Does the right need its own TV entertainment network?
If you've never seen Kelsey Grammer attempt to seduce Perez Hilton with the Right side of the Force, then you have had a comparatively good life so far. This is about to change.
I'm sorry. I had to share that with someone.
Right Network got started on the right foot yesterday. Or some foot. Well, it got started, anyway.
What is it? It's the self-described "Gazelephant" that's galloping to bring us an alternative to the status quo in entertainment. What was wrong with the status quo? I liked it. It contained Mad Men. But Kelsey Grammer assures me that this is a step forward. And he was so good on Frasier, that show I always leave on, hoping it will turn into Will & Grace if I stare at it long enough.
Here's what the founder has to say:
At RIGHTNETWORK we have created an entertainment television network for Right-Minded people. RIGHTNETWORK will have a presence on the web (Right Here), your mobile device and, yes, your television.
What is "Right-Minded" you ask? It is all that is Right with the world. We'll appeal to those among us who are thoughtful and reserved, as well as the bold and brash. At RIGHTNETWORK.COM you'll find programming, commentary, and lifestyle sections in addition to a mix of personalities not seen on any other network. Here you’ll find a fresh daily perspective that is unapologetically American. Everything will be presented with humor, insight, wit, and an optimistic turn.
Everything will have insight? I once guaranteed a roommate that I would provide a "fresh daily perspective that is unapologetically American…presented with humor, insight, wit, and an optimistic turn." She suggested that I go present myself somewhere else. But maybe that's just me, and Right Network will be a font of guaranteed insight, as promised.
Even then, I don't think the current state of things justifies creating a whole new Right Network. For that to be warranted, TV shows would have to go something like this:
Two and A Half Men
Alan: Well, you know what, it doesn't matter if I look cool, we judge a person by what's inside, not by what they wear.
Jake: Lucky for you, huh.
Charlie: I think the government should intervene more in our daily lives.
Alan: Who could possibly disagree with that?
Jake: My generation will not be unduly burdened by an increase in entitlement programs.
They might need to jazz up the timing a little or add a few jokes, but, then again, people have been saying that about Two and a Half Men for years.
Some grievances are legitimate. The Tina Fey-Sarah Palin parody certainly impacted the 2008 campaign in a way the Jason Sudeikis-Joe Biden parody did not. And most popular entertainment is not, well, particularly Right. But does that make it wrong? True, most television dramas aren't extolling conservative values. But they aren't extolling liberal ones, either. They're telling human stories. Except for "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia." I'm not sure what they're doing.
Ultimately, any writing is marinated in the writer's personal interests and psychological eccentricities. These range from political opinions and beliefs about the right form for society to the wide variety of distinctive impressions that emerge in the course of any life. But what separates good entertainment from bad is that it transcends these quirks to become something people want to watch -- either because it makes them laugh, tells a captivating story, or transports them to another world. "Avatar" and "An Inconvenient Truth" both were conservationist screeds that featured people yelling about dying planets, but only one of them grossed $2 billion worldwide. This was because it gave people what they wanted: flying, three-dimensional dinosaurs and no appearances by Al Gore. This is actually a major factor in many people's moviegoing decisions. "I don't know what this movie is about," my friends tell me, "but I hear Al Gore appears in it zero times." "Great!" I shout, buying eight tickets.
Oscar Wilde once said that the mere fact of a man's being a poisoner is nothing against his poetry. This applies to people the Right Network might consider purveyors of ideological poison as well. I understand that they feel aggrieved. Perhaps the way to remedy that isn't to create a network that defines itself by the kind of editorial opinions its creators find so troubling in the status quo. Remember, this whole "Right Network" has had a dry run before with the movie "An American Carol." It grossed all of 7 million dollars, placing it slightly ahead of "Gigli." Maybe this one will be different. But maybe the network should try to focus on creating something people want to watch rather than being a beacon of truth in the vast morass of modern media.
After all, it's hard being right all the time.
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