Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Why TV Frustrates Me

This may seem like a strange topic for me to discuss – at least if you know me well this should seem like a strange thing for me to say. I love television. It’s definitely up there on the list of my favorite things as most media is, but there is one thing about certain TV shows that I hate – absolutely hate – and that is their lack of communication skills. I do know that this is all done on purpose to create drama and lengthen the duration of a series’ life but it drives me crazy!

On Monday night I was enjoying one of my new shows, Privileged on the CW. It’s a cheesy but cute little show that I don’t give much credence to, in fact it’s really quite dumb and not worth anyone’s time, but you know me – I like these kinds of shows. It’s basically my Gilmore Girls replacement. The show’s premise is that this girl, Megan, has been hired as a tutor for two very rich and “privileged” girls living in Palm Beach (I think it’s Palm Beach?). She lives in their mansion and make sure they study and yadda, yadda, yadda. If she is successful in getting the girls into Duke then she will have all of her student loans paid off, in addition to the salary she receives for being their tutor – a pretty sweet deal, I must say. The only issue is that (of course) there are all kinds of traps and roadblocks along the way – hence the reason people watch the show.

So this last Monday night, I’m watching my guilty pleasure of a show, when I find myself becoming ridiculously upset with the main character, Megan. She is in a relationship with the hot, rich neighbor and they’re talking through some stuff that has happened and she basically turns the whole thing around to be about her. Then she starts to put words into her boyfriend’s mouth and basically breaks up with him because of what she thinks his motives are. When it comes time for him to give an explanation he doesn’t (of course) until later when he comes back with this whole speech and makes everything right and they end up back together (sorry if I just spoiled the episode for you).

What frustrates me isn’t that they couple broke up and then got back together. I’m annoyed that they broke up in the first place. Basically the episode shows how ridiculous this relationship is – and how dumb so many are.

Relationships should be founded on open communication. Granted there needs to be some judgment about how much to disclose right off the bat, but keeping things hidden and assuming how someone else feels or is reacting to something is just a set-up for a disaster. There might be a perfectly reasonable explanation for something or there might not be, but you have the give the person the opportunity to respond to the situation and clarify what is going on. It’s your decision at that point to decide if you believe the person, but that is a whole other issue – at least give them a chance to state their case!

I think this is true for all relationships, romantic relationships and friendships. It even has its place in the workplace and frankly in pretty much any human interaction in everyday life. I’m not saying we need to over-analyze everything or start becoming so touchy-feely that the relationship drowns in questions and communication, but there is a balance and in order to strike it, you have to let each person speak his or her piece.

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