Trash TV: We are Being Too Indulgent with Screenwriters

Monday, June 28

By Paloma Doti

Used napkins, a candy paper, that lint that's in your pocket since 2016, the papers that are left in the bottom of your school bag at the end of the school year, those socks which have a big hole right in the part where your big toe is supposed to be, and the movies and series of streaming platforms; all of these things belong in the trash.                                                                       
The clothes you bought this morning stopped being fashionable yesterday evening, so fast fashion gives you two choices: you either leave them in the bottom of your closet or you throw them away. The food that doesn't destroy your stomach takes more than five minutes to be cooked and it's more expensive. So, you eat fast food. The tv show that was filmed in ten years, you watch it in ten seconds on some streaming platform. It seems like capitalism has taken the phrase 'time flies' very seriously and it's almost impossible to think about a pause. Everything goes so fast, even the movie's world has been invaded by the accelerated production method.                                                                                       
Don't misunderstand me, I adore movies and TV shows, and I love streaming platforms. I sit on my couch for hours and hours, feeling like I am the one who chooses the programming on tv. I am the one who chooses if I want to see the series once a week, once a day, once per hour or once per second. But, one day, I started to realize that those tv shows and movies that seemed infinite, actually did have an end. A person took months, even years, just to think about an idea that was worth it. They had to sit, and write it so they could finally present it a hundred times, and deal with rejection a hundred more times until they made it. Once they have a producer, the script writer has to find the perfect casting, that not only acts amazingly, but that also has the physical characteristics they had in mind for their characters. Then, they had to film, get sponsors and they had to edit the movie for finally showing it to the world. And I sit on my couch for two hours and ask for more.                                                                                                                                               
Having this freedom over what, when and how to watch movies seems like a dream come true for frikis like me. But, what ends up happening it's that in the discussion over if quality or quantity are better, streaming platforms are team quantity.                                                                 
To add 10 movies and tv shows per day, there's no time for quality scripts, actors who actually act or for realistic and great scenography. There´s only time for formulas that have already worked:                                                                                                                         
Weird girl meets popular douchebag. He seems rude and insensitive, but when he meets her, he lets her see his soft side.                      
To all the boys I've loved before ,The kissing booth, The duff.                                          
Teenagers with absent parents and money. They do drugs and drink alcohol. There are crimes and mysteries.                                   
Élite, Pretty Little Liars, Riverdale.                                                                                                                         
The moment of your life in which your family are your friends,                                         
Friends, How I met your mother, Community, New Girl.                                                                                                 
The same day repeats itself over and over again                                                                                         
Groundhog day, Love, weeding, repeat, Happy Death Day, When we first met.                                                                                           
Teenagers in a small town solve crimes and mysteries. There´s some sort of magic involved                                                                            
Stranger Things, Dark,  Chilling adventures of Sabrina.                                                                                  

They are easy to make, don't take a lot of money and are sure to be a hit with people. I include myself, many of these series are my favorites. But I also know I like them because they are the only thing that these platforms offer me and because I am unknowingly choosing quantity over quality. I like things I wouldn't even ironically have watched before. I like characters and dialogues that a scriptwriter wrote in the bathroom five minutes before filming began.    So, am I really the one who chooses programming?  Is there really full freedom now to choose what you want to watch? I sit for hours on the couch, feeling that I am the one who organizes the programming while I watch things I don't like because they are the only things I can watch. The business is in making me believe that I have the freedom to choose what to watch while they put up a giant billboard inviting me to watch the best or most popular shows, which just happen to be the movies or series they need to promote. I have the freedom to watch what I want, but I end up watching the same show that everyone else my age coincidentally also watched. I have a choice, but I find myself watching The Kissing booth, a movie I hate every second of. It's as if someone put giant red arrows on the movie I should choose to watch that night, so I put it on, and applaud myself for the wonderful idea.                                              

We got used to trash TV and now there seems to be no turning back. We didn't throw it in the garbage can at the right time and now it's scattered all over the world, polluting our streets.                                                                                                                                                 

Maybe it's time to grab that lint, that candy paper, the papers at the end of the backpack at the end of the school year, the sock with the hole where the big toe would go and trash TV, and throw them all away once and for all.     


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