Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Development: Released

We have nothing to complain about. I mean as a TV watching nation. Everything on the air is just fine.

Isn’t it?

I’ve grown up as a TV viewer to the popular refrain: There’s nothing on. I assumed that to mean nothing of wit, originality or substance. But now I am confused. America, to which nothing are you referring?

You see, we (Hollywood) gave you Arrested Development. This show has to be the best network comedy since Seinfeld. It’s well-crafted, witty, dark, silly, timely, self-deprecating, award-winning, critically acclaimed…And no one’s watching.

I hate to underestimate our collective national intelligence but you do need to pay attention to get it. I’ll give you that if you just tune in out of the blue you might not know what’s going on, how these people are related or why it’s hilarious that a character just pulled a bizarre chicken dance to tease another character. It’s a self-referential show that is continuously building. You need to pay attention. And if you do you are vastly rewarded.

I occasionally try to watch the big network shows these days. I honestly can’t. Well I can but it’s more of a train wreck fascination. As I watch the “characters” spell things out for the viewers along the lines of:
Husband: I’m mad at you.
Wife: Why?
Husband: Because you ruined my car.
Wife: Well you were driving me crazy.
Cue laugh track.

What? I have to turn it off and stare at a plant just to reclaim my eyes and purge my brain.

I understand that humor, like everything else, it subjective. But America, come on!

My father and I had a political debate recently where I got up on my liberal high horse and spouted on about why W should not have been reelected.

“It makes no sense, I know no one that voted for him. How did it happen?”

He proceeded to inform me that the bubble of Hollywood does not represent the country and who did a bunch of actors think they were deciding how things should be run. Maybe he’s right. We must be seriously out of touch. We assume the nation wants television with intelligence, a biting wit, interesting stories and original, off-the-wall yet strangely relatable characters. We give that to the nation and the nation splats it back in our face like a baby flinging the finest stewed organic carrots.

Well don’t worry, America. Here’s your pabulum. Here is more of the programming that makes the rest of the world think we’re a pack of idiots. When I lived in Italy, our top exports there were Baywatch and Small Wonder. The only small wonder is that they haven’t all invaded us already crying “How did you Wal Mart shoppers become the World Super Power?!”

As George Clooney noted in his Oscar speech Hollywood may be out of touch. Like George, I’m fine with this. At least we can imagine a better world, and a better TV show even if the rest of the country would prefer to ignore it. All I can say is if anyone gets voted off the island, I hope it’s us. We can amuse ourselves on the life raft with many more tales involving a stair-car, a banana stand and a hand-eating loose seal.

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Blogger Kid Sis said...

Arrested Development, eh? Now you're just kissing Dave's ass for saving your bacon on the title fields. :)

My favorite comment about the Oscars is still the one on VH1's Best Week Ever: regular-looking Joe saying "Thanks, George, for making me GAY."

12:39 PM  
Blogger Heidi said...

hah! actually, he had a post about it so i said i'd put up mine. i like bacon...

4:37 PM  
Blogger Webs said...

"Arrested Development" is one of those rare shows that's funnier on the DVD than it was first run.

2:12 PM  

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