Saturday, April 11, 2009

That's Entertainment!

Is the entertainment industry completely out of ideas? From movie remakes to an almost constant barrage of so-called ‘reality’ shows… their incredible lack of creativity is evident at every turn. What ever happened to writing? There is an actual Writer’s Guild, so there must still be writers. No reason to have a guild if not. I’m really not actually sure what a guild is to tell you the truth. Sounds prestigious enough. I wonder if they have a secret handshake, and have to wear a red, tasseled fez to meetings where they take ‘minutes’ and talk about dues and stuff. Can I start a guild I wonder? I could probably join theirs, since I’m doing more writing right now than ‘the guild’ did over the entire Bush Administration. It’s kind of our own fault though. If they put it on TV, we tend to just watch it - whatever it is.

I guess I just don’t see the appeal of the reality show. I live in real life – I don’t want to watch it when I get home. I want revenge fantasies. I want to see the guy in the movie do what I wanted to do to the nit-wit who cut me off in traffic, but couldn’t because I’d go to jail. I want to see Dr House be extraordinarily un-PC in a ridiculously over the top PC world - and get away with it. And I want Jack Bauer to keep having much worse days than I could ever have. Why do I want to see a gaggle of pampered housewives, who want for nothing, and contribute nothing, sit around, whine about their lives and bitch about their husbands… Isn’t that what we have neighbors for?

I don’t care if Brodie Jenner gets a new ‘bro’. I don’t want to see your intervention, or little people buying groceries, or top chefs, top models, cougars, millionaires, bunnies, sextuplets, survivors, racers, or Joan Rivers try to smile. And I’m fairly convinced American Idol represents the unlocking of the 4th seal of the apocalypse. (You know Randy Jackson had to have made some sort of deal with the devil – ‘dog’).

What I’m really annoyed with is what’s going on in the movie industry. I recently sat through ‘the Day the Earth Stood Still’ with Keanu Reeves. I’m a big fan of the original from 1951, and wanted to see what they did to it… Ugh! Just another empty, boring script relying on CGI to get them through. Why? Why do these studios feel the need to mess with the movies we love. Is it ego - the feeling they can ‘do it better’? Or is it purely economics? They’ve already sought to destroy The In-laws, Sabrina, Psycho, Planet of the Apes, and King Kong, just to name a few. And this year alone, the list of remakes slated to be made are Arthur, The Birds, Clash of the Titans, Karate Kid, Footloose, (oy!), The Dirty Dozen, and My Fair Lady. There are actually about 40 others as well.

OK – You may be thinking this is a fairly benign thing to bug me as much as it does, or that I’m a little crazy, or being a little dramatic, or that it takes me too long to return calls, or that I look really good in baseball hats - and that may be true. But I think movies are an art form, like paintings, or songs, or books. A representation of someone’s vision, passion, effort, and sacrifice. You’d never see a picture of a seated, homely woman with a crooked smile, drawn in crayon, and entitled ‘Mona Lisa’, hanging in the Louvre. And while recording artists cover songs all the time, they don’t change the lyrics… Well – P Diddy aside of course.

Look – ranting aside. There’s nothing wrong with a little mindless TV – whatever relaxes you, and helps mark the end of your long day is fine… Hey, one of my favorites is a reality show - Deadliest Catch - and I love South Park... doesn’t get more mindless than that. It just disturbs me that Housewives of Orange County, and Who wants to Marry a Millionaire are now synonymous with American Culture. From the golden age of television, to the magic of Hollywood, America set the standard in film and television entertainment. There is a certain responsibility that comes with that, and I hope that is something we don’t lose sight of.

(I wasn't kidding about 'Idol' - Locusts to follow... Dog!)

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