This is Joshua Wehner's archaic Blog

TV: The Riches' quiet cell phone

I'm late – as always these days – to the show, but I'm very much enjoying FX's The Riches. The show involves a family of gypsies or travelers, who struggle to pose as a "normal" family in a wealthy, gated community in Louisiana. Overall, the writing is top notch – although the last episode we saw, X Spots the Mark seemed to be well below par.

I've noticed that the show frequently emphasizes the sound of Doug's vibrating cell phone.

In my own lifetime, I've seen the full evolution of TV cell phone technology – from a fantasy gadget in Star Trek to an everyday commodity in The X-Files. And, somewhat paradoxically, Alias prominently featured the distinctive ring-tone of show sponsor Nokia.

But I believe this might be the first show I've seen make such prominent use of a vibrating phone. In many scenes, the sound of the vibrating phone adds notable tension – Wayne can't answer the phone, for one reason or another – something that I doubt a "normal" ring-tone would equally convey.

I think it's particularly remarkable the way the show draws so much attention to a relatively subtle detail.

Permalink • Posted in: cellular, the riches, tv