While TV is slowly leaning away from clichés as far as characters and plot lines go, there are still moments when you look at the screen and go, “Oh, no they didn’t” because it has been played so many times before. Here are some scenes that took place in public places and which have been overplayed on the small screen until we could probably write the script ourselves.
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For some reason, engagement party venues Docklands on TV seem to be limited to a restaurant, some character’s home or a reception hall in a hotel. And it is not just the celebration that takes place there either; somehow one of the characters is lured to the pre-arranged location and then the romantic moment takes place with the (stereotypical) down-on-one-knee pose. Suddenly, everybody who is related to the couple pours in to celebrate the happy moment, never mind the fact that a la Jane the Virgin the couple has just been through an extremely emotional experience and need a moment to themselves.
An inordinate amount of breakups seem to happen in best bars Docklands and restaurants on TV. Granted, plot-wise this means that more characters will see the scene and this gives way to more drama. However, the downside of this is that the viewers also have to live that excruciating moment step-by-step, replayed on every other character’s face: one partner stalks in, announces in a loud voice that they need to talk to their soon-to-be ex. Other characters – depending on their personality – either scoot away or hang around unobtrusively to eavesdrop. The “discussion” soon devolves into a shouting match or a tear-story. Either way, it does not end well.
Another extremely common scene on TV is the death scene. Unless the plot and premise calls for a gory death by beheading or dragon fire, deaths on everyday soap opera plots are usually due to heart attacks, strokes, other illnesses and poison. These almost always take place in public, usually at a game, at some social event or at dinner, with lots of people witnessing the sad event. Once again, crowds are used to maximum effect, with people rushing in to help, others crying and making a fuss and then the plot is usually furthered by one or two characters acting furtive and out-of-place.
These are just a few in a long list of popular TV scenes that take place in public spaces. Can you think of anymore?