by The Other Katherine Harris
Aug. 20, 2007
At a time when our economy is melting down at about the same clip as polar ice and greed has tumbled from ethical acceptability, our ludicrously out-of-touch television networks believe they can tempt us this fall with new shows about the extravagantly wealthy.
Based not only on the shameless trailers being aired but even on the programs’ names, I predict exceedingly short runs for “Dirty Sexy Money” and “Big Shots” — featuring the masters-of-the universe types who’ve been assiduously ruining everything for the rest of us since Nixon was in office (and who expect taxpayer bailouts, now that their unbelievable excess of avarice has finally hurt them, too).
Other plots courting disaster exalt a family of rum and sugar tycoons (“Cane), the spoiled denizens of “an exclusive prep school on Manhattan’s Upper East Side” (“Gossip Girl”) and the implausibly successful gal-pals of “Women’s Murder Club”, “Lipstick Jungle” and “Cashmere Mafia”.
At least there were still plenty of decent jobs in America, when they foisted “Dallas” and “Dynasty” off on us in the Reagan-addled ’80s, but now who the fuck CARES about the lifestyles of the privileged, licentious and ill-mannered?
I submit that we’ve had more than our fill of meanness in every form, and yet they’re turning loose “Hell’s Kitchen” boss Gordon Ramsay to create “Kitchen Nightmares” in the guise of helping “struggling restaurants” by imposing a week of unremitting terror. Might it possibly be that they’re “struggling” because so many people can barely afford to eat at home — and because chain restaurants are squeezing locals out in most markets?
Graham, nasty as he is, is far from the worst of the worst. If you read here regularly, you know how little regard I have for all of these alleged “celebrity” judges who seek to aggrandize themselves by belittling others. Nor should any network profit from putting on prime time those who clearly aren’t ready for prime time. It’s sickening and inexcusable, in my book.
Further, by now shouldn’t we be retiring the anti-sanity rubbish that accompanied the religious nuts’ rise to power, instead of adding to ghost-whispering and its ilk a supposed child of Satanists (“Reaper”), Neanderthals in modern drag, a character who can revive the dead (“Pushing Daisies”) and even a vampire private investigator (“Moonlight”)?
Recognizing that these networks bring us deceptive “news” in service to their corporatist agenda, many of us tune those broadcasts out. I hope we’ll do the same with their increasingly irrelevant and insulting entertainment programming. The sooner we leave these freaks (and their advertisers) talking to themselves, the better.