December 29, 2011 |
Dear little girls and Gleeks of America: You can't have "Wicked. " Give it back, OK? When I first saw "Wicked" on Broadway in 2003, it seemed clear that the show was a subversive satire designed expressly for disillusioned middle-agers like me. With metaphorically disturbing scenes of mob rule, and intimations of fascism and genocide, the show sent the audience home thinking about an angry, ignorant, violence-prone populace running roughshod...
December 26, 2005 |
The producers of "Wicked" have made a TV commercial for their steamrolling musical hit, but people here are probably never going to see it. Not because the quality is poor or the airtime too expensive. No, they won't be exposed to it because, to put it plainly, "Wicked" doesn't need the help. Running the spot would be tantamount to the production thumbing its nose at the pitiably ticketless multitudes. "Wicked," you see, sells like rock salt on the cusp of a blizzard.
September 19, 1999 |
Some writers are lured to television by fame and fortune, others want to reach the masses-- those large audiences that only a prime-time network series can deliver. And then some simply want to work with Marshall and Ed. That would be Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick, creators and executive producers of the new ABC series, "Once and Again."
March 15, 1995 |
Parents who work in the entertainment industry say they are just as upset as the rest of us about sex and violence on television programs. Other people's programs, that is. The parents were among those gathered earlier this month in Palo Alto for a conference on media and values sponsored by the advocacy group Children Now. During breaks, we talked about their media and values.
June 28, 2010 |
Americans are in the midst of so many crises — healthcare, economic, environmental — that it seems unfair to add another to the list. But nothing makes us crazier than fat kids. Lately we're calling it "the childhood obesity epidemic," but it's much more complicated than that. I was a fat kid once upon a time, when fat kids were less common and easy targets for derision, Judy Blume's "Blubber" notwithstanding. Then Karen Carpenter died of anorexia and everyone began wringing their hands over the pressure put on young women to conform to a scaled-down beauty ideal.
May 2, 2001 |
It would have been easy to make "Once and Again," featuring the appealing stars Sela Ward and Billy Campbell, simply a study of love the second time around. But executive producers Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz, longtime creative partners, have a history of tackling difficult subjects, in television dramas such as "thirtysomething," "My So-Called Life" and "Relativity," and the Oscar-winning movie "Traffic" (on which they worked as producers).
April 25, 2000 |
On April 15, as thousands of local residents found themselves grappling with dark mysteries of the Internal Revenue Service code, a few hundred others gathered at Paramount Studios hoping to decipher an equally confounding enigma--namely, how to establish a career writing for television. Those who solve this riddle file very long tax returns in the highest possible bracket. The also-rans, meanwhile, get to ponder each year whether they can rightfully list "writer" as their occupation.
November 28, 1994 |
It's refreshing to see ABC buck tradition and extend the season of one of prime time's least popular series. Rarely has a network been so high on a series so low. The beneficiary here is "My So-Called Life," a weekly drama tracking the bumps and grinds of a fitful, moody, self-conscious, self-obsessed--in other words, quite typical--15-year-old, an inside-out account of middle-class adolescence presented mostly from her own perspective. "My So-Called Life" is capable of greatness.
August 24, 1994 |
Believing that her hair is holding her back, Angela, the teen-age protagonist of the new television drama "My So-Called Life," goes a punk shade of red. "It could be a lot worse," Angela's father tells his distraught wife. "She could be cutting class, doing drugs, having sex. . . . like we did." Just wait a few episodes. These days, unusual hair color and buzz cuts are the least of parents' worries as rates of teen-age substance abuse and pregnancy climb.