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Because I Said So: New Rules for TV


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#1

20bored

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Posted Nov 9, 2006 @ 10:17 AM

I don't know how many of you watch "Real Time w/ Bill Maher" but there's a segment at the end of every show called "New Rules" where he creates "rules" that our society or our government should follow. It's pretty funny most of the time and he usually includes some scathingly on-point social/political commentary. I know they archive his "new rules" on his site on HBO.com

Anyway, I thought it would be interesting if we had a new rules-esque thread. This is somewhat like the Unpopular Opinions thread, but not really. Just pretend you're a policy actor and if you could, you'd enact certain rules (i.e. "no more shows where the protagonist always gets called by their whole name a la Veronica Mars").

I'll start.

New Rule: Leave Hollywood couples, even the trashy, alone. The one news story that punctuated all the election coverage was Britney has finally (for some of us who cared in the first place) decided to divorce K-Fed. Why do we care? Also, I hate the idea that people are glad they broke up. I know people are entitled to their opinions and all, but we just know they're a little trashy and have some type of symbiotic relationship. But that doesn't mean they didn't love each other, or love their children, or care for one another. It's not the same as Bobby and Whitney who both have had legal issues and drug issues. They have kids, too. Britney and Kevin are just a little more trashy than we'd like them to be, even though that's horseshit too considering how many of us plop down to watch Flavor of Love, which is such a refined, classy, not-at-all-misogynistic show. I think hoping for a couple to split who basically haven't done anything to anyone is a little mean-spirited. Okay, it's mean-spirited as hell. Let them have their dysfunction.

Edited by 20bored, Nov 11, 2006 @ 5:02 PM.

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#2

emace

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Posted Nov 9, 2006 @ 10:35 AM

No more shows with a-hole white collar professionals acting all sarcastic and tough and stuff (but really they have a heart way underneath!) who are surrounded by syncophants who satisfy all the PC requirements (minority, sexy woman) and have very little character development, except being in love with the a-hole.
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#3

dwhite10701

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Posted Nov 9, 2006 @ 11:56 AM

New Rule: No more TV shows set in major cities with just a token minority presence. If you want an all-white cast, set the show in Idaho or Vermont somewhere.
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#4

scair

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Posted Nov 9, 2006 @ 12:10 PM

Love triangles are Not Permitted. At all. Neither is the sad UST that extends for eight soul-sucking seasons without resolution. Do or do not; there is no artificial barrier allowed.
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#5

Sweetxcape

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Posted Nov 9, 2006 @ 12:15 PM

I dont mind exploitation of hollywood couples. You wanted to be in the limelight, take it for all its worth. Hollywood couples' kids, however, I think ought to be left alone. I was espcially skeeved out by all the coverage of Anna Nicole Smith's son's death and daughter's paternity.
News and tabloid news needs to draw a line somewhere, and I draw it at the innocent children caught up in the mess. (Note, I am not including child star actors in this mix).
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#6

roseyrose

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Posted Nov 9, 2006 @ 12:31 PM

Love triangles are Not Permitted. At all. Neither is the sad UST that extends for eight soul-sucking seasons without resolution. Do or do not; there is no artificial barrier allowed.

scair, you stole my rule. Or maybe our minds just work the same.

New Rule: No more women with men's names - Syd, Alex, and especially Max.
New Rule: No more lame holiday episodes with a main character dreaming he's Bob Cratchett or Ebeneezer Scrooge.

20bored: Thanks for starting this thread. I was going to start a similar one: "Stop It Right Now: What Bugs You About Television."
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#7

VersesBatman

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Posted Nov 9, 2006 @ 12:39 PM

No more lame holiday episodes with a main character dreaming he's Bob Cratchett or Ebeneezer Scrooge.

Or "It's a Wonderful Life"
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#8

20bored

20bored

Posted Nov 9, 2006 @ 1:04 PM

20bored: Thanks for starting this thread. I was going to start a similar one: "Stop It Right Now: What Bugs You About Television."


Thanks, roseyrose. I would've had a bookmark to that thread and written a dissertation. BTW, your name makes me think of Erykah Badu's character on "The Cider House Rules."

Oh yeah, guys? Ten points if you start off your posts with "New Rule."
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#9

roseyrose

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Posted Nov 9, 2006 @ 1:13 PM

BTW, your name makes me think of Erykah Badu's character on "The Cider House Rules.

