Our favourite TV characters are a little like friends. We admire them and empathise with them, or want to date them, dress like them or be them. They feel like living, breathing people, just people you can only hang out with by pressing buttons on a remote.
Really, though, they get up to a whole lot of strange things. Behaviour that would just be plain weird in the real world. Those people in TV land are always…
1. Hanging up without saying goodbye
Nearly all TV shows, from light hearted sitcoms to political thrillers, have one thing in common: no one says goodbye before hanging up the phone. What if the other person doesn’t know you’ve decided to end the conversation? They could still be chatting away, especially if you slowly put down the receiver looking perplexed, troubled or intensely thoughtful. It’s just rude. And misleading. Children could be watching these shows thinking that’s how adults use their phones, when the reality is more like:
A: Okay, I’ve got to go.
B: Right, okay. Me too, really.
A: Okay then. Speak soon.
B: Yeah. I’ll call you later.
A: Right. Bye then.
A: Oh, did you buy any dishwasher tablets?
B: Erm, no. Can you? Will you go past a shop on your way home?
A: Yeah, sure.
A: Cool. Bye then.
2. Never finishing a drink
Not only do TV characters sip from mainly empty cups (something real people, like, hardly ever do), they are incapable of finishing a drink. They’ll order a large pinot noir, pay, have one sip and then say, ‘I’ve got to get going.’ They’ll go to a friend’s house. Their friend will get out the good coffee cups and make a cafetiere of the good stuff. Perhaps they’ll meet their boss for a chilled beer after work. Either way, someone will take one swig and then put it down forever. What a waste.
3. Arranging dates without specifying when or where
TV dramas are full of casual dinners and drinks. A little flirting and a few fluttered eyelashes often lead to a proposed date, where one of the parties says “I’ll pick you up later” before striding away.
But from where? And at what time? How do they know where to pick their date up from? Will the one being picked up just be sat by their front door all dolled up between the hours of 5pm and 9pm just in case? Will the dater have to frantically contact the date-ee to find out where they live?