Shadow Hexagram wrote:A sound effect cliché: the sound of a helicopter to give some dramatic intensity.
Along these lines, I've noticed that they use an ambulance siren sound when the character discovers that something's bad about to happen. At the moment I can't remember any particular drama that has this, but it's a common trick to get you the viewer a little bit anxious.
When the drama features a large principal cast - common settings: an office, a school, a family - and the touching moment happens towards the conclusion, everyone gets their turn to show the appropriate 'touched' expression for the camera.
Some clichés and stereotypes may not be a failure of the imagination, just a reflection of social realities (as far as I know). E.g. the OL living alone in a one-room apartment, working in a mind-numbing job with a glass ceiling, approaching 30 with no marriage prospects (alternatively, with an unreliable boyfriend), whose parent will in one episode unexpectedly come visiting from the jikka, and in the end improve their relationship and/or impart some valuable life advice. This is usually the father: he's usually unapproachable and unexpressive, but in the end manages to convey his concern and love. Offhand I can think of Ryu Raita in Kekkon Dekinai Otoko and Ono Takehiko in Hataraki Man. The mother in this role will usually be someone like Ichige Yoshie.
On the other hand, other stereotypes just irritate me, like the insane college environments portrayed in Hanazakari no kimitachi e and Hachimitsu to Clover. Please tell me this isn't real.