In today's NYT Jerry Bruckheimer opines on his formula for successful TV. He's behind the 243 CSI series that turned police procedurals into cartoonish festivals of expository dialogue and his new medical drama launches next week. Enough. It must stop.
Bruckheimer is one of those bizarre people for whom complete ineptitude and a patronising disregard for human intelligence has been a recipe for success. (See also: Brett Ratner.) His new series, Miami Medical, promises to be to previous medical series what CSI was to The Wire.
"He's got an ability," the show's producer Jeffrey Lieber told the Times "to look at things very simply and say, ‘That might be too much for people.'" Which is shorthand for: he can really dumb the shit out of anything. Just look what he does with his movies! They all suck! People still go to see them! Wooooo!
We are not snobs. Writers and directors of anything have a duty to make their ideas entertaining. Tarkovsky is dull. Ghostbusters is not. But the Bruckheimerisation of everything has got to stop. There are thousands of unemployed playwrights and novelists out there with script proposals. Dear CBS: commission one of them to make their metaphysical courtroom thriller/comedy, or whatever.
It has to be better than endless crane shots of cars flipping over in hyper-saturated color, and an actor (that you sort-of recognize but can't quite place) leaning over the wreck and saying, as if this is the kind of thing people say in the world, "so this must mean that Suspicious Guy, who we saw previously acting suspiciously (cut to hazy repeated shot of Suspicious Guy acting suspiciously to really emphasize this) KNEW that his wife wouldn't be home. [Insert dreadful one-liner here]."