So here we are.
It’s that time of year again, when the ax starts to fall on the latest television offerings. It’s also that time of year when people shake their heads at the callousness of it all, of the rush to judgement, and the result of this are endless online comments about how everything on TV sucks, sux, socks, or suchs. [Sic.]
I prefer to treat this time of year like an early Thanksgiving. I sit with a warm beverage in my hand and muse upon about how grateful I am that the powers-that-be in television land only have control over their own industry. Think of how horrible life would be if network executives ran the rest of our lives:
SUIT: Billy, thanks for coming in to talk to us.
SUIT: Of course. Billy, you’re in your second week of kindergarten now and I must tell you, we’re a little disappointed with your numbers.
BILLY: I know numbers to six!
SUIT: Well, see now, six is... well, that’s what we call an “underperforming number.” You really should be more like a twenty in Week Two.
BILLY: Twenty is old!
SUIT: You’re right, Billy. Twenty is old. But actually, Billy, twenty is smack dab in that demographic you should be reaching, and according to our focus groups, the 18-25s don’t find you appealing at all.
BILLY: A pee-ing. Heh heh heh. A pee-ing.
SUIT: See, now there, Billy. There. That’s the edgy sort of language we’ve been asking for. I don’t understand why you’ve been so reluctant to take our notes. What happened to those Garanimals we talked about? You know that the overalls aren’t testing well.
BILLY: Mommy dresses me with clothes.
SUIT: And you may want to think about letting her go. Billy, I’m serious. We need to make a change. We’re moving you to Saturday nights at 8.
BILLY: Bedtime! Bedtime!
SUIT: See, you keep pushing back, Billy. We’re only trying to help you. I think the new time slot can work, but you’re going to have to play along, Billy. Have you given any more thought to having a love interest?
BILLY: Girls are slimy.
SUIT: Billy, this animosity has to stop. God, you creatives are all the same. You know, you had a lot of potential when you were born, and we were really keen to be in the Billy Business. But you’re a lox, Billy. You’re boring.
BILLY: Hot dogs.
SUIT: Exactly. Look, Billy. You know what people like? They like paste-eaters. You, you just use the paste to paste things. Why can’t you be more like Jason? He puts beans up his nose. People love that.
BILLY: Beans in his nose... Heh heh heh.
SUIT: That’s great stuff, right? That’s what audiences want: beans up the nose. Now Jason, he’s going to anchor Tuesday nights starting mid-season. But Billy, you may not make it to mid-season unless we start figuring out who you are and what shape you’re going to take.
BILLY: I like shapes.
SUIT: Do you like gratuitous guest-stars, Billy?
BILLY: I know “Twinkle Twinkle.”
SUIT: I do too, Billy. You know what else I know? I know that the highway of failure is paved with kids just like you. Kids who no one wanted to let into their living rooms. Kids who just sit there and take naps and are afraid to go on the monkey-bars. Billy, this isn’t just about you. It’s about me. My job, my future. It’s about America, Billy. It’s about the network and it’s shareholders. Billy, do you want to be responsible for the total annihilation of all we hold dear just because you insist on mediocrity?
BILLY: You got any candy?
SUIT: Candy is for winners, Billy. Candy is for winners.
BILLY: CANDY NOW! I WANT IT!
SUIT: You know what, Billy? This isn’t working. We’re canceling you.
See, aren’t you thankful that TV and those who control it only influence our entertainment, commerce, news coverage, economy, fashion, education, and politics? And nothing else?
Yes indeed. Welcome to me.