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Thursday, May 24, 2007

The good and the bad re: On the Lot

Big dog, livin' in a movie...

Posted on Thu, May 24, 2007 at 10:52 AM

Good: Carrie Fisher. Anytime you’ve ever intentionally laughed at the Academy Awards, she probably wrote it. She’s the perfect judge for this thing – old-school Hollywood, the fanboy wankers love her (seriously, did we have to see the guy say “Princess Leia, 20 feet away from me”? So pandering!) and she knows what’s she talking about. Although I still don’t forgive her for letting James Blunt stay at that crazy house of hers and record “Goodbye My Lover” on her bathroom piano. (Also some departing contestant please work up the what-the-fuck nerve to ask her about JT LeRoy.)

Bad: Brett Ratner. This is a Mark Burnett production so the LCD must be catered to, but this douche is not the answer. He’s the kind of director Hollywood people think the kids think is cool. Wrong. McG is preferable, if you absolutely must include an artless, commercial dink.

Good: Garry Marshall. Though his sister Penny would’ve been a better choice – can ONE of these shows deviate from the formula and have the panel be comprised of 2/3 women instead of her always being the token? – and he ceased being relevant when half of the competitors on this show were still babies, he’s also old school and hilarious.

Bad: Brett Ratner. Rush Hour 3.

Good: Interesting challenges. In the first episode, each of the 50 contestants is given one of five loglines at random, then must pitch the judges a film the next morning. All the people who make it through are broken up into teams of three and ordered to make a short in 24 hours. It’s already been an enlightening watch – the egomaniac “auteurs” showed themselves instantly, even though most of them have completed a couple shorts at most. Soon they’ll be chopping two years off their ages, just like exec producer Steven Spielberg.

Bad: Survivor-style alliance-building music, Survivor-style time-elapsed cloud montages, American Idol-style early elimination (“step forward, step back, back row stays, back row goes, etc”) and random home visits of filmmakers who end up getting the boot anyway. Dude, it’s movies. No one’s going to fall in a fire or get bitten by a snake or starve (unless it’s in the script – hi-oh!). This is the reality path you chose, so chill with the fabricated drama.

On the whole, an entertaining first outing. And thank you Carrie and Co. for eliminating Rahim, the guy who cried – “I can’t do this right now dude,” he said as he walked away from the camera – after he fucked up his pitch, and then again when he got eliminated. I’m so sick of this generation believing it deserves to be famous straight out of puberty. Most of these people are old enough to know better, so when they say things like “This is my only shot” it makes me want them to fail. Fail to hell, Rahim, you fucking drip.

Have we learned nothing from Project Greenlight?

On the Lot’s second episode airs tonight at 10:30 on Fox.

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