Editors Note:


EDITOR'S NOTE: Fresh off a three year managerial stint, your friendly neighborhood lenslinger is back on the street and under heavy deadline. As the numbing effects of his self-imposed containment wear off, vexing reflections and pithy epistles are sure to follow...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Dog Bites Man

If Comedy Central's new experimental offering Dog Bites Man nails the flavor of local news, I'll eat my press pass. Though it does sound promising: producers of Da Ali G Show combining narrative comedy and improv to follow 'an outrageously inept local news crew chases down the big stories, leaving innocent bystanders and journalistic integrity in their wake.' Hmmm. Sounds like a few high noon live shots back in the day, but I digress. Here's hoping the show at least delves into the inspired lunacy of local broadcasting and doesn't just squeeze the Mary Tyler Moore newsroom template for a few more boorish laughs.

Whatever the case, it's only a matter of time before some comedy team mines the fertile mirth of local news for laughs that ring true among the off-camera set. Broadcast News captured the insipid machinations at the network level. Anchorman delved into mid-seventies affilliate life, but in a fairly schizophrenic and cartoonish manner. (Still, can you a fault a film that features a street fight between rival news gangs? I think not.) Is it wrong to yearn for newsgathering goofs that are a bit more, I dunno - acerbic? Perhaps ... Hey, I got it! How about a series of film shorts based on the stylized prose of one blowhard photog? Cast some brooding hotshot and call it Viewfinder Bl-- Hmm? What's that?

You're right ... that would never fly.

4 comments:

Amanda said...

An inept local crew from here in Spokane, sounds almost like some of my collegues from work have been moonlighting on the side.....

in-gun-ear said...

You failed to mention the 1996 Robert Redford, Michelle Pfeiffer film "Up Close and Personal." Local news in a large mid market. Some (many) liberties taken, but the feel of local news was there for the beholder along with the one season of that network news program on TNT was it? It was more like local news than network.

Of course, the all time fav for what really happens with news, network or local (and how much of it is coming true today, SCARY) is the 1976 Sidney Lumet film "Network" with Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch and Robert Duvall. ("I AM MAD AS HELL AND I AM NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANY MORE!") You can't tell me you haven't known (or know) these characters in other guises at the local level.

GOD, I LOVE THIS BUSINESS!!

Anonymous said...

I once told an anchor she reminded me of the girl from "Up Close and Personal." I didn't mean it as a compliment.

Her response: "ohmygod, thank you, that's like my favorite movie ever."

Kimberly said...

I love to make fun of this business....
It's such fertile ground.