It's so good to get back to my old, bitter self. Who would ever think that it would be the lovely Rashida Jones that would bring it out in me?
It's the pitching season. Writers all over Hollywood are going to the networks pitching their latest, genius ideas for televisions shows.
A couple of weeks ago, Rashida Jones, daughter of Quincy, formerly of The Office and Parks and Rec, sold a show to Fox. Okay, that seems reasonable. Nothing to get bitter about here. But oh wait, yes there is. She didn't sell a show to Fox for herself to star in, she sold a show for her to Executive Produce.
And today, she just sold another show, this one to the CW. Will she be starring in that one? Nope. Just "overseeing" it, cause if there's one thing Rashida Jones is known for, it's overseeing the production of TV shows.
What the fuck is going on? Well, it seems that Rashida Jones, and her "producing partner" were given a 2 year production deal at Warner Bros. Based on what? I guess based on the fact that she has one writing credit with her partner, and it's the Oscar nominated, critically acclaimed, blockbuster "Celeste and Jesse Forever".
Hold on, actually, it wasn't any of those things. It was just sort of a shitty movie. But that's who we need producing our TV shows! The fact that she thinks bangs are a good idea, tells me everything I need to know.
But here's what happens, and where the problem lies. A writer walks into a room to pitch his/her show. They're dorky. Not social. Not a performer. Mumbling. And no one is buying. Then Rashida Jones walks into a room, and the clouds part. She's good looking, famous, and most importantly, an actress. She sells the shit out of it. And they buy it. Heck, they give her a 2 year production deal, assuring they'll get to see more of her in their office and less of those pasty, sweaty Asperger types.
But do either of those "performances" translate to what the show will actually be? No. Unfortunately, that's how the development system has worked, and how it has always worked. They are investing in things that are completely not representative of what the final product will be.
Yet, no one has the balls to do anything about it. I used to hate on Jeff Zucker so much. I still do. He's an idiot. But you have to at least give him some credit for trying things. No one else is trying things. And so we get Rashida Jones, never written an episode of TV, never produced an episode of TV, and she is selling TV shows.
Think about this: whoever is writing these shows will now get 3 sets of notes on every draft - 1 from Fox/CW, 1 from Warner Bros, and 1 from Rashida fucking Jones. Think that's gonna turn out well?
Here's a crazy idea: hire a writer who has had success and who you trust...and then get the fuck out of the way.