Establishing The Norm

The pilot/premiere (S1E1) of “All In The Family” – 1971

Norman Lear passed yesterday. He was one of the most important and influential television producers of all time, single handedly responsible for all time classic shows like”All In The Family“, “The Jeffersons“, “Maude“, “Good Times“, and “Sanford and Son“, to name a few. There have been numerous great stories and articles shared over the past day or so about Mr. Lear, who from all accounts, still had his fastball at the ripe old age of 100. For me, I’ll just leave you with the above pilot/premiere episode of “All In The Family”, which still crushes 52 years later. If you get the chance and can find the series on you local streaming service, take the time to watch it. It is still funny and tackles social and political issues that are – sadly – still relevant today.

Festivus for the Rest of Us

In the venerable Sunday NY Times, there was a classic article about Festivus, the “alternate” holiday created by Frank Costanza (Jerry Stiller) of Seinfeld fame. The great irony of the story is that Festivus is actually the brainchild of the father of one of the Seinfeld writers. More amazing, Festivus is gaining popularity as a reason for people to have alternate holiday parties. Feats of strength.

Reality Bites

The other evening, I joined my wife in watching Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and it really got me thinking about all this reality TV that is bombarding us these days. I think the proliferation of all the reality television is really telling us that the Entertainment studios in Hollywood (and other places) are just tapped out of good, creative programming ideas and they now need to use the life of the everyday man to create sellable content (to advertisers and to audiences). The argument that the reality shows are good programming ideas just does not hold water. Can you really tell me that “Joe Millionaire 2”, not to mention the original “Joe Millionaire”, is really good programming? The subject matter of all the reality television programs is quite diverse, ranging from Survivor and Big Brother to Trading Spaces and While You Were Out on TLC. I am waiting for the super, steel cage match reality show where the crew from “Trading Spaces” invades the “Big Brother” house, who is inhabited by the previous winners of “Big Brother”, “Survivor”, and ABC’s “Bachelor/Bachelorette” series, and they then compete with the “Fab 5” from “Queer Eye” to fix up the living space. Now that would be a ratings bonanza!