Voice-overs are sometimes the greatest part of a movie or a TV show, but it’s those other times that really concern me. When not necessary, or just plain old done badly, a narrative voice superimposed over some meaningful establishing shot is ugh irritating. Actually, if you listen really closely, you can hear all of a show’s or movie’s viewers thinking “wow, this is annoying” collectively. It’s a skill that needs to be developed, but once you get it, you can’t get rid of it.
So in a sort of celebration of shows like Arrested Development, Dexter, and the ever-important Lizzie McGuire that did voice-over the right way, here are 7 shows that could have really passed on the offer to use voice-over narration. And by “could have,” I completely mean “should have.”
1. Sex And The City
I was so sick of hearing about how Carrie Bradshaw “couldn’t help but wonder…” at the end of each episode. Why did she begin all of her sentences that way? Was there ever a time where she could help but wonder?
2. The Carrie Diaries
A handy dandy Butterfly Effect would’ve taken care of this one if we were somehow able to get rid of the voiceover in the first.
3. Gossip Girl
I love Kristen Bell, who provided the narration and voice of Gossip Girl, but was there an actual need for it? Like, couldn’t the characters just talk about the rumors in their dialogue instead? I feel like yes.
4. Burn Notice
How did you, Burn Notice, know that exactly what we needed was to have every single second of the action explained to us. You shouldn’t have!
5. The Vampire Diaries
Only because the voiceover is used to add, what I feel like, is an unnecessary layer to the story. What I mean is, who cares who’s voicing the “previously on…” section? I usually fast forward through that, anyway.
6. How to Live With Your Parents for the Rest of Your Life
To be fair, this one got cancelled reallly quickly, so a voice over was probably the least of its worries. But the point still stands.
7. Grey’s Anatomy
I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve cried along to Grey’s Anatomy. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that Meredith Grey is such an annoying character. So why why WHY were we subjected to her whining through dialogue and voiceover?