HijiNKS ENSUE PODCAST Episode 87 “ZombieWhatever.com” is live!
Alternate Title: Pitch Slapped
Alternate Alternate Title: Pitch Slapped 2: Pitch Better Have My Money
In the past, only Wil Wheaton has been deemed worthy to wield the power of THE COMIC DARE. This week, however, another was found who possessed the strength of will and the Strength Of Wil (TM) required to harness The Comic Dare’s awesome might and use it for its most righteous purpose: SAYING DUMB STUFF ON TWITTER THEN FORCING ME TO DRAW IT! That person, the Beta Ray Bill to Wheaton’s mighty Thor is noted sci-fi author, Internet opinions haver, and celebrated balding ukester JOHN SCALZI (hold for applause).
Scalzi occasionally finds himself in the precarious position of being asked by TV executives how to put things on our watching boxes that are not overwhelming terrible, reprehensible and offensive. So far they don’t seem to be taking his advice to heart. He had just one such meeting earlier this week at which he pitched original ideas for shows, and clarified via INTERNET SHOUTING that said shows would not involve “goats, vampires or sleuths with mental issues.” As we all know, these are the three cornerstones of modern televised shenanigans. Well, the last two are. The goats… must be an Ohio thing. Subsequently he issued the challenge to bring Sherlock: Vampire Goat to life and I, obliged by my 1000 year curse… uh, obliged.
TV is at an all-time weirdness juncture. It is currently producing fictional dramas and comedies that will certainly go down in history as “the best things humanity was able to accomplish before The Fire Ocean cleansed the Earth of all Mankind” (Breaking Bad, Sherlock, Game Of Thrones, Community). But it is also falling prey to a dangerous trend in which networks do not simply steal genre ideas from each other (“You got a cop show, a medical show and a medical cop show? We got those too! Suck it!”), but they now steal ENTIRE SHOWS from each other and put them on the air AT THE SAME TIME. Sherlock is a modernized version of A.C.D.’s Holmes and it is essentially perfect. CBS saw that show and thought, “Yeah! Let’s do exactly that right now while they’re still doing it try to stop us you can’t HAHAHAHAH!” And now we will soon have Elementary. House M.D. (which was also based on Holmes… so in addition to the remaking current shows epidemic, we also have the “Every show is about Sherlock Holmes” epidemic) was off the air for many 15 minutes before another 3 or 4 “I’m kind of crazy, but also brilliant, but it’s my craziness that lets me see the world in a particular way and catch things others miss and it also makes relationships hard and it also makes me seem like a jerk because I am” shows got the green light. Perception is the only one that comes to mind immediately, but I am almost certain and totally unwilling to further research that there are more. LOTS more. Is Numb3rs still on TV?
At least every network tried their hand at the “fairytales are totally real” genre this year. Vampires? Forget about it. The CW just started making “Twilight: The Horrible Show on TV instead of the HORRIBLE movies in the theater” before Edward even married that werewolf frankenstein or whatever happens in those things. I know that doesn’t fit the premise I’m trying to establish because I don’t think there are any other vampire romance shows besides The Vampire Diaries… oh wait, Trueblood. There you go. I’m still right.
Anyway, what I’m saying is that televised fiction is currently straddling the finest of lines between its crowning achievement and it’s most uninspired dreck. There’s lots of middle ground, but most of it is so unremarkable it isn’t worth mentioning. By not being quite as bad and the worst stuff on the air, it becomes wholly forgettable. Save us, Scalzi! Save us from the Hollywood Industrial Machine that you are now apparently a part of! Oh, and call me about SH:VG. I’ve got some ideas for Moriarty.
COMMENTERS: Feel free to pitch your own “Current TV Trend Mashup” show idea.
UPDATE: Scalzi speaks.