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Tag: Pop Culture Pet Peeve (1-10 of 67)

Pop Culture Pet Peeve: Have sex already!

Let’s talk about cooking for a second. Say you’re going to slow-roast a big hunk of meat. What’s the first thing you do? You pick out all the necessary seasonings and throw them in the pot. Then, you add the meat and let it sit for hours. You make sure to give the meat enough time to soak up all the ingredients, never forgetting that it’s there, until it’s time to eat. Then, you put the meat on a platter, cut it open to make sure it’s done, dress it up as necessary, and serve it. Sounds simple, right? Well, the same rules apply to sex scenes in television shows.

First, shows present the given will-they-won’t-they couple or couples with all the necessary ingredients to get fans on board. There are longing glances, small touches, a few kisses, etc. Then, the show lets the couple sit in the background for a bit, allowing the anticipation to build, never forgetting that the couple is there. Then, when the time is right, the couple finally hooks up in a scene that combines everything fans have come to love about said couple. And you know what? It’s pretty delicious.

However, not all shows know what it means to follow a fairly straightforward recipe. And in some cases, variations are acceptable. For example, Gilmore Girls was able to wait four seasons for Luke and Lorelai to kiss, which is a long time to let something simmer. So why did it work? Because Luke and Lorelai were not the centerpiece of the show, or the main dish, if you will. Gilmore Girls was about Rory and Lorelai and the town of Stars Hollow and all of the guys in between. READ FULL STORY

Pop Culture Pet Peeve: When TV shows kill off dogs

In the first five minutes of The LeftoversJustin Theroux’s character jogs along the road when he spots a dog in the middle of the street and stops running to kneel down and pet the friendly pup. Aw, we say, what a sweet moment. Then, within seconds, boom: Someone shoots the dog dead. Thanks, HBO.

TV shows love killing dogs: There’s that Leftovers dog-murder that turns into a dog mass murder at the pilot’s end, there’s Frank Underwood strangling a hurt dog to its death in the House of Cards pilot, there’s Family Guy‘s Brian. To showrunners, dogs are just objects that prove a point about a character or a situation. To dog-lovers, these deaths are enough to start a full-fledged sobfest.

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Pop Culture Pet Peeve: Not every sex scene needs a lift

There’s very little that’s realistic about Hollywood sex scenes—the passionate kisses in the rain, the way everyone wakes up perfectly covered by an L-shaped sheet, etc. But there’s one increasingly frequent sex scene cliché that especially gets on my nerves. It’s when, moments after the couple starts kissing and it’s evident that things are going to take a naked turn, the man picks up the woman.

My pet peeve isn’t about the move itself: I’m annoyed about the sudden overuse of said move (I can’t think of a single sex scene as of late that hasn’t resulted in a lift). And let’s just say that it isn’t always done gracefully. READ FULL STORY

Pop Culture Pet Peeve: Poor purse management, Mindy!

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Spoiler alert! If you haven’t watched the season finale of The Mindy Project, stop reading now.

The half-hour climaxed with Danny (Chris Messina) running to the Empire State Building to meet Mindy (Mindy Kaling) and profess his love. He found Mindy collapsed on the cigarette-littered observation deck floor, recovering from climbing the stairs because she had been told the elevator was out-of-order. It was the perfect not-perfect moment for the show… except I couldn’t stop worrying that Mindy’s purse was going to get stolen. “It’s right beside her arm,” you say. “She could grab it if someone approached.” That’s if she saw the person coming, but she’s at first exhausted and then completely distracted. Had there been a security guard standing above the woman, fine. But somehow, no one cared that Mindy sounded like she needed medical attention and she was unattended. She should have just wrapped her arm through the purse strap at her elbow. But then, of course, it would have been awkward when she and Danny got grabby. I get it. I’m only mad at myself for letting it take me out of the moment we’ve all been waiting for.

Did it get to anyone else? Or have I just been living in New York City for too many years?  READ FULL STORY

Pop Culture Pet Peeve: Underwater kisses really aren't that romantic

Movies and television make a lot of things look really romantic. When I was young and impressionable, pop culture taught me that kissing in the rain was about 100 times better than kissing in any other weather, and that you didn’t properly ride a Ferris wheel unless you were making out with somebody during it. Additional lessons included the appeal of the “up-against-a-wall” kiss and the shirt rip, all of which I enjoy watching and don’t have an issue with. However, there is one “romantic” gesture I’d like to address: The underwater kiss is not nearly as great as it is portrayed to be. READ FULL STORY

Pop Culture Pet Peeve: When TV characters don't eat their breakfast

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From the very first episode, Breaking Bad showed us what kind of show it would be: A show that appreciates breakfast. Walter, Skyler, and Walt Jr. sit down at their dining room table in the pilot with plates full of eggs and toast in front of them. And then they eat.

