Why is it that the only people on TV that are of any interest to us are people who are either crime fighters (any drama on CBS) or noble anti heroes (any protagonist on HBO or cable)?
I feel there’s a vast crop of people not represented on TV: Decently attractive, available, good-hearted but single human beings who for whatever reason aren’t making the connections they desire. Functioning, but less than ecstatic people who long for connections but can’t form one. It seems whether you’re Tommy Gavin on RESCUE ME or Don Draper on MAD MEN or even Laura Linney’s character on “THE BIG C, or David Duchovny’s character on CALIFORNICATION you have to swat away all your potential bed mates. (Even Laura Linney’s homeless brother played by John Benjamin Hickey has more lovers than anyone I know). It seems if you star in a series on cable, everyone you pass on the street wants to sleep with you, regardless or your ailments or status in life. Is that realistic?
There’s many of us that have normal human frailties and concerns and yes even neuroses who are “muddling through” waiting for that breakthrough moment in life or career or both and trying to achieve it. Is that not worthy enough of an idea to build a series around. Do you need to be a Madison Ave success or a rageaholic or a 20s era business tycoon to be considered interesting?
Roseanne was brilliant because it showcased the normal struggles and frustrations of a middle class (at best) family and didn’t need everything to be tied up perfectly at the end.
Many days I pass a homeless person on the street and think they once had dreams and hopes and big career aspirations too. They are no different from any of us, other than that their life circumstances are unfortunately more dire. We all are a couple of circumstances away from being homeless ourselves. We should be thankful we are not and we owe them our empathy and kindness.
There are a number of us in the middle of both extremes, that you could just say are… stuck. I think that’s more common than not. A good writer can make an “uninteresting” life compelling on the screen as it’s real and human. I think the next “Roseanne”, whether that depicts a married couple in the middle of the country or a single person in LA would be a fascinating show to watch.