Television, described

I am a big fan of the Eastlink interactive television guide. It’s not really an Eastlink product: they just rebrand Tribune Media Services generic TV guide. But that’s neither here nor there: it’s still a pretty handy web application.

I do wonder, though, who writes the episode descriptions that appear with the listings.

For example, tonight’s episode of The Practice is described as follows:

The guys work with an insurance company to settle the claim of a young accident victim.
There’s something odd about the familiarity of “the guys.” To say nothing of the gender-inaccuracy: there are three women in the firm of lawyers at the centre of the series.

The listings at Canoe are somewhat more descriptive:

Jimmy and Eugene clash during a case involving an insurance company’s settlement with a 10-year-old accident victim.
I guess “Jimmy and Eugene” are “the guys.” But here we learn that they’re clashing, not simply “working with.”

TV Guide’s website has a different take:

Complications in a personal-injury suit unsettle Jimmy, whose emotional reaction prompts a disbarment hearing presided over by the uncompromising Judge Hiller.
So I suppose it’s Jimmy’s unsettledness that causes the clashing?

The official description from the The Practice website says:

Bobby, Eugene and Jimmy work with an insurance company to settle the claim of a 10-year-old accident victim. But when the case presents a dilemma of moral and ethical proportions, the tension that’s been brewing between Jimmy and Eugene finally boils over.
It would appear that the copy editor who created the text for my listings was short on room, so they simply abbreviated the official version: “Bobby, Eugene and Jimmy” became “the guys” and “a 10-year-old accident victim” became “a young accident victim.”

I think it would be a cool job to be the guy (err, person) who watches television all day and writes the summaries for the listings. In my heart of hearts I know that I could come up with a better description for Seinfeld, which is described in my listings as:

Friends living in Manhattan obsess over little things.

Can you?


Rob MacD's picture
Rob MacD on November 19, 2001 - 22:49 Permalink

Read enough descriptions of a program and you won’t have to bother with the watching of said program.