Oct 15, 2015

The 39 Dumbest Things You See on TV

I've watched a lot of tv, mostly sci-fi and sitcoms.  The set was on all the time when I was a kid.  In adulthood, it's like comfort food, warm, predictable, mildly amusing.  But is it really necessary to have so many plot conventions that strain credulity?  Plus are sexist, heterosexist, or downright homophobic?  Almost makes you want to pick up a book instead.

1. No one ever says a complete sentence; everyone takes turns.  "This looks like the work of..." "Two killers."  "So we should..."  ",,,get backup."

2. Whenever someone says "It's possible that...", as in "It's possible that the signals are coming from Mars" or "It's possible that the killer worked for the FBI," they mean "It's an absolute certainty."

3. Whenever someone says, "The chances against this working are a million to one," they mean, "It will absolutely work."

4. You cannot discuss the plan on the way to the site, even if it takes two hours to get there.  You must always wait until you have arrived.

5. All discussions of plans must begin with the phrase: "And that's the plan.  First we...."

6. Whenever someone asks "What's for dinner?", the answer must always be "Your favorite."

7. The only people who can eat dinner at home are heterosexual nuclear families: The Man in a lumberjack shirt, a son and a daughter under age 10, and The Woman, usually blond.  The Man always says "Great meal, honey."

8. The only people who can eat in restaurants are four young adults, divided into male-female couples.  One is always shown shoving a forkful of food into someone else's mouth.  Sometimes this happens in groups, too.


9. Whenever anyone turns on the tv, they must  hear a news story pertaining to their situation.

10.  If they are shown watching tv alone, it should be an old black and white movie, usually a Western.

11. Except for kids and serial killers, who must always watch public domain cartoons from the 1930s.

12. The only people who can watch tv in groups are heterosexual nuclear families, and they are always sharing a gigantic bowl of popcorn.  No one in the real world eats popcorn while watching tv.

13. If someone wants to talk to you, they can't call, they must drive across town to get there.

14. And the drive is extremely short.

15. And the door is unlocked, so they just walk in.

16. Whenever you enter a scary place, someone must say "This place gives me the creeps."  But no one in real life ever says this.

17.  People always complain that they don't have enough money to pay bills, but have thousands to spend on expensive props.

18. Poor people live in huge, well-appointed houses.  Middle-class people live in mansions. There is no such thing as an apartment, except in New York.

19. Men may not be shown engaging in any housecleaning activity.  Ever.  They can be asked to cook, to "help their wives out," but they must flub the job and take the kids to McDonald's.

20. The main characters must be white, but the captain, chief, or judge who appears in just one episode should be black, to demonstrate that racism no longer exists.

21. Everyone belongs to a huge number of clubs and organizations, but only for one episode apiece.  Then the club is never mentioned again.

22. Funerals always occur in the rain.

23. All college classes, even advanced seminars, must be taught in giant lecture halls, with never an empty seat.

24. College professors must all be elderly, wear bow ties, and have gigantic offices and personal secretaries.

25. All high school teachers must be bitter and depressed, or sadistic jerks who, in real life, would be fired in 30 seconds.

26. You can struggle with failing grades throughout high school and still get into a top college.  Even the Ivy League.

27. Action-adventure series must always begin with a flashback in which the central character's heterosexual romantic partner is killed.

28. Movie trailers must always contain a heterosexual kiss, even if there aren't any in the actual movie.

29. When a male character dresses in drag, he always does a horrible job, with chest hair and moustache, and he must have a startlingly deep voice.

30. Preteens must always be portrayed as heterosexual and boy- or girl-crazy, no matter what their age.

31. All teenage boys must be portrayed as crazy about sports, rock music, and girls.

32. Single adult heterosexuals must make jokes about how horny they are every five seconds.

33. Married heterosexual men hate their wives, especially having sex with them, and will do anything to avoid it.

34. A transwoman should always like women before transitioning and men after, to ensure viewers that everyone on Earth is heterosexual, regardless of gender identity.

35. Gay men must always be portrayed as swishy queens obsessed with fashion, skin-care products, and show tunes.



36. They rarely have gay friends, but they are crazy about hanging out with heterosexual women.

37. There are no lesbians, just "girls gone wild" who can easily "switch back" to heterosexual again.

38. Men with feminine traits are always evil.

39.  Space explorers always get their shirts ripped off.

See also: 10 Gay Movies I Hated; and 12 Songs I Hated.