So, today I showed the finished promo for The Food Therapist to a TV executive (you know who you are) and here are a few tidbits:
- "You have no drama, and therefore no hook and no show."
- "People want to watch drama, and celebrating a friendship isn’t dramatic."
- "There has to be an unresolved issue here that we’re trying to deal with through food. That needs to be made more explicit in the tape, and much earlier. We should get the show concept, then get the unresolved personal issue, then know what the dish is, and why this dish in particular / how it ties in to the story."
My therapist told me today I have a keen ability to make any positive statement a negative. I am so accustomed to being on shaky emotional ground I am always having a hard time finding my true, deeper and stronger authentic self. Okay, I get that. BUT THESE KINDA NOTES AREN'T HELPING.
Why does everybody in entertainment always gives notes which are optimistically negative. You read that right. They tear into the negatives of the work with such zeal it's amazing creative types like myself aren't popping pills before showing them anything!
But let me ask you -- how exactly can I make THESE kinda comments positive? It's true, when I shot the promo I had zilch direction and now that the promo is done I have zilch in the way of communication from the producer who did not direct me. Despite the fact he's a lovely man with a lovely family, he's definitely NOT lovely on keeping in touch.
I can't use the excuse I have no money to shoot a new promo because there is ALWAYS a way. That excuse falls on deaf ears everywhere. I have no money for a new promo and if I did shoot a new promo, then I have to find a way to negotiate with said non-communicative producer for rights to this promo, the one that is pretty but flat.
What - Rachael Ray is an EXCITING SHOW? Dramatic? Give me a break. She's mean, she's a bully, she smokes like a chimney, she thinks ketchup is a spice and she is making America fat. But SHE deserves to be on TV? Have you seen her interview someone? Hello?!
And give me a friggin' break. Bobby Flay? Don't you just wanna smack that smirk off of his face? He reminds of me of Bruce Willis. No, not the young hot Bruce. He would say he doesn't smirk. He would say it's part of his act. I have a newsflash: most stars are assholes. It's true. 80% are cold, bitter and mean people. 20% - not so much. Do I think he's in the 20%? Not a chance. I could be wrong, but I don't think I am. I've always been a little afraid and uncomfortable with that guy. But yet HE is on TV? What is his 'drama'? Oh my God, is he going to flip that porkchop now? Now? NOW?!
At least the mean-looking Susie Fogelson and the hottie Bob Tuschman made the right choice with Melissa d'Arabian. She is the new Food Network Star. She is sweet, down to earth, charming and works like a dog. I love her. And they're gonna work her to death. But don't think for a SECOND her win wasn't rigged way, way down the road. Reality TV my ass. Really take a look at who has won over the past few years and you'll see each person is an exact opposite from the other. Food Network corporate knows how to build a diversified brand. Trust me.
I can't fault Giada. Who could? She's sweet, charming, pretty as a picture and throws up after every meal. Guy is guy. What can I say? He's good for what he is. He's loud and sweet, so hard to find him annoying. I like big, loud guys (Emeril withstanding).
How about Ina? Oh, the drama on THAT show is amazing! When will Jeffrey walk into the kitchen now? Now? NOW?! Oh, what will she make him tonight?! Oh, Jeffrey, take me while I eat another and another and another piece of crumbcake!
I could go on and on about Sandra Lee and her drama (Oh my God! Blue icing on my little cakes or GREEN?!) and Sunny Anderson and her drama (Oh my God! How much fat will she shove into that chicken breast?!) or Tyler Florence (when will he take off his shirt? Now? NOW? NOW?!).
None of these have urgent drama and none of them are compelling to watch. At least MY show has a story to tell and at least I'm an OPENLY GAY TV COOK - Food Network seems a bit shy of the 'g' word. I'd make them a fortune.
Yuck. I'm exhausted just writing that.
A new promo may be coming soon...we'll have to see. Fuck me. More work ahead. They always say you only get one shot with a promo. If I blow this, I blow this idea in NYC for some time to come. But I like my sweet, compassionate and slightly lesbian promo. I think it'll sell. Maybe I'm destined to pitch to non-profit loving lesbians who have three kids and a brownstone in Park Slope...and work at PBS...and are gluten free...and eat hemp in the winter.
Time is ticking...I need this to happen and happen now.