7

Cop shows that include a 5 minute foot chase. This is usually the result of the cops shouting out a suspect's name from half a block away instead of waiting until they are within arm's reach. Inevitably the suspect runs into the path of a car or truck and the chase ends up being pointless anyway.

Cop shows where six cops burst in the front door of an apartment/house but neglect to post anyone at the fire escape/back door which is the only other exit. This leads to another pointless (and prolonged) foot chase.

Shows where a victim is being chased by a bad guy and manages to knock him down, leaving him momentarily helpless - then doesn't break his kneecaps or grab his gun. Also shows where the good guy and bad guy duke it out while 10 people watch but do not help or grab the gun which has fallen to one side.

Cop shows where the computer geek can instantly cross reference any data from one data base with any data from another database. "I need you to cross-reference left-handed Nazi lesbians with Ford owners in Atlanta who have had a wart removed". Ever notice that on these shows, the computer geek uses only the keyboard?

Shows where the computer geek guesses the password in 10 seconds after glancing around the room.

CSI shows where there is always one bit of forensic evidence that immediately narrows the suspects or areas down to a single person or location. "This pollen is from a plant that only grows in a 20 square foot area in Central Park right next to a homeless guy who matches the description of our perp."

CSI shows where an image can be sharpened to any degree of clarity even if it is a reflection in someone's eyeball. Infinite detail can be created out of nothing.

Shows where the transition music is 5 times the volume of the dialog. Shows like Burn Notice and White Collar are particularly bad for this. It means I have to keep my finger on the volume button. It's like having someone whisper in your ear then suddenly start shouting.

I know that the number of minutes allocated to a show is gradually shrinking. In the 60s, hour long shows actually had 50 minutes of time. Now it's down to 40. This is why closing credits are run at 5 times normal speed, opening themes are now 10-15 seconds instead of two minutes, and opening credits are shown at the start concurrent with the show, but do we really need to space them out over 15 minutes and do we really need to know the names of all two dozen producers, executive producers and co-executive producers? Show me the cast and save the rest for closing.

And in a similar vein, have you noticed that the ads they show during the show (the ones that pop up at the bottom of the screen advertising products or upcoming shows) are gradually taking up more and more of the screen? (some) writers go to a great deal of trouble to create believable plots and get us to willingly suspend our reality to enter theirs. These pop-up ads destroy that mood. It is especially annoying when a pop-up ad obscures something vital to the plot. How would you like it if you were in the movie theatre and every two minutes the guy behind you said "How about a Coke? There's a great movie showing next door in 2 hours. I use Tums. So should you."

Anyone care to add to this list?

Edited by Reverend Jim

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Last Post by ddanbe
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  • 1
    ddanbe 2,654   4 Years Ago

    Murderers, always sneek into a house when it's dark and stormy. They never do that when the sun shines and birds are whistling. Read More

  • I hate the concept of "reality" shows because they do not, in any way, reflect reality. These shows are cast(ed) based on lists of character types. Let's see, we need a villain, a bitch, a lazy black guy and an entitled black woman (note the pandering to stereotypes that help … Read More

  • 1

    only reason I slow down near accidents (if there's no traffic jam forcing me) is so I don't get hit by people running around without looking at traffic (including any emergency crews...). As to survivor shows, those are the most heavily staged of all. If you look even a bit, … Read More

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  • 2

    Seems we tend to get most irrate at the things we know and therefore stand out most to us as being wrong. A friend of mine who had been a train driver used to get excptionally irrate at how TV/movie trains react to things on the line vis-a-vis a) There … Read More

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I know that the number of minutes allocated to a show is gradually shrinking. In the 60s, hour long shows actually had 50 minutes of time. Now it's down to 40. This is why closing credits are run at 5 times normal speed, opening themes are now 10-15 seconds instead of two minutes, and opening credits are shown at the start concurrent with the show, but do we really need to space them out over 15 minutes and do we really need to know the names of all two dozen producers, executive producers and co-executive producers? Show me the cast and save the rest for closing.

I couldn't agree with you more than what you mention. I notice that too. I watch tv shows on Hulu and notices the minutes is around 40 minutes per episode.

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I guess you watch a lot of cops-and-robber shows. I'm surprised you missed this one:

However much I enjoy spectacular car chases in movies / shows, I absolutely hate how incredibly reckless they are. Some perp robs a bank, steals a car or escapes a drug bust in a car, and then the cops decide to call in every cop in the county to start a massive, super-reckless, high-speed car chase around the city and highways, putting every driver (including themselves) and pedestrian on the road in mortal danger and causing mayhem in the city. Yeah, right?!? A while back a cop near here chased a perp on the highway, reaching about 180 km/h (100mph) before giving up, she got fired the next day for reckless endangerment of the public. It simply makes no sense whatsoever to endanger the people like that just to catch one bad guy, regardless of how bad he is. The worst is that these movie car chases tend to give terrible ideas to some cops and from time to time you see a cops who thought he was actually supposed to do this in real life... what nincompoops!

