I have a little niggle. A gripe. It’s not a major one, but it has bugged me somewhat since last year. In fact the gripe is kind of two-fold. But does include me being a little bit judgemental about the way American TV ditches shows and the career choices of others.
Although I am not expert on how American TV works on an intricate level. I do know that if you are a show and do not get the ratings then you basically don’t cut the mustard. Maybe it is as simple as that. Maybe I do understand it. So whatever is bugging me does in some way have something to do with the fact I might like this but not like that, personally, but more people watch that and not this – so tough luck!
Then there is the career choice of others (the other thing I mentioned just now, remember, this is two-fold), which is probably where I am being a little judgmental. Perhaps her hand was forced. Was she broke? Did she love the book like thousands of women loved the book? Or did she think it was a great career move given the exposure it will give. A clever move perhaps? Genius? I don’t know. We’ll see.
Way back in October 1989 Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith had a child and named her Dakota. That’s not the gripe. Not at all. Congratulations. No, my half-closed angry eye is looking at Fox over twenty years later for cancelling Ben and Kate, a light, harmless, and quite frankly delightful comedy that was chopped up and thrown in the blender so fast they stopped filming and closed shop before the season’s end. Just a couple of episodes short of completion I think. And it was gone. Shame.
I suspect not many people really lose a lot of sleep over this. But the wife and I watched it, and enjoyed it, and were disappointed to say the least when it ended. What adds to that is that 2 Broke Girls just carried on rolling out the 6-gag-a-minute nonsense. A truly terrible, unfunny show. Not to mention the fact reality TV is now stomping all over comedy shows (for example, Hell’s Kitchen / The Voice recently taking former comedy slots). This is happening in the UK too unfortunately. But that reality TV popularity is for another, even angrier discussion, with smoke coming from it’s ears.
Now I loved Dakota Johnson in Ben and Kate. A single mother of a child probably more grown up that the adult characters. Kate can be a little bit Michael Cera, a little bit Zooey Deschanel – she is charming, she is cute, she is likable. Very much so. I assume most viewers got on board with, and felt closer to, her character much more than they did with, say, New Girl, or Don’t Trust The B—- In Apartment 23, or even The Mindy Project (not to say I am not a fan of those shows). There is also her guileless brother, who half-steals the show as he should, played by Nat Faxon, who won an Oscar recently for The Descendants, with Alexander Payne and Jim Rash – yes, the principle from Community. Small world. Ben and Kate might not be Frasier, but it certainly had more credibility and (unforced, not cheap) laughs than other comedies I won’t mention. Joey. Mom. 2 Broke Girls.
So what does Dakota Johnson do next? A big break? Something better? I can’t comment, except to say somewhere in me there was a wave of disappointment when I saw she got the part of the lead female character in an adaptation of a very famous book. You know which book. That one about the colleague graduate who gets tied up (book plots done badly?). I have not read the book though (nor will I, likely) so I should not be such a snob I suppose.
The talented Dakota is 24 years old right now. She’s dabbled in various little roles in movies and TV, and now has a lead role. In that movie. Spotlight time. What with women in the movies and their shifty grades of pay. She has also worked with David Fincher let’s remind ourselves (if only briefly), so in fact I should apologize, and get back in my hole. I mean, her father is Sonny Crockett and her mother is Tess McGill. Who am I? A writer, with a little gripe. That’s all.