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Because I Said So: New Rules for TV


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#1561

SnideAsides

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Posted Apr 17, 2012 @ 5:56 AM

New Rule: Only doctors (or psychiatrists or whoever would be relveant, I'm not entirely sure) can diagnose Aspergers Syndrome. People can be shy or introverted or analytical or socially independent or WHATEVER without necessarily being on the autistic spectrum.
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#1562

Bastet Esq

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Posted Apr 17, 2012 @ 2:07 PM

And some kids will simply be undisciplined brats, not sufferers of ADD.

I also love all the rules about atheists, and add one more: Not every one of the few atheist characters on television can be forced to explain why s/he is an atheist. It cannot always be A Thing. At least some of the time, it must simply be casually revealed in an organic way, without becoming a topic of discussion or something the character is expected to justify to others.
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#1563

Jilly Copper

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Posted Apr 17, 2012 @ 4:49 PM

New rule for hospitals: No more bitching and moaning about having to fill out forms when you go to the ER. Yes, it's a shame that you or a loved one are injured/sick and you're probably very worried but guess what? So is everyone else in that place. And unless you are shooting blood from your ears, you're probably going to have to wait a while to see a doctor anyway so you may as well do something like, say, fill out a couple of forms. Also, the person at the desk is not an insensitive nazi who doesn't care and does not deserve your abuse.
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#1564

FreakerThanThou

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Posted Apr 22, 2012 @ 12:57 AM

New rule: No more flashbacks to something we just saw five minutes ago. If you're showing us an angle or a detail we missed, fine. If you're showing us something that wasn't filmed or that was in a previous episode or even at the very beginning of the episode 45 minutes and 20 commercial breaks ago, fine. But if it's an obvious, clearly stated line that we just saw, no. If the audience doesn't understand what's going on without that kind of flashback, they deserve to be confused.

(Episodes of Leverage will now need to be twice the length, but I'm okay with that.)
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#1565

corvus13

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Posted Apr 22, 2012 @ 9:12 PM

New rule: No more flashbacks to something we just saw five minutes ago. If you're showing us an angle or a detail we missed, fine. If you're showing us something that wasn't filmed or that was in a previous episode or even at the very beginning of the episode 45 minutes and 20 commercial breaks ago, fine. But if it's an obvious, clearly stated line that we just saw, no. If the audience doesn't understand what's going on without that kind of flashback, they deserve to be confused.


This would put the entire reality TV industry out of business. We always get to watch a preview of what is coming up just before the commercial, then when we come back from a commercial, a recap of what we just saw, then the actual scene that they already previewed.
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#1566

taiko

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Posted Apr 28, 2012 @ 11:09 PM

special for ABC. No more of this "B" stuff. If you want to seem hip by calling women bitches in the titles of your shows then come right out and do it.
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#1567

janie jones

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Posted Apr 29, 2012 @ 12:14 AM

But then that wouldn't rhyme.
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#1568

RavensGirl

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Posted Apr 30, 2012 @ 11:19 PM

Occasionally, we must see at least one character who enjoys time alone simply because it makes him or her happy. From now on, no one is allowed to be portrayed as a psycho or serial killer waiting to happen just because he or she is not a social butterfly.
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#1569

Bruinsfan

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Posted May 1, 2012 @ 1:07 PM

New rule: No more flashbacks to something we just saw five minutes ago. If you're showing us an angle or a detail we missed, fine. If you're showing us something that wasn't filmed or that was in a previous episode or even at the very beginning of the episode 45 minutes and 20 commercial breaks ago, fine. But if it's an obvious, clearly stated line that we just saw, no. If the audience doesn't understand what's going on without that kind of flashback, they deserve to be confused.


This would put the entire reality TV industry out of business.


That settles it, I'm hopping on the bandwagon for this new rule as well!
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#1570

NMdum1

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Posted May 1, 2012 @ 2:08 PM

New Rule: Only doctors (or psychiatrists or whoever would be relveant, I'm not entirely sure) can diagnose Aspergers Syndrome. People can be shy or introverted or analytical or socially independent or WHATEVER without necessarily being on the autistic spectrum.


SnideAsides - Does that rule also apply if you (as I do) actually have Aspergers for real and can see the signs from a mile away? It's a bit like the famous "gaydar" of lore. We can't read people's facial expressions or body language for anything, but we can tell each other apart from 'Cognitively Normal' people, i.e. 99% of the rest of the population, aren't. Only asking....

Edited by NMdum1, May 1, 2012 @ 2:10 PM.

