And now, for a change of pace… television.
I regret having to say this, but I’ve stopped watching Gilmore Girls. The shows are badly written (especially compared to the high point of the modern medium they used to be), the characters have been flattened and sound wrong, and the whole beautiful combination has fractured into individual mini-shows, none of which I like: Lorelai’s conservative-dream reunion with her rich baby daddy. Luke’s long-lost geek daughter. Lane learns to be a married mommy. Rory and her two “aren’t we wacky” art school sudden best friends. Emily … well, I don’t remember seeing Emily since the stupid jail plotline. The only high point was Paris… no, not the city, the wonderfully tart character.
Where’s the townsfolk creating a community? Where’s the idea that women aren’t defined by their lovers? Where are the strong, literate, intelligent women I used to love spending time with? Gone with their creators, tossed off the show, that’s where. I’d been resisting catching up on the show after a busy week, and I finally told KC to delete the most recent two off the TiVo, because I didn’t care any more.
Bob Greenberger shares my woes in a nice analysis. He points out that the show’s message these days is that money solves everything, which makes Lorelai retroactively wrong from the beginning of Rory’s life. Comforting to those parents frightened by their teenage daughters who watch this show, perhaps, but not very reassuring to the rest of us.
Onwards. I’m still watching and enjoying Studio 60 , even though I’m guessing everyone else has given up on it, but I like the premise and the characters, especially Sarah Paulson’s portrayal of Harriet Hayes.
I was a bit disturbed by one of the bits on the “B-12″ episode, though (especially for a show that’s previously raised questions about “borrowing”).
One of my favorite films is My Favorite Year. Those of you who know this terrific movie about an Errol Flynn-like movie star appearing on a Sid Caesar-like variety show in the 50s will remember the female lead’s inability to tell a joke. Benjy Stone, the young writer-to-be, tries to teach her a joke about a man walking into a psychiatrist’s office, but by the time she starts it, it’s become “a man walks into a doctor’s office wearing a duck.” (Which is pretty funny in itself, but not intentionally.)
If you watch Studio 60, this is sounding very familiar. That’s because the show used the same premise (woman, although professional female comedian (?), can’t tell joke), and after first using another joke, about a Jewish mother, they even start with the duck and the doctor’s office.
KC and I had an interesting discussion about this. Should it be considered plagiarism, or is it so obvious (at least to those who know the source material) that it’s an homage? Is it fair to borrow a premise from somewhere if you quote from it so much it’s recognizable but don’t attribute it?