Tonight is the premiere of CBS' new drama Miami Medical. If you haven't figured it out already, it's about medical people in Miami. Can't we give the doctors a rest? There are unexplored jobs that are fertile ground for television.
It seems these days that every show on television is about doctors (Mercy, Trauma, House, Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, Scrubs), cops (all the CSIs and Law & Orders, Bones, everything else on CBS, and, of course Cops), or lawyers (all the Law & Orders, The Good Wife, Drop Dead Diva, and whatever David E. Kelly is working on now). It's like these are the only three jobs that America cares about or the only ones Hollywood figures is an interesting premise. Here are some more gigs that could use some time in the sun.
Why: United States of Tara is mining this rich territory very well but, having worked for a collection agency, I can tell you that there is plenty it's missing. The collectors are a little bit mad for taking a thankless job and pretty angry for being called names, hung up on, and treated like shit all day. Also, the characters on the other end of the line (a great possibility for guest voices) are also totally insane.
Genre: A 30-minute dramedy.
Characters: The young idealist who can't find any other gig; the gruff but wise chain-smoking supervisor; the booze bag coworker; the hot secretary love object; the insane PTSD-stricken war vet owner.
Situation: Our young hero has to go pick up a check and ends up getting punched by the lady he's supposed to get it from. The boss chews him out, the supervisor steps in to regulate, and he and the booze bag take off for a misadventure to get it back. Everyone learns that life sucks.
Everyone Learns That...: Life is shitty.
Why: These dorm supervisors are young and foolish trying to deal with their first bit of responsibility taking care of people who are even younger and more foolish than they are. The roles can all be cast with very attractive people who can change every season as people graduate.
Characters: The happy-go-lucky stoner; the brown-nosing uptight girl; the stern dean; all the insane kids.
Situations: One of his freshman charges gets a huge crush on the stoner. His uptight coworker rats him out, and the dean makes him fix it. He sits down for a heart-to-heart with his stalker.
Everyone Learns That...: College is hard.
Why: Sort of like a PG-13, dramatized version of Cat House, a bunch of young men and women dealing with difficult clients while loving each other and dealing with their own struggles. Every episode has a happy ending.
Genre: Soapy drama.
Characters: The illegal Russian immigrant with no green card; the actress trying to make it; the gay guy with the male clients; the sensitive straight guy who makes the ladies love him but won't get intimate in his real life; the wizened old madam who runs the joint, assorted gentleman clients.
Situations: The actress is trying to make the sensitive guy fall in love with her, but he's only interested in making money and fucking the Russian, who sits around with her gay minion making life hard for everyone.
Everyone Learns That...: Nothing is free.
Why: Everyone hates them, they travel in packs, they get to deal with celebrities, and they are desperate enough to do anything for a payday.
Genre: Black comedy.
Characters: The serious photographer who is doing this so he can make money to start a real career; his female photog love object who is a struggling single mother; the overeager teenager; the jaded old pro with a coke habit; and a slimy photo agency rep.
Situations: The serious photographer gets in a relationship with a vain starlet, the single mom has to choose between a school function and getting a good shot, the old pro makes a bunch of jokes.
Everyone Learns That...: Fame is evil.
Why: It's a high-stress environment that attracts interesting personalities. Sure, all they do is type, but no one has done it yet, so why not?
Genre: Workplace sitcom
Characters: Two wacky gay television recappers; a dogged investigative reporter; a geeky politico, some guy who yells at them all; and their British overlord who is obsessed with traffic.
Situations: Oh my god, the servers are down! What are we gonna do? Wackiness ensues.
Everyone Learns That...: The internet is horrible.