David M. Brown's Blog

September 19, 2012

Form should follow function, not slap it upside the head

Filed under: Media and journalism,Television — davidmbrowndotcom @ 6:19 am

An injunction of style should be “First, do no harm.” That is, don’t gratuitously detract from clear presentation of the content, as a cable show on interrogations does by introducing a persistent “cool” spit or stutter seemingly every tenth frame. What is the electronic spitting supposed to convey? Nothing. It’s supposed to distract the viewer from the starkness of the setup, which usually consists of two people in an interrogation room. But if the drama of the interrogation is not interesting despite the bareness of the setup, the show shouldn’t have been produced to begin with. The electronic spitting doesn’t distract from only any possibly weak aspects of the show. It distracts from everything, indiscriminately. It’s just an annoying distraction.

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