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#1571

taiko

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 8:17 PM

A moratorium on cop shows telling us "one of their own will fall" for a season finale/cliffhanger
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#1572

Brandi Maxxxx

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 9:55 PM

Or telling us that "one of their own" is a suspect every other week.
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#1573

janie jones

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Posted May 11, 2012 @ 12:13 AM

Or using the phrase "one of their own" at all.
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#1574

taiko

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Posted May 17, 2012 @ 9:20 AM

No more US Marshals, pick another agency
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#1575

ChromaKelly

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Posted May 17, 2012 @ 10:28 AM

Occasionally, we must see at least one character who enjoys time alone simply because it makes him or her happy. From now on, no one is allowed to be portrayed as a psycho or serial killer waiting to happen just because he or she is not a social butterfly.

And no more of a character eating/watching TV/reading, alone at home is depressed, needs to get out, is shutting people out of his or her life. Sometimes people are alone, and nothing's wrong!
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#1576

joanne3482

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Posted May 17, 2012 @ 4:02 PM

There are other cities besides New York and Los Angeles. For every new show set in one of those two locales, there needs to be 3 set in other cities.

Additionally, there are other careers besides physician, cop and fashion. While I recognize Human Resources isn't really glamorous or adventurous, some of the stuff employees say and do you can't make up.

Edited by joanne3482, May 17, 2012 @ 4:04 PM.

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#1577

jonnypaul12

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Posted May 17, 2012 @ 6:39 PM

No more promos where we're told "Everything. Will. Change." Cause guess what? Unless your medical drama is suddenly turning into "The Love Boat" not everything is going to change.

Also, no more TV Episodes (especially season finales) where something dramatic happens during the teaser and then the entire episode is a flashback, then we get to see the opening footage again at the end of the episode. It's been done to death folks, let it go.
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#1578

legaleagle44

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Posted May 18, 2012 @ 9:41 AM

Also, no more TV Episodes (especially season finales) where something dramatic happens during the teaser and then the entire episode is a flashback, then we get to see the opening footage again at the end of the episode. It's been done to death folks, let it go.


You saw last week's Revenge, didn't you?
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#1579

jonnypaul12

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Posted May 18, 2012 @ 10:26 AM

LOL...actually I didn't. This happened on last week's Smash. But doesn't surprise me that Revenge did it too. It's become way over-used. It was thrilling in the first-season finale of The West Wing way back in 1999, but then even that show overused the device.

Edited by jonnypaul12, May 18, 2012 @ 10:28 AM.

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#1580

moose135

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Posted May 18, 2012 @ 12:12 PM

Also, no more TV Episodes (especially season finales) where something dramatic happens during the teaser and then the entire episode is a flashback, then we get to see the opening footage again at the end of the episode. It's been done to death folks, let it go.

As much as I love Southland, they did that every.single.episode. I understand that's their storytelling device, but it got old after about two weeks.
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#1581

sorority

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Posted May 18, 2012 @ 1:58 PM

I actually liked the Revenge version of it, because the first scene turned out to mean something totally different from what you would expect. And while it did make me sad it also made me laugh. Because no, Emily did not kill anyone and was hiding the body, her dog died.


I agree with the overall sentiment though. The whole thing got old when Alias did it every single week.
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#1582

Shanna Marie

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Posted May 18, 2012 @ 3:30 PM

I propose rationing that "start with an exciting moment from the end of the episode, and then flash back in time to lead up to it" structure. Shows may use it when that really does add something to the story, like it means something totally different when you see it in the right context as it did when you saw it initially. But they should have a limit of maybe twice per season. Shows may not use it in place of writing an opening scene that's actually interesting on its own. Taking the most exciting moment of an episode and showing it first and then doing the "two days earlier" thing because you can't think of a way to make the beginning of your story interesting is not allowed.

It really boggles me how often the CSI shows use it. The starter to their stories is usually someone finding a dead body in a truly horrific and disturbing way. They don't need to start episodes by showing the heroes in a desperate situation where they're closing in on a killer but the killer is closing in on them and then flashing back to the discovery of the body. It's not even like a spy show or a Leverage thing, where the meaning of the scene is going to change dramatically in context. It's usually just the same old scene, only now we know what the killer has done and what evidence led Our Heroes to that point.
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#1583

Kel Varnsen

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Posted May 22, 2012 @ 7:41 AM

New rule: if you are genre type show (sci-fi, action adventure, thriller/mystery)with lots of ongoing plotlines and you are a mid season replacement, when you are filming your season finale, you must film enough extra scenes so that you can neatly wrap up all storylines and leave no cliff-hangers in the event you get cancelled. You can films alternate scenes with cliff-hangers and that sort of thing, but you can only use them if you know you are coming back for season 2.
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#1584

shlbycindyk

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Posted May 23, 2012 @ 12:25 PM

Opening credits should not still be showing ten minutes after the show has started. Any commercial that has the phrase, "In minute we'll give a number you can call" should be banished to infomercial land and not shown 2-3 times during an hour long show.
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#1585

scarynikki12

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Posted May 27, 2012 @ 2:09 AM

New Rule: Characters are not to get together on a show (ie, one night stand, relationship, happily ever after, etc.), just because there are viewers who ship them. If said characters can be brought together in a way that makes sense to the story and their personalities, then go for it. Many famous/classic tv relationships weren't planned at inception, and they can often can be great surprises, but the ones that work do so because it makes sense within the show's universe. Viewers may want to see two characters hook up. So? That does not suddenly mean they should. If one or both characters have genuine reasons to dislike/hate the other, then actor chemistry/looks shouldn't matter.

