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May 28, 2004 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-05-28

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Watch The Sky And Duck


have an idea
for a new reali-
ty-based televi-
sion show.
It will be called
Smite Mine Enemy,
and each week, 16
lucky contestants will
try to convince the
Almighty that the
person they hate
most should be
struck down.
In the series finale,
the winner gets to
watch as his enemy is wiped out by
a bolt of lightning.
Sounds like fun, huh? Well, it's no
more ridiculous than the
premises of some of
these other shows.
Just when you start
to think that television
could not get any
sillier, you find
that you're
wrong again.
People eat-
ing worms,
picking a
marriage part-
ner, lying,
cheating and in
general making
themselves look like idiots.
Television loves these shows
because they are inexpensive to pro-
duce and draw a young viewing
They make me nostalgic for the
early days of the medium when one
of the most exciting things on the
screen was a test pattern.
I can understand some of the
appeal, though. Unpredictability, for
one. Every week the equation
changes. Someone is eliminated
from the cast.
That is the opposite of what we
have come to expect from a conven-
tional TV series. Especially in a sit-
corn, nothing ever changes. Every
week the same characters return to
the screen and do the same things.
That is why the TV shows we
remember so fondly from the past

rarely translate into good movies. In
the dramatic framework of a movie,
there must be change. Someone's life
must be altered in an unforgettable
way. That is the core of dramatic'
But change violates all the rules of
TV Land.
The other positive for the reality-
based shows is that they, at least,
spare us those horrible made-for-TV
movies that bear the slogan, "Based
on a true story."
When I see that I always want to
ask: "Aren't all good stories true?"
Don't all works of fiction, aside
from comic books, contain charac-
ters that remind us of real
people and a plot that
is, at least, somewhat
What the "true
story" tagline really
means is that some
lazy writer stole
an idea from a
newspaper and
around a few
names and
dates so that
he wouldn't be
sued for libel
or plagiarism.
That's why I
like my Smite
Mine Enemies idea
so much. Revenge is a great
crowd-pleaser. Who hasn't wished to
see their antagonists brought low by
divine intervention? Everyone can
I am a fairly forgiving guy, but
without thinking very hard, I could
come up with one or two people I'd
like to see on the receiving end of a
lightning strike. In fact, I'd be
The special effects would be terrif-
ic and you would get some really
great tales of injustice. All of them
based on true stories, too.
The tough part would be getting
cooperation from God. He might be
offended at using these powers just
to get ratings.
On the other hand, all the agents
are probably in the Other Place. So
we may be able to cut a deal. ❑

To be rooted is perha

most important and least
recognized need of the
human soul.

George Cantor's e-mail address is


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