The End Of The Spears

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Memo to NBC: YOU ARE DUMB.

And what's worse, you think I'm dumber than you are. Look, if you're going to cave to every right-wing fucko that complains to you, that's fine. Go ahead. Cave to your heart's content. Spelunk your asses off from Monday to Friday. Replace Dateline with the 700 Club. Go nuts. Replace Keith Olbermann with Fred Phelps. I don't care. I don't watch NBC.

But don't fucking lie about it. Or, if you MUST lie, try to come up with something even remotely plausible, something that insults our collective intelligence less than the average episode of "Joey". This is not too much to ask. We know you can lie. You're a TELEVISION NETWORK, for fuck's sake. If you can't trust network spokesman to do a credible job of dissembling, what's this world coming to?

The situation, as you may or may not know, involves the final season of Will and Grace. You know, the show about the celibate gay guy. Apparently, Will has a talk show on a gay cable network. I don't know if he always had a talk show, or it was something they added later, like K.I.T.T.'s "Super Turbo", but that's neither here nor there.

Last week, NBC announced that the April 13th episode would feature Jack's network, "Out TV", being bought out by Christian conservatives. And, in a move familiar to anyone who's seen a cable channel change hands, instead of just replacing all the gay programming, the new owners just add Christians to the existing shows. This is where Britney Spears comes in.

I know. Bear with me. Britney, according to NBC, would be playing Jack's new Jesus-lovin' co-host, and would have a cooking segment titled "Cruci-Fixins". Which is when Donald Wildmon's anger was redirected. See, I don't think Donald Wildmon ever stops being outraged. He's like a light-cycle. He's always going forward, all you can do is hope to do is change his direction and hope he runs into a wall.

Wildmon yelled. Letters were written. And NBC caved. But did they say "OK, that's a bad idea, sorry?" No. Did they suddenly realize it would be a cruel trick to play on viewers if, after eight years, they were to suddenly allow a funny joke into a "Will and Grace" script? No, they did not. Here is NBC's excuse. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"Some erroneous information was mistakenly included in a press release describing an upcoming episode of 'Will & Grace' which, in fact, has yet to be written. The reference to 'Cruci-fixin's' will not be in the show and the storyline will not contain a Christian characterization at all. We value our viewers and sincerely regret if this misinformation has offended them."

That can't be true. What kind of chickenshit press outfit must NBC have if it WERE true? That somehow, fairly detailed plot and character information was made up out of whole cloth and inserted into a press release? It's impossible for NBC to have hired enough 24-year-old college dropouts to make a mistake that big, because they're all apparently working for NASA now.

They caved. They caved because they already got yelled at once over "The Book Of Daniel", which apparently depicted Jesus as some kind of tolerant hippie liberal. When they canned that, they said it was because the ratings sucked. And you looked at the ratings, and the ratings did in fact suck. So there you go. But for this one, they so blatantly caved they made Ford Motor Company and Microsoft look like floats in the Gay Pride Parade.

But choose an audience and stand by it. If you want conservative homophobic Christians to watch the show with the gay guy in it, then by all means, pull any Jesus jokes out of the script. If, on the other hand, you want liberal, educated, comedy-loving people like me to watch Will and Grace... well, actually, you're screwed. The competition's just too fierce. It's up against, um, an episode of X-Play I've seen three times before, or a Home Movies DVD, or a nap, or something.

But I'm sure there's some crossover audience who would have loved the "Cruci-fixin's" joke, yet was willing to tune in to "Will and Grace". So pick Wildmon's crew, or pick the rest, and stick with it. Because you're not fooling anybody.

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