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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Good Night, David...

My, oh my, where to begin?

Well, okay, I'll start with NBC and see where it takes me. I've just finished up NBC's 17 day commercial for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, otherwise known as the Winter Olympics. For God's SAKE, I life in California and I'm in the same freaking TIME ZONE AS VANCOUVER! I don't suppose you would care to explain to me WHY every damn night was a six hour old CLIP show? The athletes must have been getting up at 4am to get ready for a 6am start time so YOU could tape, edit, add funny sound effects, write scripts for Costas (who is a damn fine interviewer on his own) and package all of this into a four hour prime time special.

And, considering how much editing was obviously being done, why did you decide to keep it on the air until MIDNIGHT? Oh DUH! More commercials! Or is that more commercial time you COULDN'T SELL? Because guys, I'm not THAT stupid. No one is THAT stupid. Do you really think I believe that someone actually bought time to run that ridiculous, in-your-face-Conan fans "get back to where you once belonged" commercial for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno?

You couldn't sell the time to Proctor and Gambel so you filled it with lame ass commercials for Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld and The Office.

You LEFT THE CLOSING CEREMONY before it was over to run that idiotic "Marriage Ref" and the local news, then went back so we could watch the rest of it at 11:30. Is that really what you think of your viewers? I'm guessing yes, it is. And you actually wonder why you're in 17th place amoung the FOUR major networks? Well, I'll tell you why. As a television SUCK.

Your comedies are borderline funny at best (no offense, 30 Rock, because you're being wasted on NBC). Your dramas are old and tired, your news coverage (with the exception of the exceptionally witty Brian Williams) is abysmal, that guy you gave "Meet the Press" to after the devastating loss of Tim Russert isn't doing you any good, your sports coverage is lackluster and let's not even GO to your late night programming, which everyone knows you totally Effed up.

Nah, I can't stay away from late night. You tied O'Brien's hands when he came in at 11:35, his best stuff was left in New York because it was too risque for the before midnight crowd. So, while a very tall guy in a bear suit could no longer come out and go nuts with a diaper to "The Saber Dance" (because that's too over the line for the 11:35 crowd), it's okay for Leno to bring out Olympic medalist (yep, one of them is gold) Lindsay Vonn, ridicule her Sports Illustrated cover and then, when referencing the fact that Vonn's husband is her coach and manager, actually ask:

“Does that work in all aspects… in the bedroom, everywhere?”

Now, not only is that a question asked by a pig, it's not funny. I can, will and have forgiven a LOT of totally inappropriate stuff in my life because it made me laugh. Not only was that question not funny, it wasn't even mildly entertaining. What WOULD have been entertaining is if Lindsay Vonn had slapped Leno. Because, frankly, no one would have blamed her. The thought occurred to me though, that, had she done so, no one except the studio audience would have seen it. Because Leno and NBC no longer have to be on the up and up regarding what is and isn't shown.

So, here's my take on the whole thing. At NBC it's okay, in fact encouraged, to aspire to mediocrity. It's perfectly okay to be a chauvanist. It's okay to rip off other performers ideas. It's okay to deliver bad coverage of news, sports and current events. It's okay to badmouth your own ideas and try to make them everyone else's fault but your own.

It, apparently, is NOT okay to be funny, smart, informed, creative or just plain entertaining. Now this, in it's own way, is also okay. What isn't okay is to whine about your lousy ratings because of it.

Almost 30 years ago, David Brinkley left NBC and landed at ABC. David Brinkley was one smart man.

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