Friday, June 15, 2007

Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear

When I saw the movie Dreamgirls, I wasn't impressed with the oft-reprised song "Family." But what if it had looked more like this? What if it had involved Nell Carter, Bea Arthur, Charlotte Rae and other NBC stars of 1986? Then my reaction might have been different.

Ah, the earnest shillery of the '80s. Can you imagine NBC promoting its current lineup this way? Also, I don't know who came up with the concept for this number (our prime-time stars all live in a house together!), but it occurs to me that a sitcom with this setup would be infinitely more entertaining than any of the individual sitcoms being promoted here.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I have to watch it several more times. My favorite part is when Alfonso Ribeiro tries to rock out. What's yours? (Via, where they dig up all kinds of neat stuff.)


Stephen said...

Oh my God, this made me laugh so, so hard. I think my favorite part is Bea Arthur's entrance. I can't decide if she seems to think this whole gig is ridiculous--even the way she closes the door seems kind of sarcastic. I wonder what song NBC's current sitcom stars would have to sing, if they decided to do a promo like this today. Maybe they could just get Steve Carell and Tina Fey to sing "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" since the Office and 30 Rock are just about the only things worth watching on NBC these days.

Mollie said...

I had the same reaction to Bea's entrance -- I think what makes it so confounding is that she tries harder than anyone to be faithful to the concept -- she sets down that bag and then turns toward the camera like she really is coming home to her household of fellow network stars after doing some shopping, and she just wants to sing about the arrangement. She must have hated every second, and yet her performance is fully committed -- such a pro. And the quality of her performance makes the awfulness of the material that much more obvious. I think it's the moment when the whole conceit truly falls apart. She starts to sing and you realize, My God, we are all implicated in the humiliation of these stars.

What song would today's NBC stars sing? That is such a good question. I don't know if today's Broadway offers anything comparable (maybe that lousy 11th-hour anthem from The Color Purple that Fantasia sang at the Tonys?). I think they'd do "Comedy Tonight" -- the mental image of the casts of The Office, 30 Rock, and Earl singing about how funny they are, with absolutely no irony, is almost as ridiculous as this.

Ed said...

"Like a giant tree"!!?!??

Mollie said...

It blows the mind, doesn't it, that somebody (one Tom Eyen) wrote that lyric and then said, "There, that's good enough to repeat over and over again. In fact, let's make this the song we reprise multiple times throughout the show."

I love that "giant" was the adjective he went with, too. Not "noble" or "sturdy" or "metaphorical"... "giant."