I was watching television the other night and saw something so incredibly bad that it drove me to wonder how it came to be before me in the first place. How was this horrific concept presented and who listened to this half-thought out lunacy and thought, “Hmm. Its better than anything I’ve heard recently. Let’s pump a few million into it.” What were they listening to, I wonder?
I remember Bewitched. A fun sitcom about a mixed marriage between a witch and a mortal. I liked how Darren used his position as an ad exec to explain the weird goings on in the Stevens household. He and his boss would pop in and find a unicorn in his living room and Darren would, after a few exaggerated facial expressions, smile and introduce his boss to the new image for a car they’re representing.
“How about the Unicorn, Larry? Legendary gas mileage. Pretty great, eh?”
It wasn’t. Now every time I see a commercial or concept so inexplicably bad that I’m driven to wonder how such an atrocity ever made it to public airing, I call it a Darren Stevens. Something truly bizarre must have happened to allow this to seem like a good idea. Witchcraft, maybe. That would almost explain such concepts as casting Pierce Brosnan in a musical.
Movies, you see, have often crossed the line. I was appalled by last years’ release depicting Abraham Lincoln as a super hero vampire killer. I’ve written some pretty good stories but still had to fight my way through the thousands of other good stories to try to get a publisher’s attention. This is because there are good writers with new thoughts to be expressed in abundance. So what enormous bet must someone have lost to allow this laughable excuse for a storyline to find its way to the screen? Is this any way to pay homage to one of the greatest figures in American History? Is this a direction we in the creative or entertainment world want to take?
My fear is that this may spark a trend of salvaging truly bad scripts or manuscripts by recasting the lead as a pre-accepted historical figure. The public already likes them so the hack story has a foot in the viewing or reading audience’s door despite the total lack of credibility, creativity or talent.
But perhaps I’m being overly cynical. Perhaps this is why so many creative works never see the light of day. We may simply be trying too hard. This substitute for talent and hard work may in fact be a new and viable form of creativity. Perhaps exploiting the memory of historical heroes for a cheap buck is a good thing. Think of the endless possibilities.
Young George Washington tells his father, “I cannot tell a lie, Father. I chopped down your cherry tree… when my space ship crash landed on your planet.” Washington – ET Patriot!
“I have a dream… of driving all the demons out of the White House!” Martin Luther King – Presidential Exorcist
“Old Soldiers never die… Until I chop their zombie heads off with my magic sabre” General Douglas MacArthur versus the Army of the Undead!
The possibilities are endless. And America doesn’t hold the patent on greed, bad taste and sensationalism. Britain has every right to jump onto the bandwagon.
“This is England’s finest hour… I know because I went back in time to diffuse Hitler’s bomb and change the course of history!” Churchill- Time Minister.
Hey. That’s good. I’m calling Paramount right now!
You can find more about Donovan Galway at the Second Wind Publishing website http://www.secondwindpublishing.com/#!donovan-galway/c1ap8 and the usual places. Amazon, Google, or by liking Donovan on Facebook.