I hate the "ticking bomb" scenarios:

For one, why are all these "terrorists" so optimistic that they plan for an exact time for their bomb to go off (as if nothing could ever twart / accelerate / cancel their plans), and don't think to build in a mechanism to remotely trigger or disarm the bomb at the first sign of trouble.

Second, when the perps get caught and the cops "question" them to find the bomb (or the code to disarm it), they always seem to resist without saying much until they spill the beans at the last minute, when we all know that in real life they would just feed the cops bogus information and send them on wild goose chases to run out the clock, and once the bomb has exploded any "questioning" would be futile, for one reason or another.

Third, why is it that the main bomb-disarming method seems to be cutting one of the wires to stop the count-down clock? Why not pull out the blasting cap? Cutting the power wire? Discharging the battery? Grounding all the wires (which will only melt the battery and possibly fry the circuitry)? I guess none of these methods work because the bombs are always "booby trapped", even though they still always seem to be disarmable by cutting one specific wire (it seems to me that the most basic booby trap is to have a completely redundant circuit and trigger the bomb if any of the redundant signals differ).

About movie hackers:

Why is every hacking program equipped with cool graphic displays of the decryption algorithm and a massive "ACCESS GRANTED" green square that covers half the screen? It doesn't seem very conspicious to me, and completely useless.

I also find it oddly convenient that every hacker seems to have access to a massive relational database indexed according to every subject conceivable, and can query it in seconds.

On movie music / sounds:

I hate it how directors always feel that there must at least be a constant tone or note playing in the background (if not a boring music). How terrible would it be to actually hear what people say? Are they so insecure about the quality of the writing that they can't let it stand on its own?

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How about ultra-seasoned, decades experienced Police Chiefs depending on the non-medical criminal investigative abilities of a doctor or Novel writer?

You can tell when they are running out of storylines when one cop's girlfriend is mysteriously shot dead leading to an emotional traipse through the investigation to find the killer, then the next week the other cop of the duo has a girlfriend with a life threatening disease leading to an emotional traipse through the storyline, only to be followed by the Police Chief's daughter/wife being kidnapped leading to an emotional traipse through the storyline until she is rescued.

At the end of some cop shows there is the meal/drink in a restaurant or bar, club, or pub. Why don't the criminals ever bomb the place and have a crime spree while the only few cops capable of catching criminals in that City are in hospital with a couple of scratches? (their girlfriends and the Police Chief's wife weren't so fortunate of course)

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Second, when the perps get caught and the cops "question" them to find the bomb (or the code to disarm it), they always seem to resist without saying much until they spill the beans at the last minute, when we all know that in real life they would just feed the cops bogus information and send them on wild goose chases to run out the clock, and once the bomb has exploded any "questioning" would be futile, for one reason or another.

In contrast, the movie "Unthinkable" does it right concerning the above.

I agree on the TV shows. Recently rewatched ST Voyager. Every episode somebody does something and "locks out" the bridge control. How lame are you if you don't fix that ;)

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We get the Space Channel here at the cottage so I've been watching ST:TNG and I was amazed at how no one ever thought to tell the computer not to let unauthorized people use the turbo lift to get to the bridge. For a good laugh, check out The U.S.S. Make Sh*t Up

How about characters whose memory gets wiped clean from episode to episode? There was a show years back called Quincy (played by Jack Klugman). He was a medical examiner. It was basically the same plot each week. A man or woman is brought into the morgue apparently dead of some accident or natural causes but something leads Quincy to believe it was actually foul play. Every time this happens, Quincy's boss tells him to stop being so paranoid and drop it even though every other time this has happened Quincy was right. You'd think that after the 47th (or so) time the boss would begin to trust Quincy's judgment.

Another favourite - someone is killed who is close to the lead detective (friend, relative, CI, etc). The detective is told in no uncertain terms that he/she is personally involved and is "off the case" because of department policy, but for just this one case the boss will look the other way.

Ever notice that when a computer search is being done using fingerprints or facial recognition, each searched print or face is displayed on the screen? I guess they don't realize how much faster the search would run if they just scrapped the screen updates or replaced that with a simple progress bar.

Edited by Reverend Jim

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Ever notice that when a computer search is being done using fingerprints or facial recognition, each searched print or face is displayed on the screen? I guess they don't realize how much faster the search would run if they just scrapped the screen updates or replaced that with a simple progress bar.

ROFL. Indeed. Using a distributed system doing a callback when it finds above a certain treshold seems more logical :D

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CSI:NY, Castle, Seinfeld, Law & Order, Blue Bloods, NYPD Blue... Why is it always summer in New York? In all the shows that take place there over all the years how many snowflakes have you seen?

