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Sunday, 21 February 2016

Silent Witness Syndrome... otherwise known as 'Why the hell are you there?'

Should any of you find yourselves in the fortunate position of being in my company, never (and I cannot stress this too strongly), NEVER sit next to me whilst watching television.

It has come to my attention recently - through the medium of someone shouting 'WILL YOU SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP!' - that I have a slight tendency to yell at the screen.  I am going to call this 'Silent Witness syndome', because, with an excess of irony, I can never silently witness Silent Witness, but must leap to my feet several times during each episode and yell 'why on earth are you going with the police to interview witnesses?  You are a FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST, not a police officer!'
Forensic pathologists need to attend each and every instance of crime. Well known fact.

For someone who writes fiction, I have a complete inability to suspend my disbelief, and will spend large portions of any narrative drama telling anyone who will listen about inconsistency of character behaviour (Endeavour, I am looking at you here, in a squinty-eyed fashion) and unnecessary escalations (Midsomer Murders, it is really not essential to kill every single person in a village to cover up the fact that you once lost a teaspoon down the waste disposal unit).
Midsomer Stretchy - after the genocidal Spoon Murderer wiped out all the inhabitants during a particularly productive twenty minutes
Please agree with me here, everyone....

10 comments:

Terri Nixon said...

I think anywhere with the two of us watching TV would prove to be a very noisy place indeed; I constantly shout at the TV. I pass judgement, I ponder, I exclaim, I ask people where I've seen them before - all out (and sometimes very) loud. So I consider myself in good company then, having read this, and shall continue scolding TV people. Which they deserve.

Carol Hedges said...

Hahaha.. I am the same during ANY nineteenth centurt TV drama...Don't sit next to me during Dickensian, which I will no longer watch as I get SO BLOODY ANNOYED!!! ditto Sherlock - the back in time one, Garrow's Law (too clean) Mr Witcher ( same).

Sharon Booth said...

Sorry, Carol. I LOVE Dickensian. Ditto Midsomer Murders and Endeavour, though I do take your point, Jane.
I'm guilty of passing on bits of information about the actors as they pop up on screen, which infuriates my other half. He, meanwhile struggles to hear what anyone's saying and pipes up regularly, "What did he say?" "What did she say?" This drives me insane. So I tell him to pay attention and stop interrupting me and he tells me to stop being a smug know-it-all. We now mostly watch telly separately.

Margaret Morton Kirk said...

I think there are so many things like this which press our individual buttons. For example, I can't bear 'Outlander' because of the awful mangling of Highland history and language, and I know ex-police officer friends who can't believe some of the howlers scriptwriters get away with.

One thing they all agree on is that Happy Valley is one of the best and most authentic series ever. Sally Wainwright is spot-on with her characterisation and her gallows humour.

Kath McGurl said...

I agree re Silent Witness - it is ridiculous how much they get involved in. It wasn't always as bad.

Death in Paradise is the worst of the lot but at least that isn't in the slightest pretending to be realistic. Bubblegum telly.

Louise Marley said...

When I worked for the police it turned out none of them watched these TV crime shows because they were so inaccurate; although to be fair, accurate representation would probably be very boring. The problem is when the newbie writer uses these shows as part of their research.

(My favourite are the glass dry wipe boards...)

Sue Barnard said...

I'm a terminal pedant. A couple of months ago I was watching a docu-drama about the making of "Dad's Army", in which one of the characters was driving a car which was registered a year after the events took place. And only this morning, whilst catching up with an episode of "Young Montalbano", I noticed that Salvo caught a flight from Sicily to Genoa at 11am, but when he arrived at Livia's home in Genoa, the time on his watch showed 9.40am.

And Better Half, who has worked in the railway industry, is constantly finding errors in scenes which involve railways.

The price of pedantry is eternal vigilance...

Tele said...

You know what, we all know they wouldn't go with the police to interview suspects. If Midsomer were real then there would be no-one left alive in the UK. Miss Marple would be the first suspect the police pick up with the amount of murders she happens to come across. The point is that it's not supposed to be real life, it's just supposed to be realistic enough to provide a snapshot. We all get frustrated at the TV sometimes but we need to remember that it is just TV. Just TV.



Jane Risdon said...

Doing my two forensic science and criminal justicee courses has ruined it for me when it comes to TV series like Midsomer and other crime series. Having had to study who and why someone attends a crime scene and what they do, plus the pathology and investigation of such crimes, I cannot sit through any of these without making smart arse remarks now that I am an 'expert.' I quite expect to be shut up any time soon by someone whose patience has been sorely tested once too often. :)

Chris Stovell said...

It's property porn that brings out the Shouty Lady in me - anyone who's shown a lovely big home on Location then complains they don't like a lampshade. A&E staff ('24 Hours') also get the benefit of my considerable medical experience (a first aid qualification) as I advise them how to treat their patients. Funnily enough I was so carried away by the gloss of 'The Night Manager' that it wasn't until the middle of the night that I registered an obvious plot flaw... of course it was too late to bellow at the screen by then. And not much fun for Tom. Good to catch up with you dear heart.