On Monday, Nov. 5, the Writer’s Guild of America officially went on strike, their first since 1988. Why? Because they are demanding more money for what is being considered “new media.” New media revenue, simply put, comes primarily from DVD sales and online material. The strike may be over by the time this goes to print, but it could just as well be incredibly far from over. This article isn’t to discuss why they did it or why they shouldn’t have. The question really is: how badly will this affect us, the consumers?
For the past few weeks, numerous reports from entertainment sites have stated that movies are being rushed into development because of the then-impending strike. The next Harry Potter installment, for instance, is being rushed into development, as is “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” Television shows haven’t been touched upon too much in regards to rushing scripts, but heavy hitters like “Heroes,” “House,” and “CSI” could go on a longer than expected hiatus. “Heroes” is having it the worst again this year, after its long hiatus dropped viewership in the second half of last year and the new “Heroes: Origins” already having been pushed back because of the strike.
Granted, most films coming out between now and, say, January should be reasonably unaffected. Television shows should be able to last till December (possibly later). Late-night television will be hit hard because they are not filmed far in advance.
But what about after everything runs dry? With a sea of garbage already out there, things are only looking to get worse. Go ahead studios, rush your scripts, but they better damn well be good scripts. Nobody wants to be ripped off by seeing a sub par movie with a rushed script, especially with theater prices where they are now.
Television will have the second-most immediate effect. What happens after December? Reruns, no doubt, but more reality series will be pushed out the crap factory.
Isn’t it bad enough we already know MySpace Queen Tila Tequila is looking for a man or woman’s love? Or who America’s Most Smartest Model is? In a recent issue of Entertainment Weekly, they reported the CW has two new shows lined up: “Farmer Wants a Wife” and “Crowned: The Mother of All Pageants.” Commence Operation: Smash Your Head into Your Television Set (“TV Networks Won’t be Script to Shreds”).
Hopefully, the strike will be over relatively quickly. If not, we are all doomed to see rushed scripts and horrific reality television (sorry, Farmer, stay lonely for the good of America).
On the bright side, we could all turn our attention towards books and newspapers. Get reading, America.