June 8, 2004
Entertainment (So Last) Weekly

Entertainment Weekly, in its continuing commitment to bring you news you've already read elsewhere, outdoes itself in this week's "Secrets of Harry Potter" spectacular. To get an idea of just how warmed-over this shit gets, let's flip through EW's front of book together:

First up we've got EW's interview with Dick Wolf, "Making the Brand" by Allison Hope Weiner:

Q: If cast members on your show had banded together for raises, like on Friends or The West Wing, what would you have done?

We won't even trouble you with the A as you probably know what Wolf has to say already. That's because his answer appeared in the March 4, 2002 New Yorker, "TV on the Cheap" by James Surowiecki, and even then it was old news:

Six years ago, the cast members of the sitcom "Friends" threatened to walk out unless NBC agreed to renegotiate their contracts. Each of them was earning forty thousand dollars per episode, and they were now demanding six-figure deals. When Dick Wolf, the executive producer and creator of "Law & Order," heard the news, he called Warren Littlefield, then the president of NBC Entertainment, and told him that he should start firing the young stars, one by one. "I guarantee you that Warren would not have had to get rid of more than two of them before they caved," Wolf said recently.

Or how about "The Sopranos Pop Quiz" in which EW's Alynda Wheat wonders if The Sopranos' Little Carmine is meant to parody George W.'s various malapropisms.

…with his Texas-size belt buckles and curious turns of phrase, [he] bears more than a passing resemblance to a certain Commander-in-Chief. Can you tell the difference between George W. Bush's presidential parlance and that of the Mob malapropster?


B. "Of course no one wants all-out conflict, but historically, historic changes have come out of war."


E. "The fundamental question is, Will I be as effective as a boss like my dad was?…Until I am, it's gonna be hard to verify that I think I'll be more effective."

But then what of weblog The Bonassus which took note of the very same (and not quite self-evident) parallel over a month ago?

Is Little Carmine George Bush?
I noticed this exchange on last night's (brilliant) episode of the Sopranos:

Little Carmine: The point I'm trying to illustrate is that of course no one wants all-out conflict, but, historically, historical changes have come out of war.
Carmine's Advisor: As far as I'm concerned it's a new day. All old treaties and ways of doing things are null and void.
Little Carmine: Exactly.
Angelo Garepe: And the Joe Peeps thing: where does that leave us?
Carmine's Advisor: When you've had a quadruple bypass like I did, it gives you a lot of time to think. The only thing Johnny understands is force.
Angelo G: But the fact is, we've pissed on a bee's nest.
Unknown Character: So what's the other option: roll over?
Angelo G: We could've had a sit-down...the other captains maybe.
Little Carmine: This isn't the UN, Angelo. I won't let what happened to my father happen to me.
Carmine's Advisor: God forgive me, but you may be a stronger man than your dad was.
Little Carmine: The fundamental question is, will I be as effective as a boss like my dad was, and I will be. Even more so. But until I am, it's gonna be hard to verify that I think I'll be more effective.

The tortured syntax. The stupidity. The belief that the father's successes were in fact failures. The eminence grise with heart trouble and a belief that multilateral institutions are for the weak. I'm telling you, man, it's George Bush, man.

And it continues. There's EW's piece/graph about Kate Hudson's falling fortunes that appeared nearly verbatim in USA Today's Life section on May 25. And there's "Weather, or Not" EW's hard-hitting two-column-inches look at the reality of The Day After Tomorrow's portrayal of climate change - we could likely provide several hundred pieces "investigating" the same issue.

While imitation may be the sincerest form of etc., when it's EW doing the "imitating," it just feels dirty.

Posted in a Shallow fashion.

Other Recent Items of Interest:

Make our "team" part of your "team"
jean-paul tremblayJean-Paul Tremblay written-ed, directed and co-produced a bunch of so-called "comedy" and "video" content, is notoriously competitive, and nonetheless settles for bottom-tier tokenism. Repped by John Herndon at Grape Dope Entertainment. Thrill jockey!
matt haberMatt Haber has written for The New York Times, Esquire, and The New York Observer. He is not allergic to pet dander and can do "ethnic" accents if the part calls for it. He is repped by Candy Addams at Entertainment 4-Every-1. Feeling special?
Guy Cimbalo is so cute! Yes, he is. Who's a cute little Guy? You are, you are! Guy's our very own star of stage and screen and is repped by Jeff Kwatinetz at The Firm. Rowr!
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