March 28, 2013

PUSH TO ADD DRAMA: This commercial for the European edition of the TNT cable channel is a lot of fun, but these days, as stars and veteran newsreaders are repeatedly given the network equivalent of a pistol and a bottle of whiskey on a regular basis, isn’t the real drama in television occurring behind the scenes, rather than in front of the cameras?

The late Gene Siskel was fond of saying, “I always ask myself, ‘Is the movie that I am watching as interesting as a documentary of the same actors having lunch together?” But as television enters into its Red Queen’s Race phase, and seeks to both cut costs and cut older stars (which both cuts costs and attempts to aim television towards more towards a younger Web-based demographic), perhaps Siskel’s Law could be amended to read, “Is the TV show I am watching as interesting as a documentary of the same people having lunch with the paranoid network brass?”

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