Wednesday, October 16, 2013

DC Drama: Have We Seen This Plot Before?

If the US budget fiasco were a TV crime show, what would happen? Law and Order, NCIS, and the Mentalist line up as the likeliest suspects. First, Law and Order would make a lot of noise about "compassion for victims." NCIS would feature a diverse cast racing against the clock to snag the bad guy. The Mentalist, of course, would find some poor schlep to hypnotize.

In every case, though, tension must ratchet up until the very last minute—to keep the audience from switching the channel. A ratings war is always waiting in the wings to undermine popular shows' standing. The stars always are negotiating their—not our—job contracts. The writers have a lot on their minds, too, so an old plot revamped is cheaper than a new one.

How many times do we have to watch this drama before we say: Enough already! Give DC its own TV show, and let America get on with producing something besides a plot so hackneyed that H. L. Mencken would say again:

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed -- and hence clamorous to be led to safety -- by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."

For more scandalous thoughts from H. L. Mencken, please see:

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