"
I love that book.
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#10

emace

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Posted Nov 9, 2006 @ 1:19 PM

New Rule: Teenage characters are not permitted to spew pop culture references without having been old enough to walk/talk in that year or older. This holds true especially for the Eighties era. Thus it will stop being cute when an eighteen year old makes witty cracks about Duran Duran, Rubik Cubes and jelly shoes.

New Rule: If pop culture references are to be used, they must be used sparingly and only if they are truly funny and relevant to the scene.
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#11

scair

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Posted Nov 9, 2006 @ 1:26 PM

scair, you stole my rule. Or maybe our minds just work the same.


I'm thinking the latter. I seem to remember a similar weakness for Weiss on Alias? Also, New Rule: No more older, brilliant, curmudgeonly male boss and young sweet thing with Issues fall for each other. So tired of it. Hmm. I think a lot of my rules would involve shipping. Verrry few shows have been able to convince me to actively ship.
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#12

Decormaven

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Posted Nov 9, 2006 @ 1:32 PM

New rule: If appearing on a home improvement show, no one is allowed to do "high-fives" after completing even the most mundane chore.
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#13

roseyrose

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Posted Nov 9, 2006 @ 1:45 PM

I seem to remember a similar weakness for Weiss on Alias?

Aww, Weiss. I was crushed when he left Alias.

Teenage characters are not permitted to spew pop culture references without having been old enough to walk/talk in that year or older.

Amen.

New Rule: Unless you are Lenny Briscoe, you are not allowed to be a cop with a history of alcoholism and bad marriages.
New Rule: No more parent/child estrangements.

If appearing on a home improvement show, no one is allowed to do "high-fives" after completing even the most mundane chore.

Allow me to add to that with New Rule: No high-fives, ever.
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#14

Jenee

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Posted Nov 9, 2006 @ 1:51 PM

New Rule: If the setting of your show is in a school or similarly diverse place, every single person in said place cannot be attractive and fit. Show a little love to the normal people, please. Your average looking characters cannot really be models wearing glasses and/or braces.
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#15

VersesBatman

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Posted Nov 9, 2006 @ 1:59 PM

New Rule: If your characters are poor, make them look like they are poor. Have them wear the same clothes twice. Have the clothes look like they are from K-Mart. The teens should not have cell phones or shiny new cars or an MP3 players. People should not live in fancy apartments with antique furniture or artwork.
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#16

Gulftastic

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Posted Nov 9, 2006 @ 2:19 PM

New rule - If you are going to have your characters spend most of their time in a bar, then have them get drunk occasionally.
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#17

Elen

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Posted Nov 9, 2006 @ 3:14 PM

New Rule: Unless you are Lenny Briscoe, you are not allowed to be a cop with a history of alcoholism and bad marriages.

Mm, nice!

New Rule: No more women with men's names - Syd, Alex, and especially Max.

Well, hey now, I don't think Alex counts...But I am biased :)

New rule: Colored filters are hereby banned from general use on shows. (CSI: Miami, I'm looking at you.)
New rule: Girls are not allowed to "become attractive" by taking off their glasses, getting rid of braces or retainers, and/or becoming a book-shunning, full-out extrovert.
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#18

Cobalt Stargazer

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Posted Nov 9, 2006 @ 3:27 PM

New Rule: Unless you are Lenny Briscoe, you are not allowed to be a cop with a history of alcoholism and bad marriages.


The sole exception to this rule shall be John Munch.

New Rule: No more fat, sloppy husbands with smart, gorgeous wives.
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#19

gldlox

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Posted Nov 9, 2006 @ 4:30 PM

New Rule: When showing a sunset or sundown on t.v., show the sun in the manner it actually tracks and don't try to fool us by running the sunset in reverse to approximate the morning's sunrise to us "the next day" (especially when you showed the same sunset clip in the correct direction in the "good night" scene). We're not stupid and know the path the sun tracks through the sky in the hemisphere that the show was taped. You're not fooling us.

From Wikipedia:

On the northern hemisphere the north is to the left, the Sun rises in the east (far arrow), culminates in the south (to the right) while moving to the right and sets in the west (near arrow). Both rise and set positions are displaced towards the north in summer, and towards the south for the winter track.

On the southern hemisphere the south is to the left, the Sun rises in the east (near arrow), culminates in the north (to the right) while moving to the left and sets in the west (far arrow). Both rise and set positions are displaced towards the south in summer, and towards the north for the winter track.


