They say the sun always shines on TV. They say there’s 57 Channels (And Nothin’ On). Heck, they say a lot of things. But what say they take some time out to go Bingo-ing mad for some top spots from the armchair supporter spectator sport of Steve’s TV Peeves? Eyes down! (unless you’re a baby, of course.)
1. Alone in a room, a visitor picks up photo frame to look at a photo. Even though photo frames are notoriously precarious on their diagonal hingey leg and will be ever so fiddly to put back. Especially amongst other frames.
2. Super-Mute Extras restricted to smiles and nods in social or transactional situations requiring at least a ‘thanks’ or ‘goodbye’ – to the point that it’s more distracting and weirding that they say nothing. Cat got your tongue?
3. Cats in scene, conversely, as if mocking Super-Mute Extras, always miaow.
4. Characters entering a house together only now speak of their recent shared experience. ‘That movie was really good’ – what, so you two didn’t speak on the way home?
5. Babies’ eyes following the furry boom overhead.
6. Actors not swallowing after swigging pretend tea, just carrying on with their lines. Isn’t there an acting lesson that covers this?
7. Same extends to gesturing confidently with take-out coffees – watch out – that’s full and hot! Sometimes you’d be forgiven for thinking there’s nothing in that… *oh*.
8. Ultra-non-self-consciousness in public environments: entering crowded café and addressing someone loudly across room on a clearly private matter.
9. Taking triangle of toast off someone’s breakfast plate and taking a bite on the way out to signal characterful, cheeky hurriedness.
10. Character brushing hair at mirror actually angled to look at camera, not at own reflection.
11. Computers that bleep a lot and announce in a big way the acceptance or denial of the password.
12. TV turned off with simultaneous jabbing and thrusting motion of remote control to help indicate cause-effect connection between hand-held device and TV set. Other character in room says ‘oi, I was watching that!’
13. Partner plants kiss on partner’s cheek. Kissed partner says: ‘what was that for?’
14. ‘I can’t believe…’ The narrative scene-connector phrase used in all US shows. ‘I can’t believe you killed that guy back there.’ Or, if it’s on Living, ‘I can’t believe that guy killed you’.
15. Really small dining tables to get everyone in shot. And no-one sitting on this side.
16. Cars that when remote-locked make a bwik-bwik sound. Can you imagine if every, or any, car in your street did that?
17. ‘Bottle of beer, please’, obviously.
18. Rostrum Camera, Ken Morse.
© Copyright, Steve Mitchell and Fisher Lane, 2012