As my advancing years brings ever greater experience in all things mightily important I am very proud of my trigger finger when it comes to the “Off” button.
I was recently listening to a radio play, a detective story, and to be frank, I wasn’t really paying that much attention. Until I heard …
“ ‘Scuse me Mame, you’re not gonna like this. There’s gonna be a bit of agg. Our man’s got previous.” The unlucky fly sitting on the “Off” button didn’t stand a chance. How bloody lazy is that ? How many clichés in the interest of authenticity can you get into one exchange ?
Lazy lazy writing. I can bore for England on the use of the cliché in the fiction genre. All I have to do is say it again. Lazy lazy writing, he said, as he felt the hair stand up on the back of his neck, gazing into the night, black as his soul. (etc)
We recently found ourselves munching popcorn to the entertainment of “The Revenant”, which, I might add, we did enjoy and it is well worth your fourpence. (Spoiler alert.) However, near the end of the film Leo (see, first name terms) has to say “ You killed ma boy.” and I so desperately wanted him to turn to face off camera and say “Do I have to say that?” . “Er, yes, Mr. Di Caprio. It’s in the script.”
Police dramas seem to me to be the most prone of genres susceptible to the stereotypical casting or the clichéd line. Detectives inevitably have a) failed marriages b) custody issues c) maverick tendencies to solving crimes d) prone to deviant behaviour. See, there is something to be said for Hercule Poirot.
And, women police persons in authority always have a chip on their shoulder. As soon as we approach the scene where the main character speaks to his boss, on the occasions that it is a man anyway, who happens to be a woman you know exactly how it will play out.
However, if you judiciously mix your clichés with a handy swag of Cockney rhyming you could end up with a killer routine…. Gov.
So, I pray for originality in new drama. Because if there is a cliché in the first 2 hours don’t stand between me and the “Off” button. You could lose an eye.