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Yeah! I guess they only shoot in the summer (to get the show out in fall or winter).

I would love to see CSI:Iqaluit!
"Ok guys, let's investigate this crime scene. Grab your snow shovels!"
"What did the guys at the lab find when examining the body? - That it's still frozen solid."

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I believe this was from an old routine by Brent Butt - CSI:(some small prairie town)

COP: can you describe the perp
VIC: it was Dave

Of course you lose the flavour of it without hearing the accent.

Edited by Reverend Jim

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Cops often act as a team of 2 to solve a crime. When the team consists of a male and a female, they often are in the act of starting a love affair. They are still doing that in episode 100 and beyond...

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A while back a cop near here chased a perp on the highway, reaching about 180 km/h (100mph) before giving up, she got fired the next day for reckless endangerment of the public

A couple years ago a cop was speeding down the interstate at 120+ MPH struck a car and killed two teen-aged girls in it. The cop didn't get fired -- just sentenced to probation (link).

Have you watched a show where a computer geek was pounding away at a computer and you could see that the computer was not plugged in?

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Never seen the "not plugged in" thing. That's a hoot. I have noticed on Castle that Kate wears platform shoes with high heels, but when they show her chasing someone she is wearing different shows suitable for a foot chase. They miraculously change back once the perp is caught (or killed by a vehicle - see earlier rant).

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A lot of the problems I have with TV shows are because of the writers. This applies not only to fiction but to news as well. I hate that the news writers do not understand basic mathematical concepts.

Example 1:

In a recent item, a man involved in a single vehicle car accident was described as being four times over the legal limit. What does that mean? In Manitoba, the legal limit is 0.08.

Four times the legal limit is 0.32

However, the reported figure was four times OVER the legal limit which would be 0.08 plus 4 x 0.08 or 0.40

I suspect the actual figure should have been four times the legal limit (or 0.32)

Usually, TIMES is used to refer to a multiple and OVER is used to refer to an amount. For example, the maximum allowed weight was 200 lbs but I was over by 20 lbs, meaning my total weight was 220 lbs.

Example 2:

Numbers given out of context. When the news report says that by doing X you double your risk of getting a certain disease, or that the number of cases of West Nile Virus has tripled, what are the implications? If your risk goes from 20% to 40% then the implications are alarming. If your risk goes from 0.01% to 0.02% then not so much. Same thing with the virus. Going from 1 case to 3 is not so bad. Going from 1000 to 3000 is serious.

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"Lies, damned lies, and statistics"

The earliest instance of the phrase found in print dates to a letter written June 8, 1891, published June 13, 1891, The National Observer p. 93(-94): NATIONAL PENSIONS [To the Editor of The National Observer] London, 8 June 1891 "Sir,--It has been wittily remarked that there are three kinds of falsehood: the first is a 'fib,' the second is a downright lie, and the third and most aggravated is statistics. It is on statistics and on the absence of statistics that the advocate of national pensions relies....."

Edited by Ancient Dragon

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I am watching fewer shows because of the commercials. To watch any show you have to be willing to watch the commercials, or as I am doing more and more now, recording the show and fast-forwarding through the commercials. If a commercial contains Debbie Boone or insurance sold by the undead I turn it off. News is now more commercials than broadcast, "coming up on eye-witless news". Hopefully one day there will be pop-up blockers for TV, and I would definitely get a TV card for the computer if this ever happens. I do like some of the European mysteries like "Inspector Montalbano" though, and would possibly not watch TV at all if it were not for the few gems that do exist.

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coming up on eye-witless news

I know. It's like people have no attention span anymore. Before the commercial they spend a minute telling you what's coming up and after the commercial they spend another minute telling you what happened before the commercial. Do they think we are so stupid that:

  1. we need constant reminders
  2. we don't realize they are just padding out the show on the cheap

I am very disappointed in what is available on basic cable. The gems are few and far between. The shows that I consider the best of TV are on the extra channels - shows like

  • Covert Affairs
  • Homeland
  • Justified
  • Dexter
  • Sherlock (the British version)

Meanwhile great shows like Friday Night Lights get shuffled around. Fortunately it was picked up by another cable channel and managed to finish out its run. These days the networks don't give a show a chance to build an audience. Mary Tyler Moore and Cheers weren't hits out of the gate.

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technically, "four times over the legal limit" makes no sense as a measure of any single offense.
It only makes sense in the context of the number of times the offense happened.

What was probably meant was either "four times the legal limit" or "four times higher than the legal limit".

But with writers coming from the same population pool who think that "1337 k3w1" is correct English, what'd you expect?

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For star trek I always wonder why holodec safety protocols can be turned off like a flick of a switch? I mean really why on earth should they be able to be turned-off at all?

