Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Farewell to Arrested Development

So last night, FOX broadcasted what will, in all likelihood, be the series finale of Arrested Development, which was a brilliant, topical, self-parody that'll make all series finales from now on feel trite. Take a moment now to cry and wail over the death of our culture. I'll give minor props to FOX for actually broadcasting Arrested's entire run — some networks wouldn't even bother satiating the fanbase — but come on, they're keeping Stacked for Christ's sake!

I haven't written one of my trademark nasty, semi-coherent letters to FOX yet. I'm jaded, and I've concluded that my letter-writing campaigns are much more effective post-disaster than as a preventative measure. Like how they cancelled Freaks and Geeks despite my many impassioned pleas; at least it felt good to call then-NBC Head of Programming Garth Ancier a "jackass philistine who deserves to spend eternity burning in a hell of pretentious Dawson's Creek dialogue." Ancier didn't take my suggestion of where he could shove his artistic sensibility: after destroying Freaks and Geeks, Ancier decided that CNN wasn't grabbing a big enough share of the youth market and came up with that "Paula Zahn is a smoking-hot anchorlady" ad campaign that was almost as embarrassing to the field of journalism as gay military stud/softball reporter Jeff Gannon.

Another thing keeping me from unleashing my epistulary wrath on FOX, aside from laziness, is that I get the feeling the bosses at FOX actually want to keep Arrested Development on the air as long as possible. They've been remarkably patient despite the show's flagging ratings, and they moved Arrested Development to a netherworldish timeslot on Monday nights where there's less competition for viewers. Some pundits have blamed FOX for not promoting Arrested Development enough in its infancy, but I'm not sure more advertising would've helped. It's not just that Arrested Develpoment is a cerebrally intensive serialized half-hour in front of the boob tube, but there's no one-sentence gimmick to cram into the commercial, the way they could with those mind-rotting Golden Globe nominees Prison Break and 24.

I blame the kids, of course.

I mean, during last night's Arrested Development and the "classic" episode they showed after the finale, I saw no fewer than six ads for American Idol and that fucking tool Ryan Seacrest. And The O.C., and those Teen Choice Awards — this the kind of pablum our culture grows when we give kids money. Here's the deal: let's entertain these self-centered little brats with our songs and dances, with animal attacking things, with those fucking bulemic model-actresses and then we'll sell them stuff. Unlimited text messaging! Video games where you play a mobster who kills people in an amoral wasteland!

God, and to think that FOX cancelled Profit!


ombren said...

what a lovely, jaded voice you have.

honestly, very well written. it's so relaxing to read a blog with good grammar, during which the word "sequacious" is used. and gregarious! how quaint. (;

i'd venture to say you've a refreshing point of view, but i'd sound like a sprite commercial.

so i'll settle for: nice blog.