When I was younger I loved courtroom dramas on television. I‘d love the suspense, the case-solving discovery by the local policeman, or the surprise witness in the back of the courtroom. It would wrap up neatly in 60 minutes time with the evil party receiving the punishment they deserved. When I got older, I was surprised to discover that real-life courtrooms look very different from Hollywood courtrooms. There are no surprise witnesses called to the stand from the back row of the courtroom or smoking guns found the night before a defendant takes the stand. Hollywood has changed the scene to create better drama and television.
But this is not uncommon for television to shift our view of reality.
Consider these other 51 Untruths That I’ve Learned From Television.
- Law enforcement departments hate working together. Someone will always pull rank or jurisdiction.
- Dumpsters prove to be amazingly soft landing zones.
- Good guys always win in the end.
- Everyone in America lives in a 30′ X 30′ bedroom.
- It is entirely normal for groups of complete strangers to spontaneously burst into perfectly choreographed but entirely random song and dance.
- Bad guys have terrible aim.
- The best chefs cook with exact ingredient portions stored in glass bowls.
- Most police forces and hospital staffs are full of sexual tension.
- Families typically sit on just three sides of the table.
- Republicans and Democrats never, ever work together.
- Most arguments can be quickly settled by delivering a really big kiss on the mouth.
- Chicks fall head-over-heels for guys who use the right deodorant or hair product.
- This week’s sporting event is absolutely going to be the biggest game of the Century.
- Promiscuous sex has incredibly few negative side affects.
- Cars always stay clean, turn sharp, and start on the first try.
- Homicides are far more entertaining than you’d think.
- Reality TV stars live a far different ‘reality’ than I do.
- Ventilation systems prove to be great hiding spots.
- A better credit card is the best answer to my personal debt crisis.
- Explosions look spectacular, but rarely cause harm to actual persons.
- When you’ve gotten the information that you need from a phone conversation, you can just hang up without saying goodbye and nobody seems to mind.
- Parties are always better with Coca-Cola, Pepsi, or Dr. Pepper.
- Babies are born the size of 5-month old infants.
- Heartbroken girlfriends always return to the place you first met.
- Kids will play all day long with plastic toys… especially ones modeled after TV characters.
- Fast food restaurants are typically full of slender, attractive patrons.
- The best way to get work done in the office late at night is to order pizza.
- The more blades on my razor, the more often my wife will caress my face in the bathroom.
- The newest kitchen gadgets will automatically improve my cooking.
- If you aren’t seeing cars fly off cliffs, you’re not looking hard enough…cause there’s apparently a lot of ‘em.
- You won’t get in trouble if you are sincere about your intentions.
- Any woman running for her life in high heels never thinks to take them off.
- Cars and trucks that crash will almost always burst into flames.
- Broken families are more comical than tragic.
- My friends and I can always meet at the same restaurant and get the exact same table.
- The older brother is always unintelligent… just like his dad, while the youngest child is always the cutest.
- Television can teach my children the A-B-C’s better than me.
- While running for your life, there is always time for a romantic moment.
- Lawyers always have a surprise witness up their sleeve that nobody in the courtroom knows about.
- It’s apparently not awkward for 1 guy to be dating 25 women living in the same house.
- This current bill being debated in Congress will ruin our country forever.
- Alcohol only improves life… never ruins it.
- Villains love explaining their detailed plans to heroes caught in traps.
- Your health problems can be easily cured with new prescription medication.
- New cars are totally worth the investment.
- During the day, it almost always rains in cemeteries.
- Back taxes are apparently pretty easy to get out of… if you just call the right people.
- Rich people have more fun.
- My teeth would be whiter if I switched toothpaste.
- Non-married couples have better sex.
- This next purchase will make me happier.
Perhaps courtrooms are not the only examples of television misrepresenting reality… perhaps it has been shifting our view of reality all along… and perhaps these untruths have been affecting our lives far more than we’d like to admit.
Perhaps their greatest success is making us believe it’s just harmless entertainment.
Here’s a helpful article I wrote on how to limit screen time for kids.