Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Everything Changed (Forever)

Plus ca change, plus c'est la même chose. Just when I thought perhaps not every TV commercial was going to invent its own "technology" to woo your patronage (I am still waiting for "shout in your ear technology" for television itself), documentaries of the sort rerun into the ground by the likes of Investigation Discovery, WE TV and the Bio Channel picked up on a new catchphrase. It's not a sales pitch, rather just lazy writing (on top of their existing illiteracy; an interviewee may get away with "just between you and I" and while we cringe, we know the awful phrase was uttered spontaneously; narration, on the other hand, is scripted and supposedly proofread, maybe even edited, and leaves no possible excuse for its mangling of my mommy tongue. This particular bit of lazy writing, this cliché, is "... changed (his/her/their) life(ves_/everything changed (forever)."

Mary was a happy child. Then something happened that changed her life (dramatic pause) forever. (Cut to commercial.)

Crapville was a peaceful town. Little did they know that in an instant, everything would change (dramatic pause) forever. (Cut to commercial.)

It's getting old, folks. I forgive the recaps after every commercial because the docs themselves are so slow-paced I tend to doze off (which is one reason I keep this kind of show on at night) so the recap can actually be helpful; never mind that they exist because their creators are so sure that your average viewer, coming back from the awfulness of television capitalism, is missing a few more brain cells and needs to be reoriented. I am working on forgiving the shameless recycling (it contains little or no new footage). I even forgive the smarmy tone affected by some of the narrators. Could we just have a moratorium on this particular cliché? It would change my life (dramatic pause) forever.

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