NBC’s Fall Schedule: the Fantasy Failure

NBC’s Fall Schedule is doomed to failure. Doomed because it pushes fantasies that even the mostly female audience of NBC knows are wrong, and isn’t interested in anyway. The fantasies are that women can kick ass BETTER than men, that Outsourcing is fun (and foreigners are better than Americans), and that Blacks are monogamous, Obama-like super-couples. None of these are likely to be successful, though the latter is likely to be the least worst failure. A complete break-down of why the shows were constructed as they were (and what it tells us about what elites
believe) and why they will inevitably fail.

First, the Jerry Bruckheimer produced “Chase,” about a US Marshal hunting fugitives (a slight variation of USA’s “Plain Sight” about a female US Marshal in Albuquerque, New Mexico, supervising the witness relocation program there). USA’s works better because it hits the things that women are concerned about: families (the US Marshal has to juggle her own family), romance in a workplace devoid of it, acting as surrogate mother to the families she must supervise, and so on.

With “Chase” we get the following:

The reason this show is likely to fail, is that it is male oriented. And men just don’t watch TV anymore.

While NBC pushes the fantasy that women kick-ass better than men, that outsourcing is good, and Americans should embrace national failure, and that the Obama Black Power couple is the wave of the “avoid Middle Classness” future (by kicking-ass again), “the Cape” is the only show, that seems to have a traditional, male hero looking to “make a difference.” A show that would fit comfortably in the year 1965, or even 1989. But in today’s elite, is a miracle it even got made.

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20 Responses to NBC’s Fall Schedule: the Fantasy Failure

  1. Dream_Puppy says:

    All these shows look lame. The only movie I can think of that had a plausible female kick ass was Kill Bill. It is one of my favorite movies. It seems more plausible since the character is seeking revenge for the death of her unborn child and she's not just some chick kicking ass. There is a very feminine reason behind her hatred. Plus, she fights mostly other women and when she reaches Bill she is no match for him. I have always thought that Tarantino really really loves women. I always enjoy his movies (sans Inglorious Basterds, WTF) . He doesnt' suck up to women, but you can tell he likes them.

  2. Jason says:

    You really shouldn't have mentioned the Cape, as it undermines your whole argument. Or at least makes it irrelevant."Networks don't make shows that appeal to men anymore… except when they do. But then it doesn't matter because men don't watch TV anymore."So what's your point? Why spend so much time lamenting a foregone conclusion? Yes, your glowing girlfriend has deserted you. And other men don't care enough to help you get her back. Not our job. You can blow your nose, wash your face, adjust your sack, and join us for bowling, or you can stay in and watch your boxed set of Buffy DVDs for the 20th time. Your choice.

  3. Jeff Burton says:

    I'm still waiting for some writer to turn the tables on this firmly ingrained stereotype, and have the guy beat the crap out of the over confident female tough girl. If handled correctly, it could be hilarious.Maybe it's already happened. I don't get out much.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Er, Jason, the point was that none of these shows are going to appeal to the people who wath TV beccause the producers making these shows don't uderstand their audience. The only show that even looks like it understands its target audience is the Cape, but that audience no longer exists.

  5. pops2008 says:

    The problem is that the big networks especially nbc are now trying to compete with cable networks more for emmys than ratings. They rather be considered hip to the 18-34 crowd(who are more unemployed or underemployed than ever) than the grown 30-55 male crowd who make have more disposable income. Really only CBS tries somewhat to appeal to the male crowd.

  6. Good job skewering the hackneyed "bad girl" archetype. I myself find it puzzling that the networks & film makers are so willing to overuse this personality type when it doesn't even appeal very much to women. The young women my age are, as a rule, interested in either "traditional" TV/box office fare ("Eat Pray Love", "Sex and the City") or obscure niche films – particularly foreign productions. Either way, none of them – not even those who identify as liberal – show much interest in waif-like, big-breasted fistfighters and their trite brand of action-hero feminism.Perhaps Hollywood is trying to tap into male audiences' sexual anxieties? A tamer version of the masochistic femdom stuff on the web – invincible heroines tearing through male bad guys may be sexually satisfying, in a weird way, for certain men. In times like these (mancession, feminist ascendancy, etc) some males probably come to terms with their emasculation by eroticising it.

  7. Dream Puppy: "The only movie I can think of that had a plausible female kick ass was Kill Bill. It is one of my favorite movies."Funny that you should mention this, because I was going to talk about Lady Snowblood, the 1973 movie that Kill Bill is heavily based on.Meiko Kaji, who plays the titular heroine, is nothing like any modern action heroine. She is beautiful and feminine, always elegantly dressed in a kimono, but has this amazing intensity and presence that's even seriously intimidating at times. She has an icy reserve and speaks very little, but even just her stare suggests more danger than Angelina Jolie with millions of dollars worth of CGI, wires, explosions, stunt work and editing. Her sword fighting style is very ruthless and unceremonial, with no witty one-liners or other flourishes, and is relatively realistic since she doesn't rely on brute force and has trained since childhood (see for yourself, starting at 1:40).The movie is also dead fucking serious, and doesn't take its violence lightly. Since Snowblood has spent her entire life single-mindedly focusing on revenge and killing (at the behest of other people), she has nothing else going on in her life and has obvious mental issues. If it wasn't for the sequel, you couldn't even be sure whether she will survive (she almost doesn't).Action heroines do work when they're done right, but most are unconvincing and little more than trite expressions of feminist "empowerment."

