On the same day that I encouraged all of you out there to not be depressed by the television season ending, I watched some shows last night and was depressed that the season hadn’t ended yet. Frankly, what I saw looked awfully tired and made me think that the people behind the scenes need a rest.
First up, NBC’s “improvisational” comedy Thank God You’re Here. Allegedly, this show drops an actor into a situation with a comedy troupe, the actor has no idea what’s happening and has to, therefore, do some improv. Well, Jason Alexander walked out onto a starship set last night and started to improvise, and kept being forced in one direction by the troupe. His improv led him to state that the show they were working on had been canceled (making the troupe into actors working on a show rather than the crew of a starship). One of the troupe said something along the lines of “what he means is…” and thereby dismissed the idea of a show within a show that Alexander put forth and put him on a path they wanted him to travel, not the path he was going down.
It quickly became clear that Alexander’s idea was dismissed so that the show could introduce an alien on a videoscreen. Eventually the alien boarded Alexander and his crew’s starship, and then proceeded to start a duel with Alexander. Conveniently, the alien’s choice of weapon just happened to have a counterpart next to Alexander’s captain’s chair. Alexander, upon having the weapon pointed out to him, stated “oh, is that what that is.” If it hadn’t been readily apparent before, it was now — it was going to make no difference what Alexander said or did to that point in the improv sketch, the members of the troupe were going to force this duel to occur, even if that meant gainsaying every remark from Alexander.