Grating, Irritating Characters


IN OUR LAST EPISODE–I spoke about annoying people I work with,

I fear the epidemic has spread to television characters. GASP! Yes, dear reader(hi, Jerry!), there are annoying people running rampant in the romper room of relative television. Okay, no more alliteration.

Case in point, one of my wife’s favorites, The Middle. Clueless, unpleasant parents, who don’t seem at all connected to their three stereotypical offspring. The oldest, clueless son who evidently lacks the synaptic connections to get out of the ’80’s, followed closely by Jan Brady’s big nosed descendant, to be supplanted by the youngest round faced collection of apparently all the family’s intellect. The situations they find themselves in are the everyday sort in everyone’s lives, but this bunch seem incapable of dealing without being nasty.

Another fine example is Modern Family, which, I think, tries to be edgy by having (insert GASP here) homosexuals together in a relationship! How 21st century! It also has Ed O’ Neill married to Sofia Vergara in a May-December thing. Her accent seems to be a source of gags as trite as a big trite thing.

These two are just two of the latest offenders.   Seinfeld, the show, that is, was RIFE with unlikeables.  Jerry Seinfeld is a funny guy, but the show just irritated me.  Golden Girls, Designing Women, Murphy Brown, these were shows that I was never the biggest fan of, but at least there were occasional laughs.

What’s the problem with these shows and others? Unlikeable characters paired with situations that have crossed the border from Sterotypopolis to Ludicraville. But mostly it’s the unlikeable characters. I WANT bad things to happen to these people. I don’t like any of them, I don’t relate to any of them, and that seems to be what the producers are going for. Stace calls it being realistic. I have enough reality in reality. When I DO watch TV, I don’t want to watch people who I actively want to hit with blunt objects until they fall down.  They try to be edgy, gritty, realistic.  Comedy done by Battlestar Galactica.

In a different vein, there are a few cop shows right now that seem to have come out of the cookie cutter production company. Criminal Minds, NCIS, NCIS LA, ETC. ETC. ETC. There’s the Serious Lead Investigator, the Youngish Team, the Quirky Peppy Attractive Tech Support–granted, these shows are well written, but do they have to follow the formula so much?

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~ by Sean on January 13, 2014.

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