I watched The Daily Show last night because, like many twentysomethings with short attention spans, I need Jon Stewart to report and interpret current events for me. And it was just the most. Ooh, you would’ve loved Denis Leary and his beautiful hair.
The very best bit came early in the episode when, in the midst of anchorperson Jon Stewart complaining about the state of our bedraggled nation, correspondent John Oliver miraculously appeared—umbrella in hand, in imitation of a certain magical English nanny—to promise Stewart, and all Americans, that Great Britain is in much deeper, much more debauched crap than we.
Oliver, with his darling wire-rimmed eyeglasses and moppet-hair and adorable accent, explains the whole sensational scandal with media impresario Rupert Murdoch and his News of the World tabloid. See, America? Don’t we feel better now?
Watch for the conclusion where John Oliver opens his umbrella, clambers onto Stewart’s newsdesk, and pantomimes “floating” away. It is super-cute. But also a ponderous indictment of gossip-mongering. Cute and horrible; that’s how I take my lumps, thank you.
Somewhere, somehow, somebody convinced a roomful of executives that a reboot of Dallas would be the ultimate in Exciting Television.
The Powerpoint presentation, probably:
“Good afternoon. We recently asked ourselves, ‘Selves, what dead franchise from the 1970s and ’80s can we reanimate?’ And then we began to wonder which dead careers we could reanimate, too.
“We believe we have finally solved those puzzles, and more. The TNT network has long sought an audience among the profitable, elusive demographic of elderly women (“boomers”) and also their granddaughters (“Millenials”), all while saving money. How better, then, than to cast cadaverous has-beens alongside a much younger generation of has-beens?
“That’s why we propose The New Adventures of Dallas. Larry Hagman’s Eyebrows will once again star as patriarch J.R. Ewing! And Step By Step‘s Patrick Duffy returns to the fold as J.R.’s brother, Bobby Ewing! As you can see from this promotional still, we also got the dead lady from Desperate Housewives.
“But maybe most importantly, the return of Dallas gives Jesse Metcalfe something—anything—to do. He’ll portray Bobby Ewing’s adopted son. And in the role of Obvious Rival, we hired actor Josh Henderson, who is wearing a big hat, which symbolizes that he is J.R. Ewing, only younger. Basically, we cast every budget player from Desperate Housewives we could afford. Look! Jordana Brewster!”
And of course they do that tired old (but still somehow lovely) song by Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow. And of course they fail miserably. And of course I haven’t been able to stop watching this video since about 3:00 AM last night.
There are three thoughts that stick out strongly in my mind: