Sunday, March 06, 2005

Staying on Theme With Pathetic Ramblings from the Freak Desk


Even with tax refund season upon us, we've been a little cash strapped here at the Team Gonzography complex on the sandy shores of Hermosa Beach. It's not a plea for paypal referrals; it's just the way things are these days. But to make up for the expenses required to operate this place, we have let some of our creative juices do the talking and recently shipped off several ideas for TV pilots for the coming entertainment cycle, which follows this loosely based "to-do-it" list if we are to have an impact on the Nielsen ratings by September - proposals and contracts with the networks in the spring, casting and pre-production by the start of summer, and an expeditious production cycle leading to the pilot itself. Our crack Hollywood representation - led by the indomitable Malosi Shapiro, the first Samoan/Jewish agent in the entertainment industry - has advised us that the vast majority of these pilots never see the light of day much less a first episode on FOX, but we remain undaunted in this challenge to impress the network executives in charge by aiming our proposals at a new and fractured viewing public at home.

Here, fresh from the shared server holding the treatments and scripts to our pilots, are just a few of the TV series we are pushing for the upcoming season:

The Metal Detector: This reality show reveals the hidden world surrounding America's "unsung heroes in the war on terror" - the security guards who frisk you at airports and make the tough racial profiling decisions and force you to take off your shoes - appears to be the front-runner, but we'll need the guy from COPs or the other narrator from Most Scariest Police Chases to get this one to committee. "As long as the test audiences don't fall asleep, this one is a go!" according to our agent.

Abdullah's Heroes: Positioned as a campy homage to the TV classic Hogan's Heroes, the setting is Camp X-ray at Gitmo, and this sit-com traces the lives and escape attempts of a ragtag pack of Al Qaeda detainees and their dim-witted American captors who seem more occupied with Beyonce posters than guarding them.

With each week comes another botched-but-humorous plot to overtake the prison camp, which is always broken up by the guards - often through pure luck - by a gregarious sergeant from with a severe eating disorder, played by Drew Carey. "We may be able to pursuade Tony Shahloub from the USA series Monk," says Malosi, our representation. "But in the wake of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, Arab-Americans see the plot line in a terribly bad light."

CSI - The Archdiocese: Need I say anymore?

McQueer: Key West's meanest and badest law enforcement official just so happens to be gay, but in a real manly sort of way - at least that's the synopsis we pitched to the network execs. We have serious doubts about finding success with a homosexual storyline of any kind, unless we can get Tony Danza to play the lead role and Jude Law to take on the part of his feisty but organized significant other.

Who Let That One Go?: Another key reality TV show idea from the Team Gonzography think tank, it's all about five average Americans who eat way too much fast food - a spirited cross between Candid Camera and MTV's The Real World. They share a stylish apartment in Beverly Hills and venture out into public places with a harsh case of flatulence, and unsuspecting shoppers and visitors and church goers must guess Who Let That One Go? for tons of cash and prizes before the next commerical break. This one, we believe, has a great deal of traction and a cable deal on Spike TV is imminent.

* * *

No love in their X's and O's: "When Louisiana State professor Leigh Clemons went to to order a Patriots jersey with the name of one of her former students, [New England] cornerback Randall Gay, she was rejected, according to Rex Wockner, a columnist for, a website for gay-and lesbian-related news and issues.

Clemons was told that the league's official online merchandise center does not print 'naughty words' on jerseys. She had to make a series of phone calls to get 'Gay' on a jersey. Columnist Jim Buzinski of Outsports Magazine, which covers the gay sports community, did further research and found there are 1,159 banned words in the NFLShop filter. Among the acceptable words were 'Hitler,' 'Fag,' 'Terrorist,' and 'Bin Laden.' Buzinski's story got the NFL to revise its filtered list, and now Randall Gay fans can order a jersey with his name on it."

* * *

Fed up with having the wool pulled over your eyes? YOU can tell when your favorite politician is lying through his teeth by using the technique of a top body-language expert!