Medical drama's are no better than the cop shows, resustitation (CPR, defibrulators) is not usually successful and even if it is the patient often ends up with brain damage or other serious conditions.

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It's not how tv shows reflect reality that's important -- it's the entertainment that is important. If tv and movies had to be reality shows then there would be very few shows to watch. I don't watch a lot of tv any more, maybe a few epesodes of Law and Order SVU and Judge Judy.

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technically, "four times over the legal limit" makes no sense as a measure of any single offense

I hadn't considered that interpretation. Thanks. I'll use that when I rag on them the next time they make that mistake. Watch, also, for when they use units that can't be compared as in "Winnipeg increased their snow-clearing budget by three million dollars while similar cities increased by only two percent."

Here's something else. I don't know if this is just a CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) thing, but CBC reporters seem to have decided that the word negotiations should now be pronounced neh-go-see-a-shuns. They seem to have left the word initiations alone, at least for now. You'd think that if they wanted to change it they would look at the spelling and decide to go with neh-go-tee-a-shuns.

For star trek I always wonder...

Don't get me started on ST. As much as I love the show I don't give the writers a pass when it comes to glaring errors. Take one example (out of many): Geordie and Ro Laren get accidentally sent out of phase so they cannot interact with normal matter. As such they run through people, walls, etc. But somehow they are able to walk on floors and use turbo-lifts. Sorry. If your plot depends on such a stupid contradiction then it's time to choose a new plot. Again - blame lazy writers.

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I watched a Western yesterday and it was one of the "caught in the desert and the horses ran off so they have to walk". Whenever someone is in a situation like this there are dried bones of creatures everywhere. How come bones never seem to be there when riding through or no one is in trouble?

On game shows a contestant says "I am married to my wife/husband". That's good as they would be a bigamist otherwise.

Edited by woooee

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Oh, gawd - where to start. I recently moved (me and my now-ex split) and now I only watch 2 shows (unless I hear about something that interests me) and those are on Thursdays - Person of Interest and the following Sherlock Holmes (senior moment here). I see their holes but put up with them for the enjoyment and the acting. When my ex and I were together, the tv came on as soon as she came home and only turned off when she went to bed. I have no other preferences so she controled the clicker. Sherlock caused me some discordance until I realized that this was happening in a world in which the original books did not exist. I like the idiosyncrasies he shows, I like that his relationship with the beautiful Dr. Watson is not based on suppressed sexual urges.

Anyway, HI-50 the 'wifely' bickering with Dano in every show; that would be a punch down the second time that happened. The commander is an ex-military bad-ass who either tortures or talks about torture in every episode. So far every member of the team has been kicked off the team for some reason or another and end up immediately getting teamed up with the bad guys.

Star Trek - it seems that in all its incarnations at least one of the team gets inhabited by aliens or computers but are back to normal by the end of the show (or shows arc if it is actually plotted out).

Talking heads that think that screaming past each other is 'dialogue'; news ads that say 'something you are eating right now can kill you story in 4 hours'.

1

Murderers, always sneek into a house when it's dark and stormy. They never do that when the sun shines and birds are whistling.

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We enjoy both Person of Interest and Elementary. I've always liked Jonny Lee Miller, although, after Eli Stone and Dexter it's nice to see him finally speaking in his native tongue. They've made several references to his father. I am hoping that they cast Hugh Laurie in the guest role should he ever actually appear. After all, he IS British and he's already played both an a$$hole (House) and Sherlock Holmes (House). It would be a good fit. Have you seen the British version starring Benedict Cummerbatch and Martin Freeman? It's head and shoulders above Elementary.

I was surprised that Elementary did the twist of making Moriarty a woman and then my younger son reminded me that it was done before in "The End of Civilization as We Know It" starring John Cleese as Holmes.

They never do that when the sun shines and birds are whistling.

In high school my English teacher referred to that as "sympathetic background". I think it's just cheesy.

Edited by Reverend Jim

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I lurved House for the first 3 seasons (I think - I watched it every night in reruns so..) then he became 'petulant' and his quirks became a lazy replacement for good writing. For the same reason I like Ally McBeal until all the different interesting characters became charicatures. I loved Hugh in Black Adder (have you noticed that no one seems to mention BA when talking about his credits?) and yes, he would make a good father - now I want that very much and will use that image in my head.

(I am waiting for the resident gun nut to make an appearance and bring up the 2nd amendment - hehehe).

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Murderers, always sneek into a house when it's dark and stormy. They never do that when the sun shines and birds are whistling.

makes perfect tactical sense to want cover of darkness when you're sneaking around :)
And of course it's nicely dramatic as well.

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Just came across another one. The cops get a laptop as the only link to a suspect and when they power it on it automatically wipes/destroys the disk. No tech would power on the laptop but would instead remove the disk, possibly clone it, then work with the copy mounted as an external disk on a computer configured for forensic analysis.

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