Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Pirates & Polygamists

This summer I have been writing reader blogs for TV Talk at the Seattle P-I. Now that Big Love and Pirate Master have ended the season, I will only be writing about Damages and Monk. So I hope to post more often at Daughters of Catastrophe. I'd like to post shorter pieces of fiction, maybe some excerpts from the novel I'm revising.

Meanwhile, for anyone who loves pirates and felt cheated when CBS stopped airing episodes of Pirate Master mid-summer, here's a tiny spoiler: It's BEN!!!!!!! Go online and tell the world, the ultimate Pirate Master is Ben Fagan, the buccaneer with a conscience, who gave Louie an extra $12,000 because he was sorry for costing "Lou-Dog" the last mission.

Right now, I bet a few people at CBS wish they'd stuck with the sinking ship instead of climbing aboard the nightmare truck headed for Kid Nation. Some TV ideas look good on paper and then turn out to be bad news. Kid Nation is one of those ideas that is so clearly bad, so obviously counting on American youth mania, and so undoubtedly a target for a gazillion lawsuits, it's hard to believe anyone gave it the go-ahead. Those CBS execs must be desperate for new material. And I say:

It is now time to roll up the reality carpet, stop pretending that all the people on these shows are not given acting coaching and dialog, stop saying the people feeding them lines and scenarios are not writers, and just give in to the idea that artists are people with ideas that are valuable and worth the money you have to pay them. This whole reality craze only began when Survivor took off in ratings during or on the heels of a union strike in Hollywood. TV producers must have felt awful smart announcing that they didn't need actors or writers any more. Except that, um, they DO.

No matter what alternative the money people come up with, in the end there is no substitute for an artist's talent and creativity. And, really, paying writers and actors is a hell of a lot cheaper than paying off a horde of litigants, eh?

"But, see, the kids will have to form their own government, and they'll have to earn money for food--but they're not working a job, not at a real job..."

I have to think that the current White House administration has influenced the whole society. Never have so many people bluffed, hoaxed, pretended, and lied so blatantly about so many things, and fully expected to get away with it. The one thing I hope for, as I watch the daily spectacle of a presidency going down in flames, is that this GOP disaster will usher in a new era of honesty and accountability.

But then, if I ruled the world, we'd be watching a fourth season of Deadwood right now, and children wouldn't be allowed on TV ads or reality series. So, there you go.

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