Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pregnancy and the Elevator in the world of TVB dramas

A common criticism of TVB dramas is that they're basically all the same. They follow a predictable plot. They're full of cliche lines. And they're all played by young aspiring (ie, bad) actors/actresses.

Most importantly, they don't portray the real world and there's no better example of this than the dynamics between the elevator and the pregnant woman.

In the TVB drama world every time a pregnant woman steps into an elevator, the following is true 100% of the time:

1. Shortly after the elevator doors close, the elevator fails due to some technical glitch or power outage.
The probability of getting stuck in an elevator is once in a lifetime for a person using elevators on a daily basis. In other words, this just doesn't happen as often as depicted.

2. The pregnant woman suddenly cringes in pain, her water breaks, and goes into emergency labor where the baby has to be delivered right away.
Labor typically lasts several hours, sometimes days. But on TV, the water breaks and the woman sits down in a pile of sweat in about 5 seconds. This is then followed by 15 seconds of panic to hype up the drama. Then 10 seconds of pep talk. About 30 seconds later, the woman is ready to start pushing.
By the way, the woman is usually in her late 3rd trimester of her pregnancy when she enters the elevator. But this doesn't really matter. She could very well have just conceived the night before and all of this would still happen.

3. A protagonist assists with the delivery of the baby.
The protagonist is never a doctor. Yet, he/she seems to know exactly what to do. He/she just puts his hand between the woman's legs, implores her to push, and then catches the baby as it comes out. Labor is that easy, eh? Makes you wonder why we even need doctors and medical equipment?

4. The baby and mother always turn out alright despite the unsanitary conditions and the inexperience of the protagonist.
Nobody's hands are washed/sanitized. The elevator floor is dirty. There's no clean water supply. Yet, there's no risk of infection. If a woman really experiences such an emergency labor, I'm willing to bet that there's at least some sort of complication with the baby and/or mother. Yet, this is just never the case.

5. Only after the delivery of the baby can the lift doors be possibly opened.
This is like a rule chiseled in stone. Never will you see firefighters pry open the doors during the delivery of the baby. It could be the most epic grueling labor in the history of mankind lasting several hours (breaking rule #2). But by the time the doors are opened, the baby is already neatly wrapped in a mysterious towel of unknown origin. Where did the towel come from? How was the umbilical cord cut? What about the placenta?

6. The father is never in the elevator.
The father character is never the main protagonist. So if he's in the elevator, our protagonist doesn't get enough screen time.

7. The dramatic event sparks a relationship between the protagonist and the romantic interest.
The elevator doors open. The baby and mother leave with the paramedics. The protagonist and the romantic interest character looks and nods at each other. Somehow the experience changes them and they have a new found respect for one another.

Any more that I missed?

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