Sunday, April 23, 2006

Couldn't Hav(rilesky) said it better myself

One of the reasons I haven't throw myself in front of a train track yet is that I don't bandy around the expression "Couldn't have said it better myself". I'm quite certain that 95% of the time, at least with people I actually know (not weighty writers like Kundera or Friedman or Chomsky or Kureishi) I could have said things a LOT better. The remaining 5%? I live in awe of engaging, affable, incisive writing like Heather Havrilesky's who pounds so much meaning and wit, even when discussing something as inane and counterproductive as the TV schedule. Witness:

"As usual, the real problem with most network shows is that they're trying to swallow a massive demographic whole, aiming to be a smash hit instead of simply trying to attract a reasonable following. The important thing is not to be original or odd or memorable, the goal is to avoid alienating anyone with characters that are less than likable. But how can you depict a bunch of married people without showing harsh fights, scorn, resentment, tears? How can you introduce us to an average, amiable single guy and give him not even one distinguishing characteristic that might set him apart from every other 34-year-old guy on the street?"


"Where, I ask you, is the scorn? The networks won't touch scorn and infidelity and selfishness or even minor personality flaws with a 10-foot pole, which is why their dramas that don't concern cops or lawyers or plane crashes suck. Meanwhile, on shows like "Nip/Tuck" and "Huff" and "The L Word" and "Weeds," scorn and anger are their bread and butter. In fact, Showtime could aptly be renamed The Scorn Channel. But why is there no middle ground between upbeat tedium and melodramatic, seething purgatory?"

Heather: in the classic words of one of our best ever movies, American Pie, I offer you this proclamation of (misguided) love, which I truly couldn't have said better myself:

"Suck me, beautiful"


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