TV Tropes Thursday: TV Tropes: Dawson Casting

Dawson Casting is when teenager characters are portrayed on screen by people who are not teenagers.

People often criticize how common it is, but there are many good reasons why it happens.

Teenagers are still growing, and therefore, their appearances can be very fickle; a cute 14-year-old could become an awkward 15-year-old, and that can be very jarring to the audience.  Also, another issue is child labor laws; by law, teenagers can only work a so many hours, and that can make it hard to finish projects on time.  Avoiding having to deal with stage parents is also a huge factor.  Other factors could be that adult performers are often more skilled and experienced at acting; teenagers may find the pressures of being in a TV show too much to deal with and leave after only one season.

This trope is named after the show Dawson’s Creek.  Most of the cast was too old to be in school, when filming began.  This trope has also been called “The 90210 Effect,” named after Beverly Hills, 90210, where the teenage characters were mostly played by adults in the their 20’s.




TV Tropes Thursday: TV Tropes: Role Ending Misdemeanor

Happy Thursday.  I know that I missed talking about TV Tropes on Tuesday. I’m considering talking about a specific trope on both Tuesday and Thursday, since I have more free time during the summer.

Role Ending Misdemeanor is when a person loses  a job as an entertainer or other type of public figure due to making bad choices, or sometimes, choices that would hurt the reputation of the given production/project.

There are several noteworthy examples.  Two of them come from the world of Beauty Pageants.  Vanessa Williams made history as the first black Miss America in 1983.  But when Penthouse published nude photos of her that were taken one year earlier (she was led to believe that they would be destroyed), she was pressured to give up her crown (Sidenote: Playboy was offered the photos, but turned them down despite their interest because she didn’t give permission for them to see the light of day.).  However, Williams bounced back with successful music and acting careers, and fully recovered from the scandal.

A more recent example is the case of Carrie Prejean, the former Miss California USA 2009, caused a controversy when she revealed during the Miss USA pageant, that she is against marriage equality.  Later there was more scandal when sexually-charged photos of her were publicized, but she was still able to keep her crown and until being stripped of it due to breaching her contract; the breach has nothing to do with the earlier incidents.

Sometimes, however, offending “mores of sexuality” is not the reason for this trope to play out in real life.  Instead, it’s due to actual crimes like assault and drug use.  For example, Aaron Sorkin ended his involvement with The West Wing, due to a drug scandal.

Other times, it is due to cast conflicts,  Shannon Doherty was fired from Beverly Hills, 90210 and Charmed for that reason.  Isaiah Washington was not offered a new contract Grey’s Anatomy following homophobic remarks made againt T.R. Knight.  Nicollette Sheridan was written out of Desperate Housewives, according to the producers, due to unprofessional behavior such as feuding with co-stars, showing up late to the set, and failing to learn her lines; Sheridan, however, alleged in a lawsuit that she was fired because she complained after allegedly being slapped by the show’s creator, Marc Cherry.