Jerry Moore: Let’s work around the TV writers strike
Given that they’re no longer using their pens to create television scripts, members of the Writers Guild of America can thrust them right into my heart.
You people want to see me die? Then what’s the holdup? Go ahead and finish the job you’ve started.
What’s the point of me trying to carry on now that WGA members are on strike? How can I pretend there’s any joy remaining in life with no new segments of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” to entertain me every week night?
And of all months to put a work stoppage into effect, members of the WGA chose November. Don’t they realize this is a Nielsen ratings sweeps month?
Come on! They work in television — how could they not know this is a sweeps month?
This is the time to crank out your best scripts, not reruns. If I weren’t a naturally optimistic person, I’d suspect they chose November for a reason.
OK, perhaps I’m being a tad dramatic. There’s obviously more to life than TV. And the WGA’s contract expired Nov. 1, so the members didn’t necessarily target November — but this is an example of dramatic timing.
In any event, the writers strike will adversely impact the remainder of this year’s television season. Many of your favorite shows will either go into rerun mode or get yanked from the schedule.
What’s worse, TV insiders are saying that networks could well lean more heavily on reality TV shows. Yuck! What other gruesome vote-someone-out scenarios can they possibly develop?
This union doesn’t have a good history when it comes to strikes. In 1988, writers walked off the job for 22 weeks.
The WGA strike of nearly 20 years ago makes me nostalgic for the United Auto Workers strike of last month, which was settled after about six hours. Those auto factory guys don’t mess around, do they?
In order to do my part to keep things on television interesting, here are a few ideas for scripts that producers can sift through. Consider this a public service.
“24”: Unlike a few other days when he’s had to thwart a world-ending terrorist plot, Jack Bauer resolves this particular scenario in two hours. The real suspense comes when he spends the remaining 22 hours filing all the paperwork needed to close the case. You could set it up like this: “The following events took place between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m.: (Bauer, screaming into a walkie talkie) WE ARE OUT OF PAPER CLIPS. REPEAT, WE ARE OUT OF PAPER CLIPS!” ... (Head of the terrorist unit speaking to Bauer) I’m sorry, Jack, I just don’t think you should be doing this kind of work anymore. Let one of my secretaries run these documents through the copier. (Bauer, screaming at the head of the terrorist unit) DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND, I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THAT! THESE PAPERS HAVE TO BE FILLED OUT IN TRIPLICATE, AND THEY MUST BE NOTARIZED BEFORE TOMORROW MORNING. CAN A SECRETARY TRULY BE TRUSTED WITH THIS? AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO CARES ABOUT THESE THINGS?”
“House”: Brilliant but cranky doctor butts heads with his boss while trying to diagnose a perplexing medical case. Dr. House believes he’s made the correct diagnosis, and the patient seems to respond. But the patient’s relapse forces the medical team to re-evaluate its analysis, and it does so just in time to save the patient’s life. (Oh wait, this is the synopsis of every episode of “House.” Sorry.)
“Law & Order”: Assistant district attorney Jack McCoy prosecutes a serial killer, which slightly boosts the presidential aspirations of his boss.
There you go. To television producers and viewers alike, you’re welcome.
Jerry Moore is a news editor with GateHouse Media Suburban Newspapers. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.