Thursday, May 10, 2012
A reality show featuring writers, really????
Some wag suggested an Idol-style show featuring writers. Well, there have been 'Project Runway' and 'Work of Art' and ... 'Extreme Couponing' so why not some other show that observes grass growing but making entertainment from the (usually) staged conflicts within. The problem is, writing is such a solitary occupation unless you work in the Writers' Room at Letterman or SNL. Those rooms bristle with tension, forced laughter, self-congratulatory appreciation of wit, panic at being 'dry', panic at being late with a deadline and other emotions. I know. Because I have been there. What usually happens with those writer teams is that the producer will just throw more and more writers at the problem. Outsiders are not welcome. But sometimes new blood will tilt the humour to a different plateau and magic happens. Observing every comedy show on TV, I have noticed the similarity and the plumbing the depths when pure wit or Pythonesque silliness fail. The writers dig into the dope references, blue llanguage, double entendres. Old-fashioned. Tried and true jokes. Jay Leno does this every night. And for Jay, his fall-back is the applause button. Umm, laughter would be far more pleasant for the viewer to witness (Jon Stewart & Colbert just have laughter and the occasional whoop!). But the whole monologue on Jay's tired ol' show is over-seasoned with disciplined applause, reactions to any mention of marijuana (so darn inappropriate to Jay's own lifestyle) and boom-tish on cue from the band. Oh, heck. Will a reality show DARE visit the room where this plastic wit is fed his lines? No, I don't think so.