Saturday, January 5, 2008

Q.Q.F. File: Alan Sepinwall's Strike Survival TV Club

I find the writers strike very inspiring. It gets to the very core of our entertainment industry: they who have the words set the world in motion. When they are silent, it all stops.

Although it’s true that the creative endeavors of film, television, and theater are maddeningly symbiotic. The writers could write til the cows come home, but if their words aren’t picked up by the Hollywood/Broadway machine, they will just lie there on the page. (Hence the attraction of the noncollaborative art of blogging . . . .)
Pop over to the Writers Guild of American, West to see the latest on the situation.

Now, what’s a tv critic with a fabulous blog on the side to do during this time of silence?

Alan Sepinwall has a very creative solution to the yawning abyss. He is running a Strike Survival TV Club: he is picking old tv series of particular note that can be completely viewed on You Tube, and then posting about them to start a conversation.

“Welcome to the first installment of the Strike Survival TV Club, where we reject the junky replacement shows the networks are offering, both scripted (Cashmere Mafia) and not (American Gladiators) in favor of looking back at good shows from years past.”

First up is Rob Thomas’s 1998 series Cupid, starring Jeremy Piven and Paula Marshall. It ran for just 15 episodes before it was canceled “before its time.” I had never heard of it. It’s a twee series, predating Pushing Daisies and the Piven of Entourage. Piven plays Trevor Hale, who either is Eros, banished from Mt. Olympus until he unites 100 couples on Earth in true love without the use of the power of his bow and arrow, or he is a psychotic man who thinks he is the god of Love. Paula Marhsall plays the relationship expert/psychologist to whom the state releases Trevor.

I hope you’ll join us at the SSTVC. I think it’s an imaginative, engaging intersection of traditional “television” and new media.

And there is a little irony afoot here. As we know, the copyrighted material on YouTube is not monetized. I fervently hope that remains the case. But if in the future, TPTB change that situation, then the writers must get a share of booty, without a doubt.


kathleenmaher said...

Given enough time, good writers usually find their way, even if all too-often it's far from what's fair.

Mr. Peel said...

I remember liking Cupid a great deal. Granted, I haven't seen it since it ran, but I have fond memories and not only was Piven terrific, it's the best role Paula Marshall's ever had. Maybe the reason you never saw it was because it aired Saturdays at ten, as part of ABC's "Satur-date" promotion they had going that year. At nine was the revival of Fantasy Island with Malcolm McDowell. The idea of network programming on Saturday nights seems so long ago.