The days of television being seen as a smaller, cheaper, or less ambitious sibling to movies are long gone, as some of the best writers, actors, and directors are turning their talents to the small screen. But they’re also required to churn out countless hours more every year – for fans, that means plenty of tiny mistakes and laughable errors you don’t want to miss.
Creator Vince Gilligan’s story of a chemistry teacher turned drug kingpin was carefully planned, which means major mistakes are hard to find. As Breaking Bad built towards its second season finale, Walt was forced to break into his partner Jesse’s house, and steal his stash. With Jesse and his girlfriend in a heroin-fueled haze during the visit, it must be a crew member awarding himself a hard-to-miss cameo, peeking around a door frame as Walt makes a fast exit.
Orange is the New Black
Complicated doesn’t begin to describe the relationship between Orange is the New Black heroine Piper Chapman and her ex-girlfriend Alex. Aside from being the one responsible for landing Piper in prison, fans could have seen early on that Alex wasn’t to be trusted based on her tattoos alone. The first episode of the Netflix series gave a clear look at the salt shaker on Alex’s left shoulder that would last for the rest of the series. Or would it? Two episodes later, it’s changed its position, returning to its original angle from then on.
Creator Matthew Weiner knew that setting a TV series in the early 1960s would mean plenty of fact-checking, but Mad Men has been noted for several mistakes and inconsistencies. Gadgets that weren’t invented yet, or modern sayings are on thing, but Weiner has admitted a few are more embarrassing. When Joan mentioned a reservation at the famous New York restaurant Le Cirque, food buffs called foul, since it didn’t open until 1974. The creator first blamed actress Christina Hendricks for ad-libbing the line, but would later admit it was an oversight, and a “terrible error.”
Game of Thrones
It didn’t take long for Prince Joffrey to prove he wasn’t born to lead once he took the throne in Game of Thrones's first season. Among the most surprising twists was releasing Barristan Selmy from the king's guard without warning. The proud knight didn’t go quietly, forcing the rest of the king’s knights to draw their blades. No blood was spilled, but the standoff was enough to rattle one of the guards, as one can clearly be seen shaking and struggling to sheathe his sword without ruining the entire shot. In hindsight, the humor probably helped break the tension in the throne room.
House of Cards
With Frank Underwood having climbed to the rank of Vice President in the first season of House of Cards, the second season finale saw him claim the Oval Office for himself. To do it, he sends a typewritten letter to the president, offering to take the fall for his scandal. Using an Underwood typewriter raises the drama of the scene, but it also means Frank lets a typo slip through. Although he narrates the letter as “staring at the desk,” the letter clearly shows the word “started.” Where’s spell check when you need it?
Sons of Anarchy
The boys of Sons of Anarchy may have won over fans with their criminal adventures, but masterminds they’re not. That usually isn’t a problem, but it also means that Opie makes more work for himself than he has to, breaking into a car in the second season. He’s using a slim jim properly, sliding it into the window casing to pop open the lock. But from the interior shot, it’s obvious that the car is already open, with the door lock shown in the raised, unlocked position.