Canned laughter and other such inanities

I’ve always wondered about canned laughter. A sitcom is either funny or it isn’t, right? When it is, I don’t need canned laughter to tell me when to laugh. In fact, it sometimes obscures the next gag, so it’s bad. When the darn thing is not funny, adding canned laughter to it just makes it worse – how often has listening to guffaws from faceless idiots made you want to laugh?

And then there is ‘Breaking News’. Can you ‘break’ the news that a cop in Delhi accepted a bribe? Can you ‘break’ news that is simultaneously being reported on every news channel from BBC to TV18? How long does news take to ‘break’? Can you keep ‘breaking’ the same news all evening? Yeah, I know the single quotes around ‘break’ are getting irritating. As irritating as ‘breaking news’ on TV?

Also, what is an ‘exclusive’? Is it exclusive if only one channel is reporting that the first cookies I baked were pinwheels? What are the legitimate subjects of exclusives? I read somewhere that you’re justified in reporting something as an exclusive only if it was something someone else would have wanted to report but couldn’t. I wonder how many so-called exclusives would qualify…

And last, but definitely not the least for someone like me, what is with all the bad grammar? Call centre executives are (supposedly) taught to speak English; why can’t someone offer the service to TV reporters? I suppose it would help if they bothered to train them in anything at all – when was the last time a TV reporter appeared to have wriiten himself/herself a script to follow?

One thing is clear: I’ve been watching too much TV.

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One Response

  1. And you’ve been talking too much about them pinwheels…. 😦

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