Munchman’s TV Musings #5
- Here’s something Yer Friendly Neighborhood Muncher can definitely get behind. The winners of this year’s Samuel Goldwyn Writing Awards have been announced, and I’m sure we’re all happy as can be to know that the first prize winner is Eric Mallory Morgan for his screenplay Tonya. Second place winners are Burnett Fisher for Damascus and Nicholas Adams for Falling. Yeppers, a tie. Third prize goes to Dominic Abeyta for 100 Degrees, and Honorable Mention belongs to Meedo Taha for the script Other People. Put your hands together for these fine writers, whose chances of becoming rich, sort of famous, and maybe even happy have just leapfrogged high and far over yours and mine!
- Balancing the good stuff is recent research that shows that in spite of all the progress the TV biz seems to have made in the area of diversity, behind the scenes diversity is still, you know, considerably less diverse than it should be…and also less diverse than onscreen. This according to Darnell Hunt, Director of UCLA’s Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies. In the Center’s annual Hollywood Diversity Report he says that “Even on so-called diverse shows, you’re still going to see a showrunner who’s a white man for the most part….” He also has a lot more to say on the subject, as do many other experts. Why is it so hard to get more inclusion of minorities in the Industry? I’m thinking it has to do with a single sad fact of life: for every bright-eyed, brilliant minority individual who gets a TV gig at last, there’s bound to be the corresponding loss of a job for, yeppers, you guessed it, some white guy. And the white guys who do the hiring haven’t exactly gotten where they are by fighting the status quo, so…. (Right, you get the sorryass idea, yeah?)
- Der Munchhausen (das ist me) just read an article about how Supergirl “is the best superhero show on the CW,” which tells me quite clearly that I sure as %@$# don’t want to even try watching Arrow, The Flash, or Legends of Tomorrow. FTR, it isn’t the sunniness of Supergirl’s disposition that bugs me about her show. It isn’t even the writing, which when you get down to it perfectly captures the DC comic book universe as it existed right around the time when I was born (as long afternoons spent in my local comic book shop snapping up affordable back issues have shown me) because I kinda like that whole ethos. No, what drives me batshit about Supergirl is how totally cheesy it is visually. Bad sfx, dumb camera angles, ridiculous cuts…and the music, yikes! Munchareeni here doesn’t see anything even remotely resembling respect for comics on Supergirl. Just mockery and dis-fucking-dain.
- Meanwhile, back in the Positive Zone, Fox TV says it’s developing a pilot for a series based on Dwayne Johnson’s wrestling career. It will be a comedy, natch, and the writer, Brian Gewirtz, has what most likely is the best possible qualification for the gig: He used to be head writer for the WWE. Seems like a natural, and I’ve unselfishly texted me old buddy Bri to tell him how happy I am for him. And, of course, included with it are a couple of selfies of me working out at the closest Gold’s. That’s right, wrestling fans, Muncho’s abs are every bit as good as me writin’, but it’s the pecs that I’m thinking will make the lead in the series mine!
- Dontcha luv how showbizzies have finally learned how to at least pay lip service to the writers they’ve been exploiting and denigrating for years? The most recent example is an announcement by the Female Spike Lee, Issa Rae, who just sold a new series to, um, somebody who reckons they’ll be able to get it out somewhere peeps like us can see it. “I’m so proud of the writing team behind Minimum Wage,” she said. “It is the beautiful product of collaboration, creativity and inclusion. We’re so happy to have partnered with Project Greenlight Digital Studios to find, out of over 2,000 submissions, these dynamic women writers.” I’m guessing that Issa’s executive team is hella lot more enlightened than the executives I mentioned above. Hats off to them and, more importantly, to Rebecca Hu, Arpita Kumar, and Maya Houston, the writers whose lives, I hope, I hope, I hope, are about to bloom!
- Quick shout out to Jordanna Fraiberg on her new job as head of development for Insurrection Media. Congrats, you, and whatever else happens, please, please, please don’t let this executive turn change ya. Be true to your school…and the fans of your YA novels, who will be counting on you bringing that same inventiveness to the new TV gig. At least, yer munchikins will.
That’s enough positivity from me for this week. Seeya soonish with more TV musings!