Today, my little girl turns 1 year old! I don\'t know where the time has gone. She\'s grown so much and as though to celebrate her day, she\'s started walking for more than just a couple of shaky steps.
Happy Birthday, Ella! I\'m very lucky to be your daddy.
With the summer, of course, comes the summer TV season, which becomes a bit more of a season every year. Usually, it\'s a dumping ground to run out the contract on some series that the network ended up deciding they didn\'t like enough for the regular season, or you get the back half of a coproduction deal, like the Friday Night Lights situation I wrote about last week. Fortunately, as studio executives tend to be somewhat dim, or more to the point, think that all audiences are quite dim (and the success of The Bachelor doesn\'t exactly prove them wrong, does it?), we end up with some quality shows. As with the regular season, however, it\'s not always the case.
To me, the This-Meets-That pitch is what has generally precipitated the death of creativity in modern popular culture. It\'s an executive\'s way of saying \"give me the same but different\". Of course, what we end up with is a ton of writers, afraid to actually break new ground, stapling two generic clichés together into one, now doubly derivative premise. To be fair, they\'re afraid to break new ground because they just want to make the sale. Either way, we end up with a lot of generic TV and movies that have me cursing some putz in an office who sat there saying \"It\'s Twilight meets Desperate Housewives\" or \"It\'s Grey\'s Anatomy in space/walking a cop\'s beat/being something other than doctors.\" It\'s not innovation. It\'s lazy.
Think about those two pitches. They both refer to actual series out there. In fact, the second refers to several series over the past couple of years. All these series of which I speak prove my point. The This Meets That pitch is where creativity goes to die.
The first, Twilight meets Desperate Housewives, refers to the new Sunday night series The Gates. A more derivative piece of schlock you\'d be hard pressed to find. As with Desperate Housewives, it starts with a big secret. How secret, or indeed how big said secret may be is debatable. It\'s set iin a neighborhood with perfectly manicured lawns and a slight over saturation to the colour pallette. First things first: anything with vampires is wholly unoriginal, especially now, with series on every network and every other movie coming out with a \"cute\" vampire premise. Second, once you have to describe what you\'re doing only by comparing it to existing properties, you\'ve already lost the originality battle.
TV has been fighting a losing battle for a few years now, between the erosion of ad dollars, PVRs, and the competition of things like video games and the Internet, they\'ve become lazy, both on the executive side and on the creative side, as though they\'re saying \"nobody even cares what we\'re creating anymore, so why bother trying?\"