WPR Discusses: Internet TV
Internet memes have been making more and more appearances on television lately, but now instead of making brief appearances in existing shows, they’re becoming shows themselves. With “Shit My Dad Says” on the air now and with two more on the way (Shh Don’t Tell Steve and Awkward Family Photos), is this a welcome change or just a lame attempt to make a buck? Would you watch a goatse sitcom?
I tried to watch that Shit my dad says show, it was horrible. I didn’t even finish the episode horrible. Though we human beings are a curious bunch, and if TV producers are willing to put their money down on a pile of internet memes or themes let they waste their money and time. I don’t think this will ever even catch on as a fad. Even if they made PeopleOfWalmart.com TV show, I don’t think you could possibly make something like that work.
But now that I said that, I’m sure there are 100 studio execs fapping over that idea. There is a reason why my list of TV shows I planned on watching since the Fall season started has been cut down by 80%. For every Stargate: Universe, Modern Family, and Community, you have a pile of rehashed crime dramas and reality shows that are rolling in the big bucks.
No, no I would not watch a goatse sitcome, I got enough of that angle after sushi with my drunk friends last weekend. Drunk skateboarding never goes well. But I haven’t heard anything about Awkward family photos, but if they made a LATFH.com show… I’d totally watch. Or if they made a “WE GON FIND YOU” crime drama. I would too. Or Queer Eye for the Double Rainbow Guy. Or a game show to see who can make Keanu Reeves smile
Television writers (for the most part) have been out of ideas for years, and even worse the American public goes for it. That’s why we see so many rehashed sitcoms and reality shows survive, while the great shows are canceled by FOX after 2 episodes. I see TV being pulled from memes as I see the glut of comic book movies: Writers being out of ideas… and yet it works. For every Community there is 10 unoriginal comedies, and I have a feeling we’ll just see more in the future that are pulled from other sources.
…However, I would watch a tv show based on efukt (don’t google that at work, or ever for that matter), but that’s because I’m a sick bastard.
I can’t hate on people hoping to cash in on their web 2.0 enterprise, but it doesn’t mean that it’d be good TV. Look at what works, crime drama and NBC Thursday nights.
Do I think that having Internet on the TV is necessary, no…but then again, I’m always knee deep in the bowels of the internet as it is. Thankfully, the rest of the nation isn’t! I hate to say it but it would take there being a 4chan type of show like TMZ to get me into a web-based TV ip.
Could you imagine Longcat vs tacgnoL getting their own SyFy miniseries? How about a Battlestar Galactica remake that would have nothing but Mudkips and people charging their lazars? What about a pedobear Chris Hansen special?
MAKE THOSE AND I’LL WATCH IT.
Internet memes are essentially the dredges of the internet. They are the nursery rhymes that we learned as children. Instead of discussing the ‘the mouse who ran up the clock’ we now talk about the ‘monkey who scratched his ass, sniffed his finger, and fell out of a tree.’ It isn’t something new; think back on Allie McBeal and that stupid dancing baby. I mean, that was 10+ years ago. It took me a day to download the MPEG of that stupid baby on my 28.8kbps, and look, it goes and shows its ugly head on TV. Even further back, think of the omnipresence of the ‘Where’s the Beef’ slogan. That made it so far as to be a campaign slogan for Walter Mondal (sic?) Or even when McDonalds gave out records (yes, vinyl) of the Big-Mac theme song. Memes are simple, and meant to stay simple. Turning a catch phrase into an entire TV show is just as stupid of an idea as turning a YouTube character into a prime-time feature show or movie.
Without internet based show’s we wouldn’t have the gem’s of humor like Tosh.0 so for every crappy internet show they make, if at least one awesomeshow like tosh.0 comes along I say it’s worth it.
Chris Hansen on the hunt for the elusive Pedobear?
I’m ok with this.
Short answer: No.
Long answer: Fuck no.
Internet memes work because they are short and to the point. Trying to create a show around these memes is like attempting to make a rock the start of a movie. Shit doesn’t work unless that movie is Armageddon and you have Aerosmith rocking your soundtrack. Internet memes need to stay on the fucking Internet. Writers need to nut up and start thinking harder about original ideas.
While the internet does some great comedy, I think that it just doesn’t fit the basic cable lineup. “Shit My Dad Says” wouldn’t be the lame, watered down mess that it turned out to be if someone like HBO or Showtime picked it up. Hell, it would fit well right next to “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” on FX.
Internet scary I think would make good television. Slender Man is easily one of the best internet collaborative efforts and would make a good horror show antagonist. Same with Candle Cove, which would fit extremely well with the Adult Swim lineup.
The Internet is all about free expression, and the major networks are simply not the best place for it.