Is There a Shortage of Lightbulbs in Hollywood?

Karin Fuller Patton
3 min readNov 23, 2022

TV and Movie Pet Peeves

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed there seems to be a shortage of lightbulbs in Hollywood?

Pretty much every show I’ve watched recently appears to have been lit by a couple Bic lighters and an iPhone flashlight.

I’ve been watching more television than usual, as I’m recovering from my second foot surgery in just over three months. The first foot was the most dire; the second more because I can’t resist a bargain. Since my deductible was met, if I acted before the end of the year, it was kind of a buy-one-foot, get-one-free sort of deal.

Recovery involved being horizontal, and for the most part, I enjoyed my hours of guilt-free binge-watching. But the more I watched, the longer my list of television pet peeves started to grow.

For instance, I noticed characters would often order food or drinks and then leave before it arrived or without consuming a single bite.

Couples would awaken looking fantastic and immediately start kissing, as though neither had morning breath.

A hundred-pound woman wearing high heels could chase down a 250-pound Navy seal and beat him senseless simply because she “had brothers.”

I’ve grown tired of most every Hollywood male character, especially if he’s a father, being portrayed as a doddering incompetent.

Tired of good guys managing to successfully sneak up on the bad, then scream-announce their presence just before they launch their attack.

And really tired of how every character who is shown to have faith will eventually be revealed to be a dangerous zealot, an intolerant, a criminal, or some sort of deviant. Other faiths aren’t treated with such disdain. Just Christians.

Characters on television almost never need to use the bathroom, but if they do, they’re going to overhear an essential conversation while in the stall.

If two attractive characters get in a violent fight, it will almost always end with them having equally violent sex.

Every other car seems to have keys tucked in the visor or someone in the party who knows how to hotwire.

And Hollywood drivers can take their eyes off the road for maddeningly long periods of time without issue.

Characters can be in a car together for ages but won’t even begin to start talking until they’re out of the car and moments away from whatever rapidly approaching big danger they face.

The closer the volcano is to erupting, the slower those fleeing will walk.

A single blow to the head will render the bad guy unconscious for just as long as the good guy needs them out of the picture. But then, even if the bad guy has machine guns and rocket launchers, they are incapable of hitting the hero — unless the hero just learned they’re expecting. Even so, the dying hero will manage to fire his last bullet and somehow take out a battalion.

I’ve seen one too many characters shown being shot in the heart, yet we later learn it was actually just the shoulder.

I’ve noticed television characters seldom say goodbye when ending a call, rarely express gratitude, and upon ordering a beer, never mention a brand.

If a formerly romantic couple is shown hugging goodbye, the current love interest will see it, misunderstand, and act rashly.

And there are always television characters who, upon receiving a ransom call, are capable of remembering long and complicated instructions without writing them down.

If I’m ever in that situation, someone is going to die.

I still have a few more weeks left in the boot, but I’ve grown so frustrated with all the tired television tropes that I’m ready to put down the remote and go back to the books.

Just as soon as I finish viewing this one last series.



Karin Fuller Patton

Karin Fuller Patton is a newspaper columnist and short fiction writer who resides in Hinton, WV.