought-provoking post. 🙂
Roland, we are definitely on the same wavelength. I also eliminated Zoo and the Last Ship early in their new seasons. Lots of others too. I’m not sure what I’m looking for, but so far, only Blue Bloods has consistently kept me watching over a long period of time. It always feels real with a good story, excellent characters, and very little time spent on gratuitous sex or violence. And the women professionals dress appropriately, which I do appreciate a lot.
Susan Gourley says
I think I watched the same amount of The Player before I turned it off too. You hit on another of my pet peeves with the women wearing low cut clothing and lady detectives wearing high heels and then fighting or running in them. GoT is a pretty gory story. I think the nudity and sex were to get the ratings. My kids and I make bets on how minutes into each show it would be before we saw a nude body.
Hi Susan — my husband kept laughing at me because he said I was watching porn. It did feel like it sometimes. Mostly it annoyed me because it interrupted the pacing of a great story. Someone told me the series Rome is like that as well, and I remember The Tudors being pretty sexy. Of course, now I watch some of the streaming shows from Netflix and find naked people having sex there too. I guess if I want a good story without all the trimmings, I’d best stick to reading novels. 😀
Alex J. Cavanaugh says
If you’re referring to the Red Wedding in Game of Thrones, it’s in the book, and don’t worry, that’s the goriest thing that will happen.
Alex, I thought the gore in the last two episodes I watched (almost at the end of Season 4), were awful. The one that got me the most (and made me look away) was the battle (the eyeball part) of the champions to determine if Tyrion Lannister was to be executed or not.
Madeline Mora-Summonte says
I only watched one new show – Blindspot. I liked it overall and will give it another episode or two. I was happy to see the return of some of my favorite shows, even if the premieres were kind of eh.
I think Blindspot has possibilities, so I’m giving another week or two as well. Also thought Limitless was interesting, although I didn’t like the idea of popping pills to free the brain to operate in all its possible dimensions. Sounds too much like the drug culture trying to “expand the mind” through LSD and other drugs. Whoever is coming up with some of these ideas and the network buyers need to think these ideas all the way through.