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Page 1

SAC: The Crisis in American Television

by Jason Roth

In preparation for this article, I watched one episode each of two television dramas in the past two years. Now that my research is complete, I believe I am qualified to comment on the state of the television industry.

Like everything else in America, the problems with American television can be summed up in a single acronym: SAC.

  • Story
  • Acting
  • Chicks

The second phase of my research, which consisted of last night's episode of Las Vegas, reaffirmed my faith in the lack of screenwriting competition. If and when I choose to write a script for TV or film, I will have very little competition. At least, whoever beats me will win on the basis of some criteria other than not sucking ass.

Last night's story consisted of:

  • A 20-year-old chick who wasn't allowed to claim her $100,000 jackpot because her spin was three minutes before her 21st birthday

  • The casino manager's old CIA partner, an over-the-hill Mimi Rogers, who drops by to make the manager's wife jealous

  • Other contrived nonsense

The acting consisted of:

  • The honest but awkward security guard who tries his best but whose aw-shucks-isn't-being-honest-cute bullshit gets him into harmless trouble

  • James Caan purposely stuttering to look "real"

  • A short, anorexic chick with large breasts trying to act like a strong woman

  • A tall, slightly chunky chick with huge breasts trying to act like a strong woman

These last two points are really the excuse for this entire "article". Both television episodes that I watched in the last two years, this episode of Las Vegas and one episode of the second season of 24, were populated with models rather than actresses. Can anyone take these chicks seriously? I can't, for two reasons. First, the number of model-quality chicks (which is actually not synonymous with "good looking" chicks) that I have met who are actually strong-willed and intelligent can be counted on one hand, after pulling the one hand out of a mulching machine. Fortunately, the models on TV dramas don't have the problem of looking intelligent.

The second reason I can't take the chicks seriously is that every chick on the show is a model. If one or two were models, you might be able to suspend disbelief. But when the entire CIA headquarters (in the case of 24) is filled with bare, eight-foot-long legs strutting around in perpetuity, you can't help but be constantly reminded that you're watching a television show.

Somebody put a dress on Robert De Niro and recycle a Rod Serling script. We need fewer hot chicks and more talent.

Did you have an opinion on this? Then post a comment.

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