This shouldn’t be anything special, but on TV, it is. So often, perfectly good breakfasts are left untouched, or a character takes one bite and then they’re off. Tell me, reader, would you really look at a plate of steaming hot waffles that your parent so thoughtfully made for you, take one lousy bite out of them, and then leave? No. (Unless you’re not a breakfast person, in which case, you’re excused.)

Trophy Wife is, sadly, guilty. In “The Breakup,” when Kate and her friend Meg are horribly hungover, Warren takes the opportunity to playfully gross them out. “Do you guys want my eggs? They’re super runny,” he offers as he lifts up a piece of the egg with his fork. Kate and Meg gag, and his dad takes away Warren’s plate. “Why don’t we get something on the way to school?” he says. Why don’t we get something on the way. He just took away a plate full of food from his son and is now saying Why don’t we get something on the way. Insanity.
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Pop Culture Pet Peeve: Bad lip-synching

Living in 2014 means I am constantly surrounded by musical TV shows, even when I don’t want to be. It all started with Glee. Then there was Smash, and now I’ve got Nashville. I realize that I could change the channel if I wanted, but what’s the point? Even my non-musical shows have started including musical numbers. For example, I recently started binge-watching Hart of Dixie, and even that show has Scott Porter behind a mic every couple of episodes! The lesson: There’s no escaping the music.

The good news is that it’s not the music that I have a problem with. As much as I enjoy a singing actor or actress, I’m not here to talk about their beautiful (or not-so-great) vocal abilities. If they’re on television — and it’s not a live taping of The Sound of Music — they’re lip-synching. That is where my pet peeve begins.

Just to be clear, I don’t care about the fact that they’re lip-synching. I actually prefer it. I can’t imagine that actors singing live would sound very good, particularly if the song is part of an emotional scene. Nobody’s voice sounds good when they’re crying — what worked for Anne Hathaway won’t work for everyone. I get that, and I’m in full support of actors recording the music beforehand and then lip-synching on the show. However, there are a few people who could really use some help on the latter part of that process.
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Pop Culture Pet Peeve: The unnecessary ghost twist

The other week, in my holiday viewing, I re-watched an old Paul Walker film I own called Noel. It’s yet another cheesy Christmas movie about a number of strangers whose lives all intertwine on Christmas Eve, but for the time being, it was exactly what I wanted. However, I hadn’t seen it in a few years, and I had forgotten that it included a “twist.” Spoiler alert: Robin Williams plays a kind ex-priest who bonds with Susan Sarandon’s sad single older woman … or so it seems. At the end of the film, we find out Charlie (Williams) is actually about 30 years older than he seemed, and this entire time, he’s been unconscious in a bed at a geriatric home. Essentially, Sarandon bonded with a ghost.

I tend to let that sort of angel/ghost stuff slide with Christmas movies, but in Noel‘s case, it felt incredibly  unnecessary. The story would’ve had the same amount of impact if he had just been a nice guy who helped out a lonely woman. Where is the benefit in making him a ghost? READ FULL STORY

Pop Culture Pet Peeve: Dental work, torture of any kind

I have an extreme fear/hatred/phobia of all things having to do with teeth. Growing up, the dentist’s office was my least favorite place in the world. To be honest, it’s still in my bottom five. And it’s not even necessarily about pain. It’s the chill that gets sent through my body when I think about the sound of dental tools or the smell of a dentist’s office. I feel like it’s a ridiculous fear, but I’m told it’s not all that uncommon. Therefore, I’m hoping that my teeth-related pop culture pet peeve is also not all that uncommon.

Basically, my least favorite thing in any movie or television (or book, for that matter) is anything having to do with dental work or torture. We will tackle torture first, because it’s the most relevant in my life right now. Why? I’m looking at you, Scandal.

In the last couple of episodes of Scandal, there has been way too much teeth action. First, Huck decided to torture Quinn to get information out of her by pulling her teeth. Keep in mind that Huck is a trained killer, which means he knows hundreds of way to torture/kill someone. In the seconds before pulling her first tooth, he literally lists all of the other ways he could make her talk. So why did he have to pull her teeth?!  Surely it can’t be fun to film, and I assure you, it is not fun to watch:
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Pop Culture Pet Peeve: All 'American' movies (and TV shows)

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Hustle. Beauty. Pie. Idol. Gangster. Dreamz. Gigolo. Virgin. Violet. Outlaws. Idiot. Girl. Boy.

They’re a collection of words (or, in the case of “dreamz,” almost-words) that seem to have little in common, until you put the word “American” in front of them. Then each becomes a title, and not just any title — an evocative, slightly ironic title which promises a story that could only happen in these United States, one offering commentary on our shared national experience and way of life. It’s audacious, patriotic, grandiose — sort of like America itself, or at least the idea of “America.”

Either that… or the work’s creators couldn’t think of a good title, so they picked out a random noun and slapped “American” in front of it.
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