I bet you will recognize them all
I’ve watched and binge-watched multiple Netflix and Amazon series. I am a pro now. Before the actors can say what they have to, I am able to predict the dialog. I have 93.6% accuracy whenever I predict — which is to say, almost 22% of the time.
Here are some of the top dialogs I have collected. I can predict when they are going to be used with stunning accuracy. If you disagree, you are not watching enough shows, or you and I are watching entirely different types of shows.
You’ve got to be kidding me!
This one occurs with unerring predictability whenever an uh oh moment is shown on screen. In The Vampire Diaries, this was Damon’s most favorite line. It is etched in my head because he always delivered it with such — actually, never mind. There is no rational explanation here. I just love everything Damon.
After about 170 episodes worth of practice, I got so good at it, I was able to say it with him and in his style. Is there a career for a dialog double or something?
Are you ok? You ok?
This dialog actually irritates the heck out of me. This is so common and is said so many times on so many shows, I wonder if we have run out of words in English. If someone is asking the question, something or something is not ok in that scene. During such a situation, asking “Are you ok?” seems like the dumbest question ever.
What is the expected answer? Imagine a situation where a character’s boyfriend has just died. Her friends come over and ask her if she is ok. We know she is not! They know she is not! So how is it ok to ask if she is ok! Given how often the dialog occurs and how widely it is used, I am guessing this is just me on a rant. It seems perfectly acceptable to ask, “Are you ok” regardless of whether the scene depicts death or destruction.
Are you ok with this dialog? No, I am not.
Ugh! This has got to be the most <I need to invent a word for this> response ever. Then again, if the question is “Are you ok”, I guess such a response is the only escape.
In The Bold Type, one of the characters has just broken up with her long-standing boyfriend. Her besties come over to comfort her and ask — you know the question by now. Her response is “I’m fine.” How is she fine? Wasn’t she staring at his photos and sobbing a minute ago? How can she say she is fine? Why does she have to say she is fine, that too to her best friends.
Wait! I know! They asked her that #%*$#*# question! She delivered the autoresponse.
I don’t remember which episode of which show I did this on. But I counted the number of times the characters said are you ok and I’m fine. It was a lot!
You got this (or) I got this
I must be old. In my day, when I visited the library and brought home a book, I would call a friend and say, “Hey, I got this book from the library.” Sometimes when I want to make plans for the weekend, I start a sentence with, “I got this brilliant idea for a fun day out.”
This incomplete and strange sentence has boggled me for years. I got this — no, actually I don’t get this. What have they got? What comes after this? I feel like I have been left hanging.
This is a dialog that boggles me and that occurs at the frequency of about a thousand times per episode. Oh, yes, I exaggerate. But you got this, didn’t you? See, how does that feel? I used the phrase in the way it is supposed to be used!
We need to talk
Please insert some guttural phlegm sounds here. Imagine I am making those sounds. I want to scratch myself when I hear this phrase.
It is used, abused, misused, overused. I admit there are times when it is important to establish some context before an important conversation. But does this have to be the start of every important conversation?
In one episode, a character has just found out that her boyfriend has been cheating on her. She knows and he knows she knows. Yet — how does the conversation begin? Yup — we need to talk. Isn’t that obvious? They need to not just talk! They need to yell the heck out of each other. And yet, there they stand, calmly saying things like we need to talk. Why waste a dialog and screen time stating the obvious?
I promise you
Characters should be jailed for the number of times they give their word or promise another character something, and don’t keep up the promise. Someone must track these false promises and sue them or something.
In any series, if you are following the plot twists closely, you already know there is no way that particular promise can be upheld. And yet, promises are made, and broken, blithely!
When I use the magic word promise, it is backed by data. I am 100% sure I can do something. But here in these shows, the characters have no way of knowing what’s coming next. The scriptwriters can do as they please. Yet, these actors do not hesitate to promise other actors the moon, or stars, or freedom from troubles, or whatever else they please.
No wonder my teenage daughter has no faith when I say, “promise.”
I am sure there are similar phrases sprinkled all over TV shows across the world. I make lists for various languages. On Tamil language shows that I watch, the list topper is a word called prachane. It means problem. As you can imagine, the shows depict all kinds of problems all the time. 🙂
Clearly, I am watching too much TV. I’ll reduce my screen time, I promise you! 😉
Do you have a list of such phrases too? Or is this just me overreacting?