This began as a post about film and movies jumping the shark–a term coined years ago to describe the point in the cycle of a TV show where it starts to decline in quality. For example:
My dear Shonda Rimes and her team do some fabulous writing on Grey’s Anatomy. In the past, the team seemed to know when the audience was at the breaking point with a story line. For example, early in the series’ run the Meredith and Derrick troubled romance went on and on. And on. And on. Strom und durst. And just about the time we were ready to scream, or turn the channel, the characters got their “happily ever after.”
Until now, when it seems Patrick Dempsey wants to leave the show. Oh, we fans were so relieved to see an end to Meredith’s angst. Thankfully, she’s much stronger now and it looks like Shonda set us up for this plot twist last year when Christina’s last words to Mer were: “He’s very dreamy, but he’s not the sun. You are.” Ok, dry your eyes, if you clicked that link and watched it. Oh, Christina, we miss you so.
I love that piece of dialogue and now it’s clear that we were being cleverly set up for what is coming. Mer will be better than ever without Der.
How did I miss the fact that Dempsey was leaving? Maybe because I kept hearing other gossip that got more play. Gossip that Dempsey left his wife for another woman. And another piece of gossip that said it was for another man. Yes, everyone in Hollywood is either gay or wants to be gay.
My writing idol, Shonda, has not done so well with another one of my favorite TV shows, Scandal. Spoiler coming in the next paragraph, so skip on down if you aren’t up to date.
I am all for the willing suspension of disbelief, but the idea that Olivia would be kidnapped and auctioned off to countries…or that the President would send the country to war so his girlfriend won’t be killed….or that Mellie went from being a terrible mother to being a grieving mother who collapsed at her son’s grave eating potato chips every day…to wanting to be President of the United States…or that she would actually purposely gork out the VP (her former lover) to keep him from ratting out their cosy little deals….or….
Yeah. I am getting just a tad tired of this season.
However, what IS more interesting is the persistent rumor that Kerry Washington’s marriage to that guy whose name I can’t pronounce, much less spell, was always a fake …that they never spent much time together…with no explanation about why they had child together…and now that they are separated, it seems like there might possibly be fire where that smoke is….not to mention the extremely detailed and persistent rumors that she and Tony Goldwyn really do have a thing going in real life, down to specifying a Broadway performance they were due to attend together until his wife put the hammer down.
When those kinds of rumors about actors in real life are far more interesting than the plot of the TV show they star in, well, the writers ought to pay attention to that and clean up their act. Because celebrity dirty laundry should not be as good or better than TV. Just sayin’.
Of course, certain celebrities seem to be as Teflon as my favorite president, Bill Clinton. (Oh, Hillary, what HAVE you done with this bone-head email thing? You are putting us at risk of having Jeb Bush in the Big House and speaking as a former Floridian when he was in THAT big chair, well, trust me, you do not want that to happen.) But I digress. Where was I? Oh yes, Teflon celebs.
Let’s take handsome and debonair George Clooney, who has been dogged by gay rumors for years. His taste for androgynous women may lead to some of that–the rumor mill always buzzes that they are on salary. You could’ve knocked me over with a feather when he married Amal–he swore he’d never remarry and this was a relatively short gig before the wedding. But again, she looks kind of like a guy, just like that Italian woman he dated for a while, who REALLY looked like a guy and maybe was even transgender. But I’m getting out of my lane here.
Anyway, this rapid marriage to what has to be the smartest woman he’s ever dated and the most credentialed– and Clooney’s activism — led me to believe he might be getting ready to run for political office. One always needs a suitable wife for that. Just ask former Florida Governor Charlie Crist.
Of course, some people just keep on keeping on after their scandals erupt. Kevin Costner, for example. He’s got a history of rub and tug accusations, and yet he still gets work and does a pretty good job with it. It’s not award-winning work, but still, he’s done a capable job on his outings and he’s remained married. Then again, his pretty wife may not want to leave the gravy train.
And then there’s the case of John Travolta. Oh Johnny, just come out already. Don’t let the church whose name I dare not write keep you from being who you are. You’re older now, you’ve lost your hair–just be who you are. We’ll still love you, Johnny.
Poor, poor Tom Cruise. OMG. Poor Tom Cruise. That’s all I’ll say.
Now look, I know some of you are going to say “oh, you don’t know that for sure, that is just gossip, I don’t believe it and you shouldn’t either and what business is it of ours…” Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes.
My point is that while writers send their characters into outer space in more and more fantastical (and boring) story lines, they don’t need to. They just need to look around them.
Because it’s likely that what’s going on in real life? That celebrity dirty laundry? Would be far more interesting to viewers than a First Lady eating chips on her dead son’s headstone.