Friday, January 05, 2007

I Got Carried Away Yesterday

...and forgot to relate the "idea" that spawned the reason for the entry. Not being a huge fan of "popular culture" (unrestrained tattooing, body piercings, rap (I can't call it "rap music"), action movies (boring with nonsensical explosions), anime (a Japanese word for "cheap crap"), and on and on), it's easy to find things and people to throw stones at. Not that it's always right but geez, at some point, we really do turn into our parents, don't we?

I think "That '70's Show" was fairly vapid and worthless. I don't see the talent or charisma of Ashton Kutcher or Topher Grace beyond whatever minimal marks they had to hit to land the gig in the first place. I don't care for Wilmer Valderama or his portrayal of his character on that show. I don't care for his "Yo Momma" show on MTV and I get a really negative vibe from his tabloid television notices. All of this leaves me mildly uncomfortable when my kids want to watch his "Handy Manny" show on the Disney Channel.

I don't know, maybe the guy's standup and has more talent than I've been able to see. But a few months ago I thought that, given Hollywood's penchant for making movies out of old TV shows, Valderama's dream job would be a big screen version of "CHiPs." Lo and behold, I saw an article yesterday saying that Erik Estrada was angling for a role in that exact movie.

I swore I'd never watch another one of these abominations again, no matter what the base TV show was, who was in the movie, or essentially, for any reason whatsoever. Valderama and Estrada, who I liked on "The Surreal Life" but not so much when I saw him read at a Christmas service at Epcot Center), certainly won't change my mind.

Anyway, this was probably such a no-brainer that little or no credit should be given for predicting it. It wasn't an original idea like the Franklin story or anything else I've come up with over the years, but still. Perhaps the thing most worth mentioning is exactly this predictability by Hollywood. With a little research I'd bet someone could probably already, sight unseen and with no knowledge of screenplay, soundtrack, or co-stars, predict it's box office and DVD sales. And the fact that nobody really cares.

So why bother making the damned thing? Why, indeed. If the work doesn't have a soul, what is it worth? Is "mindless" entertainment a good thing? How about shooting for works that can be enjoyed on many levels, simply as a viewer but also something that rewards the perception of originality, creativity, or dare I say it, excellence. Aim higher, for god's sake. Let's put off elevating video games to an art form for the time being, can we? The natural aging process is turning my brain to mush quickly enough.

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