@Jos Truitt: You Can’t Get Blood From a Stone Or Complexity On TV


Salon’s Jos Truitt complains that tv’s female characters are 2-dimensional. My response is, “Well, at least it’s 2 occasionally. It was only 1 for a few decades and it’s still mostly just 1.”

Look, Jos, it’s no good saying, “Men have it better on tv” because it’s an absurd claim. TV doesn’t treat anybody well. What, the automatons of Mad Men are deep, complex characters with layers of sophisticated feelings behind those moronic masks? Gimme a break.

Tee Vee is a cesspool run by corporate sales forces as a way to access consumers. You’re lucky the talent still has enough juice to demand better material and enough people remain unenamored of dreck like Duck Dynasty, Jersey Shore, and American Idol that money can still be made on half-assed attempts at “complexity” like Breaking Bad, Scandal, or Weeds.

Movies rarely take chances with risky material, tv virtually never. Every dangerous idea is safely watered down, every potentially offensive moment analyzed for its commercial value before it’s allowed to air. TeeVeeLand is a place where no truth is to be spoken unless it’s covered in enough sugar to gag a maggot, no character is to have more sides than an English professor can explain in one sentence, and every plot has to be simple enough that even George W can understand it without Cliff Notes.

To expect any more than that is an exercise in reality-denial.

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