Is Hollywood really that stupid, or are they so condescending and pretentious that they just believe the rest of the country is that much dumber?
I was reading an article on The Chicago Tribune website about a new radio show starting on Monday Morning on Q101. The article interviewed the head writer for the as-yet unnamed show, Second City vet Michael McCarthy. I found the following bit of the interview to be very interesting:
Q. How will doing a radio show in Chicago be different from the stage show in L.A.?
A. In L.A., if you were going to do a show based entirely upon a week's worth of news, the first thing you had to do was tell the audience the news because they didn't know. In Chicago, people know. People are more informed. ... There's this concept that's drummed into you at Second City: Work at the height of your intelligence and assume that the audience is at least as smart as you.* ... I'm so tired of going into pitch meetings in L.A. and being told, "Hey, I get it. But it's those people in Ohio or the Midwest who won't get it." And then I come home back here and my family goes, "Why is TV so stupid?" So that's the appeal of the radio show, to work at the height of our intelligence. The only other time I was able to do that was "Sesame Street."
Q. How so?
A. Because the goal is so pure. You never talk down to kids, because they sense it immediately. Education being the goal is intimidating but fun. When I first started there, I never realized how much innuendo was part of my writing, so I had to relearn everything. You can't have Oscar going, "Check out Maria. ... "
As an adult I daresay this is a sense I still have. Why have we let the entertainment industry get away with this pretension and condescension for so long? Why do we continue to allow them to talk down to the rest of us?
That being said... as much as I miss Mancow's Morning Madhouse. I am looking forward to the new show...
PS: McCarthy is right about that Oscar/Maria sexual tension.