"Experienced politicians have learned to avoid body language associated with deceit," says Dr. Stephanie Gotwell of Chicago. "They don't, for example, look away when fibbing - instead they stare brazenly into the camera."

Luckily, you can see through even the wiliest politician.

"Just like a poker player, every politician has a tell - a tiny signal he unwittingly gives out whenever he's being deceptive," Dr. Gotwell explains.

"Once a politician has been caught in a single lie, all you have to do is scrutinize a videotape of the speech and find his tell' - so you can't be hoodwinked again."

Here, from the expert, are the tells of some of America's best known political figures:

BILL CLINTON -- The former Prez gestures with his index finger when lying. Most infamously, he did that on national TV when insisting, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."

GEORGE W. BUSH -- Dubya's tell is a smirk before the fib. Says Dr. Gotwell: "You see the President doing it in his State of the Union address of January 2003, when he warned that Iraq had WMDs, citing as proof that 'The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."
"Of course, the White House already knew that evidence had been forged."

DONALD RUMSFELD-- The crusty Secretary of Defense grimaces as if experiencing hemorrhoidal pain when he's being deceptive. Says Dr. Gotwell: "Rummy can be seen doing this last spring when he vowed publicly that all Iraqis detained by the Coalition would be 'treated subject to the Geneva Conventions."

DICK CHENEY -- The Vice President's lips always twist when he tells a whopper -- most memorably when he stated during the vice presidential debates that he'd never met Sen. John Edwards before that night.

CONDOLEEZZA RICE-- The Secretary of State's dead giveaway is a nervous laugh. Says Dr. Gotwell, "For example, prior to the invasion of Iraq, Condi told CNN that Iraq's aluminum tubes were only really suited for nuclear weapons and warned, 'We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.' But experts had already told her the tubes were for small artillery shells."

* * *

Minister Pushes 'Jesus Condoms' to End Teenage Sex: "A controversial preacher says teenagers will stop having illicit sex no matter how strong the temptation if parents will make sure they never leave home without one of his trademarked 'What Would Jesus Do?' condoms stashed away in their purse or wallet.

'WWJD condoms are a divinely inspired idea and they work like a charm,' says the Rev. Dr. Paul Morehead, whose short-wave radio broadcast from Montgomery, Ala., reaches an estimated 16 million listeners worldwide.

'Don't tell me about hormones. Don't talk to me about unbridled appetites of the flesh.

'When a young man and a young woman give in to Satan, when they strip down like animals in the wild and prepare themselves for a lusty round of heavy petting and full-blown sex, what better reminder for them to buck up than a WWJD condom with the image of our Lord and Savior right there on the package, and then, as a fail safe measure, also on the prophylactic itself?

'I've tested them with my own teenagers and hardly a weekend passes when one of them doesn't come back home with a WWJD condom completely unrolled and dangling unused from his or her fingertips or pushed up under the seat of the car as a badge of honor.

'At the very moment their temptation was strongest, they turned back from sin after seeing the boldly-lettered WWJD logo that signifies, 'Stop! Think! What would Jesus do in this situation?' '

Flabbergasted critics couldn't disagree more.

They say putting Jesus Christ on condoms isn't just tacky, it's a sacrilege -- and they openly wonder if preacher Morehead hasn't lost his mind.

'If you give a child a condom, you're pretty much telling him that sex is O.K. as long as you use protection,' fumes Marcia Kenderly, a born-again Christian with four daughters ranging in age from 13 to 18.

'Rev. Morehead says his own children show him their WWJD condoms as proof that even though they came close to having sex, they didn't.

'But how can he be sure that instead of having sex with the condom, they didn't have sex without it? I'm a married adult and I wouldn't let my husband use one of those things.

'I feel like I'm committing a sin just thinking about it.'

Naysayers aside, Morehead has arranged for a manufacturer to produce 100,000 of the WWJD prophylactics that he plans to sell for $5 a pop over the Internet and through Christian bookstores nationwide.

'All the profits will go to a home I'm building for unwed mothers,' says the preacher. 'A home that wouldn't be needed if those girls had been carrying a WWJD condom.'"


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