Clap if you believe in the exposition fairy

Just about every writing how-to will tell you to show, don't tell. I tell this to the authors I edit all the time, and I work at putting "show" into my own writing.  

So, why is it, in the most show-ing medium, television, it's okay to tell?

I watch 7th Heaven. I have no idea why, because, really, I think it's the most soul-sucking, stupidly ridiculous show on tv. Last night was the series finale. After ten long years, we said good-bye to the Camdens in what had to be one of the worst episodes ever.

This entire season has been dedicated to whether Simon and Rose are going to get married, even though they're way young, and Rose is an psycho hag-beast. I mean, every. single. episode. has been, will they? won't they? why won't Simon see that Rose is a psycho hag-beast? Hell, at this point, I would have married Simon just to get them to shut the hell up about it.

So the big finale episode, the one where past siblings came back (Barry Watson, who overcame Hodgkins disease and escaped to his own show on ABC; and Jessica Biel, who posed in her undies on a magazine cover and got a  movie career), was devoted to random fantasies about how the wedding will be stopped, keeping Simon and Psycho Hag-Beast from getting married. Oh, and a rather cruel portrayal of JB's character. Man they're some pissed that she actually made something of herself, eh?

And then, we go to commercial thinking that in the last ten minutes we'll actually get to see the wedding and if and how it's stopped, and instead… we come back and the wedding's over.

And the characters tell us what happened before the wedding.

And then there's this odd reveal that three of the seven siblings are pregnant with twins and we're left with a cliffhanger.  

Huh-what?

Couldn't they have shown us how it ended, after having kept us in suspense for nine fricken months? And instead of a boring old well, we talked before we went into the church, and decided not to do this, how about a loud "I object!" at just the right time? That would have been interesting enough to keep viewers' interest.  

And this isn't the first time this show has done this. Every time there's a big event in a Camden's life, it happens off-screen and then the characters talk about it ad nauseum. 

 I don't know about you, but I'd so much rather see it happen, right there on the screen, where you CAN show it to me, then listen to people blab about it later.

Oh and a cliff hanger? For a show that will never have another episode? And has already been decided won't be getting a spin-off? Yeah, bad form. 

Grrr.

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