“That’s a cautionary tale, huh? That’s what happens, though, you know, when you make show business your whole life, right? You know? Next thing you know, you’re eating kale chips out of a shopping cart.”
“I don’t care if you’re available or unavailable. I don’t care if you just found out that you have have herpes or hepatitis C from one of those whores that you pay to come to your room on show nights. I’ve been in this business a lot longer than you have, and I will be in this business long after they take you out in a body bag, because you are gonna OD on some shit that you pump into your veins because you hate yourself. And guess what? I’m your way out. And you’re too fucking stupid to even know it.”
“I don’t know what kind of candy you’re making, but I’m a coal miner!”
(Throwback Thursday: A version of the following first appeared in INsite Boston in 2006. Forgive the dated references — including the very notion of sweeps overall, which is all but dead thanks to year-round programming and the diminishing importance of live ratings. The overall content here is still relevant! In fact, it’s interesting that many of the new shows I discussed became TV behemoths that are still discussed to this day. This is sort of a fun look back at a moment in time that may or may not have been a milestone.)
Life for a person with high-quality tastes can be hard. Because high quality isn’t always available! With the silver screen tarnished by an abnormally high suck factor this year, I recently found myself in need of an alternative to the late-summer doldrums of September and the horror schlock of October. I turned to television — that handy box that plays my DVDs for me, and is rumored to show live programming.
Comedy is hard. I know that to be true. It’s hard to make, and in the case of network sitcoms, it can also be extremely hard to sit through. There are few things more awkward than watching someone try to be funny and fail miserably at it, especially when a canned laugh track subs in for any actual human amusement.
I don’t generally expect a whole lot out of network comedies these days. Last season brought us The Goldbergs, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and the unjustly canceled Trophy Wife, all of which did the trick for me.
What has this fall added to the mix? This season, I’m basically adding shows to my DVR all willy-nilly and dropping them when I get bored. Occasionally, I give up after one episode, and sometimes it’s hard to even get that far. My second Fall TV Roulette is focusing on the comedies — or at least, the shows that are trying to be funny. (Actual comedy not guaranteed.)
(Flashback Friday: The danger in writing about something “cutting edge” is that you will soon sound ridiculous. So I’ve learned upon reexamining my old columns, such as this one about the dawning of DVR and how it changed our television viewing processes forever. Of course, this was well before streaming changed the game even further; at this point, it was still rather mesmerizing just to choose when you watched any given program. This piece was first published in INsite Boston in March 2007.)
Architects and screenwriters know equally well: structure is important. Without it, stories come crumbling down.
The same is true in life. Without a schedule, we’re bound to idle away hours chatting online, playing Guitar Hero, contributing nothing to the world at large. To remedy this, many have looked to work or school to dictate how they spend their time.
Me? I looked to television.