October 30, 2003

Take One

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Well, it’s been a tough couple of weeks. It really has. Aside from the incessant midterms and my truly epic lack of sleep, I suffered through watching the Red Sox lose to the Yankees. Perhaps even worse, though, I had to battle off being hypnotized by voices telling me “not to miss a minute of” the most compelling new show on television. What am I talking about? During the playoffs, I had to watch over 4,000 commercials for the most overhyped show in television history, Skin.

Honestly, what were they thinking? Were they thinking? The premise of this character-driven drama: two families with distinctly opposite sets of values clash as Adam (D.J. Corona), the son of the District Attorney, and Jewel (Olivia Wilde), the daughter of an adult entertainment producer, fall helplessly in love. A few unnecessary explosions later, and you have your Jerry Bruckheimer produced, ultra-extravagant television series. My question is: wouldn’t this idea work better as a movie? Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t bother seeing it even then, but I find it hard to believe that there exist enough plotlines to sustain this show for one season. Even more absurd is the potential revenue that Fox lost by airing commercials for their own programming during the World Series instead of selling the spots to other sponsors. But let’s give Skin the benefit of the doubt for just a moment and think of some ways they could make it, well, a bit more intriguing.

First of all, they might consider convincing Pauly Shore to come out of his forced retirement to be yet another love interest of the girl. This is Fox, remember; it isn’t completely out of the question. The show is already billed as exposing the world of corruption and forbidden love. Well, Shore as a love interest certainly transcends the realm of the forbidden, doesn’t it? It certainly did in Son-in-Law, anyway.

Secondly, the writers should consider expanding their theme of family betrayal to include other families aside from the main two (named the Goldmans and the Roams). Let’s see, the Osbournes, or Osmonds, or the Baldwins, or possibly even the Culkins, could lend their assistance to the show. Ozzy and his dark world of drugs manage to make Macaulay’s life even more bizarre, while in the meantime, Alec, Stephen, and Daniel compete for the affection of Kelly Osbourne, who herself is at war with Marie Osmond over who has the ugliest smile. See the potential now? The more families, the more plotlines, the better.

What if Skin were a sitcom? Then it might be funny for reasons other than its absurdity. Who might be available to add their comical touch? Jim Carrey, fresh off the soon-to-be-released Kaufman head trip Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, could be of some use. Perhaps Will Ferrell could take some time off from shooting Old School 2 to help out. Or imagine a scenario in which, during his opening arguments, the District Attorney gets punked by Ashton Kutcher. Finally, Ray Romano could bring the show up to the prestigious Emmy-caliber echelon; after all, if everybody loves him, then there’s a whole new set of problems!

Controversy can make a show a sensation as well. Bring in Bill Maher