Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Let us all bask in television's warm glowing warming glow

Last night, allegedly, people on TV gave other people on TV awards for being on TV. It was a joyous event, and Philistine that I am, I missed it.

Before I come off as too snide, though, I do think there’s some great acting and writing on television. “The Office” and “Flight of the Conchords are, I think, two of the funniest and smartest programs you’ll find anywhere. “The Daily Show” manages to be insightful, cutting and hysterical while discussing actual, wince-inducing current events.

It’s easy to say something like, “there’s a lot of bad TV out there” (there is) or “will my life change because James Spader beat out James Gandolfini?” (it won’t. As far as I know.) But there’s no question that the shelves of the world’s libraries are groaning with reams of bad books, too.

Writing for the screen is hard. And for me, it plays against my weakness: Writing dialogue. When you need to move the story along using the characters’ mouths, you better be pretty good at putting words in them. I’m a lot better than I used to be, though, as I hope my recent writing shows. So maybe I should keep my sarcastic comments about television dialed down a bit.

What’s the point of all this? Good question. But as some successful shows have proven, a point isn’t really necessary. ("Seinfeld" is horribly, tragically overrated and makes me laugh about as much as a cereal box)

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