September 15, 2003

My personal hell…

I know that I should not approach the subject of a critique with preconceived notions, but I can’t help it. No one can. I sat down to watch K Street on HBO last night fully conscious of the fact that I was put off, before seeing the first moment, by the continued blurring of the line between politics and entertainment. I had this blog entry written in my head; I was planning to say something about the line being erased not blurred.

But then something amazing happened: I discovered my personal hell–you know, that thing that you’ll be forced to endure for all eternity. Well, my personal hell will involve watching K Street non-stop. I’d rather roast in fire and brimstone.

This show is so bad it is unwatchable. But, because it so closely connects with the subject of this blog and my academic work, I have no choice but to watch it. I’m in for 12 weeks of hell. I refuse to abandon all hope; perhaps HBO will cancel it.

Tom Shales’ review dances around this stinker by suggesting it appeals to a small audience. Yeah, of masochists.

Okay, so why don’t I like it beyond the whole line blurring thing. Let me count the ways: 1) Poor production values; the jerky camera work and grainy pictures are simply annoying. Plus this technique is over-done. 2) The dialog is insipid. Apparently the show is lightly scripted, and so it creates an eloquent argument for employing competent scriptwriters. Nothing worth listening to or caring about comes out of these characters’ mouths. 3) Plot? Puh-leeze. This is post-modernism. There are no plots, just reactions to stimuli. 4) The characters that play themselves would be better served being played by professional actors. The only one who came off looking good was Howard Dean–I suspect largely because he thought this was a good way to get popular publicity. He was having fun. Hey, look Ma! I’m on a TV show! 5) Who was that nitwit interviewing for a job with the firm? Couldn’t Carville and Matalin see he was a raving lunatic? You don’t hire people like that. You politely escort them from the building and hope they don’t return with firearms.

I could go on. If I did, you might actually be tempted to watch. I would advise against it unless the errors of your ways in this life have dictated K Street as your personal hell.

UPDATE (11:00 a.m.): Hmmmm…can’t look away, huh…you rubber-necker? Okay, here’s some more commentary for you from: Howard Kurtz and The New York Times.

15 Responses

  1. Don’t hold your breath waiting for cancellation–this is the network that ran “Arli$$” for years.

  2. Hahahaha! Yeah, good point. Although I have enjoyed many HBO series, this K Street thing is just awful. Since I’m doomed to watch it, I might as well enjoy making fun of it 🙂

  3. JSteele 

    I hope i’m not pointing out something obvious: the “nitwit” at the end was an actor.

    I don’t understand why they are mixing actors in with a “reality” show… I mean, all the other reality shows are “real” aren’t they? Aren’t they?!?

  4. J- Yes, that was an actor (as far as I know, anyway). What’s really cool about this is all twisted perceptions you can get into. When I called him a “nitwit” did I mean him (the actor), the character, the persona, the stereotype, the archetype…what did I mean? 🙂

    Perhaps my initial reaction was too harsh. This might actually turn out to be one big post-modern hoot!

  5. Rebecca 

    Doc, I beg you, don’t go over to The Dark Side!

  6. Rebecca…What? You’re not up for a little pomo fun? 😉 This might be a case in which we must fight evil with evil.

  7. Rebecca 

    Well, awright, why didn’t you say so!

  8. JSteele 

    Did you catch after the debate when the nitwit introduced himself to Howard Dean? I’m pretty sure he introduced himself as his character. Did Dean know he was an actor? Is it proof-positive that the GOP Right has been orchestrating their take-over, or was Santorum “in character”?

    And earlier, when Matlin’s assistant (also an actor, I believe) was going around diffusing Carville’s involvment in the debate, Rick Santorum (not an actor) was concerned that Carville was destroying “everything they had worked for throughout the years” — was that scripted? Santorum must have know it was an actress?

    It was interesting to learn that Dean’s “Trent Lott” line came from Carville. What if the line had come from instead from an actor? What a strange scenario: A real-life politician goes to a real-life consulting firm, ends up taking advice from an an actor playing a consultant?!?

    Weird. Actors vs. Politicians — there is not much difference is there?

  9. JSteele 

    Oops.. bad editing… “proof positive” should follow the second graf.

  10. JSteele 

    (Sorry for the flooding)

    I just read the articles in your update. I honestly had no idea that the mock-debate with Dean was a piece of fiction. Clearly, I’m not smart enough to watch “K Street” anymore. This melding fact with fiction is too confusing for a newbie political junkie.

    Please forgive me, I’ll just go back to lurking again!

  11. J- Not a problem. In fact, your comment points out exactly the problem I would have hammered on had I followed through with my original notion 🙂 But here’s what we can say for sure: It’s TV entertainment, so it’s fiction. We should think of K Street as existing in another universe. There are no relations to real events. But I’ll be willing to bet we get a lot of cross chatter.

  12. JSteele 

    Alternate universe. I like that. I have a manager whom I’ve always thought was in an alternate universe — maybe he’s simply an actor — that would sure explain alot!

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