Sometimes Dateline NBC and all of its crime-related spinoffs, 20/20, and other newsmagazines have interesting and informative true-crime stories. But I find them impossible to watch.
Because they appear to be scripted for the benefit of someone who has suffered mild brain damage resulting in grave short-term-memory deficits and a compulsive need to shop.
9:01:00 p.m. "This is a story about a woman who was murdered. Here's the story: there once was a woman. Up next, we'll tell you about how she met someone."
9:05:00 p.m. [Commercials]
9:10:00 p.m. "Earlier we established that there once was a woman. Let us remind you about this woman, and how she once, in fact, was. Then she met someone! Up next, the someone initially seemed nice."
9:15:00 p.m. [Commercials]
9:20:00 p.m. "This is extremely complicated, so for the love of God please try to bear with us if you can. There. once. was. this. woman. And … and this is the important part … she MET someone. Look how very nice that person was! Nice to the woman, that is. The woman who was. Up next, a suggestion that the person she met was not nice after all.
9:30:00 "Look, we'd better just start over."
At this point I want to stand on the couch and scream GET TO THE FUCKING POINT. You can't even fast-forward with it, because the mindless review and rereveiew and rerereview and preview is interwoven with everything else.
Look, I understand that you need to fill up an hour — occasionally two — with a simple story of X meets Y, Y kills X, X is acquitted or convicted. Couldn't you maybe tell three or four of those stories per hour?
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