Continuity Error

Here’s my weekly entry explaining Soap Opera Jargon. See the Soap Opera Jargon page for more.

Continuity Error~ A continuity error is also something that can happen in all forms of drama and comedy and is the common term used throughout the industry, not something restricted to soap operas. It can be something like someone suddenly changing clothes in the middle of a conversation, a piece of cake getting smaller and larger again (less is eaten) throughout a scene, someone who entered without a purse suddenly having one, etc. Soaps are well aware that this is a special danger for them as one day in “reel life” can go on for a week on the soap in “real life” and failing to match what happened yesterday with today has little room for explanation or error. The trailer and recap scenes that begin and end each episode are especially prone to this, as often they slightly restage the scene from yesterday to today. Usually someone on a soap is in charge of continuity and is responsible for catching these errors before they make it on screen. Sometimes they seem to hope that if it happened a couple of days ago you won’t remember, but that is silly if you know soap fans, especially since we have developed the ability to play back previous episodes to double check. A continuity error is a small thing usually based on a physical object, but it can also be an action. If it has been established that the Bauer kitchen is to the right of the living room and a character says “I’m going to the kitchen” and heads through the alcove by the fireplace or up the stairs instead that would also be a continuity error. Larger errors of fact usually aren’t classed as continuity errors and instead are either sent up lines or rewritten history, look for future entries on each of these.

There are 3 glaring visual continuity errors in the Manny story that jump out at me. Enjoy these tongue in cheek descriptions of real examples.

Number 1: Michelle’s magic color adjusting scrunchie.
Forget raiding their trust funds, when Manny need money they should patent this wonderful little chameleon like device. Michelle enters Casa Santos wearing a scrunchie that coordinates with her pink coat. See it here at 9:00

Later the same day, heck without moving out of the room, Michelle’s scrunchie is now magically coordinating with her sweater that she was wearing underneath her coat. See it here at 4:01

Number 2: Michelle’s magic eye shadow
If that patent doesn’t go through, they can fall back on her next color changing device that only takes mind blowing sex to turn eye shadow from blue to green. Before at 1:53

After at 2:22

Number 3: Salerno’s mastery of the space-time continuum
Danny is up against a stronger opponent than he thought when Salerno, having tactlessly managed to arrive for a visit without a huge ugly vase, commands one to magically appear in his hands when he recognizes his faux paus.


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One Response to “Continuity Error”

  1. BenWarrenFan Says:

    I’m usually too slow on the uptake to catch the continuity errors! I do wish when they talk about real places they’d do some homework…I about died laughing when they talked about going “skiing” at Cross Creek in Tulsa (where I’m from), as that would be pretty impossible as flat as it is here!

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