Showing posts with label Network. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Network. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

As I was saying. . . .

Before humans were so progressive and advanced, marriage was a sacred thing -- a sacrament. An outward sign of an internal, sanctifying grace.

Looking at it this way, matrimony was a manner of a man and a woman helping one another to get to Heaven. It was how men and women got to model God -- model the Holy Trinity, with the love of the first two persons producing a third . . . a child.

"We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son."

BUT THAT'S NOT important now. What's important is whether we can entertain the masses with matrimony -- whether there's a buck (or several million) to be made off it.

Marriage: It's not the stuff of love and life anymore. It's a programming concept for reality television. It's a profit center for network bean counters.

On television in this postmodern age, according to The Live Feed,
it's nothing sacred:
The network has ordered a new series from the producers of "Top Chef" that puts lovelorn singles into arranged marriages.
The show introduces four adults age approximately 25-45 who are anxious to get married but have been unsuccessful in their search for a mate. Their friends and family select a spouse for them, and the newly paired couple exchange marital vows. The series follows their marriages.

The rest of the details for the project, whose early working title is "Arranged Marriage," are being kept under wraps.

The series is from Jane Lipsitz and Dan Cutforth of Magical Elves, which launched "Project Runway" on Bravo and produces the network's "Top Chef."

It is the second series greenlighted by CBS' new reality chief Jennifer Bresnan, following the recent order for "Block Party," a competition among neighboring families.

The series order for "Marriage" shows CBS is not shying away from reality projects that might draw a few pointed editorials in the wake of the network's previous envelope-pushing social experiment, the fall 2007 series "Kid Nation."

The marriage series comes on the heels of CBS' success with traditional scripted fare this past fall, led by hit new procedural "The Mentalist."

Although it might seem surprising that CBS would opt for a potentially hot-button series when it's on a roll with tried-and-true concepts, reality TV is unlike scripted. New dramas and comedies can get away with showing merely the slightest twist on a decades-old format. But reality shows are built on taking chances with social experiments and competitions giving viewers something they have not seen before.

I CAN'T WAIT for the sequel. Maybe something involving divorce and firearms.

After all, on "Network," Howard Beale bought the farm on live television. Assassinated because of slumping ratings.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Then. Now. Panic.

Television news: then and now.

FIRST, THEN. Note especially David Brinkley's summation of the events of Nov. 22, 1963, starting at about the two-minute mark of the video.

Now . . . now. Let us look at what passes for a contemporary news voice -- one who is fatuous enough when sober as a judge. Here, however. . . .

HOWARD BEALE was right. We're in a lot of trouble.

Turn off your TV. Turn it off now.

And speaking of Paddy Chayefsky's prophecy . . . look at TV Land now.

TV Land, owned by the giant conglomerate Viacom. I want my Dick Van Dyke Show back. And Ruby . . . in Poochini.

Hell, I'll settle for a test pattern.

Paddy Chayefsky was a prophet

Paddy Chayefsky, when he was writing it, thought "Network" was a biting bit of satire. The movie trailer branded it "outrageous."

As a high-school student in 1976, I know we all thought so. We were trying to figure out how to get in the "R" movie.

I SAW "Network" again last night on Turner Classic Movies. I wonder, had he lived, how Chayefsky would have reacted to his unintended role as prophet. (Note: This IS an "R" movie, with "R" language.)

FOR THAT MATTER, I wonder how television -- how today's mass media -- would deal with a prophet being prophetic? Even a mad prophet like Howard Beale.

UHHHHHHHHHH . . . never mind.