Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Hollywood's Next Generation Class of 2006

Just got my Hollywood Reporter “Next Generation” special issue, profiling the 35 hottest hippest new suits in show business. If they have one thing in common it’s not background, education, or career path – it’s that they’re all real good looking. Also they have a shared mastery of clich├ęs like “I love a challenge”, “I love working with passionate people,” “I love being part of a creative team,” and my personal favorite – “my job is to help the filmmaker/writer/director/client/racquetball partner realize his/her vision.” But those can be learned. Being good looking – you’re either in the Lucky Sperm Club or you’re not. You could be the next Irving Thalberg and Brandon Tartikoff all rolled into one but if you look like Randy Johnson or Randy Johnson in a wig you’ve got no shot.

The popular kids from high school have just traded their table at the cafeteria for one at Maestro’s.

I’m not saying the chosen 35 don’t deserve to be there. I’m sure many are talented, smart, charming, and good hearted. And hopefully one or two will hire me someday. But I couldn’t help but notice that the same people who cast GREY’S ANATOMY seemed to cast them.

Now, writers on the other hand. First let me give the disclaimer that this doesn’t apply to everyone, but on the whole, I’m sorry to say, we are not a pretty union. I’ve been on many picket lines with my fellow WGA brothers and sisters and yikes, there are a lot more Rob Schneiders than Rob Lowes.

But (as one of them) I can take heart in this: If looks weren’t a pre-requisite, a lot of hot young nerd writers could step in and do those executive jobs as well or better than Ken & Barbie. But if the 35 Hollywood Reporter young turks had to write a script I bet they couldn’t do it to save their lives.

And I'm sure most writers would agree with me they'd rather have that gift than just good looks.

Right, guys?

Hello?

Anybody???

21 comments:

wcdixon said...

Oh yes, Ken - you're so right... right...right...(echo - being way up here in Canada)

Great blog, sir. A pleasure to read.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

My writing partner went on to a very lucrative side job as voice artist and subsequently talk show host because of his good looks... and even more so his encredibly warm voice. I think I regret not having the voice the most, because I would have loved to do some radio. Even acting is is more difficult if you have a high pitched shrieking voice. Mine not up there, thankfully, but bad enough.

Stephen Gallagher said...

If we had supermodel looks and popularity, we wouldn't grow up with that writer's lifelong hunger for revenge.

Anonymous said...

The other thing they all have in common is a good photographer.

When I first started working on productions I was shocked to see how different people look on film/tape versus in person. Women more so than men. Even someone like Cindy Crawford, (who I once sat next to for three days while she ignored my lowly crew existence) was, I thought, attractive in person, but she is extraordinary when photographed.

My guess is that very few of the young turks are as attractive as portrayed in the Hollywood Reporter, and that nearly any writer can be made to look appealing, or at least interesting, in the hands of a good photographer.

Speaking of flattering pictures, who's this guy?

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/ABPub/2005/04/12/2002239069.jpg

Daniel said...

Who's that, Anonymous? Is it Richard Gere eating a pizza? Maybe Don Rumsfeld?

Once met a german girl who was part time model, part time scriptwriter (she had written a romantic comedy... about a model, of course. Guess what: the script was really brilliant!)

Anonymous said...

I find that one of the most disappointing discoveries of adulthood is life in general too often resembles high school, with the pretty/rich/privileged folks getting high-status jobs they don't do very well while the smart but average-looking competent and creative geeks are rewarded with work and more work (but not proportionate salaries).

I know a lot of journalists, and many have noted their more attractive and less competent classmates gravitate toward PR and marketing and go on to make a lot more money. The work is easy enough that any of the competent journalists could do it well (but wouldn't want to) but the PR/marketing whores couldn't do the journalists' work well. I've seen a number of cases in the book publishing world where male honchos have promoted attractive female underlings who were far less competent than their less attractive co-workers. Sometimes they fail badly enough in their new positions that they get fired, but they often manage to hang in for the long haul by delegating all the real work to others.

What I'm saying is, it's everwhere, but Hollywood has taken it to extremes.

Radioguy said...

Speaking of the facially challenged, don't forget "face made for radio." I'll never forget the time my wife nearly drove off the freeway after seeing a billboard for a morning DJ she lusted for. "I thought he'd have more hair." (To say nothing of listeners. Especially talk radio listeners. Judging by the commercials, they either have too much hair, not enough hair and trouble getting it up).

Anonymous said...

They're just "The Next Generation Of Morons" who'll be taking over for "The Current Generation of Morons". The only saving grace is that they are going to do to the current development execs what the current development execs have been doing to the writers for the past 20 years. What goes around comes around.

Mary Stella said...

Hmmm... Would I give up being a romance author if I got to trade my overweight, middle-aged self for a hot-cha-cha middle-aged bombshell woman?

No. I want both and, since I'm a writer, I can create that story.

Even if it's fiction. *g*

Caroline said...

Maybe that's another good thing about being up here in Canada ... I wouldn't say that our suits are particularly hot as a group (some are downright trout-like). I'd say the writers would have an even shot at the title.

deepstructure said...

i find this post a bit bizarre. i come to this blog to get a pro monkey's perspective, and often im richly rewarded.

unfortunately i can't tell in this instance if im getting more of the same almost-cliched truth about execs, or if this is an example that even the pros fall victim to the same over-generalizations and misconceptions about the "other side," as the rest of us.

The Curmudgeon said...

I prefer to think that I have the looks also -- and since I'm anonymous no one can contradict me....

Glenn said...

I've always suggested that if we ever go out on strike again, that the WGA should just hire SAG members to play the part of writers walking the line, ensuring that at least we look good.

benson said...

Anonymous...Your point put to music... the new hit song from a band named Bowling For Soup is called "High School Never Ends". So very true (and very catchy too).

BTW, the Seattle Times link was truncated and doesn't work.

Anonymous said...

Word.

Anonymous said...

I am on the writing staff of a successful network show, but I would prefer to be vacant and good looking. That is why dogs are so happy.

Dhppy said...

Awww, man. I didn't think I was so bad looking. But then again, I'm not working.

Andrew said...

Obviously, you are trying to insult me personally.

MBFH said...

I've always taken great comfort in that Marilyn Monroe left the Jock for the Writer.

Maybe not the best example.

Still.

Herb Popsfarter said...

Me? I'm uglier than the proverbial "can of smashed arseholes" - (with the good ones picked out) And I'm only a copywriter.

I do love my job though... so I guess you're right.

Dwacon said...

I comfort myself in the fact that I could kick all their asses... collectively... at the same time...