To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.
Solomon may have been clever enough to pen that for Ecclesiastes (or not, as the theory goes), but odds are he never had to hammer his way through a line-item budget or decide on a production slate a year in advance. Understanding the universe as it currently exists is a doddle when you consider what it takes to predict what it might be doing next summer.
For evidence, look no further than this month’s MIP Picks. As our judges ambled their way through piles of electronic submissions, it could not help but be noticed that we seemed to have turned a content corner. In over 100 submissions, there was nary a mention of Iraq, nor even a single lonely opus dedicated to the ruined mountains of Afghanistan. Seldom was heard that ‘eco’ word, as even the green programming seems to have absconded for greener pastures.
Now, most producers have the survival skills of a cornered wolverine, so you have to think that this particular programming mandate is a reflection of broadcaster tastes. (Most of them having the survival skills of, say, cornered sloths. Or perhaps more charitably, distempered koalas.)
So, whether or not it’s a reflection of viewers’ tastes – and I think it is – we seem to have begun the march away from the global and weighty to the more immediately relevant: how things work, how big you can build them, and why my spouse may be an idiot. We’re worried about crime and sex and daily life. And men with chainsaws, it seems.
I’m sure with the US election looming on the horizon like a three-year-old gearing up for a tantrum, we haven’t heard the last of the geopolitical movers, shakers and manipulators. But, for now, everyone seems to be ready to settle down and consider their own lot for a while.
Or, at the very least, have a good laugh at the neighbor’s expense. God bless us, every one.
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