Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Signature moments

Susie and I have gotten into the show "NUMB3RS" recently. I'll admit, I'm a bit surprised at how much she likes it, since when it first came out she told me how much she really doesn't like Judd Hirsch. But we saw an episode about two weeks ago, and we enjoyed it enough that we bought the Season One DVD set. When we finished it, Susie said, "So, are you going to get Seasons Two and Three then?" We've been watching an episode or two every evening, and we now have two episodes left in Season Two.

We have noticed that watching so much of a series in such a back-to-back way tends to really highlight some of the subtle things that TV producers will do to sort of "unify" their shows. It's the kind of thing that leads to drinking games, or YouTube videos like the ones I pointed out a while back. Some of these things are specifically mentioned in the "special features" on the DVD, like what they call "Charlie-vision," but most of them are not. For instance, many people in the FBI offices wear lavender clothing, and the walls of the offices are lavender. The show is also big on exposition. I've noticed this in a lot of shows lately, but especially in this one.

Don: "It looks like they were victims of phishing."
Megan: "Right, where someone sends a fake email pretending to be the bank asking for account details."

See that? Don didn't ASK for an explanation; he seemed to know what it was just fine. And yet Megan felt it necessary not only to acknowledge that she knew it as well, but to explain it to Don, I guess so he knew she knew, but also to educate Great-Aunt Mabel watching at home, who might not even be sure she knows what a bank is. NUMB3RS does that a lot.

But the one that gets me is the one I've decided to call Don's Gun Gum. Watch the show. Any scene where Don is "going tactical," he's chewing gum. Especially if he's wearing his bullet-proof vest. No, if he draws his gun in response to an event, he might not have his gum, but if he has time to think about what he's doing -- busting into a room, making an arrest of a guy in a car -- he's chewin' away like there's no tomorrow. So, if Don chews gum, take a drink. If a character explains something for no good reason, drink. Any others?

No comments: