Thursday, July 05, 2012

Cliches


Took the little boy to see THE UGLY DUCKLING in a less than a sterling production. Couldn't they at least have costumes more complete than beaks for Pete's sake?

But within the play was a stereotype I am growing very tired of: the black woman with attitude. Did they even mean for a duck to have attitude or is now part of an acting style?

This cliche has been around for a long time now and perhaps black actresses like Wanda Sykes and Queen Latifah and a host of others have not grown weary of it. But I have. The body language itself is a cliche for me.

What other stereotypes would you like to see less of in books, tv and movies? How about the annoying parents that visit?

19 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Patti - I know exactly what you mean!! How about (speaking of family) the younger sister or brother who just can't get her or his life together.

Anonymous said...

What about the over-the-top "outrageous" gay sidekick? It's getting old.


Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Two good ones.

Anonymous said...

Yes on the annoying parents. Does anyone find De Niro funny in those Fockers movies?

But then, given my hostility to Ben Stiller in general perhaps I'm not the best one to judge.


Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Teenagers who are smarter than anyone else.

Anonymous said...

Jackie just mentioned something very similar about smart @ss teens.


Jeff M.

Ron Scheer said...

The shrill, emasculating ex-wife. It was a relief in the David Morse series HACK to see a couple go through a relatively amicable though thoroughly painful divorce. The key moment came when it looked like the two might get back together and the wife calmly said, "I love you. I just don't trust you."

pattinase (abbott) said...

The alcoholic detective with marital problems.

Deb said...

The married couple (played for laughs) who bicker, argue, and fight constantly, and seem to have nothing in common, but remain married just the same. This was one of the reasons I could never enjoy "Everybody Loves Raymond" because the marriage of the two leads seemed so miserable. Why did they stay married for cryin' out loud? If you were in that toxic a relationship, wouldn't you get out? It's not like we're living in the Victoria era.

Almost as annoying--the sassy fat friend who's always talking about the men in her life, but is never shown as a sexual person (i.e., you never see a boyfriend).

Deb said...

I thought of another one: The autistic child who "sees" patterns and connections that others don't. One of my children has high-functioning autism (Asperger's Syndrome) and the whole notion that they discern interconnectedness in ways that "normal" people don't is totally wrong and incredibly patronizing to people who struggle with austism spectrum disorders.

/Dismounting soapbox now.

//Also, where is Blogger coming up with these spam filter numbers? Are they just using door numbers from Google Street View?

Anonymous said...

Amen Deb. That is just one of the reasons I found that kiefer Sutherland series so unwatchable.

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

It is rare to see a child realistically portrayed on TV. I think back to Family and the way Buddy was written and played. If anyone remembers that.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely, Patti. I think that may be partly why we prefer British comedies in part, because so many of them are childless.

Besides the shrewish ex-wife, a second cliche is the divorced couple where he still loves and wants her (sometimes she feels the same) and they still sleep together at times, even though one or both of them are involved with other people (or even married).

JUSTIFIED is one example.

Jeff M.

Ed Gorman said...

Rogue cops. If private eyes as Hammett said were just the cowboys of the 1800s brought into detective fiction cops esp. rogue cops are now the tough hombres that filled movie and tbe screen for decades. I happened to be discussing this with a detective friend who is of the belief that a fair number of cops should never have been allowed to be cops in the first place; he also believes that in reality any cop who spoke to his bosses the way fictional rogue cops do they'd be fired on the spot. Then of course they'd run to the police union which is of the opinion that no cop anywhere at any time (well maybe a few black cops) ever did anything wrong. You know the way the Vatican and WallStreet and the U.s. Senate believes that none of their members ever have either.

pattinase (abbott) said...

And not just cops. Rogue doctors seem to inhabit every show about hospitals.

George said...

I'm with Deb. Children with amazing powers is an overdone concept. And couples in toxic relationships who stay together defying logic and reason.

Erik Donald France said...

"Weird" and "sinister" "foreigners" -- with "odd" accents.

"Potty humor."

John said...

I've been over characters like Jack for decades even before Will and Grace made him a "darling" pop icon. What a fricking cartoon of a human, let alone a gay man.

Since the precocious and smart ass teen has already been mentioned I'll nominate a spin-off in the opposite spectrum: the sociopathic Gen-Xer who thinks the only solution to his/her problem is gruesome murder. What the hell is up with that? Law and Order and CSI are littered with 20 something murderers who are just shy of lunatic asylum commitment. Always smirking, always condescending, always supercilious. Then jsut after they are exposed for their crime they explode into a crazy psycho. Talk about disdain for youth. What's wrong with these writers? Do they hate young people that much?

Deb said...

John's comment regarding shows like CSI brings to mind another cliche: The super-smart computer genius who can break down any firewall, any code, any password in mere moments and provide the investigators with the names and addresses of all the bad guys. Each one of the L&O and CSI franchises has a person like that working for the team.