Things Nobody Does in Real Life (Pt II)

When it comes to television, suspension of disbelief is important. A certain quieting of the voice in one’s head that says “that seems unrealistic” is necessary to enjoy some of the best shows.

For the most part, I don’t find this a problem. The mind can conceive of a world in which Michael Scott becomes a regional manager of an office, or a law enforcement branch is staffed entirely by massive rides, or a ten-year-old child leaves home to hunt and capture monsters across the world.

There are some things, however, I cannot accept. The following are examples.

Character one: I have something to tell you.

Character two: I have something to tell you, too!

Character one: You go first.

Character two: Something relatively mundane.

Character one: Reaction.

Character two: What did you want to tell me?

Character one: Never mind.

Character two: Cool.

EXCUSE ME? Are you trying to kill me, Character two?! Maybe I’m extraordinarily nosy, but I can’t be the only one who would lose my shit if I was Character 2. Especially if Character one had said it was really important, which they often do, then go on to say “never mind” like it was nothing, but it was really important five minutes ago! Here’s how the conversation would go IRL.

Character 1: Reaction

Caoimhe: What did you want to tell me?

Character 1: Never mind.

Caoimhe: No, seriously, what was it?

Character 1: It’s not important.

Caoimhe: It seemed important before, I should have let you go first!

Character 1: Don’t worry about it. It’s nothing.


I would HAVE to find out.

There are other situations where the characters’ curiosity should be aroused but they are completely disinterested, like when a character leaves suddenly without explanation. Somehow, the other characters continue on with their activity without commenting on the other person’s sudden up-and-leave. This would never happen in real life.

It usually goes something like this:

Character 1: Triggering or revealing information, maybe.

Character 2: I have to go (leaves)

Character 1 and the rest of them: We are all fine with that. Let’s get on with our day.

Yet, IRL:

Character 2: I have to go (leaves)

Caoimhe: Hang on, where are you going? Guys, where is he going?

Character 1: Who cares?

Caoimhe: He left so suddenly, that’s not normal! Don’t you think he was reacting to something you said? I think we should call and text him constantly until he tells us what’s going on. This might be the most interesting thing that has ever happened!

I might even follow him out of curiosity. Also, that was pretty rude.

Fictional characters have no curiosity. Then again, they don’t need it.

TV characters – and the viewers, by extension – are safe in the knowledge that the writer will reveal all to them by the end of the episode. In real life, we do not have this guarantee. If someone behaves mysteriously, the likeliness of their motives being revealed in 30minutes is very, very low.

So, really, we have no choice but to demand complete transparency and immediate satisfaction from everyone, otherwise, we will be tortured by the wondering.

Do not be tortured by the wondering and do not torture with the wondering. Life is not scripted and it’s not fair.

Part I:



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