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#20

Eris Rising

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Posted Nov 9, 2006 @ 4:35 PM

New Rule: You can no longer imply that a character is stupid by having him speak in a Southern Californian "surfer" style, especially if the character is from anywhere else in the country and his family speaks normally.

The same goes for Southern accents.
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#21

BenPanced

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Posted Nov 9, 2006 @ 5:02 PM

NEW RULE: If the story is set in an area that does not have mountains, do not film in an area of the world with mountains and assume (remember: when you "assume", you make an "ass" of "u" and only "u") people won't notice. There was an episode of The X-Files that was supposed to be set in Minnesota. WE DO NOT HAVE MOUNTAINS IN MINNESOTA. Yeah, we've got some killer hills in the Twin Cities area, but they certainly don't qualify for mountain status.

Edited by BenPanced, Nov 9, 2006 @ 5:03 PM.

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#22

kafski

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Posted Nov 9, 2006 @ 5:03 PM

New Rule: When characters are showing in bed (either during lovemaking or just after), the women must not wear a bra/nightie. Seriously.....how many women get it on while wearing a bra/nightie?


ETA:

WE DO NOT HAVE MOUNTAINS IN MINNESOTA.


Little House on the Prairie was horribly guilty of this as well. Hello....it's about a house on the PRAIRIE! Yet, the family was always climbing those big ass mountains.

Edited by kafski, Nov 9, 2006 @ 5:05 PM.

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#23

GeoBQn

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Posted Nov 9, 2006 @ 6:16 PM

New rule: In comedies, a guy who stalks the girl he likes, calls and hangs up repeatedly, sends flowers anonymously, etc. will not get the girl. He will be sent to the psych ward.
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#24

TudorQueen

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Posted Nov 9, 2006 @ 6:22 PM

New Rule: Soap Operas must maintain a minimum of two, and ideally three core families with at least three generations represented, and all generations must have relevant and interesting storylines. In addition, only very limited latitude will be given for such retconning as bringing people back from the dead, bringing in hitherto unknown twins, and reversing canon features such as abortions/miscarriages...
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#25

VersesBatman

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Posted Nov 9, 2006 @ 6:25 PM

New Operas: Soap operas must never age their kids too quickly. They can't have a baby or a toddler one year and then make them a teen the next year or two.
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#26

redrobin27

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Posted Nov 9, 2006 @ 7:00 PM

No more lame holiday episodes with a main character dreaming he's Bob Cratchett or Ebeneezer Scrooge.
Or "It's a Wonderful Life"

Hee, VB and roseyrose!

New rule: Please stop assuming that all Americans view only blonde, WASPY people as attractive, thereby casting the majority of them, particularly women, as leads.

New rule: If you must have women thin, then show them WORKING for it. And no, I don't mean being borderline anorexic or shunning everything but salads. Show them exercising, or allow them to talk about exercising, and making sound food choices. No more size 2 women eating all junk food in sight with no consequences.

New rule: Hold characters accountable for their actions. Your audience will respect you much more. Doesn't have to happen immediately, as long as it happens.
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#27

roseyrose

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Posted Nov 9, 2006 @ 7:11 PM

Well, hey now, I don't think Alex counts...But I am biased :)

Sorry. Actually, I love that name for a woman. I'm just tired of "let's make her more edgy by giving her a guy's name".

The sole exception to this rule shall be John Munch.

Exception granted.
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#28

shootingstar

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Posted Nov 9, 2006 @ 7:43 PM

New Rule: When characters are showing in bed (either during lovemaking or just after), the women must not wear a bra/nightie. Seriously.....how many women get it on while wearing a bra/nightie?

Similarly, no more women wearing the guys shirt the night after hooking up. And no answering the door or meeting said guys friend/family members after the one nighs stand/hook-up dressed only in his shirt. Who does this, really?
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#29

Brightblue

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Posted Nov 9, 2006 @ 7:52 PM

New rule: CSI's can stay married to each other and have a normal life after work
New rule: Co-workers do not have to fall in love, they can find a boyfriend/girlfriend outside of the workplace
New rule: Stop making the children smarter than the parents, still isn't funny
New rule: Stop making Dad's look stupid, not all men are incapable of existing without a woman/mom/wife
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#30

Shelwood

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Posted Nov 9, 2006 @ 7:58 PM

New Rule: No more male leads named Jack. In fact, no more characters, lead, secondary, tertiary, male or female, named Jack at all for a few decades. Also, not Jake or Nick or Mac, either. (You aren't fooling us. You wanted to use Jack.)
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