Thursday, September 13, 2012

Why Can't They Get It Right?

If you watch the USA cable network, sometime in the past week you probably saw the dramatic promo for Tuesday night's Covert Affairs.  Annie Walker - who was shot in the chest in the closing minutes of the previous episode - on a hospital bed, obviously in cardiac arrest, while a hospital staffer applies a shock from a defibrillator...THROUGH HER HOSPITAL GOWN.

Oh, come on, people.  Even my grandson knew the paddles of a defibrillator have to be applied directly to the patient's skin. I think I threw a pillow at the TV.  This rates right up there with giving CPR to a victim who was conscious and talking - yes, I actually saw that in a show.  I can't count the number of times I've seen CPR given by supposed professionals doing compressions by flexing their arms (if you don't know, the elbows remain locked and the body moves).

I know TV shows take a lot of liberties with reality.  Female cops on the job in stiletto heels, showing six inches of cleavage.  DNA results in under an hour.  Vast databases that just happen to contain whatever piece of information is needed to close the case.  But shouldn't they want to get at least the obvious stuff right?

Most writers I know put an incredible number of hours into research...to get it right.  What would be the proper police procedure in this case?  How would doctors handle this kind of injury?  In a courtroom, would a judge allow...  Well, you know what I mean.  Even writers of sci fi and fantasy stick to the rules of whatever world they've created.

Why?  Because we know our readers expect no less.

So why, when we close a book and switch on the TV, do we no longer care?  Why don't we expect TV writers to get it right?  Even a little bit?

Have you seen anything on TV lately that made you want to throw a pillow?  What's one of your favorite "oh, come on" moments?


Quote of the Day: 

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.  ~ Mark Twain



24 comments:

Maria Zannini said...

Maybe we have lower expectations when it comes to television shows.

It's so much easier to crucify an author who gets it wrong than a tv executive.

Linda G. said...

Ugh. I hate that, too.

How about all those women in network TV shows who keep their bras on in bed? Seriously?

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I'm CPR certified and what annoys me is they never tilt the head back. Open the person's airway before you start blowing in his or her mouth!

Mary@GigglesandGuns said...

I'm always talking back to my tv.
My favorite is Podunkville population maybe 1500 has a lab that puts MIT to shame.

Stacy McKitrick said...

Okay - I haven't seen that episode of Covert Affairs yet (it's on the DVR waiting), but I'll have to see if my husband notices before I say anything to him!

I've groaned A LOT at television shows (especially the wearing of makeup in bed), but it's television - all about the visual!

LD Masterson said...

Maria - I wonder if it's because we've just paid for the book so we expect more for our money. Of course, that would mean lower expectations for a book from the library so maybe not.

LD Masterson said...

Linda G. - Yup that's another one.

LD Masterson said...

Diane - Oh don't get me started on what they do with CPR. And kudos for being trained. Everyone should be.

LD Masterson said...

Mary - One of my favorites is Abby's lab on NCIS. I love Abby but in reality NCIS doesn't maintain it's own lab. Morgue either. (Sorry, Ducky.)

And I talk back to my TV, too.

LD Masterson said...

Stacy - Let me know if he notices.

If they must wear makeup in bed (feasible if they fell into bed in the heat of passion), couldn't it at least be smudged. :-)

Liz Fichera said...

The gorgeous lady detectives in six-inch stillettos with tough sounding names who can never seem to get a date are personal pet peeves of mine...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Just think how long CSI shows would be if it were in real time though?

LD Masterson said...

Liz - I'm with you on that one. Makes me crazy.

LD Masterson said...

Alex - True. But people start believing this stuff.

Tara Tyler said...

awesome quote! love the twain!

and one reason tv does what it does: ratings
thry're more concerned with excitement & hooking a viewer than accuracy. as long as they're close to real, they can show cleavage & hope we wont notice the flaws =)

LD Masterson said...

Tara - Agreed. And that's why I don't throw things over the cleavage, stiletto, and long flowing tresses. But defibrillator paddles through clothing...too much for me.

And thanks for liking the quote.

Maryann Miller said...

I was really into that episode until the scene in the hospital. I just barely refrained from throwing jigsaw puzzle pieces when I saw the doc using the defibrillator like that. And where was the rest of the medical team that responds to a code blue?

I can live with the DNA tests that come back too quickly. I don't think we, the audience, could wait three weeks. LOL And other minor things don't bother me because I know it is done for expediency. There's only an hour to get this case solved.

However, I do hate the way female officers are "dressed" for the shows. I've interviewed a lot of women detectives and none of them wear heels, or shirts that look like the button are going to pop any second.

Angela Brown said...

There are times that you just can't have a TV episode that doesn't require some form of tossing a pillow at it for a blatantly bad thing. I've watched shows with military or ex-military buds and had to hide my giggles when a scene involving some over-dressed-over-decorated officer came on the screen. Wow...let the cursing begin.

Patricia Stoltey said...

You're so right. Nothing gives me the giggles faster than a sleuth in high heels.

LD Masterson said...

Maryann - I know. One lone idiot responding to a code blue. Unbelievable.

I guess I forgive the inappropreiate clothes because I know sex boosts ratings. But stupidity doesn't. Or at least it shouldn't.

LD Masterson said...

Angela - Yup. My husand's retired military so I hear it, too.

LD Masterson said...

Patricia - And giving chase to a fleeing suspect. I keep waiting for one of them to break an ankle.

Donna B. McNicol said...

Hubby is a 31 year retired firefighter/paramedic. He really laughed at that one.

The worst show to watch with him is Royal Pains. LOL!

LD Masterson said...

Donna - Oh yeah, Royal Pains makes me crazy. And while I love the show Castle, I do a lot of pillow throwing at the mistakes in that one, too.