  8. papabear says:

    Re: CapeLooks like Summer Glau has some work, for now. I don't know if this show would really appeal to the same males who watched Life. It seems like it would appeal to a younger crowd–like those who watched Heroes or those who watched the original Knight Rider.I am not surprised that the white cop learns how to be a caped hero from a black.

  9. Fanwank says:

    It should also be said that the rise of the Ass-Kicking Babe ™ was a reaction to the crusade against violence in film and TV that grew in the 70s and 80s. Producers of film and TV schlock could disarm feminist and conservative critics alike by pointing to ‘strong female characters’, an implicit accusation of misogyny always at the ready. The anti-violence crusade seemed to reach its high water mark with the rating system and the V-chip. Yet the Ass-Kicking Babe remains one of the more monotonous features of contemporary pop culture. In a semi-unrelated note, one of the reasons for the popularity of reality TV is the brain-dead tropes that Culture Creatives continue to vomit onto their audiences. Much of scripted television these days is unwatchable.

  10. Whiskey says:

    Good point on Keith David, though given his frequent voice over work on Justice League, that may have been a fanboy tip of the hat more than "Black guy teaches White guy how to be a hero." David has an amazing voice.Very likely the appeal of the Cape is to fans of comic book movies rather than "Life." Which was one of the few TV shows to treat violence as well, violent. Not something stylized or romanticized. The grosses for Iron Man probably green-lighted this show, which is sure to die because NBC chased off men ages ago.NBC might think kick-ass waifs will excite the fem-dom crowd, only problem is that you could fit those in two apartments in West Hollywood. Not a smooth move for a broadcast network.Kick ass waifs might indeed by a reaction to anti-violence crusaders, who by now probably don't care anymore.Yes the rise of Reality TV is directly caused by such crummy scripted TV. "Homeboys in Outer Space?" "Privileged?" "Mercy?" That was the best scripted TV possible?TV is a wonderful medium, used right. In that I agree with Newton Minnow. When used to explore characters and situations over hours (the typical 1 hour drama over 22 episodes has about 17 hours of real-time scripted action) the effects can be amazing, in the stories told versus the limited palette of 2 hours max for films.It is a shame to have seen this lost.

  11. IHTG says:

    Whiskey, you're on a roll this month. Keep up the good work.

  12. Kinuachdrach says:

    World's changing. Lots of unemployed men with time to watch TV, even if they don't have disposable income. The Cape might do better than you think, Whiskey.If it does, then we will see a dozen clones — just like happened with CSI. That old herd instinct again. There's another thing to hate about modern TV programming.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The ass-kicking female is an absurdity. It started with Emma Peel in the Avengers series of the sixties. It failed in the NYC Puerto Rican Day Parade rape riot in Central Park. The blonde "kick boxer" quickly discovered that packs of NYC denizens don't care how much of kick-ass girl you are. A gun will work, but most women don't seem to want them.

  14. Zeta says:

    Remember when the 1980s female cop show "Cagney and Lacey" was remarkable for having "strong" female leads? In one generation we've gone from that to a situation where there are essentially -zero- shows with actual men and masculine themes. Even barely ten years ago, "Joe Sixpack" shows like Married with Children were allowed and very successful. Now, though, masculinity is essentially banned; it has been a remarkable, swift, and total defeat. In particular, there has been a total reversal in who occupies the role of the ass-kicker and the lead character. As Whiskey also noted, this is essentially the "Xena: Warrior Princess" model imposed on all TV, although in a sense it's even worse because it's now about feeding female fantasies (where shows like Xena were probably more along the geek-porn stuff pilfered by the likes of Joss Whedon).At least white guys still have one place reserved for them in modern TV: the bad guy slot. While white men have simultaneously been banned from playing any truly masculine roles, we do have them being the ultimate villains, confirming the fantasies of the political correctness junta. When is the last time you saw a black or Hispanic criminal on modern television? Even in a commercial? When you do see them, or watch an older show that might have them (like, say, Miami Vice), doesn't it strike you as strange? This is the message the elites are now sending to people, and children, hundreds of thousands of times in a lifetimes.One thing I will disagree with Whiskey on: the top elites know exactly what they're doing here. You don't get to the tipsy top without discarding the rose-colored glasses about human nature and the role of the sexes. They employ this sort of equalist baloney as a means of divide and conquer, and not unrelatedly, as a means of vote buying. It's the cultural Marxism model of identity politics. You engender certain beliefs and loyalties in the subject population, and what better way to do that than through the media? Just like the corporate mainstream media serves its purposes for defining debate and beliefs, so does modern television.

  15. Zeta says:

    Not that it's particularly important, but the sentence at the end of my second paragraph should say "hundreds *to* thousands of times". Darn typos.

  16. CJ says:

    Salt wasn't a "failure". It's in the top 10 of summer 2010 movies in the U.S. and it's doing well overseas. It's a moderate hit. Jolie of course is the lone woman able to pull this kind of cash as an action star, so I don't think Salt will necessarily make studios more willing to make action movies starring women.

  17. Zeta, there are all kinds of villains in Burn Notice. Both genders, all races and various nationalities. And they all get what they deserve.

  18. Anonymous says:

    " When is the last time you saw a black or Hispanic criminal on modern television? Even in a commercial?"So true. I noticed that in a Dept. of Transportation commercial on drunk drving. All the drivers were white and the cop was a black guy.

  19. Anonymous says:

    "When is the last time you saw a black or Hispanic criminal on modern television? Even in a commercial? "There was a public service commercial about teenage gun violence in Chicago and at the end they had a white teenager being put in a police car. I wonder how many of the shootings in Chicago are being committed by white teenagers.

  20. Quite effective information, thank you for your post.

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