October 28, 2002
On Tuesday, October 29, HBO's Real Sports will be broadcasting, in one of the program segments, an exploration of the issues of professional sports and coming out of the closet. For reasons best known to themselves, they have been hiding the identity of the athlete in their own promos, treating it as a great secret. In the meantime, everyone else is gleefully publishing their own interviews and articles about Esera Tuaolo, putting HBO in the terribly odd position of breaking a story which is then scooped by everyone else. Supposedly in cooperation with HBO, The Advocate will also be publishing an interview with Tuaolo sometime in November. In the meantime, in all of the publicity they've done for the article, the Advocate has blithely revealed Tuaolo's identity -- but then, the Advocate, being what it is, was highly unlikely to cooperate with any sort of secrecy campaign. That said ... it's an unusually long teaser article.
One wonders why HBO would set themselves up this way. To be sure, all the publicity may ensure a somewhat larger audience for the show. That said, it's only one segment. People may tune in to watch that, and then leave. Or jump in and out until the segment shows up. In any event, it seems an odd way to handle the story; you'd think that they'd have gotten confidentiality agreements from Tuaolo and others to hold back until perhaps a day or two before. At this rate, even if they did pan it somehow, it will all have blown over and be yesterday's news by the time the segment actually airs.
Further discussion of the type of articles in Grim Amusements: esera tuaolo.Posted by iain at 12:13 AM
October 14, 2002
Chicago Tribune | Now you see 'em, now you don't: ...This television season seems particularly flush with that category of actor we'll call the Death Star. It is time for these people to either get a new agent, learn how to read a script for quality, or make some kind of offering to the fates to change their luck. One other option: Grow moles and become character actors.
Heh. "Death Star".
Really, nothing substantive to say about this one. I just like the concept of actors that you cast and virtually guarantee the death of a show. (Also, the false drops that this entry is going to generate once it gets into search engines will be truly spectacular. But I digress. And snicker.)
Imagine, if you will, all of these actors in one big garbanzo ensemble show. A comedy, I suppose it would have to be. I can't imagine some of these people in comedies, but I can't imagine Bonnie Hunt in anything serious, and she's as big a name as you get in this lot.
Any road, the supernova potential of this show would be ... amazing, really. I can just imagine the executives of a network talking to the press after the initial airing. All those gray suits (yes, even the women will be wearing smart gray dress suits), everyone pale and stunned and helpless. The crowd of shareholders before them surly and upset. The executives would try to excuse their blunder. "We ... we didn't know. We just didn't know. Who would have thought you could wrie a show that bad? Who would have thought that one show could destroy an entire network? We just didn't know!"
Is there a network out there needs killin'? There's a show I'd like to pitch.....Posted by iain at 10:24 PM
livin' the surreal life
October 2, 2002
E! Online News - "Surreal" Life with Webster: Did you ever wonder what hijinks would ensue if Webster from Webster and Natalie from The Facts of Life became roomies? We didn't think so. But nevertheless... Emmanuel Lewis (aka Webster) and Mindy Cohn (aka Natalie) have been confirmed as cast members of WB's planned reality show The Surreal Life. They'll join rapper-turned-preacher (M.C.) Hammer, ex-Mötley Crüe rocker Vince Neil and onetime Baywatch babe Brande Roderick. The WB says at least one more female celeb (or semi-celeb) will be added to the group's Hollywood Square ranks.
... I don't even know what to do with that!
Per its makers, Surreal Life will play more like MTV's The Osbournes or E!'s Anna Nicole Show than the like-sounding Real World franchise, also of the MTV universe.
Well, frankly, I don't see how it could possibly play like the Osbournes, since they're a real family and actually do live together; the dynamics won't be remotely the same. I also don't know why anyone sane would use the Anna Nicole show as a hopeful point of comparison, but then, the putative sanity of these producers is clearly up for grabs. In any event, despite their disclaimers, the series is more or less forced to play out like The Real World -- as, indeed, the original title of The Surreal World would indicate were the producers' original intentions, before AOL Time Warner management no doubt leaned over and said to people at their WB network subsidiary, "HEY! Stop making fun our own show, you idiots!" Tragically, grievously, and most unfortunately, said corporate management did not add, "And dump this show in the trash," at the end of that statement.
"Our intent is to make you feel like you're really watching a sitcom," Mark Cronin, whose Mindless Entertainment will produce Surreal Life, explained to Variety.
I will forego the easy crack about the name of the production company, since that's clearly what the owners of said company intend you to think, and I will merely state that the concept of people living their life as a sitcom continues to be ... odd. And frankly, I'm not sure that it will work when it's manufactured in this way. I mean, I'm not sure how people actually think of The Real World, but I'm pretty sure that for most people, it doesn't fit in the "sitcom" slot in their minds, for all that it's a half-hour show. After all, sitcoms intend to be funny; any humor in these shows is purely incidental. (Granted, the intent of the producers of The Anna Nicole Show is to make you laugh at her -- I've never quite made it past "utterly appalled" in the grand total of 20 minutes I've watched, myself -- but it's not quite her intent, I don't think. I do wonder if the people around her have the vaguest idea about how the world is seeing them, though.) And after all, the idea seems to be that aside from being thrown together, these people will continue to go about their normal lives. Emmanual Lewis will do ... whatever he does, Mindy Cohn will do ... whatever she does, MC Hammer will do ... something (one hell of a comedown for him, isn't it?), and Vince Neil will have sex with porn stars -- tastefully digitally modified for broadcast television, of course. (I would imagine that they hope he'll have sex with Brande Roderick, actually.)Posted by iain at 12:47 PM | Comments (2)