For example: there are, amazingly, a small percentage of the audience for The Vampire Diaries who ship Caroline with Damon. The fact that she has legitimate reasons to hate him (he raped, abused and tried to kill her, to say nothing of what he's done, or intended to do, to her best friend and boyfriend) don't matter, they want them together.

Actually, TVD is my go to example for this rule. On this show alone we have a number of ships (Caroline/Damon, Damon/Bonnie, Caroline/Klaus, Katherine/Stefan, Elijah/Elena to name a few) that truly don't make any sense within the (admittedly contrived and endlessly retconned) context of who these characters are. Again, in the way they've been presented to us, none really make any sense, but there is one (Caroline/Klaus) that will likely be explored despite this while the others are brought up on occasion by the hopeful viewer ignoring how bad an idea it is.

And I'm not even taking into account the shows flagship relationships: Damon/Elena and Stefan/Elena, two relationships that don't make any sense with regard to the type of person the show keeps telling us Elena is. They do make sense with regard to the type of person the show has actually presented, but the writers are watching a different version of TVD than airs on the CW.
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#1586

Shanna Marie

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Posted Jul 9, 2012 @ 10:10 PM

New rule:
Producers are not allowed to cast actors on whom they have a raging crush or who have played their favorite characters on other series as guest, recurring or regular characters on their current shows. If those actors truly are the best fit for the role (and not just a chance for the writer to play fanboy), then other members of the writing staff who can be more objective about those actors will be the ones in charge of writing the story arcs for their characters. An actual character must be developed -- no relying on the actor's known persona or the actor's most famous previous role and just dumping that into the new series. The character must be run through several of the Internet's better "is this character a Mary Sue?" tests, and if it comes up as a Mary Sue on any of them, the character needs to be rewritten.

Under no circumstances will a television writer be allowed to cast his/her crush as the romantic interest for the regular character the writer most identifies with or who serves as that writer's avatar in the world of the show.
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#1587

Archery

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Posted Jul 10, 2012 @ 8:31 AM

New Rule: Characters are not to get together on a show (ie, one night stand, relationship, happily ever after, etc.), just because there are viewers who ship them. If said characters can be brought together in a way that makes sense to the story and their personalities, then go for it. Many famous/classic tv relationships weren't planned at inception, and they can often can be great surprises, but the ones that work do so because it makes sense within the show's universe. Viewers may want to see two characters hook up. So? That does not suddenly mean they should.

Seriously!! That is precisely what fanfiction is for.

Corollary: Show runners, stop going to conventions and stop reading online discussion boards about your shows. Don't let the (mostly adolescent, completely overly-invested) fanbase decide where your story goes. Tell your own story. You are professionals, do what you're paid to do.
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#1588

magicdog

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Posted Jul 12, 2012 @ 3:47 PM

Show runners, stop going to conventions and stop reading online discussion boards about your shows. Don't let the (mostly adolescent, completely overly-invested) fanbase decide where your story goes. Tell your own story. You are professionals, do what you're paid to do.


The trouble is, sometimes posters DO come up with better ideas!

Which comes to my next point; aren't writers forbidden to read that sort of thing so that they can't be accused of stealing ideas?
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#1589

visenya6

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Posted Jul 12, 2012 @ 5:46 PM

Corollary: Show runners, stop going to conventions and stop reading online discussion boards about your shows. Don't let the (mostly adolescent, completely overly-invested) fanbase decide where your story goes. Tell your own story. You are professionals, do what you're paid to do.

As a personal rule, I only get invested in shows were the writers are known professionals who won't be swayed what to do (Game of Thrones, The big Bang Theory, The Good Wife, Downton Abbey, American Horror Story, etc.)

Edited by visenya6, Jul 12, 2012 @ 5:48 PM.

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#1590

grimm2

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Posted Jul 14, 2012 @ 3:28 PM

New Rule: Stop trying to be cable. Mad Men is not an excuse for Play Boy Club/Pan Am, The Walking Dead is not an excuse for Revolution, Game of Thrones is not an excuse for Once Upon a Time/Terra Nova. Just because it works doesn't mean you have to copycat.

Network material can be original too (like Lost, the original CSI or House - among others - once where).

Edited by grimm2, Jul 14, 2012 @ 3:31 PM.

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