Thursday, April 09, 2009

Crazy Like a Fox

There was a joke in one of the early Simpson's episodes, a throwaway gag in one of those stories where they look into the future of the family, where Marge turns on the TV and says 'Fox made the transition to hardcore pornography so subtle I never even noticed.' I'm paraphrasing, because I haven't seen this episode in at least ten years, but it's a line that comes to mind several times a year whenever Fox makes some vicious attack against the very idea of intelligent programming or announces their newest reality show. This week I've been thinking about that line a bit more than would normally be considered average.

Now, Fox is the network that brought us the plastic surgery dating show The Swan, where two women we're given makeovers and cosmetic surgery, and one was ultimately told she was just too ugly and had to go home alone. And Temptation Island, which is the only show in history that could give you chlamydia simply by watching it. So I can't exactly say that their newest announcement brings them any closer to their goal of out and out pornography than those two examples did, but it certainly helps ensure their place in that new circle of hell Rupert Murdoch had built solely for Fox executives.

Fox has announced their newest reality show, Someones Gotta Go, which coldly capitalizes on the zeitgeist of the new American public. The broke, depressed, terrified-of-the-future American public. Each week the show will focus on a different small business, where the employees will try desperately to hold onto their shrinking 401K and meager health coverage by competing and backstabbing in reality show style, until at the end of the episode the loser is fired. Surely it won't be long before actual, literal executions make up the bulk of Fox's prime time lineup.

Also, Variety has a much more gushing report on this upcoming show(of course). They do their best to make this sound like a good thing, but if you read it through there a few other depressing notes about the show(the opening up of Human Resources files and financial reports is sure to cause friction long after the cameras leave the building).

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