Certain things have become so overused in movies and television that they’ve actually transcended being clichés to become parodies of clichés, which is just all sorts of messed up. Even if a cease and desist can’t be issued against these incidents, the least we can do is complain about them. Here’s just one example of the kind of stupidity we never want to see on the big and/or small screen ever again.
Random Busywork When Being Questioned by Law Enforcement Officers Look, if the cops came to your house or place of work and started asking you questions, do you know what you would do? You would sit down on your ass and give them your full attention and let them take as much time as they want. They are COPS. They have the power to RUIN YOUR LIFE or even SHOOT YOU, so you will politely and graciously cooperate with them by dropping whatever dumb thing it is you’re doing and providing them with whatever they need. Look at this scene from David Fincher’s Zodiac. Look at how John Carroll Lynch is sitting and doing nothing but giving the police officers his full attention. That is what you would do if you were in such a situation.
What you would not do is continue doing what it was you were doing before the police officers arrived. You wouldn’t go back into the kitchen and continue cooking dinner. You wouldn’t continue dusting the dining room table. You wouldn’t continue moving random boxes from one place to another. You wouldn’t hurry them along – no one would ever in their right minds say to a cop, “Huh, yeah, I dunno, sure, maybe he owned a gun… look, is this gonna take long? These boxes ain’t gonna move themselves.” or “Huh, yeah, you know, he was acting a little strange that night, I dunno, it’s hard to remember… I can’t talk right now, I gotta get to work!” You don’t have to get to work, a dude just got shot through the eyeball in the next apartment by a dwarf dressed in a Finding Nemo costume. The cops will write you a note. Just sit the hell down.
The biggest culprit of this madness is Law & Order. They did it on The X Files, too. Homicide did it, too, but Homicide ruled so they get a pass.