Tuesday, October 11, 2022

TV: What they really think of the working class

Director Martin Ritt  died in 1990.  And it's hard to forget that when you watch any offering pretending to deal with the working class today.


Take SPRUNG -- or maybe take it off AMAZON?

SPRUNG is the latest offering from Greg Garcia.  Some reviewers have been very, very kind to it. Overly kind, in fact.  Maybe they're hoping that some of the smugness involved will tone down in future seasons?  Garcia's again mocking the working class as he did in RAISING HOPE -- portraying them all as idiots  is what each episode of SPRUNG telegraphs.

The series begins with Jack getting out of prison at the same time as Rooster.  Jack's family wants nothing to do with him so he ends up living with Rooster at Rooster's mother's home.  Mom Barb explains that he  and Gloria (another prisoner) can only stay if they take part in the criminal escapades she intends to carry out to afford basic necessities such as toilet paper.

Each episode exists to remind you of just how stupid these working class people are.

1973's STEELYARD BLUES dealt with ex-cons and others carrying out crimes but the characters played by Donald Sutherland, Jane Fonda, Peter Boyle and others were brought to life, not made into a mockery.

My how times have changed.  

The cast of SPRUNG  is strong.  But they can only do so much with the bad scripts they're provided.  We hope Martha Plimpton manages to find the humanity in Barb, for example.  She's an incredibly talented actress and she eventually brought so many levels to Virginia Chance on RAISING HOPE.   Garret Dillahunt brough levels to Burt Chance as well but we're not hopeful that will happen with  Jack, his new character on SPRUNG, because the character isn't written for levels.

Garcia's churned out another tale of scorn and laughter at the expense of the working class who, unlike him, have not attended college and are stupid people who believe stupid things and say even more stupid things.

RAISING HOPE took time to develop.  SPRUNG doesn't have that luxury.  All four seasons of RH were 22 episodes long.  AMAZON's just ordering nine episodes for season one of SPRUNG and episode nine is just as insulting as episode one was.

ROSEANNE was a show about the working class.  In all of  its original run and in the one season reboot, the characters were not the joke.  In fact, Roseanne Barr had knock-down-drag-out fights with Matt Williams during the start of the show as he offered one insulting take on the working class after another -- including wanting a joke about how someone had pissed into Roseanne's kitchen sink leading Roseanne to ask what kind of a family he grew up in?

Long before Sara Gilbert stole them, Roseanne created these characters and she gave them heart and she gave them purpose and she gave them minds.  Comparing those characters to the ones in SPRUNG left us scratching our heads over Martha's participation in this garbage -- it's not funny and it is so insulting to the working class.  

If THE CONNERS hadn't ripped off Roseanne's creations, Darlene wouldn't be a college graduate.  That's not what happens in Greg Garcia's sitcoms.  They're dumb and stupid, the working class, and they're a bunch of lazy crooks.  If Ronald Reagan were alive today, he could start a bidding war at all the networks by proposing a sitcom entitled WELFARE QUEENS -- because that is how the networks see the working class.

These content creators sneer at the working class while being smug about their own greatness.

We realized that while watching B.J. Novak's hideous film VENGEANCE 

VENGEANCE bombed.  Those attacking BROS need to take a gander at VENGENACE's low box office.  Novak's film deserved to fail.

Back in the 30s, Hollywood could have made VENGENACE and made it better.  They could have still mocked the characters -- the way BJ does -- but they wouldn't have glorified the lead character.   Ben Hecht, for example, wouldn't have made the lead character an idealistic sweetheart of a guy.  The journalist Novak plays would have, instead, been an example of an unethical journalist gladly prepared to do whatever to get the story.  Those are the characters of THE FRONT PAGE, HIS GIRL FRIDAY, etc.

But they are not the character BJ portrays.

And as if he wasn't soft and fluffy enough, leave it to THE NEW YORK TIMES to say the film starts with the death of a young woman that Novak's character was "dating."  He  didn't date her -- he f**ked her.  She was one of many.  She's still in his phone as a booty call.

She's dead.  He answers his phone to take her call when he's in bed with another pick up and it's her brother Ty explaining that she's dead and when her funeral is.  He thinks Novak was the love of his sister's life.

Novak ends up going to Texas for the funeral because he's too worried about a stranger's reaction to learning that he pumped and dumped the dead woman.  Once there, he marvels over the stupidity of her family.  And he finds a story in it for a podcast.  Then he finds another story, then another, things keep shifting regarding how the dead woman died.  

And then, because locals are so damn stupid, he 'saves' the day by killing the man responsible for the woman's death.   This self-important 'journalist' would rather cover up the truth -- and murder a person -- than let the truth come out because he doesn't believe the truth can stand up to spin.

It's an embarrassing movie and it never should have been filmed.  If it couldn't progress with its characterization, it should have been stranded permanently in development hell.

But the script was shot and the film came out and critics who seem to think they're reasonable people rushed to embrace the mockery of the working class and to embrace the message of the film -- that truth will lose out so do a DEATH WISH by murdering someone instead of calling the cops to have them arrested.

England has an open class system and their artists  comment on that.  In the US, we pretend there's not a class system but, more and more, not only are various creative types commenting on it, they're endorsing it.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }