Saturday, January 06, 2007

Eight Heads in a Cancer Ward

J.J. Abrams will executive produce a new show for HBO about cancer victims.

Is everybody thinking what I'm thinking?

It's HBO, so of course it will be edgy, but the idea of watching a show about people dying of cancer doesn't fill me with a desire to rush home Sunday night and turn on the TV. I'm all for realism. Hell, I love The Wire and that's the most depressing, realistic show on the air right now. But cancer?

The stuff that happens on The Wire is our fault. We can do something about it. There are ways to change society, to change the education system. It's all people. But you can't reason with cancer. You can fight it, but you can't talk it into leaving you alone. So much of what happens to people with cancer is totally out of their control. A show with a cast member who has cancer I'll watch. But a show entirely about a disease that slowly destroys your body? For an hour a week? I'm not so sure.

And from J.J. Abrams, the master of the brilliant, action-driven pilot. I'm pretty sure this won't be like Lost or Alias. I don't watch What About Brian. The title reminds me of What About Bob? And that was an awesome movie and I'd rather just go watch that.

I guess we don't know enough yet to really judge the show, but I do know that one of the guys involved was also responsible for Eight Heads in a Duffle Bag. So that means we have action premise guy going in with silly Joe Pesci comedy guy and some other dudes for a show about the most depressing topic ever. I guess HBO misses Six Feet Under.

I'll still watch the pilot. J.J. Abrams is really good at pilots.

1 comment:

  1. funny, my first thought on reading that first line and not knowing anything about the show was that it could be good. black gallows humor, folks with nothing to lose; potentially these are great elements for interesting characters and pushing-the-limits story lines.

    as for cancer not being under our control, au contraire. from john robbins, 'diet for a new america':

    In 1976, the United States Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs, under the chairmanship of Senator McGovern, convened public hearings on the health effects of the modern American diet. After listening to the testimony of the nation's leading cancer experts, McGovern was not particularly delighted with the war on cancer, calling it a "multi-billion dollar medical failure."

    At one point in the proceedings, McGovern pointedly asked National Cancer Institute director Arthur Upton how many cancers are caused by diet. The head of the largest cancer organization in the world replied "up to 50 percent."

    McGovern was dumbfounded. "How can you assert the vital relationship between diet and cancer," he demanded, "and then submit a preliminary budget that only allocates a little more than one percent (of National Cancer Institute funds) to this problem?" Dr. Upton responded sheepishly: "That question is one which I am indeed concerned about myself."


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