I cannot now find what seems the prescient piece by a TV producer which explains the Oedipal rage a sitcom star feels when the originating producer moves on to new and possibly more profitable productions. It's almost a sexual jealousy, truly Oedipal, and it's one of the things I remembered in reading the Charlie Sheen lawsuit against Lorre
. It states -- in a typical Hollywood departure from measured legal rhetoric into psychodynamic rhetoric -- Lorre wished to punish Sheen by cancelling the shows and then firing him, because the profits from the new girls, Mike and Molly
and The Big Bang Theory
were more lucrative.
Meanwhile, the Lee Strasberg trope that all acting is Freudian psychiatry still has Hollywood by the balls. It permits all kinds of very creepy behavior beginning with the star system whereby the star's personal personna -- their privileged and deeply tormented lives -- becomes the vehicle on which roles and entire productions are formed. So that when Charlie Sheen pops into Lorre's mind as the actor for his sitcom, based on Lorre's pitch of what would happen when a degenerate and a child are thrown together, what Sheen is being paid $1.2-$1.8 million an ep for is to maintain degeneracy in his personal life
Meanwhile, due to the illusion of authenticity in The Method, Lorre feels empowered to vent his frustration against Roseanne, Brett Butler, Cybill, and Sheen in his vanity cards. Sheen's lawsuit has intelligently trawled the vanity cards to accuse Lorre of longstanding harassment. The Method question is, having purchased -- and reupped, as the law suit points out, in May 2010 when Sheen was under felony indictment -- Sheen's personal, and suicidal, degeneracy as the essence of his star, on which the entire narrative arc and production of "Two and a Half Men" was based, according to Lorre's own testimony, isn't Lorre's legal and financial position one of enabling Sheen to behave in the method Lorre bought his ass for in the first place?
Don't we pay them to pill out and screw jailbait and to have that curiously bottomy, tabula rasa, not very well-educated, unschooled, energy? The criterion for hiring actresses is, as is well-understood, is she fuckable? Which is approaching the kind of energy I'm talking about -- which Sheen has. And is that not now the model for sitcoms based on a standup's personna -- Seinfeld, Roseanne, Raymond, etc.? (Interesting that Seinfeld's only diva-like perq was the uncontaminated stacked Jewish virgin Shoshana whatshername.)
There's also a psychiatric Method arc in the Lorre biographical material. He says he was so disturbed by his run-ins with the castrating bitches Roseanne, Brett Butler and Cybill Shepherd that he designed his next big star personna, Jenna Elfmann for Dharma and Greg
, to be drama free. He also designed it to gouge Elfmann and the rest of the cast and crew out of their fair profits.
Having created the Jenna Elfmann drama from Roseanne's rib, Lorre went on to create the degenerate Charlie Sheen drama, complete with a vicious mother, self-admittedly modeled on his own, and peen 'n' poop jokes Lorre somehow feels are cutting edge. He writes, in the vanity cards
, about how brave he is to make them in the teeth of the bad old CBS censors, while consciously promulgating the multicam sitcom production values of Jackie Gleason, long after the pomo singlecam era of Seinfeld has taken TV comedies based on the standups' personnas in a different direction. You could call Lorre's post-Seinfeld productions -- Dharma and Greg, Home Improvement, Two and a Half Men, Mike and Molly, The Big Bang Theory
-- the fascist backlash against the Roseanne (content)/Seinfeld (anti-content) revolution.
All this is proudly based, I would argue, on the Strasberg method which pilled out Marilyn Monroe.( Roseanne's Deleted Posts on Chuck Lorre )( NYT on Sheen's Suit Against Lorre, and Warner Broz )
Somebody frightened Roseanne into taking down her Lorre hit list post. I would be very very interested to know what she thinks about Mike and Molly
, Lorre's latest, which is about two fat people getting it on. That is the whole concept.
Roseanne dealt with this a generation ago, the subtheme of a show with many more layers of real life content. She was absolutely vilified and treated like shit by the producers on account of it. Because she wasn't fuckable.
As Elaine Benis, Julia Louis-Dreyfus says, was as bad as the boys
This is the major reason TV is better than movies. It can be, sometimes, feminist.