As an avid TV fan, it’s often frustrating to see potentially great shows ruined by lazy scriptwriting, planning or development. Of course, there’s no such thing as a ‘perfect’ television show, and while a show may not be to my personal taste, I’d always respect other people’s right to enjoy it. Some flaws, however, make you wonder whether or not the scriptwriters actually care about the world they’re creating. Flaws like…
The main offenders are shows with large writing teams, presumably because not everyone remembers all the details that other scriptwriters have mentioned. I can forgive some slight lapses – although really, is it that hard to remember a character’s age? Some shows, however, seem to change their mind about things like a character’s personality and their religious and political views on a weekly basis. The worst culprit I’ve ever encountered is Glee. This list mentions some of the more obvious inconsistencies, and it’s a hefty 9000 words long. I don’t know how a Glee writer sets out to write a four week character arc, but I imagine it would go something like this.
Week 1: Female character has a heart of gold. Gives generously to charity. Flirts with Will Schuester
Week 2: Character treats the rest of the cast terribly. Flirts with Will Schuester.
Week 3: Character reverts to treating everyone well, but suddenly has a long term drinking problem. Flirts with Will Schuester.
Week 4: Character starts a lesbian relationship.
Now, personally I find it permissible if there’s a minor continuity error between Season 1 and Season 46 of Dr Who, but when even casual viewers can’t help noting the inconsistencies of a TV show, one really has to wonder how much effort the scriptwriting team is putting into their work.
How to Fix It: Hire a continuity editor. It’s that simple. The internet is full of people (such as myself) who spend their free time picking apart these inconsistencies, so hire one to make sure these mistakes don’t keep happening.
This article was first posted on January 2, 2013