By Sadie Gennis,
The time before the fall season is always filled with such hope. But inevitably, many shows that seemed so new and fresh wind up rehashing the same tired clichés. These are the six we hope never to see again.
1. The disposable fiancé/spouse: Breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend is messy enough, so why do shows always portray jilting your fiancé or spouse as an easy exit? If you're marrying someone for money that's one thing, but generally people don't agree to spend their entire lives with someone who they can't remember five seconds after their ex walks through the door.
2. Edgy girls have short hair: "Oh my god, you guys. I met this girl today with a short, choppy haircut. She is soo edgy and subversive. I bet she's also promiscuous, super artsy and plays something cool, like the guitar!" Who thinks like this?! No one I've ever met. Yet this stereotype continues to persist on TV. Do producers know that it's 2013? Having short hair doesn't mean a girl is any less feminine or traditional. It's just hair. Also FYI, girls don't always get a drastic haircut post-breakup. We usually prefer alcohol.
3. Elevators: Elevators are not some magical place where time stops and romance begins. Yet Shonda Rhimes has practically built her career on the sexiness of the floor-to-floor transport. It's become her thing. And while that's good and fine for Rhimes, even Mad Men and The Good Wife repeatedly fall victim to the elevator cop out. My only request is this: If shows are going to continue to have minute-plus elevator sequences, can they at least make sure the characters are going to a really high-up floor?
4. The doppelganger soulmate: Listen up, girls: You don't have a doppelganger out there. And you definitely don't have a doppelganger out there that some brooding, sexy man is in love with, making him thus fall immediately in love with you. The Vampire Diaries has pretty much beaten this trope to death, making the fact that NBC's upcoming Dracula borrows the same exact cliché even more stale.
5. Someone throws out their back: Help, I've fallen and I can't get up! People injuring themselves is one of the oldest tricks in the TV book, but this trope has seriously gotten out of hand recently. On November 16, 2011, both Modern Family and Suburgatory featured characters throwing out their backs and becoming immobilized. Hilarious, right? Especially when only a few months later, Modern Family used the exact same cliché — again! Thrown back, it's time to retire.
6. The no-fun wife: Women, man. We're such nags! All we care about is cleaning, taking care of our family, and don't even bother cracking a joke to us. We're far too serious. But even though we have no sense of humor, for some reason we're drawn to these clueless class clown husbands. Say what? Opposites attract, but Paula Abdul and MC Skat Kat are more believable than most of the sitcom couples who've populated TV.
What are your least favorite TV tropes?
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