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She’s Standing RIGHT Behind You

December 11, 2012

One of the side effects of my funk/depression/grieving process/whatever is that I have been watching back episodes of Gossip Girl.

Shut up. Like all you ever watch is nature shows on PBS.

I haven’t had a TV for 7 years, and it’s not because I am so above it all. Nope. It is because if I had had a TV all this time, I would have been watching crap like Gossip Girl all this time.

No teevee show is crappy enough for me not to watch. Except maybe that Honey Boo Boo horror. That’s too much even in my most brain-dead moments.

When I was a kid, I watched the soaps with my mom, but it has been about 25 years since I followed one with any regularity. Things have changed a bit – cell phones and text messages add new twists, and the characters change a LOT faster.

The type of characters who hung around for decades on All My Children are dispatched after three or four Gossip Girl episodes. Is this progress or due to shorter attention spans? I dunno.

Anyway, all of this has made me consider the conventions that make every soap opera possible. Things that rarely happen in real life, but which are necessary to keep story lines cranking along in the soaps. For instance:

  • No one ever hears someone walk into a room behind them
  • Everyone can clearly hear every word of a conversation at a table near them in a restaurant
  • There is only one restaurant in town
  • There is only one doctor in town
  • No one ever says goodbye before they hang up the phone
  • No one has a job that requires them to be there or stay there during regular business hours
  • Every cell phone photo or video is sharp, well-framed and with perfect audio.
  • People walk out of their homes, leaving others (who don’t live there) just standing there
  • Secret documents ALWAYS fall out of the handbag/briefcase
  • People ALWAYS walk into the room just in time to hear the incriminating end of the conversation
  • The whole town goes to the same social event. The teens are eager to go to a Chamber of Commerce dinner.
  • Empires rise and fall because someone doesn’t let another person finish a sentence, creating a huge misunderstanding
  • People switch personalities like normal people change sweaters
  • No one ever recognizes a close friend in disguise, even if the disguise is just putting on some glasses and changing hair color.
  • The most common disease is amnesia.
  • Pregnancies either last one month or four years.
  • No one is ever really dead.

What else?

  1. December 11, 2012 21:45

    This is just brilliant, Suebob. Very astute. And funny. Kind of like…maybe…you? Sorry to hear you’re down. I’ve been meaning to give you a bell. Misery shared is misery chopped in half. Let’s butcher some misery together, my friend. By the wayo, I love the changes you’ve made around here. Is this thing right over here different? This, to the right—.
    Your brain IS awesome. That’s why I like squeezing your head in my hands with all my power. Have to crush the peanut.
    Okay, bravo and congrats. Until I see those Jr. Mint peepers of yours again, farewell. And remember, it will be bad, until it isn’t anymore. You can take that to the bank-o.

    • December 21, 2012 14:24

      So glad to see you the other day. Yesterday I started thinking “Here’s glue for your shoe and don’t stop walking.” We have to see MadDog sometime soon too.

  2. Gretchen permalink
    December 12, 2012 06:39

    All female doctors and nurses have long, flowy hair that is a frickin’ health hazard to everybody in the hospital!

    • December 21, 2012 14:23

      Everyone knows being pretty is more important than a little sepsis.

  3. December 12, 2012 08:01

    The first set of DNA test results are always tampered with. The second set are totally reliable.

    The ages 6 through 15 do not exist. At age 5, the child goes into her room to play and comes out a high school junior.

    And one that used to be a convention but no longer is, if there’s an identifiable body then the person is really dead. Died in the hospital after a lengthy case of lupus: DEAD. Caught in an avalanche, swept down the river, body burned beyond all recognition in an explosion: STILL ALIVE SOMEWHERE. But at some point they started bringing back people who we saw die onscreen. On All My Children, Jesse Hubbard died in the arms of his wife, who was a doctor so you’d think she would know. Twenty years later, there he is getting off the train at Pine Valley Station. I love Jesse, but that’s just wrong.

    • December 21, 2012 14:22

      Even gossip girl sprung the not-dead thing on me. Bart died IN THE HOSPITAL. With people there. Then somehow came back. I’m not exactly sure how, but I’m not interested enough to go back and suss out precisely how it happened.

  4. Kristen permalink
    December 20, 2012 09:07

    People change careers on a dime. Women go from being a stay-at-home mom to a police officer to a surgeon to a cosmetics industry tycoon.

    • December 21, 2012 14:19

      I’m a fashion designer! No, an architect! Now I run a shady import/export business!

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