Tuesday, January 6, 2009

80's Television


So I was sitting around last night when I couldn't sleep because my brain wouldn't shut off (this happens a lot) and I experienced the usual mind wandering that happens when my brain refuses to be quiet and go to sleep. So, while I was lying in bed, I started thinking about telelvision in the 1980's and how weird some of it was. For example, who was in a room pitching Doogie Howser, M.D.? I imagine the pitch going something like this:

"Ok we want to make a show for families, but it's geared mostly toward pre-teen and teen audiences. It's a show about a 14 year old kid, but he's a genius. Not only is he a genius, he's a doctor! That's right, he's a child prodigy who survived childhood lukemia and decided to become a doctor so he graduated from med school when he was 14 and now he works as a doctor in the same hospital as his dad. The brains and responsibility of this kid will be offset by his idiot best friend who will also serve as the comic relief of the show. What do you think?"

Exec: Nah, not interested.

"Did I mention that at the end of each episode he makes a profound and moral statement in a computer journal that will promote values and good morality?"

Exec: SOLD!

I think that might be how a lot of 80's tv shows were pitched. They probably had weird and basically crappy setups and the premise was usually not fantastic, but the minute you threw in "positive moral message" television studios ate it up like it was a snack cake. I think this is particularly true for shows that were aimed at younger audiences. That's probably how we ended up with Doogie. And what the hell kind of a name is Doogie anyway? I'd have changed that crap.

Thank goodness Neil Patrick Harris has been able to move on from his roots in bad 80's television. And admit he's gay. And do another tv show. And do Broadway. And be Dr. Horrible.

4 comments:

Jason said...

He has a PHD in Horribleness.

Amy W. said...

I met him once...and because I thought Doogie Howser was a stupid and boring show, I did not care and I lost the stupid napkinw ith his autograph on it. Hindsight is 20/20...

Bobby G said...

Here how full house went!

Pitch: I got an idea for a show! Ok dirty comedian Bob saget is a dad! his wife dies and he has 3 kids! to help he enlists his mulleted bro in Law Jesse, and his mulleted friend Joey, hilarity ensues!

Exec: nah Been done...

Pitchman- But General Hospitals John Stamos will play Jesse
Exec: SOLD!

Bobbie Leigh said...

80's tv was sooo bad. But at the time I loved it!