Thursday, April 20, 2017

Please Make It Stop!

Here's Kiefer Sutherland as the President of the US on "Designated Survivor," a show I generally like even though it's completely ridiculous.  But if you're not watching his character govern the country from the Oval Office, don't sweat it. There are almost a half-dozen other Presidents that you can enjoy on other programs.

Let's see.   There's Kevin Spacey on "House of Cards."  Elizabeth Marvel on "Homeland."   Keith Carradine on "Madam Secretary."   And these are just the shows I watch.   I know there are others.  But, the office of the Chief Executive has been used repeatedly over the years.   There were four or five different Presidents during the run of the original "24."  And, of course, there was that lunatic Martin Sheen who actually really thought he was President of the United States on the grossly overwritten and overrated "West Wing."

Meanwhile, these leaders are not just dealing with Congressional bills or greeting boy scouts on the West Lawn.   Nope.   Our TV Presidents are dealing with terrorists, assassination attempts, Capitol explosions, and scandals.  It's apparently prime time TV's new "go-to" when it comes to plot devices.

Now, there was a recent asinine article in the Hollywood Reporter where several prominent show runners were interviewed about writing TV in the age of Trump.   How did his election affect their story lines, especially since the majority of the production people in Hollywood are still in denial that he won? Well, be assured that these folks are coping and working diligently to include this real life dilemma into their shows.

I've got a clever idea.   Why don't you ignore it all and simply entertain us in other ways?  

First off, when shows like this work current events into their plots, it immediately dates and depreciates the program quicker than a new Hyundai driving off the car lot.  Five years later, are you going to be really watching a repeat episode of "Veep?"  Including timely references is the death knell for any TV show.   "Murphy Brown," which went heavy up on Dan Quayle jokes, is paying the price now.  It is rarely rerun and DVD sales never got past the first season.  Nobody cares what happened when Murphy had her baby.   

There are many other examples of shows that focused on current events and lived to regret it.   The shelf life of some television these days is shorter than the six-pack of Thomas' English Muffins you bought last weekend.   And, as a result in a decade from now, retro TV networks like Antenna TV and Me TV, currently showing reruns of "Hazel" and "Everybody Loves Raymond," will still be showing reruns of "Hazel" and "Everybody Loves Raymond."  Given the state of what will be rewatchable in ten years, there's probably going to be a TV network (probably TBS) that runs nothing but "The Big Bang Theory" episodes.

The other quibble I have with all these politically-heavy shows is that...well...they are all politically-heavy.  After watching the news, don't we need a freakin' break?  How about something that makes you smile or...perish the thought...laugh?  The thing I am hearing that was not included in that dippy Hollywood Reporter piece was that we might be trending back to more comfortable and easy-on-the-mind television.   I vote "yea."   Some of the most watched shows on Netflix are "Friends," "Frasier," and "Cheers."  Hmmm.  I wonder why.  Frasier and Niles never shared their thoughts on Trump or the Clintons.  We have 13 episodes written of a new project and there was one single political joke about Obamacare.   One.  It's gone now because even that is already dated.

Don't we all need a rest?  Look at everything that comes out of super-lberal Hollywood which constantly tries to lead us all in several verses of "Kumbaya." Meanwhile, did you watch any of the recent "24" reboot?  Let's see.  All the villains were Muslim terrorists.   There was a Black gang war and they all had guns.   And, oh, yeah, in the middle of rush hour, a bomb blew up the middle of the George Washington Bridge.

Yes, let's have more shows like that, jerks.  Perhaps we'll get a break soon.   The writers may go on strike.

Dinner last night:  Chicken tenders plus sauteed spinach, mushrooms, and garlic.

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