The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Choosing examples to make my point

""Barnes, my man:

) No hourlong dramatic television series starred a non-Caucasian until "Deep Space Nine."

Yes, "I Spy" counts. You know why Bob Culp's name was first -- he had acting credits and Cosby didn't, and who gets the first credit depends on how good their agent is, because ego and money go hand in hand in LaLaLand."--Steve Perry
Of course I chose my examples to make my point.  My point being
1) if you look at hour-long network dramas (and I stretched a point to give "Deep Space Nine" that status--it was actually syndicated.  So, I was being kind.
2) and you define "Star" as the person whose name appears first in the titles.
3) Take the position that a "successful" television show is one lasting into its third season

There was no example of such a successful dramatic show with a non-Caucasian star until the late 90's.  What happens if I don't create such a non-subjective standard?  Why, then, you could say Greg Morris on "Mission Impossible" was the star.  Or Nichelle Nicoles on "Star Trek."  It's purely subjective, right?  I'm perfectly aware that the 1st name is an ego game, but isn't it interesting that that ego game NEVER worked out the other way?  Or that in ensemble shows, they often list alphabetically--but isn't it interesting that it NEVER worked the other way?  Seven nights a week, three networks, four hours of prime time programming, and NEVER?  Do you really believe that was just a statistical fluke, guy?  And, yes, there were comedies.  Lots and lots and lots of comedies.  Hmmm.  What do you think (clowns) Barnes might make of that? (clowns) What possible relationship to his model of human behavior (laughter as a release of tension) could Barnes make? (avoidance of serious role models in a dramatic context behaving in sensible ways)
Offhand, I can't think of even one (Amos and Andy being no worse than Abbot and Costello, except A& C being balanced by countless thousands of positive images)
Well, I think you've got me there.

Thoroughly chastened Steve.

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