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Stop Treating Me Like An Idiot, Mainstream Television!

20 Mar

Yes, there were beautiful women in it.

Yes, I was mostly naked.

These two lines are extremely handy for starting blog posts that I don’t want friends, family, or, frankly, anyone who has seen me, reading. They see those first two lines, and assuming they don’t fall to the floor gibbering in primal horror while curling up into the fetal position, immediately take a pass on reading further.

Quite handy.

Oh sure, the next line, if I were being honest and they were still reading, would be:

No, I didn’t have any fun.

I’m talking about a dream I once had. I was hosting a bunch of people in my home: ex-girlfriends, beautiful women on twitter who I’ve never physically met before, and female strangers who were also pleasant to look at.

They couldn’t give a rat’s ass about me, even in my own damned dream. And how does this dream that started with so much potential wrap up?

With me. In bed. With a male friend and his male acquaintance.

Platonically, mind you. If I’m not having any of the funny stuff with the ladies in my dream, I sure as all heck am not having any of the funny stuff with the guys in the dream either.

I think the worst part of the dream is that I am so physically inadequate that none of the women in it noticed I wore a wide-open bathrobe and nothing else.

No admiration.

No shock.

Not even horror.

Blake Shelton Naked (not)

"Because remember, underneath our clothes, we're all ... naked!"

Yes, not even horror. Impressive physique or dreadful physique, at least that gets you noted. You register on whatever the female equivalent of the male attractiveness Richter scale is called. The Bradley Cooper Threshold? The Clooney Displacement? The Shelton Naked Scale?

(At last! A legitimate reason to use ‘Blake Shelton naked’ as a tag on this blog! Suck it, Blake Shelton fans!)

And I, in my own freakin’ dream, don’t register at all with these women. Not so much as a blip.

Humiliations galore.

Well, one of them did come to me and ask that I fix a leaky faucet.

I have leaky faucets at home, and this fact has managed to creep into every single dream I have. My sleeping life is like my waking life – an unmitigated horror of bad plumbing.

Naturally, when I wake up from this recurring dream, I am depressed.

Morose.

Adrift.

And like many unnoticed, alienated men, I turn to the one thing that might just cheer me up.

No, not the wife and kiddos. I said cheer me up!

No, not killing hookers. That’s even more depressing.

And a little creepy.

Not to mention, not something easy to do when one is feeling lethargic. At least, not if you don’t want to get caught.

Just a bad idea all around.

So yes, I turn to the only other alternative.

Television.

Oh, what a disappointment that turns out to be. Every time.

Which is why I think we need a television viewers Bill of Rights.

Plane passengers get one, right?

Consumers get one, yes?

Public utility rate payers are afforded this protection in some locales, correct?

Grover Norquist foisted one upon all the Republicans, didn’t he?

So why not TV viewers?

Therefore, without further ado, I present to you, dear readers, my TV Viewers Bill of Rights:

1) When you start a show, finish it. Don’t do a half-ass job of promoting it, then cancel it just as the fan base becomes rabid. You’ll piss off a lot of people and get a ton of hate mail.

2) If you broadcast a show on your network, and then do cancel it before all story arcs are resolved, you will make the resolution of those story lines known, either with a press release or a spin-off graphic novel or by going on The Ellen Show and announcing them.

Just don’t do it on Oprah. I don’t get OWN.

Unless it turns out the mark on the amnesic main character is an angelic glyph and his amazing intelligence came about because he was dead and in Heaven before coming back. That’s just lame and I’d prefer you keep it to yourself.

3) On a related note, if you start a sub-plot, and your show doesn’t get canceled, finish the damned sub-plot. Don’t have one of your main characters take his girlfriend into the future and then leave her there while he goes back to actually prevent that future from happening. Or if you do, at least explain why he couldn’t be bothered to go get her. Or even mention her again.

4) You will monitor twitter while your show is airing. Across time zones. Your lawyers will use the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and any other douchey legal tools at hand to force all live-tweeters to Cease and Desist. The DMCA is a crap law, but we ought to get some good out of it.

5) Never, ever, EVER have something really bad and shocking happen, something cataclysmic that guarantees astronomical season finale ratings and has people talking at the water cooler for the duration of the rerun period, only to have it end up being a freakin’ dream. You do something bad ass, own it. If you don’t have the writing cojones (or ovaries) to write yourself out of it after the fact, don’t freakin’ do it to begin with.

6) Don’t swear up and down for the first four years of your show that the characters are not in Purgatory, are in fact alive, and all the events they are experiencing are real, only to actually kill them off and have them in Purgatory for the last season. That is beyond stupid, moron, and if you do end up doing it, please get lost.

7) For the love of all that is good, so-so, average, neutral, ambiguous, and even evil, do not have characters who fight end said fight with a passionate kiss and a tumble in bed/on the kitchen table/under the desk at work/in the Men’s Room stall at Grand Central Station.

That crap is totally cliché.

8) Don’t replace a character with another actor. If you have to, don’t pretend it didn’t happen. Samantha really should have been wondering why her husband was suddenly slightly less effeminate, and, oh yeah, A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PERSON!

And ya know what? My kids are still curled up underneath their cribs, blubbering on and on about what happened to Marina. God dammit, Nick Jr., you’re supposed to be all about the kids!

Jesus Christ, How Many Actors????

How do you plan to top eleven actors? Hire a TWELFTH?

Don’t even get me started about Doctor Who. They’re on their ELEVENTH actor playing the title role. Hello, the British pound is worth more than the dollar! You can afford to give your star a raise to keep him!

Come on! It’s not like you spent the money on special effects! At least, not for the first twenty-five years!

9) Finally, and most important, don’t insult the viewer’s intelligence. Some of us actually are smart, and can figure stuff out without being hit over the head with it. Try challenging us, make us work for the entertainment. We’ll be more vested in the show if you do. And if you’re worried about the stupid people, don’t. Just keep hiring sexy men and women in tight clothes to hold their attention.

But please, choose sexy men and women in tight clothes who can also act.

Feel free to print this out, sign it, get your kids and neighbors and pets to sign it, and then send it to:

Wil Wheaton
c/o NBC Universal
Quality Assurance Division
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10112

Because NBC, through Wil Wheaton, is responsible for all TV shows. The illusion of other networks and foreign programming? All a vast conspiracy. But that’s the subject of a future blog post.

Now don’t any of you suggest a Blog Readers Bill of Rights. I can’t live up to those sorts of standards.

And now, a word from our sponsor: me!
 
My book, (the edited) Marlowe and the Spacewoman, is out!
 

Marlowe and the SpacewomanClick here to learn more or order a copy!

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Posted by on 20 March 2012 in Life, Other Blogs, Story

 

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