Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Richard Dreyfuss is in a sitcom?
Is it a good show? I don’t know. I haven’t seen it. I didn’t even know about it until a friend mentioned it. Guess I’m not a big TBS viewer – I don’t feel the need to watch THE BIG BANG THEORY eight hours a day. But I’ve seen no ads, no billboards, no radio commercials, no nothing. How is anyone who doesn’t watch TBBT and Conan supposed to know?
In fairness, maybe there have been ads. They just didn’t register. But it points out a bigger problem. There is so much product out there on so many platforms that it’s hard to keep track. Even with an Oscar winner in the cast. Time was a TV producer would inquire about Richard Dreyfuss for a pilot and the agent would laugh. Now he’s in a sitcom that’s in the Witness Protection Program.
Why? Because JUSTIFIED is a cult hit. MAD MEN is a critics’ darling. Credit where credit is due, MAD MEN cut through all the rabble and distinguished itself with superb quality and originality. But there are a lot of other deserving shows that don’t get the love, and one reason is that most people have never even heard of them. (like ORPHAN BLACK)
And it gets worse than that. Not only do I not know many current shows, in some cases I’ve never heard of the networks they’re on. There are sub-networks. Did you know there is an offshoot of BET? Or several variations of NICKELODEON? There is FXX, or is it FXXXX? And there are more Disney Channels than kids in North Dakota.
Broadcast networks are not immune to this. Who can tell me what network WEIRD LONERS was on? Or IN AN INSTANT?
The only saving grace, as I see it, is that there is this whole subculture of production going on. Thousands of talented people lending their craft and expertise to make shows that are as well-written or better written than shows you know. Same goes for directing, acting, set decoration, wardrobe, you name it. It’s unfortunate their efforts are not better appreciated, but at least they’re working. I just don’t want to be the poor guy who bumps into Richard Dreyfuss at a Starbucks and says, “So are you still acting?”