Here’s the theory I came up with while taking a shower this morning.
Okay, I know I’m not the first person to think of this theory. And granted there are a few exceptions. But here’s the supporting logic. There just isn’t very much original thought in the mass entertainment world these days.
Sure, you’ve got some nice stuff coming out of HBO. Some of it is even watchable (I really like ROME).
But on basically network TV, there are really only about five shows on. Everything else is derivative of these five shows
1) Generic Family Sitcom: This show consists of a father who is often at odds with his parents, in-laws, wife or kids. Hijinks ensue. Other variations of this show involve groups of friends, roommates and gay people. But the comic situations are typically the same.
2) Generic Law/Cop Melodrama: My friend Chris likes to watch CSI. I was at his house when the show was starting the other night, and I accurately predicted what would happen: “There’s going to be a crime of some sort, some people will show up at the scene and investigate what happened.”
3) Generic Medical Melodrama: Same as Generic Law/Cop Melodrama, but in a hospital/medical setting. Why does Hollywood find lawyers, cops and doctors so interesting?
4) Generic Reality TV show: Interestingly, these shows have nothing to do with reality. They’re popular on the networks because the producers don’t have to pay actors or writers.
5) Generic Dramatic TV News Magazine: The network talking heads seem to have to make mountains out of molehills on a weekly basis.
The sad thing is that I know there are still creative people in the entertainment industry. But if an original concept does happen to make it to the pilot stage, even if, despite all odds, get on the air, it will quickly be cancelled because it doesn’t cater to the lowest common denominator of the American viewing public.
Oh well. At least we still have sports.