Monday, January 23, 2012

Guess Who's On TV?

One downside of not watching much TV: you miss out on a lot of popular culture.  So I never knew until 20 minutes ago that the more-or-less champs of churchy TV are (ready for it?) the Mormons.  Sure enough,it turns out that long before Big Love, the Mormons were making (or at least hiring) some of the most professional, most effective "public service" TV anywhere.  So at least Rollo Romig in The New Yorker who can't say enough good things about the Mormon spots that he watched as a child back in the  70s.

And how do they compare to Big Love?  Can't say for sure, but if you take Romig seriously, they might be better.  It happens I have seen a bit of Big Love, and I like it: imaginatively scripted with convincing and surprising plot elements (and the villainous Harry Dean Stanton is a total hoot).  But the scripting has always seemed a bit flaccid to me: somehow they haven't been able to come up with writers as good as those we learned to love on The Supranos or maybe even Mad Men. Maybe the Big Love crowd should simply have outsourced to the makers of the old TV spots.

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