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August 2014
Issue: January 1, 2008

THE REALITY OF THE WRITERS STRIKE

By: Randi Altman

Because it's what I do, and what I have been doing since junior high school, I waited until the last minute to hand in my  "homework" — this editor's letter.

I had it all planned. I waited long enough to see if the early November strike by members of the Writers Guild would stick. Well, it stuck, like a piece of bubble gum that gets into the crevasses  of your shoe: it stuck but good.

I figured by late December post houses servicing the television industry would start feeling the same impact that television production had been feeling and want to go on record about what they are doing to get past all this sticky stuff. Well, I was wrong.

After my fifth, "No thank you," I got a bit discouraged and gave up. I understand they don't want to take the chance of pissing off the studios who butter their collective bread, but now I'm left to fill this space at the last minute, and the people who are going to suffer are you, the readers, because I intend to go off on a bit of rant to save my ass for this deadline...which is currently tapping me on the shoulder.

The studios feel they have the upper hand because they can pawn off as many ridiculously themed reality TV shows on us and we will lap it up with a "Please sir, may I have another." And they might be right, sadly.

I never really got into the whole Survivor, Amazing Race, American Idol or Dancing With the Stars phenomenon, but that's because I was busy watching scripted TV with surgically attractive actors saying clever lines. But people do desperate things in desperate times...

In a month or two you just might find Celebrity Rehab, Who Wants to Be A Super Hero?, Sunset Tan, Virgin Territory or Snoop Dogg's Fatherhood on my TiVo and yours. And, no, I didn't make any of those names up. If I were going to have a little fun, I would have included stuff like Braid My Hair, I Dare You, a show starring famously cranky "supermodel" Naomi Campbell and those brave enough to actually get close enough to touch her. Or, When Bichon Frises Attack or maybe Celebrity Comb-Overs. Absurd or genius?! (If you are a network exec in charge of new, non-scripted programming and need my help, you can find my contact info on the masthead to the right.)

If by some miracle the strike is over by the time this issue comes out, I apologize for all of the above. Just erase it from your memory.